DOING DIRTY LINENS

The laundry woman didn’t come. I had to dig in and wash my own dirty linens. It is not a problem, only a challenge to stop being lazy, if only for one weekend. The washing machine looks simple enough to operate- that is when the kids are at it, but not for me; I always seem to press the wrong buttons. The user manual is in Chinese and a smattering of nay-say mangled English that seems to have been transcribed straight out of the unintelligible original cantonese or mandarin or some other cryptic language.

The Little boys- I had tutored and mentored them on Pro-Active aptitude- impressed me today. They’d worked the machine and done their own washing, since the power holders have been kind or forgotten to take back the light at dawn today. The boys, somehow, got a inkling that Iya Sheyi, the washer woman, wouldn’t be showing up to do the washing today. I should have known that she might not come this Saturday as she’d been missed last Saturday, and the one before that. She’d collected her over-due pay for February on the first week of March. And that was it. No plausible reason have been given for her AWOL.

I had wasted precious time calling Iya Sheyi trying to find out what might be the matter with her. Whenever the line connected and she took the call, she never seemed to hear me, but I was hearing her loud and clear, as loud and as clear as the warbling network allowed. I had aimed to pacify and cajole her to report for duty ASAP. I had no success and my airtime ran out.

My own personal laundry has already piled up into a daunting mountain. Washing is not my fort at all; And the machine can’t seem to handle the simple task of washing thoroughly and sparkling clean. Maybe it is just me, but I prefer the stone-age mode of washing dirty linens- If I am not the one doing it. At least such crucial parts like stains in the collar, underarm, crouch, areas which the sensitive washing-machine shies away from, are better handled by competent human hands.

I was very glad when we had contracted Iya Sheyi in February to come in every Saturday to do the heavy Duty laundry that the alien contraption of a machine couldn’t or wouldn’t handle. She’ll be the second for this year, and the eight in 15 months, of the washer women we’d engaged. Little Juniour, alias Ben 10, was still taking me on a guide-tour of the machine when NEPA struck. He had only just showed me how to plug it into the socket (that was a cinch) but the rest of the lecture was so rapid-fired that I had to interrupt the little genius and take him back to module 1, again and again, and again.

“hold the plug like this, chook it into this socket…nooo! You are turning it upside-down, hold it like this, chook it in… Ok… no…! Ok, pwess this swish; that red light shows that there is light. oya pwess “ON” nooo! “ON”! I Mean “OOON” it is at the top… Oh no, no, no! This is the “ON” button… nooo! not here, on top of the washing mashin… Good! Now this is where you pour your OMO… Yakety, yakety (rapidly-firing) yak.

When I lost track and asked to go back to the top and start all over again the little Einstein obliged me with a straight face, but the red light failed to show that last time. Though he did first, but we both realised that NEPA, having been “thus far” magnanimous, had cut the power. The relief that showed on my little tutor’s face was a clear indication that he had been really suffering in the bid to cure my mechanical naivete. I felt sorry for him. He had been born into an age where machines does everything for you, even wipe you arse for you. In my growing up days we were taught to do things ourselves with help from machines and gadgetry on the minimal.

Who needed the blasted machine anyhow? Hand washing was more ideal for my dirty things because I have recycled those clothes like twice each, in the least. So I resorted to digging-in into the mountain of dirty clothes. A man has got to take charge of his life and not leave too much to fate or machines.

The lines are occupied by dripping children’s clothes. The Sun that had glared so brilliantly this morning, now chooses to hide her face behind a veil of foreboding, dark clouds. My prayer, even has I have struggled with, and conquered the task of washing the essential garments I’ll be needing for tomorrow’s Easter Sunday Service, and the rest of the week, is that the rains may not come down now. Lord Please!

THE HIDDEN WORLD OF TODAY’S KIDS

THE HIDDEN WORLD OF TODAY’S KIDS

Today’s kids belong to a world apart. Children are gifts from heaven; I have always equated them with such precious things as cut diamonds. But I tell you, this view is apt, because those creatures are as hard and multi-faceted as cut diamonds. Just when you think you have a handle on a today’s kid, you are greeted with a fiery, hard and cold side of the little imp. I thought I was good with kids. I thought I was gifted in comprehending their enigmatic ways, but I have a whole world to learn about those little people.

Chukwuteim likes custard with his beans. No one else likes the combination as much as the 8-year-old Little Ja Rule likes it. Nobody really cares to make him a bowl of custard to have his bean porridge with, as he likes it, but I care. I will do anything for a child, and I do everything for this little guy, especially if we are on speaking terms. We were on speaking terms this morning. Although the little tart had beaten me, thrice in a row, in a game of chess last night. I’ve been trying to be nice to him so we may have another game tonight, and a chance to redeem my prestige as his tutor in chess. I chose to teach him how to make his favourite of milk and sugar sweetened bowl of custard.

He didn’t even seem to need my instructions, as he set a kettle of water to boil. But I showed him to use a dry spoon to measure the custard powder into a bowl, add an equal measure of cold water, stir-in a required measure of sugar, and just enough milk to have a rich, thick mixture; and to trickle in the boiling water while stirring until the mixture turns viscous, creamy and ready to eat. The smirking little man had stood back to survey the outcome of his experiment as if he was Pinky or The Brain who’d just taken over the world afteral.

The reward for my condescension came during the eating. I had been greeted with frowns and cold shoulder when the little imp had done wiping clean his bowl of beloved custard. He was still having much bean-porridge on his plate, and there was no trace of the custard I have guided him to make for himself. I asked what happened, and why he wasn’t looking pleased with his favourite meal? He replied in a sulk, and desultry tones that I have short-rationed him.

“But na you make the custard by yourself na, abi?”

I pointed out to him. He’d measured out the ingredients for the custard himself, albeit under my direction. I had even added more raw custard powder when his mixture turned out too watery, before the introduction of boiling water. That had actually increased the quantity he had initially gauged for his meal. I shouldn’t be accountable if he feels short-changed. Be his accusation defeated my logic. As he replied through a pout, punctuating his point with accusing pointing fingers:

“…is it not you? You deceived me and let me make small custard, but if it is your own you will make biiiiiiiiig one… and you will eat and eat and eat till your tummy is fuuuuull to your throat…!

I couldn’t make head or tail of his accusation that time. I still have not, till this moment, unravelled this new aspect of the little guy I thought I knew so well I could hear his thoughts. You just never know with children, especially today’s kids. They seem to have a whole set of norms, values and codes far removed from the realm of grown ups. The hidden world of today’s kids is impenetrable to the outsider grown ups. In the world of today’s kids, they are the natives, and we, grown-ups, are the aliens.

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NEW NIGERIAN WRITING AND THE NEXT ACHEBE

If there is any one writer that has taken Nigerian literature to the world, it is Chinua Achebe. His novel Things Fall Apart indisputably qualifies as a classic. Chinua Achebe had written several other books, many which are no less worthy of the attention Things Fall Apart has garnered in the course of time. Arrow Of God and No Longer At Ease are two full length novels that immediately succeeds Things Fall Apart. There is no denying the fact that these three books make up a trilogy of note as their is a traceable generational link in the plot and characters in all three of those great books. There is also The Anthill Of The Savanah, another noteworthy offering by the master writer. In all the Man is reported to have written over 20 books. He was the editor of the African Writers Series; a collection of myriads of writing across Africa.

There are other books written by the world acclaimed author from Nigeria; Chinua Achebe had dabbled in the realms of other genres of writing like short stories (Girls At War) poetry (Beware Soul Brother) children’s story (Chike And The River), and essays. While novel-writing may be Chinua Achebe’s fort, he has made several hits with his essays. His recent, and lastly published disturbing Quasi-autobiography, There Was A Country, could be said to be very successful. As it is the trend with significantly successful books in Nigeria, the book pirates are having a field day at running off cheap re-prints of There Was A Country, and putting them on the streets. No sooner does a copy of There Was A Country lands on the street than it is quickly purchased by a waiting reader. The plethora of reviews of the book, may have whet the appetite of the reading public for what Uncle Achebe has to say. And I heard the man said things about the plight of Biafra in the unfortunate last Century’s civil war in Nigeria. Even before the first print got to the shores of Nigeria, many reviewer and casual readers alike have already, metaphorically, rolled up there sleeves to engage Uncle Chinua Achebe in controversies over the content and intent of the book.

Nothing succeeds like success. If there is a successful Nigerian author, Chinua Achebe is it. He is indisputably an icon of African Literature. As characteristically enigmatic as Achebe may be regarded in certain quarters of the Nigerian polity, the man is held in high esteem by the younger generation of Nigerian writers. Now Uncle Achebe is gone, a lacuna is definitely created, one that must be filled soon. Chinua Achebe will always remain an icon of Nigerian, if not African, writing. While there are other living successful Nigerian writers to look up to, like Wole Soyinka, Ben Okri, to name but two, this generation of Writer must have one of their own be their standard-bearer. There are brilliant writers out of Nigeria, and they are plenty, but this generation must find one of its own to hold high, the standard of contemporary Nigerian Writing; a one who will, take the burning torch to the world in the footsteps of Late Uncle Achebe.

This generation is fortunate to still have the contemporaries of Pa Achebe like Uncle Wole “Kongi” Soyinka, et al, to guide and point it in the right direction. This generation of younger Nigerian Writers is privilege too to have publishers like Farafina, Cassava, Republic, Magic Wand Publishing, Kraft Books, Evans Publishers, Macmillan Books, and Paressia- to name but a handful- to help make of its works, world standard books (in all formats). There are booksellers like Monsuro, Rovingheights, Glendora, Patabah, Bookville, and Debonair Bookstores to make books available to direct consumers. We should be thankful too to have The Rainbow Book Club and Garden City Literary Festival, The Nigerian International Book Fair, Celebrity Read Africa, Book Jam, Book ‘N’ Gauge to ginger Nigeria’s interest and love for books. There is the Association Of Nigerian Authors (ANA) which organises and moderate many literary awards for Nigerian Literature, There is also Promise Ogochukwu’s Lumina: organisers of The Wole Soyinka Prize For Literature with her continental reach; there are also myriads of literary groups, societies, clubs, cabals, helping to mold the next icons for Nigerian writing. In sum, all efforts must be coordinated to keep Nigerian Writing on the global stage, and a Standard-Bearer in the order of Chinua Achebe must emerge from this blooming crop of Nigerian writers: This generation of writers that has it’s own stories to tell.

100 POEMS OF SOLITUDE

one hundred poems of solitude

contents

something in me is dying to live

there is a growing like a young tree
locked up in the inside away from lumen
i take risks, keeping hid away inside me
‘cos on its own, some day would burst through.

a genius is caged within my ribs
though i should put it to birth
but a devil in me midwifes it to death
and my fame know nothing of cribs

it is dying to live, but not this time
doubt has got me by the ankles
fear has put my feet in shackles
i linger on fame’s starting line, marking time.

i should have been drenched in fame
but my little investible gathers dust
i waste on forlorn shelf breeding rust
from life’s spotlights i hide in shame.

.

seeking rebirth

when would resurrection come?
this desolate tomb is so, so lonesome
the path of rebirth would the muse pave,
then i’d rise from this dark, dark grave.

the grave is such a deed deep dark
the spirit of mother muse gropes in the dark
crying so much for her loss and troubles,
as the pillars of her temple crumbles.

in my broken heart is a nagging ache,
as my fame, by bards, is nailed to a stake.
my portion is marked by a grave, un-numbered
and null and void, my rhapsodies rendered.

what i seek is a rebirth- i seek rebirth.
that, like lazarus, rhymes may come forth;
come now lilting rhymes dispel this gloom;
come save mother muse from the doom.

