Memories Of Time Past!


(Photo credit: Flickr)

The lashes fell on my skin, burrowing holes through it

My hands gripped the tree as blood flowed freely.

The ground soaked and groaned.

My tears mingled with blood as hope fled.

 A quick gaze upwards and the sky mocked me.

What sins have I committed?

What atrocities would call for such retribution?

Then like a glimpse in the night,

I saw a new world.

Different from my present.

Free from pain of the field and labouring for the proud.

A spasm, a breeze, a sound.

And mercy reclaimed my soul in a faint.


On Saturday, I went to watch the acclaimed drama, ’12 Years A Slave,’ directed by Steve McQueen. I wished I hadn’t watch the film, it was brutal. I ran out twice, it was very difficult to watch. As a writer, I’ve got a hyper imagination, and as the lashes landed on Patti’s (played by Nyong’o) bare skin, I flinched, I saw myself tied to the tree in her place, my cries of mercy rending the air. The horrors of slavery would live forever, and it’s even inconceivable that over 21 million people are still enslaved today!!!

I know we live in a very complex world but one by one, day by day, we can make a change, reclaiming sanity on our streets and nations. Thank God slavery is officially abolished. Thank God Hitler is dead but changing our world is everyone’s responsibility. A change to obliterate slavery, poverty, racism, murder… All sorts of evil lurking beneath the soul of men.

I WILL do my part. Will you?

Much love, always!

Seyi David

49 comments on “Memories Of Time Past!

  1. Reblogged this on Tammy Hopkinson MBA and commented:
    What a lovely post…. 🙂

  2. Renard Moreau says:

    [ Smiles ] Oh, very nice!

  3. Seyi sandra says:

    Al, since watching the film, it stuck to my mind, and writing this post is the only way to find clarity. My headaches started right in the middle of it. To think that humans could treat each other like that was beyond belief. If I were in Patti’s shoes, I would have killed maybe my master or the mistress of the house.

    I’ll die fighting for my freedom!

  4. The horror of slavery haunts the lives of so many. There is so much evil in the world fueled by hatred. Here in the States many of the descendants of slave owners still harbor that hate. They show that hate toward our President everyday and it is embarrassing that they still maintain that disgusting way of thinking.

    • Seyi sandra says:

      Most of those slave owner descendants are likely to call themselves Christians, yet they believed that a certain race is lower than theirs. That was the problem with Hitler. The belief that one is better than another is just the sick nature of the mind. If it was the other way round, they wouldn’t be able to endure the pain and torture.

      • Exactly. I’m reading and old book The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury. It’s a bunch of short stories and one of the stories was that all the black people on earth were living on Mars and when the people on earth finally killed the planet they came up to Mars. The man who was running things said we’re going to treat them like they treated us. Role reversal teaches a lot.

  5. Paul J. Stam says:

    Good post, Seyi. I don’t know when or if bigotry and hatred will end, but we all have to do our part. As you know from the excerpts you’ve read of RIVER CONGO I deal with another time and place, but it is only as individuals do their part in confronting abuse in any arena that things may change. – Blessings and Aloha – pjs.

    • Seyi sandra says:

      You’re right, hatred and bigotry would probably end if the world ceases to be, and I really don’t want that happen. I appreciate your visit and comment. Which reminds me to make sure I buy a copy of ‘River Congo,’ you’re still selling it online aren’t you?
      Blessings. 🙂

  6. Eric Alagan says:

    Love your poem, Seyi – captured the raw essence.

    You’re right, one hand tucked in the Bible and while the other wielded the whip.

    Institutions have changed, names have changed, modus operandi is different – but there is and will always be pharaoh and slave. Think of all the women, young men (yes, this is often overlooked) and children trapped in international sex traffic and slavery. Think of all the ‘regular’ people beholden to banks.

    This is the tragedy of human evolution, I reckon.

    P/s I am doing my part – even wrote a novel based on the international sex trade.

