1000 YEARS OF IRISH POETRY

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“Dry be that tear, my gentlest love,
Be hushed that struggling sigh:
Nor seasons, day, nor fate shall prove
More fixed, more true, than I:
Hushed be that sigh, be dry that tears,
Cease boding doubt, cease anxious fear-
Dry be that tear.”

From time immemorial the Irish have been poets, but, paradoxically only a minute part of Irish poetic literature is familiar to those outside of Ireland itself.
1000 years of Irish Poetry presents for the first time a panorama of Irish poetry as a literature, showing the many facets of the Irish poetic genius; lyrics, elegies, songs, street balads, satires, patriotic hymns, dramatic epics, natural and contemplative poetry, odes, and sonnet, and older unusual Gaelic forms of verse, which influenced the bardic poets of ancient and medieval Europe.

The name of the finest Irish poets – Joseph Campbell, Padraic Pearse, Francis Ledwidge – to cite only three moderns – are little know while others, among them are Oscar Wilde, Kathleen Tynan, Winfrey Letts, Louis MacNiece, and some of the great figures of literature, Swift and Goldsmith, for instance, are seldom thought of as Irish authors, so fully has their work been absorbed into the steam of English Literature.

If your knowledge of poetry embraces only the work of a few of the great moderns such as Yeats and A.E,  or if by chance you have the impression that Irish poetry is largely a matter of sentimental songs sprinkling liberally with ‘macushla’ and ‘mavourneen’, 1000 Years of Irish Poetry is full of wonderful surprises.

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Nigerian Sex Workers Demand Recognition

As the world marks the 14th International Sex Worker’s Rights Day today, Nigerian sex workers have joined their counterparts in some countries to demand for legal recognition of their trade as a job.

Some of the prostitutes told P.M.NEWS that the time had come for the Nigerian government to grant them their due recognition and further recognise that as human beings trying to keep body and soul going, the ‘profession’ should be considered legitimate enough to put a stop to its discrimination and stigmatisation.

Though many of them did not realise that a day like this was set aside for them until they were told, they also called on rights activists to assist them gain the desired recognition.

“See, many people, including you, do not see us as human beings. In your mind, we are a condemned set of Nigerians who sell their bodies so cheaply, but that thought is not right,” Jane, a lady from eastern Nigeria who operates at a brothel close to the railwayline in Agege, told our correspondent.

Her colleague, a 27-year old from southern Nigeria, said with their rights recognised, they could pay tax to the government and to be seen as decent people in the society.

“In some countries abroad, sex workers pay taxes. There is no discrimination, they can sue and even have streets, mainly in red light districts allocated to them to carry out their trades.

“But here in Nigeria, we are faced with rejection from the society, serious harassment by the police, and victimisation by our customers.

“You can imagine a customer who rushes into this place in a desperate bid to ease himself, jumps at one of us after a bargain and rides like a horse only to renege on the agreement on how much he should pay. If we have our rights, we could call for his arrest without shame or molestation from security agents and other Nigerians,” she explained.

•Sex workers protesting against discrimination

•Sex workers protesting against discrimination

In a brothel just a few meters away, another sex worker, Judith, told our correspondent that many prostitutes have various reasons for taking up the “business.”

In her own case, she had travelled out of the country primarily to “hustle in Spain. But I was deported even before reaching the place.

“It was a tough experience and I started sleeping with men as we moved from one country to another just to get money to survive. I stayed two months in Morocco gathering money, but just days to my entering Spain, I was caught with other 80 women and men and sent back to Nigeria.

“I am from Agbor in Delta State and couldn’t go back to my place because of the shame. So I took up residency in this place servicing men daily and making money. I’m even more comfortable here now and I make good money, about N12,000 every week,” she said.

In another brothel located behind the lock-up shops in Iyana-Ipaja, Philo, a 30-year old, who said she never heard that sex workers had such a day in their honour, said it would be good for government to give them legal backing.

“We can be seen as social workers assisting men who can’t summon the courage to ‘toast’ women, who are downtrodden and can’t maintain having a full-time girlfriend or wife as well as those who love variety.

“Ordinarily, without us, there would be much depression among men in the country. If you see what we have to bear sometimes, dirty men, stinking mouths and a lot more. How many women on the streets can accommodate that?” she asked.

Her colleague, who gave her name as Eki (meaning market in Bini language), said granting recognition to prostitutes in Nigeria is the best thing government could do for them.

“In many parts of the world, women are not ashamed to say they are call girls because they are recognised by the society.

“In the case of Nigeria, we just overlook the daily insults from both children and adults as well as the usual harassment from the police just to keep hope alive.

“Sincerely, we are not regarded as members of the society, we don’t have the freedom to do what we like because of the stigma. If the government cannot provide us jobs or put us on a welfare scheme to prevent us from taking to this means of livelihood, then it should recognise us as doing legitimate business,” she said.

She also called for support from non-government and rights organisations, saying they are in a better position to help in the fight.

The International Sex Workers’ Rights Day is marked on 3 March every year to call the world’s attention to the plight of sex workers and demand for their rights.

With the red umbrella as its symbol, the day came into existence in 2001 with a protest of over 25,000 sex workers organised by the Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee in India.

In South Africa, Sisonke, the only movement of sex workers in the country is commemorating the day with a march across streets to call for an end to injustices against sex workers and demand the recognition of prostitution as a legitimate job.