…let this heart no more know quiet;
for somnolence is not of the poet
this soul shall no more be a recluse tomb,
where, i none, but suck my melancholic thumb.

rhymes! come roll away this stone
i can bear no more to be dead and so alone.
what i seek is rebirth and resurrection from death.
and live again, the good life of good health

living in haste
thread-milling the earth like a slothful feist
living life in a rush and in such haste,
accumulating so much undue waste?
the existence of instant copy and paste.

i’d kick my heels and hurry along.
i’d be gone hence, where i don’t belong.
by the gravestone would my dirge be song:
a brief, brief candle, lit for only a song.

by troubadours, would, my lore be told,
the tale of unhappy endings would be told
of how my whole essence was put on hold,
and my heart turned marble and as cold.

i will come back, though i may be dead.
i will come back to my race and homestead.
oh! i’ll come again like others who were dead,
but today amongst my people are counted.

a cup of vinegar

i gained a crown, and my name was written in gold,
but in my waking hour, lo and behold
it was finished as darkness enshrouded me.
most assuredly my whole life was a mere dream.

like my forebears, i am a legend from nowhere,
hermit on solitary pilgrimage going up there,
searching in hope to find heaven’s treasures,
shunning the transient gains of life’s pleasures.

surely i’ve drunken the tears of that bitter cup,
even the vile dregs of sorrow have i drunken up.
although i ought not, but i have to the bottom sunk
of the emptied cup, from which i’ve drunk

the inebriation has in no way conquered my fears.
having drunk of the bitter cup overflowing with tears.
how come i know the truth yet languish in torment,
whereas, as prophet, i wear the gospel’s helmet.

my need for right is kindled by this vinegar.
towards heaven, i beat upon my chest in anger.
oh justice! why stay those long arms of yours,
why not go on and work that slow mill of yours?

would you, in this distressed time, forsake me?
let it be your will to take this cup from me!
most assuredly my riven heart within me bleeds,
as scourging stripes stripped bare my needs.

thorns

his whole being is wracked
with resounding laughter
yet his soul is wrecked
with tears, painful, like a blister

within the court, most holy,
he’s submerged in abysmal melancholy
friends festered his realm,
yet a lonely ghoul befiends him

how much he craves a soul mate,
a friend and helpmeet,
yet heaven, would not, his plight, heed.
(what a friend he has indeed)

did he explore his own heart’s deep,
searching the unfathomed keep,
nowhere did he ever found that love,
but in her heart’s treasure throve.

the need

this is death…

you deprive me of food and water
thinking i might just wither and die.
i am not a glutton, but you know…
i don’t wanna go hungry… thirsty neither
and if you take my food and water away,
i might just wither and die

you deprive me of drugs and alcohol
thinking i might get depressed and die
i am not an addict, but you know…
i like feeling high and having a ball
and if you take my drugs and alcohol away
i might get depressed and die

you deprive me of love and care
thinking i might get lonely and die
i am self-sufficient, self-reliant
and if you take my love and care away
i will certainly go lonely, depressed and die

life withers, all shrinks and die…
even with all the food and water
even with all the drugs and alcohol
without love and care
life, certainly get lonely and depressing.

that is death

re-creation

it is in giving we receive.
if i would be my own creature,
i must first be made of the dust others tramples upon.

it is in losing we find again.
if i would be my own creature,
i must first exhale the stale breath and inhale fresh life.

it is in tearing down we build.
if i would be my own creature,
i must tear down these walls and build bridges to reach-out.

it is in loving we find love.
if you will be your own creature,
you must love your neighbour, no matter his kith and kin.

it is in loving me you find love
if we must be our own creature
the twain of us must first be one flesh, one soul, one spirit.

i am no messiah

i am no messiah,
but i could use water turned wine
to make me heart merry.

i am no messiah,
but i can bear a heavy cross
only if it is a solid gold crucifix.

i am no messiah,
but i can carry the world on my shoulder
only for the gain of the whole world.

i am no messiah,
but let men sing my hosanna,
i like to be entertained.

i am no messiah,
but i won’t save me self from pilate
if i would be proclaimed ‘king for the juice’.

i am no messiah,
but i can drink of any bitter cup
if, and only if it overflows with extra stout.

i am no messiah,
so i’d pass the cup of vinegar.
give that cup to those who perish.

made God…

a lot of things are made for one purpose,
like day time that is made good for working,
and night time too which is made for fucking,
or sleeping with objects of affection, i suppose

a lot of things are made good, and to be shared
in a nicely-knit web of taking and giving
as done on christmas and eid, with thanksgiving
love, even forbidden fruits from God’s orchard

a lot of things are made by a good God,
all things bright and beautiful, great and small.*
the vulture’s screech or the hyena’s howl…
things that seem hideous also are for good.

some things are actually made wonderful
like beasts and trees, and distant skies; all things
but man, that critter whose touch blights all things
making all things, even God, grotesque and fearful.

good hope

truth, God’s gently blowing breath, unseen.
inspire my all-ready, unfurled sail;
i’m fully rigged and i’ve primed my gunwale,
to withstand the storms that troubles life’s ocean.

i won’t refrain from contention and strife.
though battered my mast and tattered my sail,
my hull will be sharp like a shark’s tail,
and slice through the troubled waters like a knife.

though tossed about in storms, i’ll be bold.
i’d pay no mind to my unstable compass,
and look out for heaven’s buoy that signals hope,
and keep safe and dry, God’s goods in my hold.
never will i drop anchor, tackle or brass,
till truth tide me to the cape of good hope.

the sojourn

how much, in freedom, should i pay
for one gold ring of truth?
heaven is distant and wouldn’t say
and i’m spared the price for truth.

so i kept climbing to the mountain top,
searching the unexplored heights.
and i kept plunging to the ocean’s deep,
searching the abysmal depth.

nowhere was hidden the sought-for truth
but in the kernel of my hardened heart.
no one can unveil the be-shrouded truth,
but God, when the time is just and right.

how much will right weigh
against one shekel of justice?
heaven is judge but wouldn’t say
to me, ‘this is the measure for justice’.

so i kept giving and giving
hoping, in good measure to be given;
pressed down, and shaken together,
so well measured that i was run over.

how else could right be measured,
but with the un-tilted scale of truth?
no one is judge, for none is insured
against the tides of unsteady faith.

so in search for truth the hermit sojourns
treading a path strewn with brambles and thorns
so my sword have i left in its sheath
that i may not take another man’s breath.

painting paradise

all my life has been one solitary stage
but now it is an empty but new page
once upon which were myriads of sketches
being the scars from belief’s many scratches
but those disfiguring marks, i did erase
and made my life again tabula rasa

now that my life’s page is again empty
the blank pages have become very plenty
now the wind of truth stirs, inspired by the muse
i’ll retrieve truth’s brush from the bin of disuse
upon my life’s empty space, splash glowing colours
for my life’s blank pages needs shinning colours

i’ll paint harmony on my life’s canvass
exploring the plains without a compass
stroke by stroke, i will create new paradise
blotting out dogma, dark shades, and shadows

the sowing

life is a garden of flowers, and so colourful
brightly plumed song-birds, to and fro flies
but i’m blinded hate plucks out my eyes
i cannot see, even if i look to see how colourful

i transit through life’s gardens… so beautiful
but the thorns wouldn’t let me pluck a rose
envy’s fumes have so clogged my nose
that i wouldn’t perceive to know how beautiful

now i care less if beyond this limiting fence
hedging me into wilderness, the grass is green
mine allotted plot of life, needs some cultivation

i’ll get rid of the abounding rocks of offence
till and sow seeds from trees fruitful and green
and make a new paradise, where i’ll find salvation

seeking the holy

breath upon my sail
you untainted breath of truth
forlorn, i tramp on a trail
east to west, and north to south
in search of the holy grail

fill my unfurled sail
you inspiring breathe of truth
primed is my gunwale
am provisioned to set forth
to seek and find the grail

my passion set sail
yet i depend on the truth
and would not on God turn tail
steadfast faith guide me forth
i won’t give up on the grail

the most holy of grail
for which men search, fight and die
and will never now be found
this is the gospel truth
none have seen it, but it’s real

broken
heaven, give me another hope!
for the one i see now
hangs on a crossed, an accursed tree,
naked
beaten
battered
bruised
broken.

if there be no other hope,
then i for one is the accursed,
for i would soon hang on an accursed tree,
naked
beaten
battered
bruised
broken

as i look up for another hope
into empty clouds i gaze
for there is no other but that on the tree,
naked
beaten
battered
bruised
broken

lord, give me a comforting hope!
for you are all i can see now,
though hung on the cross, the accursed tree,
naked
beaten
battered
bruised
broken

the lord is my divine hope
for it was for my sake he came
to hang on that cross, the accursed tree,
naked
beaten
battered
bruised
broken

you comforter, are my only hope
i believe, and i confess now
save me from the curse of hanging on the tree,
naked
beaten
battered
bruised
broken

the risen

although the lot of men rejected him
when they cried- ‘crucify him! crucify him!’
but the ruler, confronted by the truth,
before the mob, a choice he did set forth…

although the daughter of eve spat on him
and the sons of adam had smitten him
yet will he restore unto them their sights
and take upon him, their bloated blights

the rough, heavy cross may have felled him
but the grip of death had no hold on him
he had endured the lonesome grave and its depth
and by that no-mean-feat, he conquered death

from out of the depth of hell God calls him
up yonder, a crown of glory awaits him
upon the place of skulls he shed the blood
by which the stains on our conscience is blot

the found

i am chaff blown away
i am a sheep gone astray
i am a prodigal son gone on my way

… but he found me
yes, and he saved me
he left his all to come to find me

his father’s house of many mansions
i cannot enter with my sinful passions
yet i’m made co-heir with him

i was dumb and could not speak
he touched my lips and then i spoke
but i ‘cried crucify him’

i was lame and could not walk
he moved my limbs, he made me walk
but i smote and immolate him

i was blind and could not see
he healed my sight, he made me see
but i scoffed and did spit on him

i am chaff blown away
i am a sheep gone astray
i am a prodigal son gone on my way

the saviour found me
yes, and he saved me
he left his all to come to find me

the zeal

they have destroyed God’s temple,
turned the house of prayer to crap-table.

the lord’s house for the lord’s prayer,
they’ve made a haunts for filthy lucre.

they would God’s house turn to rubble,
they would the holy place crumble.

