Breathe

Breathe

 

In spite of the flaws
In spite of the frailties:
The nose dripping blood
The face all bloodied;
In spite of the handicap
In spite of the faults:
The funny intricacies
Of our feebler intimacies;
In spite of the lacks
That daily bludgeon
In spite of the rats
And the smell of dung
We’ll live the night
For the day to come
When the dawn disperses
The fragrance of hope
From the blossoming tree
Of dreams in the midst of great doubts.

For Victoria M. P., a soldier

Advertisements

Desperate

Desperate

I’ll wait
Patience they say
Can cook a hard rock
Until it’s yam-soft.
I’ll wait this icy night out
Watch with pretended disinterest
Whilst its blue mermaid
Misshapen bound on the jet black
Waters of dreams.
I know the morning must come
Before whom the mermaid scurries
Into the river belly
Then I’ll show my face from my
Hiding rock
And bathe this battered heart in
The early tangerine hue of what promises
To be a golden morn

Invocation

Invocation

Gbegbe stays where we implore
It not to stay;

Tete treads where we command
It not to tread;

The king of heaven has plaited
Coiffure of beauty on the heads
Of cocks;

None can cloak it:
The glory of the sun;

Nobody can veil the splendour
Of the moon;

May we today become the Child-anvil
Simply too hefty to lift for their babes;

May we this day flourish like a plague
Where it was promised we would fail.

 

* Gbegbe: ( Yoruba; noun) a kind of herb.
* Tete: ( Yoruba; noun) a typical leafy vegetable

College Politicks

College Politicks

puny president: mortgages the morrow
for a junk of the measly millions on
the Menu now;

pusillanimous parliamentarians: sponsored
to the elder capitol only to smother in her
vixened pools the smoking protests they
had borne hence;

piteous pro, sorry, vice-viceroy: cauterises
the bleeding collegiate conscience
to smoothen forcedly a rumpled calendar;

puny impostors them all
nothing but garbed puppets
animised only by the pulling tugs
of their puissant, covert lords.

Àwèró

Àwèró

Silently the day goes the way of yesterday,
Darkness creeps on the green, stealthily;
I crawl away with her leaving my love behind
That spirited child clutched by the twin devilry
Of malaria and rubella…

Now as I tread through the straightened intestine
Of the tarred road, one darkening fast and soon to be lightened
With the travellers’ headlights’ gold, gleamed with their taillights’ rubied glow,
I do not leave you alone, child
Your mothers will hold you
Your mothers seven from the seven corners of the Source
They’ll be your succour
They’ll be your guide
The trio-stilted fire place never tips the food over, and
Theirs are the two hundred watchful eyes to keep you from harm.

Dead man Selfie

Dead man Selfie

The land has changed from the
Exquisite painting of a well mixed
Counter shading slightly sfumato
To this confused collage of jagged
Glass pieces cutting down the growth
Of her tenderer feelings:
But noble, but kind, but proud.

The city is festooned with human units
Whose hearts are carved from the flinty
Core of an icy cavern black with the feral
Instincts of a diseased psyche: They laugh
At evils and applaud violence.

I do not know these men, let me not
Follow them but one of these earthy footpaths
Of shining sands snaking into the country
Where people are people still
Crying and laughing with equal intensity;

Veer off where they dissolve the substances
Of humanity’s sorrows in the cauldron
Of communal courage and love, where
They dissemble the disguises of joys with
The arms of patience;

Let me return to my simple elder mother
To the threshold of her household’s compound
Defiance of death, to the clay lamps palm-oil powered
To the low bamboos benched for moonlight lovers;

Let me not follow these tarred trails to the
City covered with human bits vitreous with morbid ease
The wild things bankrupt of blood-feelings
Those black-hearted creatures shooting gleeful pictures
At the grim sights of human frailties at those
Bleak sites of gruesome fatalities.

Marriage

Marriage
(Aided by Sam Smith’s song: I’m not the only one.)

 

Mother could’ve asked the world to stoop
And that it would’ve done
But she said yes! to you
In the dawn of your love,
She birthed all your brood
As much as you’d wanted
Much more than was needed.

In the intervening years of love
You then lost your interest
And in place of her touch
You sought someone else’s instead
The other lady for whom you’d rented an apartment downtown
When back at home almost no money would be found.

She became the object of your fantasies
Though concealed, in your dreams
She was the theme of your ecstasies,
They left no one in doubt of your lethal escapades
Mother especially.

I suppose you made her happy
Whilst you were out on dates and dinners
When at home we sat morosely
staring at our plates and dinner
And reeking of doubt when you barged in tiredly saying you’d ordered meal
As you’d worked late in your office,
I suppose she was such a project big.

Mother had loved you so
She gave herself to no other
Even as the steady blows of your cuckolds
Made her emotionally battered
She remained steadfast in her resolve to
Make you her alpha and omega
Even when you finally unabashedly left our humble shelter
Craving more timely fun with your lover.

Mother, an African woman, never railed
Even when neighbours  said it was diabolical
You’d left that way
Rejected such a splendid woman with all your bairns
For a serpent outside with claws within
Whose face, made up, was younger than her body beneath
Whose face, unmade, looked a gator’s skin.

Mother never railed nor spoke ill
Of her husband’s estranged and broken will
She kept working and praying for her children, her only gain
From this highly risky venture dubbed marriage.

Drunks and Betters

Drunks and Betters

Bemused with the pervasive, hefty thievery:
The billions stolen, recovered and then
Re-looted,
The prevalent inanities of politics;
Knocked silly in the head by the vehement
Sun of an advanced penury,
One made more acute by the jarring
Peacockery of societal crooks, their betters
Naija youths vacillate between the personas
Of the hopeful by-standers in betting kiosks and
The dejected millionaires at liquor stalls.

*Naija: (noun; colloquial) Nigeria; (adjective; colloquial) Nigerian.

The Rain is Leaving

The Rain is Leaving

The rain is leaving, his session over
The sun is licking up his remnant;
The greens are turning up the sleeves of their glistening trousers
The wells, through the streams,  are running back to their mother rivers.

The rain is leaving the city covered in a mist of dust
The rivers boasting of large discharge
their swift feet have lost
The flowers wild by the roadside are caking up in crust.

The rain is leaving us and he seems angry
As he sleets his heaviest fog and
wields lightning
That our memory floods with loud thundering.

Kolokolo (The Fox)

Kolokolo (The Fox)

You owned him
From his neck to toes
Almost all of him
Only his head was above
The savage grip of your
whittling friendship.
You sneered at him in
the guises of your smiles
the smile of disdain for his fiery
comb
Diadem the creator has planted on his fair head.
Only his head and its mettle
Had saved him from the clutch of the snare
You had laid
For with the toothpick of love
He pried open the crushing clasp
of your tongue
Fanged with sucking hooks like a leech’s;
With this toothpick he scratched off
little by little, the grime coat of brainwashing
Your constant pawing had clouded his mind with
And clear-eyed, he glimpsed the ruthless violator
Your mask hides and he…stays!