    • Seyi sandra says:

      My husband used to say and I quote: ‘there’s a world out there different from what people think.’ And I think he’s right. My perception has changed a lot, I used to look at things on facial values, now I know most things, and some people are not as they seem.

      I’m glad you’re doing a lot, writing about international sex trade is a huge thing, and I’m certain it would bring awareness. I love when writers break out of the normal mould to write about such touchy subjects. I would buy your book and review it.

      Thanks for your visit!
      Blessings. 🙂

  7. sknicholls says:

    “The horrors of slavery would live forever, and it’s even inconceivable that over 21 million people are still enslaved today!!!”

    What blows my mind, and what is evident in my book,is that this all was barely two lifetimes ago if you live to be eighty years old. 160 years ago. That’s just really not a long time. I am over fifty, it seems like a much shorter time the older I get. White people, not knowing my position on things will sometimes say things to me, coworkers and such, like, “Black people need to get over it…that was generations ago.” But it really wasn’t so long ago when you think about the fact that the dust in England is older than this country.

    I am proud of my southern roots, my heritage being colonial American, but not at all proud of the heritage of the rich during those eras. My family wasn’t rich, did not own slaves, and they were humble, but racism and prejudice was all around them. It still is. We have traveled miles in time but have so many more to go. The reminders are painful, but the children of the future need to know the truth without any sugar coating. It was real. Hopefully, at least in this country, people will never be treated like that again. Schools, for fear of imposing hateful attitudes (and who can blame them) don’t always tell the truth in their lessons. Without reminders like “12 Years a Slave”, what do we have?

    • Seyi sandra says:

      Thanks for your unbiased and truthful comment. I grew up in Nigeria and knew nothing about the horrors of slavery until I got to High school, even then, it was sketchy. When I moved to the UK, I made friends quickly; that was when I discovered the extent of slavery. I’ve experienced racism in London too but I shrugged it off, and most of those people are now my friends.

      The scary part, as you’ve rightly pointed out was the fact that slavery wasn’t about 400 years ago, it’s too soon to forget. We can learn from the mistakes of the past if we truly want to create a better world for posterity. Although I know laying it out bare would not really be wise, but are people willing to change? That’s the problem! Most of my Caribbean friends thought I don’t hate white people and when I try to tell them to forget and move on, that I don’t have the capacity to hate, they would retort angrily, ‘ because you look white doesn’t make you one!’ and the tirades and tears would fall. I hope we can truly love each other, in spite of our differences.

      Thanks for stopping by my friend!
      Blessings. 🙂

  8. Funkangeles says:

    I got you! great post

  9. Luanne says:

    Seyi, I almost never see a move at the theatre. I wait to see them on the TV. I’m curious about the brutality of this movie. I’m making a leap since I haven’t seen it. I think there are a lot of people who need to see brutality like what must be shown in this movie. People who don’t really know history and don’t really care about it. But for me–I’ve studied history (have a major in it, for one thing) and I have an understanding of how I’ve grown up in the U.S. steeped in white privilege–I’m old and exhausted and burdened by all the inequities and extreme sadnesses and cruelty in this world: what would be the point of putting myself through seeing more brutality? What do you think?

    • Seyi sandra says:

      I think you’re right Luanne. You’ve seen it all, studied history, realised the atrocities and quiet frankly, helpless in the face of it. If you want to watch the film, by all means please do, but it’s like nothing you’ve seen before. The fact that it was a true story made it more powerful. I think people who knows nothing or doesn’t care about the history of slavery should see the movie. Besides, there’s evil all around us, why burden yourself with what you can’t change? Just do you part, be a blessing wherever you are and you’ve paid your dues!

      I appreciate your visit my friend!
      Cheers. 🙂

  10. RoSy says:

    I have yet to watch that movie. And – I will. From what I hear- it’s going to be a tough one to get through. I can’t even begin to imagine the reality of it. So very sad.

    • Seyi sandra says:

      Believe me Rosy, by writing this post, I got peace. I was distressed through out the film, that less than two centuries ago, people could be treated worse than animals.