God’s holy sanctuary, made den of thieves,
and aviary for commercialized doves.

throw them out of the holy temple!
i’ll overthrow the money-changers’ table!

with a whip made of a brand new cord,
i’ll set the manipulating rogues in discord.

amongst them will erupt a scramble,
there’ll be a stampede in their stable.

let them destroy God’s holy temple,
but i will again raise it up to the pinnacle

they will never for once comprehend
why my zeal for the lord’s house will not end.

harvest
i went out even as i am, a wild-oat-sower
to spread my seeds and wait for shower
on the field i’ve ploughed with power
i wait and watch from a watch tower

lo and behold the birds of heaven
they also watch from a safe haven,
the vulture, the crow, and raven
croon my dirge in tones so graven

on my lonely trail, is the grim-reaper
threshing and gleaning; bad reaper
i’ve reaped much harvest- a bumper
and my debts, paid heaven’s pied piper

the crow, paid yet-to-be-harvested-seed
the raven, paid in fallen-by-the-wayside-seed
the vulture, paid with my carcase that is deceased
but the bumper harvest suffice not my soul’s very need

measure for measure

men have dominated others, even
for their gain, to their injury,
but justice comes from heaven
where none, but the whole truth is jury.

therefore would i that the earth be broken,
so i may sow my little mustard grain,
and pray for heaven’s windows to open,
and for joy and abundance to rain.

i do not ask heaven for too much,
but for my due daily bread, daily.
no one will be in want, forasmuch
as everyman is recompensed duly.

to my neighbour, i give back in measure
of the much, form life i have taken;
for no man can ever be too sure
if his everyday would broke even.

no more loss
no more shall my searching eyes
be made weary by looking
unto the distant hills
from whence should come loving

no more shall my throbbing heart
in forlorn melancholy wail
and heavy made the beat
nor anymore my hope set sail

no more shall my soul
be wrecked by life’s raging storms
no more sinking for my soul
for my soul, now transforms

going aposstate

i’m made a show of by my lack trouble
as i’m made a reproach of, by my own
i, who walk the earth, so meek, so humble
i, who was upright, now am trodden down

if anybody, for this worn-out name
will a make a bargain, then i’m game
for pouch-full of lucre to pay life’s bill
even if the devil for my soul, make a deal…

i will concede to anyone God, man, or devil
oh, i will sell out this burdensome anvil
to whoever bids above the one-dollar-mark
in currency that bears not the beast’s mark

who has money, come and buy, here’s a soul
a goodly soul, mine own soul, put up for sale
come, buy even with thirty pieces of silver
at least that is the price for a believer

quitting the bad faith

i have since quit
spitting on heaven’s face
for all my spit
keep spattering back on my face
it’s not helping one bit
this hydra-headed ego does all ways surface

i have since quit
hiding my head in the sand
the bad-faith habit
of casting my eyes to the ground
it’s not helping one bit
my skulking round truth’s allowed ground

i have since learnt
to live the essence of life
to value life as a gift
to not expend my might on strife
this have helped a lot
bringing me back from the edge of the jagged cliff

rabid dogma

this rabid dogma never ceases
chasing and snapping at my heels
this much anguish i endured
crying, no little, the tears i shed

pain is sown in my famished heart
the corrupted seed of hate
springs up in the draught in anger,
it will blossom into
ferocious fanatic fervour

my feet is shackled by ought
i’m yoked to plough the earth till death
yet i’m muzzled by creeds
grazing on myriads of
worthless watch words

i will stand firm and be strong once more
and in endless circles run no more
when dogma shall lose its teeth or go mad
chasing its own tail
round and round and round

there is pain in my being, asunder rent
yet the chastiser of my soul would not relent
soon i’d dump this human cargo
when i can no more go
on and on and on

very much have i given?
from the little i’ve been given
very little have i taken?
from the much life has taken

i hear the caged bird singing

can there ever be a melody
sweeter than this untamed song?
i can hear the caged bird sing heaven’s song
it is a melody, a heart-wakening threnody

never has it entered men’s heart, such symphony
such sweetness that beckons to peace
even as its soul, the thorn into it, pierce.
heaven plays on and man is deaf to harmony

let men constitute a anarchy, and in it reign
i care naught for their accursed orb,
where demons, the embers of hate disturb.
let the devil even be their sovereign.

fly, fly away heaven’s peace so divine
perch not upon their withering vine
go seek the green bush of thorn
and with your song, weave me a crown

doom’d, like that babylon, this city of men
a new jerusalem from heaven come
with a sound and trembling so sweet
a brass band marches down the golden street

hasten ye mortals to justify your sins
go on stock-pilling ballistic things
be done with that withered olive branch
it is too little, too late, that wilted bush

learn to study war no more

men’s hearts are deaf to any harmony,
their thoughts shun the symphony.

they go on! learning the
cacophonous songs of war;
they learn too, to clash the
cracked cymbals of terror;
they beat, indeed, loudly,
the battered drums of war;
they strum even the broken
acoustic strings of terror;
they teach their children
the immoral trades of war;
they abet their young ones
to perfect the arts of terror;
they salute their brothers
with unhallowed signs of war;
they kiss their own sisters
with forbidden kiss of terror…

soon this tradition shall be no more,
as the nation learn to study war no more.

no more war

gorge on the leavened wafer of war
share the communion sacrament of terror
work out your salvation with diverse fear

let the nations worship the God of war
let people revere the legends of terror
make the whole earth tremble with fear

go on! learn the tuneless song a war
learn to play the instrument of terror
recite the anthem of armament and fear

beat, upon that battered drum of war
strum the broken strings of terror
dance to the various rhythms of fear

teach your children the trade of war
let your young ones perfect the art of terror
groom them to shed their blood and tears

salute your brother with the sign of war
kiss your sister with the kiss of terror
regard one another with distrust and fear

soon no more would the nations study war
and no more shall the earth be gripped in terror
we’ve learnt from history’s three thousand years

armament for world peace
cease your senselessness
can’t you see you’re getting hurt?
killing the peace so?

stop all that fighting
the one who gets hurt is you
you and your kinsfolk

take those guns away
i can hear peace calling now
crying to be heard

be done with hatred
the blood-red sun’s since gone down
a new dawn’s coming

a bright new dawn comes
the rancour of war fades out
olives sown, now grows

beat those bloodied swords
into shears for harvest
let’s harvest God’s fruits

commit war to flames
learn the lessons of history
study war no more

fly the white flag
of peace, crested with totems
of humanity

gather all the tribes
bring them to the mwaki
let none stay out cold

a new dawn’s coming
together we’ll welcome it
as this darkness fades

hold each other’s hands
as we grope in the dark mists
hold tight to the faith

hold still, be at peace
let your heartbeat speak to you
of earth’s need for peace

the year of jubilee

it is coming; the year of jubilee,
in which we shall raise a monument
to a glorious dream of the future.

it is coming; the year of jubilee,
in which tongues and tribes that differed
shall sing a common anthem.

it is coming; the year of jubilee,
in which our tower of babel will crumble,
and in its place stand our own liberty.

it is coming; the year of jubilee,
in which christians, muslims, all believers
shall dine together at a round table.

it is coming; the year of jubilee,
in which we shall beat our old swords
into ploughshares, to till this good land.

it is coming; the year of jubilee,
in which fathers will sow seeds of good repute
and their children reap their good names.

it is coming; the year of jubilee,
in which everyone will be rewarded
and none shall pest on the fruit of his neighbour

it is coming; the year of jubilee,
in which youths will feed fat off the land
and cease to seek unemployment in broad streets.

it is coming; the year of jubilee,
in which huge debts will be forgiven,
and former usurers will give zakat in charity,

it is coming; the year of jubilee,
in which the truth we have mortgaged
will be redeemed with not a price to be paid.

it is coming; the year of jubilee,
in which our smothering flame of hope
will again be kindled with good courage.

swing low
a silvery pendant swings
upon a twinkling chain of stars
swinging against an inky, velvety sky
like a low-riding chariot of light, it swings
i am forlorn down here
thrown into this dark place
i’d soar on new wings up yonder space
my feet would tramp the milky way up there
forlorn might of my arms
why so locked up down this side?
crave, i crave but i drove towards suicide
for all of my mundane aspiration is gain for the worms
swing low sweet chariot, come,
come by here to carry me home

heaven i need a hug
why would i wash my hands in spittle
when i live like a turtle
by the very bank of a river?
a river with so sweet a rushing water
music, that is food for love
love, love for which my heart strove

why? why cry i so much tears
when a kiss should bring me cheers?
unpretentious affection is all i need,
since i’ve lived by affection’s creed.

why die i slowly, slowly,
though i’m in love, yet am so lonely?
the aura of Cupid’s presence,
i crave so much in February’s absence

i shun the warmth of gold and silver
waiting, to be comforted by heaven’s star
i have found a hidden spring
yet my soul thirst for a refreshing drink

i have loved, expecting gain
but i found out that truly, truly love is pain

caged bird
life loves the liver of it
power and money will liberate if
and only if they are used to do so
for they can inhibit and imprison
more than iron shackles
or fettering steel chains

we must pay the price
life demands, else if we lost,
we pay in disappointment,
discontence and lack of fulfilment
so since from us will be exacted a price,
we must mind how we throw life’s dice

we must take up courage ourselves
and for the battle, brace up ourselves
when a feather seems not to fit
the bird necessarily plucks it out
in this there is a lesson for us
to change what does not work for us

lullaby
when will this day be over,
and this tempestuous glum tide over?

when will night’s flower blossom,
and take me to her luscious bosom?

when will i ever luxuriate,
and under the twinkling stars obliviate?

when will i hear the crickets crick,
and to sleep, lullabied by the frogs’ croak?

oh how i’ll relieve a long sigh,
to see peace’s harbinger draw nigh.

thorn bird
this is nought, but a broken dream
as my hope drains away like stream
i tried to capture my essence
but nay! all was forlorn nonsense

through my fingers, like desert sand,
courage seeps away to the dust
upon nothing but broken wings
it goes, spiralling, down it swings.

no more to heaven my hope flies,
as down to God’s earth my soul plies
my trust too falls by the wayside
it grows amidst thorns like a lost seed

it’s nought but hopeless forlorn
as the plight of the thornbird, born,
for nothing but one song to sing
a dirge to love: a mirthless song

thorn in my flesh
why, what for am i thus persecuted?
i thread the narrow path
bestrewn with brambles
prickles, thistles, which lances my ego
yet for this i’m chastised

why, what for am i thus persecuted?
a torch lightens my path
but in the dark of ignorance
i am scorched by the light
that was the same lamp to my feet
yet for this i’m chastised

why, what for am i thus persecuted?
the cankerworm and caterpillar
lay waste the fruits of paradise
i took justice and hew down the tree
yet for this am chastised

why, what for am i thus persecuted?
by this thorns in my flesh

forlorn
my whole being becomes wracked
it no more resound with laughter
my very word is being wrecked
the former worse than the latter

i’m submerged in melancholy
in Hades, nought is holy
friends festered my mundane realm,
yet a lonely ghoul be-fiends me

how much i crave a soul mate,
i need a friend and helpmeet,
yet heaven, would not, my plight, heed.
what a friend i have indeed

i did explore my own heart’s deep,
searching the unfathomed keep,
nowhere will i find that love,
but in the rhythm of my heart’s throb.

born of the world
i am born into this world
born of a world of many lores
of reckless frolicking, winning and dinning

i am born into this world
born of a world of ten and three scores
of headless play-acting, rocking and rolling

i am born into this world
born of a world bruised and in sores
of ceaseless malingering, chaffing and scraping

i am born into this world
born of a world of arduous chores
of endless travailing, weeping and wailing

my dear life…
dear life, i will be brief with you
cos i ain’t happy with you
cos you work so hard trying my patience
and the smile is fast fading from my face
now tell me the truth, dear life;
why are you so full of strife?
why do you treat some folks so bad?
crumbling their hopes like packs of card?
come on life! how could you be so unfair?
this is a game that is better played fair
why have you made such a game of living?
so much so that i would soon stop believing
life, life, life don’t be such a brat!
you really can do better than that
go on! treat my fellow beings nice and well
and make their living swell as well
be sure life, that i shan’t forget the favour
if you could add to living some more flavour
i am counting on you my dear life
to not make this round a wasted life.

