THE COMPOST HEAP!

 

What deception is this

Which makes our mind believe

That we shall never age or die

But think forever we shall live?

 

Are we so blind we cannot see

The compost heap and tell

That mans bones are mixed in deep

And soon ours will join as well.

 

Why do we run in endless chase

And lustfully pursue vain goals

What joy if we would love ourselves

And so peaceful rest our souls

 

Stop right now…pause and think

Are you ready for the leap?

For when it comes, sure time will give

Our bones to black compost heap!

 

 

Sunday 6th Sept ’09 (on a road journey from Ibadan to Lagos)

 

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THE LAGOS BUS

I know the secret to strong bones

I have found the chiropractor’s cure

Take a ride on a Lagos bus      

Then say welcome bye to painful groans!

Harsh jolts abrupt loosen up stiff joints

Unseat the brain, jostle set it spinning.

Speed bumps hasty shift congealed road blocks

Force harsh toxins and blood clots away for pure streams

Lazy arms flail cyclical, grip metal balance

Buttocks bounce, trash within wood cage

Headaches and migraines bow to superior cracks

Fly, escape forgotten through broken windows.

Deaf ears awaken at long loud grinding clutch

New record breaks at passengers’ colourful stringed curses

As fat petals, unfold the spray of grim driver’s salivered oaths.

Formulaic manic maneuvers inspire mind’s virtual simulation

Of fatal visions catapulting off Kilimanjaro peak

To greedy bottomless canal beneath Carter’s bridge.

Pot holes dent, bend and muscles creak, crack

Again the bus leaps and scared nerves skip…

Too slow hearts jumpstart, make fast trudging paces

Willing the wheels to steady rampant steel

Driver curves in his tattered sit, like a skier at the Swiss Alps.

Miraculously Arthritis discovers its stiff mystery

Former lame veteran jumps agile to safety’s plain

Pregnancy’s unborn child kicks in sudden resistance

Position righted, cord loosened round small neck

Sudden labour’s water breaks to grave shocked gasps.

The fool’s vague memory complete returns

On this horror ride into spiritual trance epiphany

The drunk’s dulled sense brittle rattled to spy alertness

Mellow mind shuns lethargy, uncoils from the depth a slow fear.

Posing lady switches embarrassed to neutral position as

Last night’s shameful G-string springs from swinging purse clasp

To leering grin of yellow teethed, red eyed conductor.

Constipated bowels explode untraceable past vain walls

Fowl gas emissions escape the anal channels, diffuse unhindered

Oxygen caves to superior carbon, ammonia and fart’s mixed fumes.
I know the secret to strong bones

I have found the chiropractor’s cure

Take a ride on a Lagos bus      

Then say welcome bye to painful groans!

DON’T CALL ME SISTER…UNLESS YOU MEAN IT!

I have news oh sister of mine,

Quite terrible news I’m afraid.

There is war in the streets my friend,

You must within safe walls remain.

War in the streets…you say!

Oh who could the offenders be, pray?

Only yesterday we lived as one,

We bought, we sold but never fought!

I know not those who brandish swords,

Neither care I for their wicked curse.

Why, who…I cannot now devise,

Surely survival sister, friend is more wise.

                                

I have news oh sister of mine,

I am afraid it is worse this time…

Your business is burnt down completely,

Your crime your religion, apparently.

Burnt down completely…oh no!

My goodness, I just took a loan!

Why do I suffer for the way that I worship,

At the hands of those I offered but friendship?

Reserve your questions for a day of calm,

Only dear sister, remain not in Pan-yam.

The gain in this killing is nothing but pain,

But your life and good health, protect with all stealth.

                            …

I have news oh sister of mine,

It breaks my heart to share this kind.

Your innocent son was taken from school,

He lies still in the street, his blood is a pool.

My son, my son…my innocent son!

Too young to have knowledge of what brought this on.

What is this crusade which preys on the guiltless?

Why has this evil descended, oh God who shall address !

Your anger your sorrow overwhelms me with grief,

Oh my dear sister, your hurt makes me weep.

Lies and deception, pride and corruption

Shall come judgment here or hereafter, even future laughter.

                                 …

I have news oh sister of mine,

I am afraid I may not be in time.

The killers advance into your street,

Run, run…flee from your keep.

They come, they come…surely they come!

Must I die in senseless slaughter, treated as a worm,

My son…do I flee this home where only last night you slept?

Whisper direction to your mother you have weeping left !