Important facts about snails

  •  Giant African land snail lays around six clutches of eggs every year, laying an average of 200 eggs per clutch.
     
  • Snails are sensitive to vibration, frequent touching and dirty environment.
     
  • Snails can be raised indoor or outdoor.
     
  • Achatina fulica require about 18.28 per cent of crude protein in its diet during the growth    
  • Snails hibernate during the dry season.
  • 99 per cent of snail activities occur in the night.
     
  • The protein content of snail is between 16 – 18per cent (FAO).
  •  FAO recommends 65grammes of snails to be taken daily.
  • Snail meat contains very little cholesterol or fat.
  • In Europe, snail meat is called escargot.
  •  Snail meat has both local and export potentials.
  •  Snails are quiet animals and easy to raise.
  •  The snail shell is one third of the total weight of snail.
  •  The shell sometimes indicates the age and maturity of the snail.
  •  Shell growth is influenced by food type and calcium availability.
  •  Low calcium intake reduces snail growth and causes the shell to be thinner.
  •  Giant snail eats a wide range of plant material, fruit and vegetables. It will sometimes eat sand, very small stones, bones from carcasses and even concrete as calcium sources for its shell
  • Life span of snail is two – five years.
  • The speed movement of snail is between 10cm – 15cm per minute.
  •  Snails are hermaphrodite i.e have both male and female reproductive organs.
  •  Snails mate with snail of the same species in other to lay fertilised eggs.
  •  Sexual maturity in snails takes between eight to 16 months depending on weather and availability of calcium.
  •  Hatchability of eggs also depends on soil temperature, soil humidity and soil composition.
  •  The first food of the newly hatched snail is their own egg shell.
  •  Newly hatched snails are sensitive to extreme heat.
  •  A newly hatched snail is about 4mm long.
  •  Young snails enjoy soft vegetables like lettuce.
  •  Giant African land snails eat about 500 different types of plants.
  •  Snails eat vegetables and fruits.
  •  Snails drink fresh water.
  •  Snails also enjoy fresh beer. So give them once a while.
  •  Snails grow faster when you supplement their food with formulated feeds.
  •  Snails also eat some food crops, grains and tubers.
  •  Snails eat boiled meat and snail meat.
  •  Don’t give snails salt or salty foods.
  •  Snails greatest enemy is the Sun.
  •  Other enemies of snails are snakes, soldier ants, lizards, rats, house flies and termites.

Snails

Snails tend to feed on a variety of items found in their natural habitat. What they will actually consume depends on where they live and the type of snail that they are. Some common items for their diet include plants, fruits, vegetables, and algae. Plants that are decaying are often a good meal for them.

They are herbivores which means they won’t consume meat items. You will likely find snails around your garden as this offers them plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables to eat. If you use herbicides or pesticides on them you may be causing the death of many of them without even realizing it.

Large numbers of snails though in a garden or even where farmers are growing crops can quickly become a serious problem. They will consume enough of what it growing to ruin the hard work that has been put into the area. If you are talking about a location where someone is growing food to eat or to sell then their livelihood is also being compromised. This is why people do all they can to prevent snails from consuming these types of foods that they are growing.
To be more humane, many that have gardens or farms strive to trap the snails that are in the vicinity rather than killing them. They either release them back into new environments or they will sell them as a source of food. Some of the easiest ways to trap them is to place lids from jars with beer in them in the garden.

For farmers that have too much land to do this, they have come up with another way to prevent damage to their crops. This involves placing 6 inch screens of copper that is placed in the ground. The slime from the snails doesn’t seem to mix very well with the copper and that means they will stay away from the foods that are growing. This process has been very successful.

Snails have to feed on foods that consume large amounts of calcium. This is necessary to keep their shell hard and protective like it should be. When looking for food they use their powerful sense of smell to find their prey. Snails can breathe through their skin and through an opening called the pneumostome. Snails have very poor vision so they can’t see what may be very close to them.

Snails are nocturnal so they will be looking for sources of food during the night or during the very early morning hours. They will consume more food at the colder months ahead come. This is so they can store up fat reserves to live on while they hibernate during the winter.

When food sources are very low in the summer or spring months, they may voluntarily put their body into a state of hibernation as well. This allows them to conserve energy and not need to forage for additional food. This is a mechanism that allows them to be able to survive in difficult conditions of drought.

They have a tongue that is very rough and the technical term for it is radula. They have rows of very small teeth that they use to scrap against the foods they want to consume. When you have snails as pets you want to pay close attention to their diet. If you feed them anything containing salt or sugar they will die.

They are often said to be very noisy eaters. However, the sounds you hear aren’t them consuming the food. Instead it is a part of the body called the radula which is tearing on what has been swallowed so it can find its way to the digestive tract.

A Black Man’s Adventure

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Up and down the memory line

with all the strength it got

struggling to be the very best

in a lonely world of another man.

A black man’s adventure

all 2ru the front and back book

his sweat and pain

on the path way of slavery

leaving behind his sweet love and home

his culture washed off him 2ru the sea

2.

Turned solid by the extreme cold

and melted by the heat of labor

the labor of our Heroes past

on the field of hard work and diligence

by their masters’ whip

do they struggle to hold back

tears and pain

which made them stronger and mightier

3.

A black man

gone all around the world

in whose sweat thousands of nation’s civilization were built

continued even unto death

just to make sure their children

you and I

would not have to say yes master

and bow down to some

proud and arrogant skinned person.

The adventure of a black man

is the civilization of the whole world.