needful advice
take from me this piece of good advice
abstain from sensual lures, use a device
it is dear, but i give it to you free,
who loves and lover loving so carefree

i was the sucker to a sensual lure
not heeding warnings of ‘there is no cure!’
nor heeding early warnings to abstain
from naked pleasure craved to obtain

now forlorn, i rue my stupidity
i could’ve curb’d my sensual cupidity
but i gamble away my only chance
staking my life in the throw of a dice

thrown to the wind is my tomorrow
i diced and lost it in a sensual throw
i wish i hadn’t made reckless haste
but this late restraint is a rueful waste

for want of a rubb’ry armour- condom
my rampart was breach’d, i lost my kingdom
because i was carefree and frivolous
my strong tow’r is crumbl’d by mere virus

now i am the king of so much sorrow
for my crown was lost in a dicey throw
here! take you a modicum of advice
be faithful, abstain, and use that device

man is the measure
the eagle makes for itself
a strong nest
which it builds on the tallest of trees

the lion has got for itself
a definite pride
which it guards with all its might

a cat has got its own God’s-given
peculiar whiskers
with which it preserves its nine lives

the fox has got its well-kept
secret haunts
from which it keeps away intruders

a cockerel will always mount the
eternal roost
whence it crows the transience of time

the fish has got their kindred
high schools
where they learn everything but hooks

the ants has got their fortress
of earths heaps
which they have made into royal castles

but man…that creature man
he’s got for himself mirror-images
with which he measures all things

the poet’s block
i think a thrilling thought
but the inspirer that inspires me
respired in a whisper, what she said quickly expired
churned in the chipped crucible
but rhetoric and alchemy would not mix
yet history says galileo galilei, elevanyo! elevanyo!
listen a little to lies
but heed no lessons learnt in hard knocks
giving a salute to the elephant. i am very unamused
talk of the dare devil
but talk is cheap in a bargain with abiku
through telephone conversation. he struck a no-deal
i stood still staring
but at attention nor at ease, was i
the call of river nun, sobered the palm-wine drunkard
through twists and turns
i thread the labyrinths of famished roads
widen your arms, Okigbo, the acquitted, comes home
i put pen to paper
but words would not come to me
i remembered i was unknown, the poet who is blocked

a silly
ridddle
what if the universe is just the point of a needle?
what if all of existence is a difficult riddle,
to which we have answers too little?
what if ours are those fables,
told in the ancient holy bible?
what if we are living a parable,
inspired by a power-drunken god or turtle?
what if i too i’m just a puny beetle,
living my life to full, in a cocked bottle?
what if all these are not worth the trouble?
would not life be a silly riddle?
not
worth
the
t
r
o
u
b
l
e

poured out
my tea got spilt
but i did not cry
‘cos there was much milk in it anyways
and nobody cries over spilt milk

my coffee got spilt
but i did not cry
‘cos ‘twas growing tepid and bitter anyways
and nobody enjoys a cup of bitterness

my spirit got spilt
but i did not cry
‘cos wine is a tantalus of a mocker anyways
and nobody lives life to a full on poison

i who is not dead
if death is man’s end
then i who is not dead, i’m the one
still on life’s journey.
if death’s life’s essence
then i who is not dead, i’m the one
who is imperfect.
if death is normal
then i who is not dead, i’m the one
who is not normal

the bells tolls for me
my painful span has become so sore
and shortened to ten and three score.
for the bells are tolling for me;
tolling for me, tolling for me.

there is a knock on my door,
the bells chime the fading hour;
…the bells are tolling for me,
tolling for me, tolling for me.

at my door there is a stranger
alas! the caller, it is the grim reaper
he tolls the bells for me;
tolling for me, tolling for me.

my end has come so far
the bells’ chimes gets louder
ding-dong, tolling for me
tolling for me, tolling for me.

i have attained life’s perfection sooner,
and my poor, poor soul is a goner
for the bells toll for me,
tolling for me, tolling for me.

my thoughts perishes forever,
as my genius commits to dust forever:
the bells are tolling for me;
tolling for me, tolling for me.

broken dreams
i was very close
to winning my heartthrob’s trust,
but i lost the prize.

i was very close
to life’s race finish-line,
but i tripped and fell.

i was very close
to entering paradise,
but the gate clanged shut.

i was very close
to seeing a glorious sunshine,
but clouds veiled my face.

i was very close
to smell The Rose Of Sharon,
but the thorns pricked me.

i was very close
to walking in the spring rain,
but hail-stones smote me.

i was very close
to re-inventing the wheel,
but i was thrown back

i was very close
to winning a nobel prize,
but lost my genius.

i was very close
to being crowned a radiant king,
but am made a serf.

i was very close
to writing a love-song,
but this is a dirge.

i was very close
to walking the nuptial isle,
but i had no bride.

i was very close
to happy-ever-after,
but i lost my heart.

blue dreams
i will compose poems of my dreams
dreams of joyous, gurgling streams;
of the essential of life: priceless water,
giving away all it’s got yet is not emptied.

i will compose poems of my dreams
dreams of sprawling gargantuan hills
of crouching giants lying contentedly
like a primitive pride of well-fed lions.

i will compose poems of my dreams
dreams of luscious, green forests;
of trees, and birds, and beasts in harmony,
singing serenades of evergreens.

i will compose poems of my dreams
dreams of grainy, sandy beaches;
of earth and water and sky’s elements blending
in swirls around my sinking, sun-burnt feet.

i will compose poems of my dreams
dreams of beauteous, jewelled nights;
of emerald moon set against a velvety sky:
silvery pendant dangling on a chain of stars.

i will compose poems of my dreams
dreams of unexplored universe,
of strumming harps and floating clouds,
deep within my lover’s glittering eyes.

a one-eyed dream

i’ve shut the back door
that had taken me nowhere
but to obsession.

dogged, undaunted,
goal-oriented, i’m driven,
burning with passion.

steadfast to a dream,
and desire to change things.
i’m on a mission.

…and so i emerge
from the back to centre-stage
in one transition;

from mediocrity
into the glare of limelight,
holding the vision.

i have hung on long
to this one-eyed dream
without remission.

a roller-coaster dream
in my kindergarten days i was taught
to gently, merrily, row my boat,
and flow with the tide downstream
for all of life was but a dream.

in my carefree season of youth,
with naught at all to worry about,
merrily my boat sailed downstream,
and i never awoke from that dream.

now i’m old now, steeped in thought;
i rue the wasteful exuberance of youth.
i no more can coast downstream,
all warped and twisted now is the dream.

row, row, row your boat
wisely down the stream.
verily, verily, verily, verily
life has turn a broken dream.

the worth of friends
friends are various
they all are yours
you may choose them
but circumstance shapes them

some are silver,
the way they are.
needs to polish
they’re wont to tarnish.

few are like gold
treasures, to behold!
but the test of fire
proves their worth in dire

but diamond
a rock, solid
keeping the shine
this friend truly is thine

stars in my sky
my friends are like heaven’s stars
myriads of ever-sparkling-twinkling stars.

in their glow i proudly stand tall,
and my beauteous world is never, ever dull.

i can give diamonds for something,
but my friends will i never give for anything.

zillions of other stars may so twinkle
but they can never compare to my own’s sparkle,

the sun at its zenith may so glow
but at my stars’ feet it is humbly takes a bow.

there is a sun, yet the world is so, so dull,
but with my friends, my life would always be a ball.

love and me
where are my feet taking me?
i don’t wanna go no wheres.

why does my heartthrob move me?
i wanna remain unmoved always.

how has rapture changed me?
I’m no more the me i knows.

who ever this is… is not me.
but if this is love, then who cares?

lost in love
beneath heaven’s glowing, and glittering star
with the world at her feet sat as queen, my lady fair,
upon a colourful rainbow far above the earth;
fanning her regal face with my throbbing heart.

my discernment is blind, but i can see love;
my instinct is deaf but i hear melody from above.
my expression is dumb but love’s talk i talk.
my passion is lame but love’s pole of a mile i walk.

in love, life’s wilderness looks like paradise.
i am in love and cannot any more tell the difference.
i have taken to dancing to an unsung rhythm,
as my heart beats a sweet tune from within.

all of life is one sweetly flowing sensation stream.
it’s become my life, this star-dust-filled dream.
even though my pained lady-broken heart is pierced,
my forever merry heart, so resilient, is cheered

if i was Santa Claus…

oh but if i was Santa Claus,
i truly would make everyday Christmas;
and on that every Christmas,

i’d bring you a new gift,
gifts that would give your life a lift;
i’d deep in my bag of gift,

i’ll present you a star…
oh yeah! i think a rainbow is better…
i can’t save this love for later!

quick! make a wish now,
i bring you very plenty gifts of love
i know you knows that by now,

all things bright and beautiful

i like all things
bright and beautiful

i like all critters
great and small

i like all things
wise and wonderful

since so, love
has made them all

i, troubadour
i’m your sworn troubadour
as long as you remain chaste
i’ll be by your side every hour
and to your rescue make haste

to bear your emblem, mistress
is all i crave and live for
your fondle and your caress
to polish my shininy armour

i’ll call out the cavalry
if a villain should slight you
be sure of my chivalry
to you, am devout and true.

i’ll defend this treasure trove
that i have found in your love

tender loving care

i’ll love you kindly,
for i’m aware of your needs,
though you treat me cruel.

i’ll kiss you gently,
and make your pulse go gaga,
although you pretends.

i’ll love you subtly,
love’s the most precious of gifts
i have for you.

i’ll treat you fairly,
in war and love all is fair
though you’re fighting me.

i’ll hold you closely,
in your love is harmony,
though you move away.

follow love

will you follow love?
though it’s way too blind.

will you yield to love?
when its wings enfolds you.

will you believe in love?
when it speaks to your heart.

my love only seeks to give
nought, but itself.

my love only seeks to take
of nought, but of yours.

my love has no other desires,
but to please and be fulfilled.

the he-art of a woman

fair is a woman’s lips though
and lovely, well-rounded are her thighs,
although bounteous is the treasure in her trove,
and rapturous, the caress and pleasure of her love

but as secured as knowledge
in the cryptic mind of a poet or sage,
that villains try to steal, but cannot be stolen
so is the treasure of her breast that love has swollen.

for no one drop of sweetness
ever will be attained from such succulence,
unless a woman is willing to yield what she wishes
to the lover: that is The Man deserving of such bounties.

the woman’s heart therefore must be wooed,
and her thighs gently and nicely pried of its g

original sin
under the lusciously, fruiting tree
God’s cherish’dly shaded tree
there, sat my dear mother
on the laps of my dear father

under the fruitful passion tree
God’s jealously guarded tree
there lay my dear father
on the breast of sweet mother

under the amorous shady tree
God’s carefully created tree
there, my gardener father
tend the patch in mid of my mother

under the sensuous blooming tree
God’s tenderly tended tree
eating mom’s forbidden fruit
is my wild-oat sowing father.

love’s the greatest

of all the virtues
that man may be inclined to,
love is the greatest.

of hope and vision
that a man lives his life for,
love is the greatest.