To where do you run oh sister…thou fool!

I have led them to you, right without fail.

Foolish friend, it is your hour of pain,

No more tolerance I…now face your doom!

                                     The end

 

            Written after the November 2008 violence in Jos city, Nigeria

WAR BRINGS ONLY GRIEF!

I may not have seen war,

But I have been in crisis.

I may not have fought,

But I have surely fled.

I may not have held guns,

But I have heard bullets.

I may not have thrown bombs,

But I have picked up the pieces.

I may not have buried children

But I have wept with mothers.

I may not be starving,

But I have offered relief.

I may not be a party,

But surely I am a witness.

I may not have an answer,

But I know war brings only grief.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Written in protest of the Crises in Darfur, Sudan and in the Congo, as well as the violence in Jos, Nigeria.

 

ENDLESS WAR!

Said the man:
You are a pleasant sight young lady,
Oh please be the mother of my baby.
I have searched in many small towns,
But all the girls greet me with frowns.
I have gathered much land and wealth,
Now I wish for a wife and good health.

Said the lady:
I will never be wife to any man,
I am laid waste just as my home land.
See here this black cooking pot,
Like it, I have endured many fires hot.
There are many thoughts that fill my head,
None that approves a man in my bed.

Said the man:
What creates such bitter acrimony?
Every girl dreams of her wedding ceremony.
I am a gentle and generous brother,
If you let me I shall fill you with wonder.
Your fierce protest makes me curious,
Tell me what it is that makes you furious.

Said the lady:
On earth there has never walked a good male,
If I could I would give them all up for sale.
My mother told me I had no father,
For he abandoned her and took her laughter.
She told her father a man had made her pregnant,
Quickly he cast her from his home like remnant.

Said the man:
The acts of these men surely were wrong,
Indeed I feel they ought to be hung.
I could never bring hurt to those, whom I love,
Why, it would cause too many problems to solve!
And yet this is not enough explanation,
For your hatred of the entire male population.

Said the lady:
I have not grown out of reason,
To prefer my company in and out of season.
My childhood friend married, her heart throb,
And soon left her friends to become a rich snob.
Sadly not long after I received news with gloom,
Of how sweet heart beat her daily black and blue.

Said the man:
A monster, surely this is who you describe,
Sadly many fellows are guilty of such crime.
I am desperate to have you believe,
That over no woman could I ever raise whip.
You must have of your mother been taught,
Let every man on his own merit be judged.

Said the lady:
I am tempted to laugh out from scorn,
At thought of merit in man you mention.
If I could choose between man and the devil,
I would say surely man is more evil.
When I think of my rapist’s cursed face,
I conclude that the devil is chaste.

Said the man:
Oh this grieves me my dear innocent sister,
Such a suffering is much too sinister.
I have heard of victims of violence and rape,
And how soldiers consider this madness a game.
I cannot and won’t speak for any such pervert,
I only know that bad men will face regret.

Said the lady:
Let there on all men be placed a vile curse,
Oh that the bloodline of their wicked gender burst.
The rage I feel transforms daily into crippling fury,
My fantasies grow with pictures of that man I must bury.
He laughed in blood thirsty zeal and mirth,
When he ripped my belly and killed my baby before birth.

Said the man:
There is a great evil under the sun,
It is the day when deep hatred was born.
I can but only imagine the pain and ache you endure,
However vengeance doth never peace or good secure.
I have tasted pleasure and I have felt deep sorrow,
Still I know never to give up on my tomorrow.

Said the lady:
I have no memories of a good day or time,
It is hard to accept that tomorrow will be fine.
I was a comfort woman in a war prisoners’ camp,
The men took their turns then pushed me to sleep in cold damp.
Natures favoured specie have brought me naught but torture,
Think not that I will thoughts of friendship nurture.

Said the man:
I fear that I have ventured much too deep,
In a matter of a bleeding heart devoid of peace.
This is not the time for proposal making,
Rather I wish there could be hope of peacekeeping.
There is no more prisoners’ camp for the war is long ended,
You give bad memories power because of your mind’s dependence.

Said the woman:
For you perhaps the war has ceased,
I am still in vicious battle steeped.
Daily displaced, I face abuse of my frail feminity,
Likened to a lower animal they take my humanity.
I have no land to till but must exchange dignity for life.
Say not “the war is ended” for each day is full of strife.

Written as a tribute to all women victims of rape, war and violence. March 3, 2009.

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