A visual representation of "Mama" by Akin Jeje
NG Sin Man
YCH Wong Wha San Secondary School
My work captures the growth of the speaker in the poem,
and the aging of his mama in a tunnel of time in a fisheye lens.
In the foreground, it features the time when the son-speaker was still young,
the time when his mama read him and his sister ancient tales.
In the middle ground shows the speaker and his mama when he grew older.
From the way they interact, the viewer can feel their strong bonding regardless of time.
At the far back is the son-speaker standing alone, all by himself,
separated from his mama in a faraway country. The only thing
which connects him and his mama now is the electronic means.
Placing him at the back in a small proportion brings out the smallness of him
in comparison to the background of an endless ocean and the vastness of the sky.
The horned glasses –
tortoise-shell, bright and gleaming,
were all that remained
a shuffle rather than stride;
smooth cheeks caressed
into distant lands’
unknown planes, deep an’ wizened;
warm silica grin conceals
the barbs in back; the
in uhuru caftan.
Of course, much has changed
for the one whose
baked cashew hue
When I was a child, just before dark, she would
read baby Yemi and me
ancient tales of the mighty sun, the endless
earth, the brilliance of sky.
Now it is I
who sends these tales
in electronic blips
to an old woman
separated from i
the setting sun
an endless ocean
and the vastness
of the sky.
“Mama” was published in Smoked Pearl: Poems of Hong Kong by Akin Jeje, pp.21-22. Copyrights © 2010 by Proverse Hong Kong.