of all dominion
that men are subjected to,
love is the greatest.

of all kingdoms
in which tribes are to be found,
love is the greatest.

of whether there be thrones,
they will one day pass away,
but love will remain.

leprechaun

i am leprechaun;
you need me to mend your shoes.
God’s children needs shoes.

i am leprechaun;
i’ll show you the narrow path
to where gold is found.

i am leprechaun;
i’m no fairy prince-charming,
i’m no frog either.

i am leprechaun;
call me ogre if you wish,
‘cos i got layers.

humming the blues
something is about to happen to me;
it feels like the heaven is about to open
this thing like the cloud’s falling on me.

something is about to be seen by me;
it feels like the miracle of being born.
this thing, so awesome is happening to me.

someone is about to beckon to me;
it feels like the ocean when it is calm.
this thing so throbbing exhilarates me.

someone is about to be loved by me;
it feels like two pieces of a rib combine.
the nuptial rope’s got a hold on me.

crepuscule
there goes my sun, sinking down;
its once smiling face, wears a frown.
stealthily, the night, like a thief descends,
ridding a night mare, seeking me to hound.

where goes the dawn that was here today?
i was happy thinkig it came to stay.
but daylight takes to wings and flies way,
as quickly as the twilight starts holding sway.

let that monster tarry not hence;
may God’s eye smite it with luminance.
i will wait not long for a true dawn
when crepuscule will be overthrown.

my life in the box
i chose life, i chose the box.
i have confined my little existence
to living my life to full, in this square box,
‘cos i find much fulfilment in this little space.
with little pretence and fewer hoax.
in here i’m home in the box.

i like my life better in the box,
away from all the senseless pretence
and endless tread-milling outside the box,
where fools celebrate ignorance.
solace; yeah is in this box.

in here is living substance,
real substance and not just hoax.
so, spare me your needless impertinence.
i’m having a swell life, living in the box.
watching the reel brings me solace.
i find much succour in my box.
at least it’s not a pill box.

for want of a condom
i
down the drain is gone his tomorrow
as he’s top-on-the-line on death-row.
just, soon he’ll fill a six-feet-deep hole
for his being is no longer whole.

he was the lord of impatience,
when, in his reckless incompetence,
he had made a reckless haste.
the essence of it was one big waste.

just for the want of mere condom
he has lost a whole kingdom.
now he is the king of sorrow
for he’ll never live to see his kids grow.

he wish he hadn’t made that haste
but his late restraint now is a waste.
since in hopelessness he can only sigh,
as his end has drawn so nigh.

ii
very deadly was the sting of pleasure.
prevention though was the cure,
but that was the one chance he lost
and his whole future is what it cost.

he indulged in naked pleasure often
from the sweetness, would not obtain.
see now he has lost his whole kingdom,
just for want of mere condom.

here is my penny-worth of advice:
be sure to always use that device
…no charge. i give it to you for free
you and you who loves so care-free.

iii
she was the sucker to a sensual lure
not heeding warnings of ‘there is no cure!’
nor heeding early warnings to abstain
from naked pleasure craved to obtain.

now forlorn, she rues her stupidity,
she could’ve curbed her sensual cupidity,
but she gambled away her only chance,
staking her life in the throw of a dice.

thrown to the wind is her tomorrow,
she diced and lost it in a sensual throw.
she wish she hadn’t made that reckless haste,
but this late restraint is a rueful waste.

for want of a rubbery armour: condom,
her rampart was breached, she lost her kingdom
because she was carefree and frivolous.
her strong tower is crumbled by mere virus.

now she is the queen of much sorrow
for her crown was lost in a dicey throw.
she wouldn’t take the piece of advice
to be faithful, abstain, and use that device.

my dear life…
dear life, i will be brief with you
cos i ain’t happy with you
cos you work so hard trying my patience
and the smile is fast fading from my face

now tell me the truth, dear life;
why are you so full of strife?
why do you treat some folks so bad?
crumbling their hope like a pack of card?

come on life! how could you be so unfair?
this is a game that is better played fair
why have you made such a game of living?
so much so that i would soon stop believing

life! oh life! don’t be such a brat!
you really can do better than that
go on treat my fellow beings nice and well
and make their living swell as well

be sure life that i shan’t forget the favour
if you could add to living some more flavour
i am counting on you my dear life
to not make this round a wasted life.

a new lease of love

my eyes have got a new glow,
in my heart is a new song of love
as venus’ breast becomes my pillow:
that bosom, a sweet treasure throve.

my heartstrings strums new tunes,
my being, sings melodious songs,
oh, the rhythm flows in my very veins,
to my soul, a new lease of love belongs.

the poet unknown

the poet has always been unknown
‘cos upon his kind of fame his own frown
the poet has became infamous
for being musy and zealously inglorious

a bard rejected by his very own
‘cos among their wheat, tares he’d sown
hallelujah! to the right he did turn

he is my inspiration and muse
but now, to me, he is of no use
not when he lost and went to jail
for nothing, but drinking from the holy-grail

he was the poet unknown,
whom the devil, the whole world shown
hallelujah! to the right he did turn

for him, stone would not turn bread
just because he’d chosen the right path to tread
around his heart was cast a diabolic shackle
he was goaded till fell off the holy pinnacle

i am that poet unknown.
ah …! now i’m no more unknown.
hallelujah! i make this right turn.

requiem for a bard unsung
the uncut diamond
that could have sparkled the world
the raw and unmined gold
that could have made the nation richer
lies here, beneath this drab crypt.

the Einstein that could have been
the Shakespeare that could have been
the Socrates, the Jesus, the Gandhi, the King,
that could have lighted the way,
lies here beneath this dark crypt.

what amount of untold wealth,
undiscovered, un-mined, unexploited?
what great wisdom and truth
unknown, un-heard, untold
lies here beneath this dank crypt?

cold, cold, grave-stone…
shall i make thee richer,
bringing my uncut diamond and unmined gold
into your graven crypt,
to be forever, from the world kept?

shall i make thee wiser,
bringing my scripture and rhapsodies of wisdom,
to your graven crypt,
to forevermore be ever unscript?

shall i make thee more famous
carving my epitaph upon your graven face,
to proclaim ‘here lies the body of a star’
a shining star that could have been?

cold, cold, grave-stone…
would you ever yield those talents,
buried away in this lonesome place,
marked by coldly staring grave, stones
where lies body of miracles that could have been?

seeking rebirth
i
when would resurrection come?
this desolate tomb is so, so lonesome
the path of rebirth would the muse pave,
then i’d rise from this dark, dank grave.

the grave is such a deed deep dark
the spirit of mother muse gropes in the dark
crying, shedding tears for her loss and troubles,
as the edifice of her temple crumbles.
ii
in my broken heart is a nagging ache,
as my fame and renown is nailed to a stake.
my genius, beneath the grave-stone, slumbered
as to naught, the ecclesiastes is rendered.

what i seek is a rebirth, i seek rebirth.
that after lazarus, rhymes may come forth.
come now lilting rhymes dispel this gloom.
come save mother muse from a doom.

iii
…let this heart no more know quiet,
for somnolence is not of the poet.
this soul shall no more be a recluse tomb,
where i none but suck my melancholic thumb.

rhymes come roll away this stone!
i can bear no more to be dead and so all-alone.
what i seek is rebirth and resurrection from death.
when i hear the muse calling, then i’ll come forth.

yes! we can

our fathers dreamt dreams,
their dreams were just not enough,
they were audacious.

they were audacious,
and in the audacity of hope,
they kept the dream on.

they kept the dream on,
sitting and walking for days,
that their sons may run.

now that a son runs
on the tarmac of justice,
we can take off and fly.

yes in hope we can,
we who are brave and are free.
Yes, indeed we can .

have you seen the man?
have you seen a man
who dream dreams from his father?
he shall live those dreams.

i have seen the man
who dreamt “dreams from my father”
he’s realized the dream.

have you seen a man
who is audacious in hope?
he can achieve much.

i have seen the man
who had “audacity of hope”
he is ‘’change we need”.

have you seen a man
who have positive outlooks?
he does what ‘’we can”.

i have seen the man
who’s positive in outlook
he said “yes we can”.

have you seen a man
who’s unflagging in his race?
he’ll win the race.

i have seen the man
who neither stumbles nor faints
he has won the race.

have you seen a man
who is diligent in his work
he’ll stand before kings.

i have seen the man
who was diligent in his work
he’s become the king.

we can see the man

we can see the man,
not the colour of his skin,
we can “yes we can”.

we can see the man,
yes we can, if we look far
beyond his colour.

we can see the man,
barrack hussein onyango
obama , “we can”.

courage with audacity

it takes great courage
to dream the dream from your father
with audacity.

it takes great courage
to sit, to walk, to run,
with audacity.

it takes great courage
to keep the long race going
with audacity.

a new creed

i’ve found a new creed,
to be audacious in hope,
hope against all odds.

this is my new creed,
to hope upon hope on hope,
and be audacious.

a new history

history is written
by those who are victorious.
i had no histories.

now am victorious.
with audacity of hope,
i have made history.

with a prime plum plucked
from the flapping wings of hope,
i write new history.

justice brought me home

facing mount kenya,
climbing to the snow-capped peak,
justice brought me home.

facing liberty,
with a beacon burning bright,
justice brought me home.

facing a man’s dream-
hopeful dreams from my father-
justice brought me home.

with audacity
and with uncompromised hope,
justice brought me home.

facing my future
in the widening swift gyre,
justice brought me home.

facing my critics,
and holding fast the vision,
justice brought me home.

death of a one called silence

if i’d ever be a farmer,
i’d sow and reap only grains of truth.

if i’d ever be a banker,
i’d loan the truth without usury

if i’d ever be a prisoner,
i’d be a prisoner of truth.

if i’d ever be a minister,
i’d administer the truth.

if i’d ever win an election,
i’d win my mandate in truth.

if i’d ever nurse an open wound,
i’d apply the healing balm of truth

if i’d ever be an advocate,
i’d represent the truth.

if i’d ever be a defendant,
i’d swear to tell the whole truth.

if i’d ever be a plaintiff,
i’d sue for a redress of the truth.

if i’d ever be an activist,
i’d protest our rulers’ untruth.

if i’d ever be a militant,
my weapon and aid would be truth.

if i’d ever be a teacher,
i’d not teach non-sense, truth.

if i’d ever be an engineer,
i’d build a bridge to link the truth.

if i’d ever write a book,
i’d write a classic about truth.

if i’d ever stand alone,
i’d take a firm stand on truth.

this is where i stand

this is where i stand;
the same stand that gani took
and did not yield ground.

this is where i stand;
while others fall, i stand still
like MKO stands.

this is where i stand;
tall, lifting the torch of truth
as Liberty stands.

this is where i stand;
not unlike the Zuma Rock
that should not be moved.

this is where i stand;
on dock for justice and truth,
judge me if am wrong.

in hope for a new dawn

yes my hands are soiled,
but not with blood or loot;
i fight corruption.

yes my heart is crook,
but it is not yet broken;
i still keep the faith still.

yes my belly aches,
but not with gut indulgence;
i hunger for truth.

yes my eyes shed tears,
but these tears could have been blood;
i’ve seen injustice.

yes my tongue has failed,
but i have not compromised;
i yet speak the truth.

yes i stand alone,
but i have a firm foothold;
i stand for justice.