  11. I’m dreading watching this movie. Not yet had the courage to do so. I don’t know a single person who watched it who wasn’t moved and distressed by it. I watched this wonderful actress’s speech at the awards when she spoke about the real meaning of beauty and even just that speech had me weeping. I fear I may make a fool of myself when I finally go to see it :-/

    You’re right about the plight of slaves today – actually there are more slaves today than there were in total in the history of mankind. Unfortunately, their condition is often just as bad as in the past. The Sex slave trade is booming and in Bangladesh, where I worked, garment factory girls are often treated very poorly. If they complain they can be beaten badly, abused and even killed. There are still far too many ‘Hitlers’ in this world…

    • Seyi sandra says:

      Ken, it was very moving. I had tears streaming down my face when it was over. Slavery is still very much around us. It’s just strange the way humans treat their kind.

      You’re right about your assertion, ‘there are still far too many ‘Hitlers’ in this world…’
      Thanks for stopping by my friend, I appreciate it!

      Blessings. 🙂

  12. A powerful post, Sandra. I need to watch this film. 🙂

  13. Slavery is still alarmingly here with us and not a lot is done to stop it. The Italian mafia, Russian, Mexican, Colombian and Chinese mafia all control the modern slave trade. I hope the changes you so much want and believe in would become a reality in our streets and nations.

    A very moving and powerful post!

    Christy Nelson

  14. Sherri says:

    Not seen this film yet Seyi, but I had heard that it is brutal and this confirms it. Something that needs to be watched though. Very powerful post. With you, my dear friend… 🙂

    • Seyi sandra says:

      Thanks for stopping by Sherri. I hope we can all banish all the evil around us, but we can only try. Have a wonderful weekend my friend. I appreciate your visit!
      Much love. 🙂

  15. firstwds says:

    Yes, a hard to watch film. It was a good movie, but it was one that I can only bring myself to watch once.

  16. ledrakenoir says:

    Although slavery is a thing of the past – it is not further away than that to happen again – child slavery still happens – economic slavery going on in many countries – so we all had eyes and ears open, slavery has at some points changed in character – but it’s still here… 😦

    • Seyi sandra says:

      You’re right, slavery merely changed in character, only God knows what happens behind close doors. Thanks for stopping by my friend and do have a great weekend!

  17. Christina ~ says:

    Your words are so poignantly powerful Seyi! I, too, am a sensitive soul when it comes to violence, most especially when it is based on truth and so realistically portrayed. It is absolutely vital that we all continue speak up and use our voices so that not one soul ever forgets our past and our present, nor what our future could be if we but face the ugliness head on with love and most importantly…with each other. Blessings sweet friend!

    • Seyi sandra says:

      Thanks Christina. Learning from history would give us peace, and it also ensures that the mistakes of the past are not repeated. I appreciate your kind words and visit. Do have a great week my friend!
      Much love. 🙂

  18. I have not decided if I wiill watch that movie or not. I am not sure I can handle the cruelty. It is unbelievable that so short a time ago people living in this country were treated like animals or worse. I know we need to remember and honor those people , but I am just not sure if I can handle watching it or not. It sounds heart breaking.

    • Seyi sandra says:

      It is heart breaking. But I believe films like that ensures that such atrocities are not allowed to happen again. Sadly, slavery still abound in our world today… Frankly, I won’t encourage you to watch it, it’s distressing. It just shows the despair those slaves must have lived with if we find it difficult to watch the enactment of their suffering.

  19. kayladean says:

    Very nice. I’ve been debating on seeing that movie, but I still haven’t watched it because of the rumors of horror/gore.

  20. Noted in Nashville says:

    I have not watched the film, and I may not ever be able to bring myself to. I just don’t know if my heart can take it. As you said, slavery still exists and it’s inconceivable to me that anyone can justify it.

  21. Seyi, what a powerfully poignant poem. It’s only in knowing there’s a better place that I can bear the thought that we’ve not yet rid the world of any and all slavery. We must not give up–ever.

    Blessings ~ Wendy ❀

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