yes it is night,
but a new dawn soon shall broke,
i then shall see light.

yes there are no stars,
but it’s the night’s darkest hour;
i wait for new dawn.

i vaunt not

if i be not proud,
then shall be exalted,
for i’ll be humble.

if my head should roll,
that proves my neck is not stiff
like of the tyrant.

if my heart should break,
then it’s allright, who needs it
when it’s so fragile.

if my eyes should be plucked,
then can i no longer lust
after corruption.

if my cloak’s taken,
then shall i give the mantle
as well, as am rich.

if i be compelled,
then i’ll go the extra mile
for righteousness sakes.

if my charity
be not recompensed, at least,
i’m not the ingrate.

if my feet tread on
serpent and scorpions, an i
be not hurt, i’ll live.

if my smiles fades not,
it shows my lack of grouse for
sun to go down on.
paying it forward

am i not the man,
to whom little’s been given,
from whom much’s been taken?

am i not the man,
whose eyes been cast to heaven,
whose brow yet’s beaten?

am i not the man,
who’ve baked bread without leaven,
yet is not nourished?

am i not the man,
who’ve laid treasures in heaven
yet have made no gain?

i am the one man,
lost on the way to heaven,
whom t he vain path’s taken?

i pay it forward
wadding in shallow waters,
seeking crowns of thorns.

enjustice

i’ve lost my mantle,
haven had my cloak taken;
justice have robbed me.

my brow is beaten,
haven had turned my other cheek;
justice chasticed me.

my soul is wearied,
haven walked these extra miles;
justice compelled me.

liberty, freedom, hope and justice

liberty’ is it really not there?
yes, it is there standing still
with a beacon burning bright.

freedom’ is it really not there?
yes it is there, leading us on
to the promise and of plenty.

hope’ is it really not there?
yes it is there, renewable;
like the noonday sunlight.

justice, is it really not there?
yes it is there, it is the truth
that sees no colour or race.

courage, is it really not there?
yes it is there, ever-abiding
unshakingly firm as zuma rock.

labour pains

we are in labour;
come wisdom deliver us
from the snares of lies.

we’re heavy-laden;
come justice deliver us
from condemnation.

we’re blind-folded
like sheep herded for the slaughter;
we are led astray.

we are forsaken;
we roam about like lost sheep,
without our shepherd.

want for wisdom

they grope in the dark;
truth, come and open their eyes,
my people are blind.

they walk with crutches;
faith, come and strengthen their limbs,
my people are lame.

they hearken not to wisdom;
trust, come and open their ears;
my people are deaf.

they won’t breathe fresh breath;
love, come and restore their life,
my people are dead.

they would not speak truth;
good, come and make free their tongue,
my people are dumb.

they have gone astray;
light, come and make straight their path,
my people are lost.

they want for wisdom;
God, come and save them from doom,
my people, they perish.

my people, they perish

have you seen a people
who hast no aspiration?
they are the mass that’d perish…

someday vultures would
prey on them, and they’d know not
what to do to save the polity.

have you seen a people
who hast few dreams?
they are the mass that’d perish…

someday their river would
overflow, and they’d know not
what to do to save the polity.

have you seen a people
who hast no few visions?
they are the mass that’d perish…

someday their mountain would
catch fire, and they’d know not
what to do to save the polity.

have you seen a people
who hast no knowledge?
they are the mass that’d perish…

someday their mandate would
be stolen, and they’d know not
what to do to save the polity.

EROTIC FIASCO OF A ONE-NIGHT-STAND

She was too drunk to go home alone, and I was too horny to let her go. My house was closer than hers, but she insisted that I walk her home.

Glory and I were the last two customers at the bar. Every other lounger had left hours before we did. The bartender must have been bidding the time when we would stop ordering for more drinks to throw us out and close for the night. I am sure the time was few minutes to midnight when she started nagging me to walk her home. I gathered our things- mobile phones, her handbag, purse and the half-empty bottle of the Alomo Bitters I had been nursing. I settled the bills.

I got off the stool gingerly, but firmly. I helped her off the stool, and she crumbled into me. Her head on my shoulder and her dead weight almost toppling me over, but by some inner strength or sheer willpower I didn’t keel over. She let off a raucous and tunless laughter at her own clumsiness, or my Quixotic show of manliness. I gathered her into my arms, holding tightly to her sagging lump. The motion crushed her voluptuous breasts hard against my chest. She steadied, and started to sway gently to the beat of “introduction… I’m in love with my boo… first of all, are you a learner? …go down low… Go down low” still playing but less loudly than previously that night when the dancefloor was crowded. Her motion coupled with her body heat set my body fluid racing. I was even salivating, and some sort of storm was brewing in my groin region. I sought out her lips with mine, found them, I kissed her good, and she kissed me back and hard, as if she would suck my adventurous soul into her body.

I am not a good dancer by nature, and when she had danced earlier that evening, as loud music boomed out of the great loud speakers, and the crowded dance floor had seethed with sweating male and female bodies, another guy had held her that close, spiking my jealousy and my libido. “I have her now, I am not going to lose her to another for the night, so help me God” I pledged to myself, silently. I have been aiming to lay Glory for week, and days, but coquet that she was, she’d been toying with my emotions. She had encouraged me to chase her, and I played my part very well as much as I know of the Game of Seduction. I had fully engaged my macho charms, and created new ones in the process. But when it comes to the kill she always get away, or repel my advances. I am not of the run of men who give up the hunt quickly in the face of daunting challenges, but I gave up trying too hard. I forego aiming to fuck her, and called off the chase. We called a truce, and became friends; Good Friends without benefits. So good was our friendship and trust that she’d hung out with me that material evening, in a crowded bar. Everyone had paired off, and we were the two last standing man and woman.

For the moment her breasts pressed against my chest, I felt the heat of her burned through my clothes, heating me up and further awakening my libidinal ardour.

“Babe, you sure say you fit go house like this? make we kuku lodge till daybreak na. I still hold some cash”

I whispered into her ear when we broke up the kiss. That seemed to activate some mechanism in her demeanour. She suddenly, stiffened, and backed off from me. Her eyes opening wider than I had seen them. The new stance and the glint in her glazed eyes were frightening and reassuring at the same time, but I interpreted her move as a romantic call. That coquet, she knew how to work me. But she shook her head and said in slurred, husky voice:

“I wan’ go house, abi you no go escort me?”.

“Baby, me self I done waste as I dey like this so, and time self done go far make we lodge na”,

I replied in a voice I hoped was as husky as my alcohol-fuddled brain would allow, and as sexy as the swelling in my groin was sure.

“ABEG! GIVE ME MY BAG, MAKE I DEY GO! IF YOU WAN’ FUCK, YOU NO KNOW WHERE ASHAWO DEY? …I BE LIKE ASHAWO FOR YOUR EYE?”

I am sure those words came out in capitals, and these exclamation marks are not exaggerated. The rebuke should really have quenched my zeal to get laid, in fact, it deleted the erotic intent on my mind, but the gloriously-painful turgidity inside my pants would not abate. She snatched her handbag off my shoulder, and staggered away from me, swaying and vibrating her butty (for my benefit). I followed, and that was good thinking on my part, because I was right there to catch her as she tottered and would have crashed into the flower pot by the exit door.

Outside of the motel’s premises, she tripped on my wobbly legs, or was it I who tripped on the wedges she wore on her feet? But she fell down flat on her butt, on the culvert just by the gutter. I was still holding on to her, as we crashed together; I on top, she below me. What made me think it was a great moment to go in for the kill, must have been a alcohol-induced delusion; I locked my lips on hers, and was rewarded with a resounding slap, that cleared the cloud inside my head momentarily. She swung out in another slap but I caught her hand in mid-action, and restrained her. We struggled a bit as we lay there beside the gutter.

“Christ, you wan’ rape me? I go shout for your head o!”

I saw fire or what looked like it in her blazing eyes. I got off and help her up. Just across the gate of the motel was my house. As I contemplated my gate, a dirty thought began to form on my mind. A laughter also began to bubble from the pit of my liquor-filled belly to my lips, but what came out was a puke, and I gushed it onto her bosom. For a moment, everything went quiet and blank… Then the stars came out twinkling in stark brilliance… A hand was going through my hip pocket, I caught the hand as it pulled out my hanky.

“Wait, make I clean your worwor face, odoyor… you don’ high like mumu.”

She scolded as I became aware that we were already inside my compound. I was home, home where the heart was. And Glory was still with me, “ah, what would I not give for a night nurse?” I mused to myself, or maybe I thought it aloud. I felt like singing and break-dancing. The suggestion must have seemed very funny, as somebody began to chuckle. I stopped when I realised that the silly sound was actually coming from my throat.

“na monkite wey you take top the shak na him dey worry you so… Akpos like you… Odoyor”

I heard her echo from a distance.

2
How I liked Glory’s ministrations… She’d been holding my head as I bent forward under the tap. The cool refreshing water poured over me. It felt like paradise, and Glory and I were Adam and Eve, alone in the world. A rhymed verse had occurred to me in a flitting instant, but it was washed away in the cascade of water, and as the fuzzy haze begun to lift off from around my dripping head. What remained was shadows of memories.

I could remember in sketches, that Glory have had more of the psychedelic concoction- Monkite- than I did. Monkite was served free in the bar, and she never stopped swilling the concoction with every bottle of Stout she’d tucked away. I had made good with Alomo Bitters, supplementing with Monkite to make my it last. I shouldn’t be the one losing it, and needing help. She should be the one resuscitating under the tap, or wasted on my bed, that night. In fact I should have had her on my bed as at that moment. By and by, I had begun to regained appreciable control of myself, but lost control of my erratic libido.

We sat down on the bench on my veranda. The constant hum of the noisy Oil City of Warri played on. We were talking about things, inconsequential things. I can recall her nudging me to walk her home, and I not heeding her request until we both quieten down to a soporific stupor. What I can remember vividly was her body- limp, head resting on my shoulder, and arms around my neck, and my throbbing shaft threatening to bust the zipped fly of my Jeans, also how I reciprocated,and how I forgot my morals.

I remember stroking her back up and down, and played timidly with the straps of her bra. At a time, my right arm was pressing down hard on her heaving breast, and she didn’t seem harried in the least. Her face turned up to mine, so close, I felt her hot liquor-reeking breath warm my cheek and neck. My hand had begun to fondle her big breasts; kneading and squeezing them, albeit gently, and as nicely as I could manage, that time. Her eyes were closed. Reeking breath coming faster. Her heaving bosom increased its tempo when my hand, the same right hand, went under her blouse to free, the boobs from the hold of the bra cups. Her arms around my neck had begun to constrict me. I took that as a good sign.

I succeeded in exposing one of her warm breasts. It must have been the right breast or the left one, but I didn’t stop to see which, in the darkness, as I hastily, brought my mouth to the nutty nipple. I nibbled the hardened tit with my lips, and gentle grazed the region around the tit with my teeth. I was alternating the action with licks and lusty suckles. She moved her body harder against me. I felt encouraged, but the swelling in my crouch had reached a discomfiting level at that point.

What a blessing it was that my night nurse was responding to my ministration too? Then she seemed to awakened from a deep slumber. She retrieved her breast from my sucking, but replaced it with her mouth. The kissing was deep and slurpy. The tongues teased, chased, and wrestled each other. I felt her hand working on the zip of my fly- in my mind, I was screaming “hurrah! You go, girl”. My own hand had slipped into her crouch. The legs parted without further prompting. The hand which seemed to have a will of its own played with the pubic hair briefly before it went probing down, down, down until the middle finger disappeared into the space it created between the two succulent labia of her warm, wet and ready coochy. The probing finger dipped deeply, curving this way and that way, pulled out gently, and nicely rubbing upward. I felt her shudder as the finger repeatedly dipped, lingered, pulled out gently in spiral fashion, rubbing back and upward at where her clitoris should be situated. She rewarded my sexual overtures with subdued moaning, and that encouraged me to hope for what was to come.

Her pussy was getting wetter and making my probing finger more slippery by the minute; and the kissing was going from frenchy to frenchier. I was liking the foreplay. She got my fully erect dick out and squeezing the tip and stroking the shaft, it was my turn to moan. At once, she stopped, pulled away, breaking the kiss and ending th Quest of my probing finger. She brought her head down to my crouch, her hair fell forward, and shielded her action from my view, as if I I could have seen what she was up to in the surrounding darkness. But my kinetic sense jolted more awake as I felt a warm wetness enveloped my prick halfway to the base, and sucking it back up to the helmet and clamping harded on the tip.

“Hail Mary, full of grace…” Were words I must have uttered involuntarilly. I was soon fit to burst apart after a few superb strokes. I could have given her my head on a platter at that moment if she’d asked for it. I felt rather than saw an ILLUMINATION, “oh glory, glory, hallelujah” were other string of words that came to my mind as my eyes were widely shut in ecstasy. My eyes were turned up into my head. I could see that all things had become “bright and beautiful…” I felt like screaming as hot honey drained from my brains, seeped down my spine, gathered at the bottom, and was just about to spurt, beautifully, gloriously, and ecstatically, out through my very hard penis… “illumination… lightening… how bright and beautiful… Was all things” echoed and kept reverberating in my mind, when Glory suddenly pulled away from me interrupting the play. She seemed harangued, and she was prining, and righting her crumpled dress and ruffled hair. I saw then that the veranda light was in full glare. Either NEPA had restored power, or my cousin had switched on the light. And there he was, my cousin, standing over us.

Good griefs! For how long has the light been on? And for how long has the moron been there, observing us? the bloody bastard!

Glory grabbed her handbag, and hastened away, as the idiot cousin of mine walk over me towards the over-head water-storage tank to switch the water pump on. I quick packed my dick into the open fly of my pants, but not before semen had spurted; shooting out and cascading back down to soil my Levi Strauss Jean. Damnations! the spoiler was not supposed to be inside the room, I had told him earlier in the evening that I am most likely bringing a chic home for the night so he may spend the night elsewhere.

I got up, and chased after Glory as she swiftly vacated the premise of erotic fiasco.

HOW STUPID CAN YOU BE

What’s the most stupid thing you ever did? I just did one of the stupidest acts of my 3 decades of life a few minutes back.

I had a energy drink this afternoon while chasing a 50,000 words story. A few minutes ago, I discovered the can still standing upright on my desk. I grabbed it- it felt cool to the touch- I lifted it- it felt empty, but- buffoon me- I raised it to my lips, up-ending it to drain whatever liquid content might still be in the 200 ml can, lo! I got my mouth full with ants. Consternation ANTS!

I Sputtered like I will drop dead if I don’t get the- “blistering barnacles” out of my mouth. I squeezed the hell out of the can (something wey I for done do iniatially) I huffed, and puffed, and hauk and spat. But my throat still crawled with the vermins. So I kept hauking and spitting, and huffing and puffing, blowing my cool.

I have a allergy for ants (the kind of ants that visit sugar and sugary foods and drinks. By this time tomorrow, I will be attacked by feats of coughs. To think I was just recovering from a flu-initiated cough.

WARNING: think and look well, well before you do your next stupid act. If you think God isn’t watching you, nemesis will catch up with you. Again, if you be the type of big brother, or auntie wey dey discipline children for such stupidity, desist. There is a child in all of us. We are all culpable to childish stupidity.

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

MY FRIEND AND I

Sunday and I were just hired labours. I was the better looking guy, though he was more muscular and macho in outlook, but that shouldn’t make the ladies like him better than me. Sunday was my closest pal, but I dislike him now for his slothfulness. He wasn’t really any lazier than I was, but he was wont to forego work for play when the girls are around.

There was this particular incidence that made me want to kill Sunday: the ladies were paying the idiot more attention than they were paying me. Sunday and I have been assigned to the shitty task of mixing manure with top soil, along with two farm-hand girls whose task was stuffing the mixture into nursery bags and planting in the oil palm seedlings. On that day, Sunday abandoned our joint-task of shoveling shit and went frolicking with the girls, giving them a hand with their own task of stuffing the nursery bags with mixture of dirt-manure, and poking a hole in top middle end of the stuffed bag and planting-in a palm seedling. It was a relatively easier task than mixing manure. I wouldn’t have given a fuck if the fucking sluggards were fucking on the job, but I was peeved because Shadya, one of the girls who I had been secretly admiring, was paying Sunday far too much attention for my convenience and peace of mind.

Shadya was delibrately letting her skirt ride up her thighs to let my Lazy-ass friend feed his lusty eyes on whatever she got between the thighs. The annoying part was that Sunday was not looking away as expected of a gentleman; he was ogling and sloberring and pissing me the fuck off. He wasn’t even doing a good job of stuffing the nursery bags with the manure and dirt I was labourously throwing their way. He was absent-mindedly poking, and poking, and forever poking his forefinger into a nursery bag like an automaton, and drooling like a damn bulldog panting for a cur.

The other girl, Ekaete, was ceaselessly talking some nonsensical things that must have sounded very sweet to Sunday, making him poke faster and faster. I was mad- red-hot-mad. So hot I could have blown a fuse at all that drama unfolding in front of me.

Each time I straightened up from the back-breaking task of shovelling crap, to look their way, Ekaete would stop talking, and Shadya would let the helm of her skirt drop to her knees. Each time this occurred, (and it was very frequently) I got angrier, I got madder and I got hotter- I was murderously peeved. I could have chopped off the heads of all three of the slothful bastards with one swing of my shovel. I would’ve taken off Sunday’s head first; then Shadya’s, saving Ekaete’s last. I would have spat down Ekaete’s throat, stuffed manure into Sunday’s throat and jack off on Shadya’s bloody throat.
In my mind I had dared Shadya to annoy me just one more time by dropping her skirt on my view and they will all feel the heat of my wrath. I was just straightening up from the shitty task to try and catch a glimpse of what viewing pleasure Shadya was denying me and indulging my stupid friend Sunday, when Mr Ogunlade, the Farm overseer suddenly appeared and barked at me: “get to work, you fucking sluggard…”. Then I saw that the Monster tractor driven by the Ogre Mr Tambolo had brought in more Manure, and was already unloading the shit onto the unfinished heap I had been working on, and I was already neck-deep in the stinking shit.

At the end of that day, I got half the regular wage, because I did not meet my target of shoveling and mixing enough manure. Sunday and the girls got full pay. I have still not forgiven my friend Sunday till this day. I have forgotten about Shadya, because I hated her after that incidence. As for Ekaete, well I don’t really care for her even though she was made my overseer.

Sodiqy and I were just hired labours. I was the better looking guy, though he was more muscular and macho in outlook, but that shouldn’t make the ladies like him better than me. Sodiqy was my close pal, but I dislike him now for his slothfulness. He wasn’t really any lazier than I was, but he was wont to forego work for play when the girls are around.

There was this particular incidence that made me want to kill Sodiqy: the ladies were paying the idiot more attention than they were paying me. Sodiqy and I have been assigned to the shitty task of mixing manure with top soil, along with two farm hand girls whose task was stuffing the mixture into nursery bags and planting in the oil palm seedlings. On that day, Sodiqy abandoned our joint-task of shoveling shit and went frolicking with the girls, giving them a hand with their own task of stuffing the nursery bags with mixture of dirt-manure, and poking a hole in top middle end of the stuffed bag ans shoving in a palm seedling. It was a relatively easier task than shoveling shit. I wouldn’t have given a fuck if the fucking sluggards were fucking on the job, but I was peeved because Shadya, one of the girls who I had been secretly admiring, was paying Sodiq far too much attention for my convenience and peace of mind.

Shadya was delibrately letting her skirt ride up her thighs to let my Lazy-ass friend feed his lusty eyes on whatever she got between the thighs. The annoying part was that Sodiqy was not looking away as expected of a gentleman; he was ogling and sloberring and pissing me the fuck off. He wasn’t even doing a good job of stuffing the nursery bags with the manure and dirt I was labourously throwing their way. He was absent-mindedly poking, and poking, and forever poking his forefinger into a nursery bag nursery bag like an automaton, and drooling like a damn bulldog.

The other girl, Queeny, was ceaselessly talking some nonsensical things that must have sounded very sweet to him and made him poke faster and faster. I was mad, red hot mad. So hot I could have blown a fuse at all that drama unfolding in front of me.

Each time I straightened up from the back-breaking task of shovelling shit, to look their way, Queeny would stop talking, and Shadya would let the helm of her skirt drop to her knees. Each time this occurred, (and it was very frequently) I got angrier, I got madder and I got hotter- I was murderously peeved. I could have chopped off the heads of all three of the slothful bastards with one swing of my shovel. I would’ve taken off Sodiqy’s head first; then Shadya’s, and Queeny’s last. I would have spat down Queeny’s throat, stuffed manure into Sodiqy’s throat and jack off on Shadya’s bloody throat.

In my mind I had dared Shadya to annoy me just one more time by dropping her skirt on my view and they will all three feel the heat of my wrath. I was just straightening up from the shitty task to try and catch a glimpse of what viewing pleasure Shadya was denying me and indulging my friend Sodiqy, when Mr Oducoya, the Farm overseer suddenly appeared and barked at me: “get to work, you fucking sluggard…”. Then I saw that the Monster tractor driven by the Ogre Mr Okopi Tambolo had brought in more Manure, and was already unloading the shit onto the unfinished heap I had been working on, and I was already neck-deep in the stinking shit.

At the end of that day, I got half the regular wage, because I did not meet my target of shoveling and mixing enough manure. Sodiqy and the girls got full pay. I have still not forgiven my friend Sodiqy till this day. I have forgotten about Shadya, because I hated her after that incidence. As for Queeny, well I don’t really care for her even though she was made my overseer.

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ADAOBI’S PIECE: AN INQUEST

Adaobi’s piece, while very articulate, and a masterfully crafted entertaining write, leaves one with a sour after-taste. I can’t share this. I love the art of it, but it is a no from me.

Nigeria is not America. She will never be America, but it is home to more than 200 million Human beings who are daily working the system, making meanings of their existence. Nigeria is the only place these people can be truly Brave, and really Free.

I still love Adaobi, so I refrain from tar-and-feathering her. She needs help, like great many of us- Haves and Have-nots- who consume Hollywood and condemn Nollywood (why N-ollywood at all?)

You see, the same reason leaders will not build refineries or schools or hospitals or invest here? And the likes of My Sweet Adaobi will always pander to all things Amelika. Give Adaobi a public office now and see her globe-trotting rather than working the system. It is a mind thing. We are corrupting our own.

Re: In Nigeria, You’re Either Somebody or Nobody by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani

While the reality artistically portrayed here in Adaobi’s piece is true for her native Igbo society, it is not necessarily true for all Nigerian peoples and cultures. Yes, the tenets of “You Are Either Somebody Or You Are Not” is primordially ingrained into our psyche. And it is what made slavery work. but isn’t the “slave-And-Master” philosophy the hub in the wheel of international politics?

While I will not say “na good thing” or “na bad thing”, I am of the opinion that the postulate:

“…America… is a more civilized place than Nigeria.”

Is prodigally pandering to Amelika wonder; which is a misguided and inchoate rouge-tinted view favoured by gullible Nigerians, the Haves and Have-nots- who voraciusly consume Hollywood and condemn Nollywood.

But, looking below the surface of the masterfully crafted piece, I see a allegorical undertone. There is a current of satirism running below the surface, churning and playing up the subliminal dirts of global politics. My point of view, that is. And I hold this view to be true and self-evident.

Well done Adaobi!

HERE’S ADAOBI’S PIECE:

In Nigeria, You’re Either Somebody or Nobody

By ADAOBI TRICIA NWAUBANI
Published: February 10, 2013

ABUJA, Nigeria

IN America, all men are believed to be created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights. But Nigerians are brought up to believe that our society consists of higher and lesser beings. Some are born to own and enjoy, while others are born to toil and endure.

The earliest indoctrination many of us have to this mind-set happens at home. Throughout my childhood, “househelps” – usually teenagers from poor families – came to live with my family, sometimes up to three or four of them at a time. In exchange for scrubbing, laundering, cooking, baby-sitting and everything else that brawn could accomplish, either they were sent to school, or their parents were sent regular cash.

My father detested it when our househelps sang. Each time a new one arrived, my siblings and I spent the first few evenings as emissaries from the living room, where our family watched TV after dinner, to the kitchen, where the househelps washed dishes or waited to be summoned.

“My daddy said I should tell you to stop singing.”

Immediately, they would shush. Often, they forgot and started again – if not that same evening, on a subsequent one. Finally, my father would lose his imperial cool, stomp over to the kitchen and stand by the door.

“Stop singing!” he would command.

That usually settled the matter.

I honestly cannot blame my father. Although they hailed from different villages across the land, their melodies were always the same: The most lugubrious tunes in the most piercing tones, which made you think of death.

Melancholic singing was not the only trait they had in common. They all gave off a feral scent, which never failed to tell the tale each time they abandoned the wooden stools set aside for them and relaxed on our sofas while we were out. They all displayed a bottomless hunger that could never be satisfied, no matter how much you heaped on their plates or what quantity of our leftovers they cleaned out.

And they all suffered from endless tribulations, in which they always wanted to get you involved.

The roof of their family house got blown off by a rainstorm. Their mother just had her 11th baby and the doctor had seized mum and newborn, pending payment of the hospital bill. Their brother, an apprentice trader in Aba, was wrongfully accused of stealing from his boss and needed to be bailed out. A farmland tussle had left their father lying half-dead in hospital, riddled with machete wounds. Their mother’s auntie, a renowned witch, had cursed their sister so that she could no longer hear or speak. They were pregnant but the carpenter responsible was claiming he had never met them before … Always one calamity after the other.

Househelps were widely believed to be scoundrels and carriers of disease. The first thing to do when a new one arrived was drag him off to the laboratory for blood tests, the results of which would determine whether he should be allowed into your haven. The last thing to do when one was leaving was to search him for stolen items. In one memorable incident, the help in my friend’s house, knowing that her luggage would be searched, donned all the children’s underwear she had stolen. And she nearly got away with it. But just as she stepped out the door, my friend’s mother noticed that the girl’s hips had broadened beyond what food could afflict on the human anatomy in such little time, and insisted that she raise her skirt.

Every family we knew had similar stories about their domestic staff. With time, we children learned to think of them as figures depressed by the hand of nature below the level of the human species, as if they had been created only as a useful backdrop against which we were to shine.

Not much has changed since I was a child. My friend’s daughter, who attends one of those schools where all the students are children of either well-off Nigerians or well-paid expatriates, recently captured this attitude while summarizing the plot of my novel to her mother. “Three people died,” the 11-year-old said, “but one of them was a poor man.”

It reminded me of the conversation in Mark Twain’s “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” when Huck tries to explain a delay in a journey:

“It warn’t the grounding – that didn’t keep us back but a little. We blowed out a cylinder-head.”

“Good gracious! anybody hurt?”

“No’m. Killed a nigger.”

“Well, it’s lucky; because sometimes people do get hurt.”

BIGOTS and racists exist in America, without a doubt, but America today is a more civilized place than Nigeria. Not because of its infrastructure or schools or welfare system. But because the principle of equality was laid out way back in its Declaration of Independence. The Nigerian Constitution states, in Section 17(2)(a), that “every citizen shall have equality of rights, obligations and opportunities before the law.” However, this provision is in a portion of the document that contains “objectives” of the Nigerian state. It is not enforceable; it certainly isn’t reality.

The average Nigerian’s best hope for dignified treatment is to acquire the right props. Flashy cars. Praise singers. Elite group membership. British or American accent. Armed escort. These ensure that you will get efficient service at banks and hospitals. If the props prove insufficient, a properly bellowed “Do you know who I am?” could very well do the trick.

This somebody-nobody mind-set is at the root of corruption and underdevelopment: ingenuity that could be invested in moving society forward is instead expended on individuals’ rising just one rung higher, and immediately claiming their license to disparage and abuse those below. Even when one househelp is made supervisor over the rest, he ends up being more callous than the owners of the house.

Some years ago, I made a decision to start treating domestic workers as “somebodys.”  I said “please” and “thank you” and “if you don’t mind.” I smiled for no reason. But I was only confusing them; they knew how society worked. They knew that somebodys gave orders and kicked them around. Anyone who related to them as an equal was no longer deserving of respect. Thus, the vicious cycle of oppression goes on and on.

Nigeria is one of Africa’s largest economies; it produces around two million barrels of crude oil per day. And yet, in 2010, 61 percent of Nigerians were living in “absolute poverty” – able to afford only the bare essentials of shelter, food and clothing. In one state in northern Nigeria, where extremist groups like Boko Haram originate, poverty levels that year were as high as 86.4 percent.

Economic growth will continue to bypass the majority, the gap between rich and poor will continue to widen, so long as we see ourselves as divided between somebodys and nobodys. Only when that changes will the househelps sing more cheerful tunes.

Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani is the author of the novel “I Do Not Come to You by Chance” and a fellow with the African Leadership Institute.

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SENTIMENTS AND THE OBJECT OF AFFECTION by Olorunfunmi Adebajo

“Jessica passed on this morning, I have cried my eyes out, but I will be fine.”

ThOse were the words Janet sent me in text earlier this month. I felt so touched and sober at the thought of losing a loved one. I was about typing a long epistle about how “..all things work together for our good” and how “…in all things we should give thanks” before it occurred to me that Jessica is Janet’s dog! A dog!

In my characteristic manner, I waived Janet and her dog palava aside. How could she use such affectionate words for a mere dog? I rationalised. Such words are supposed to be used for loved ones, I surmised. By using those words “Passed On”, she was equating her dog to my brother, my sister, my grandfather and maternal aunt whose deaths I sometimes still wet my pillow about. I’m not sure I sent her a condolence. It’s just an ordinary dog.

Janet came to my house a few days after the text, and I raised the topic of the dead dog. Not at all out of concern for her or it, but to know where and how she buried it. I imagined Janie in mourning garbs, carrying the corpse (is that what it is called) of the dog in a funeral procession along the road, with tears streaming down her eyes, and neighbours consoling her. Her eyes became teary as she began explaining to me that the dog had died of Pneumonia, and that the neighbours heard it crying all through the night, but were wicked enough not to help, though they knew she was not home. She kept on about how she got home to meet her dog stuck in the gutter in front of her house, how the rains had
beaten it all through the night, and how she’d massaged the poor thing, trying to relive it of its malady. Janie went on and on how it’s tongue went white a few hours before it died. She was still carrying on when I turned my back and I slept off.

It was a mere dog. I remember another friend’s mum almost put out an obituary on the newspapers for her dog. Irrational sentiments! That is what I tag sort of attachment to mere things. But, earlier today, I got to my apartment, smiled at the blooming potted plant on my veranda. I must have looked silly, because I looked up to see the incredulous look on the security guard’s face. “Em… aunty, no vex o, abeg follow me make I show you something” he said. And I obliged him. He led me to the courtyard just behind the house. I had spent so much money beautifying a small patch of the courtyard earlier last month. To my consternation the new tenant had scrapped off all the grass I had planted, thinking it was mere weed. All of it was gone!

I recalled the conviction in the voice and the sparkle in the eyes of the old horticulturist, who had sweet-talked me into buying and planting his special offer of “Port-Harcourt Grass” instead of “Devil’s Hair”, and how I had dashed him extra N1,000 when I saw how beautiful my garden patch turned out. At that point of considering the damage to the plant I have invested much affection on, a tear dropped from my eye. “Auntie take am easy o, na ordinary grass na!” the security man pipe, in a forlorn bid to pacify me. But I was inconsolable as I walked with heavy steps away for the scene, into my apartment.

When Janie asked me why I was teary-eyed later the same day, I simply told her I lost an object of affection.
How could I have possibly told her that it was grass, mere grass? Wouldn’t she have waived my plight off as “Irrational sentiment”?

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THE GIDI IN LAGOSIANS 2 by Olorunfunmi Adebajo

It was quite a spectacle, the sight of a man defecating into the Lagoon from the top of the Third Mainland Bridge. Lagos Na Wa.

I was on my way from a meeting with a prospective client on lagos island and had somehow missed riding in the branch manager’s car, now I had to take public transport, the part I hated most about Lagos. After a bit of struggle, I finally found a seat beside this cute girl wearing a pair of nerdy looking glasses. I was about passing a compliment when a woman with very voluptuous bosom sat beside me. with a coarse voice she yelled “abeg dress make I siddon, na ya papa parlour you think say you dey? I wondered what the aggression was for and almost replied her sarcastically…Not in a mood for a fight, I adjusted myself to make space for her on the seat and looked past my cute nerd neighbour to the approaching bridge. 

I saw the man stooped right on top of the median. I wondered what he was doing until I saw him wipe his nyansh with a paper the wind brought his way. The stooped man peered at the yellow-brown stain on the white sheet, smelt it and shook his head as if it did not come from his black bottom. He had been defecating right into the Lagos Lagoon from the bridge, nonchalantly. I stared at him imagining the breeze that must be blowing into his rear anatomy, wishing I could enjoy such indulgence rather than being smouldered in the claustrophobic interior of the molue, by the annoying fat co-passenger.

I must have been staring too long when I felt a sharp jolt from my Neighbour in the molue who hissed and eyed me. Her disapproval of my indulgence was evident on her face. She turned away and said “all dis shameless small small girls…see as she dey look the man prick”. I bowed my head in shame. How could I possibly explain to the woman that I was dreaming about Chris, who had suddenly stopped picking my calls, about meeting my 50million Naira target for the month, about my house rent that was going to expire at the end of the year and about my 83 year old grandfather who needed urgent medical attention. Life in lagos was not as easy as I thought and I’m no longer excited about the banking job that brought me all the way from Ekiti to Lagos.

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