Leo

I never said

I taught you to roar

You always had it in you

deep in your throat

you just took your time.

But then I was there

when only meows and purrs escaped your lips

instead of the growls of a jungle beast

when all you did was run and pounce and fall.

I couldn’t carry you

so I just fell with you

wanting you to stand

so that you could lift me.

I cried your tears

because lions don’t shed tears

They only shake their mane and bare their teeth.

Now your growl is thick

Your roar is strong

And I am a doe

that must either become a lion

or get left behind.

Ikilo (Warning)

Bi omode ba fe te

Owo a ma yun

Ese a ma yun

Ara e o ni bale

tori ete ki n gbe je

o ma n kiri bi aisan

aisan to n wa eni ti o ma koba.

 

Eni a wi fun oba je o gbo

Eni a sofun oba je o gba.

Ete a ma sofun omo

“Sure te te te wa o”

“Sure te te te wa o.”

 

Teleola o fe te

Fi ara buruku bale

joko si aye re

ko ma ba kabamo

Aboro la so fun omoluabi

ti o ba de inu re a di odindi.

 

(Interpretation)

When a child wants to get into trouble

his hands itch

his legs itch

he will be restless

Because trouble isn’t still

It roams about like a disease

A disease looking for who to implicate.

 

Let the person we speak to listen

Let the person we speak to accept

Trouble will tell a child

“Come very quickly”

“Come very quickly.”

 

Teleola you want to get into trouble

Calm your restless body

sit in your place

that you don’t regret.

We tell a responsible child half a word

when he digests (understands) it, it becomes whole.

My Coke and Fanta Gentleman

Sometimes

Just sometimes

I wish Adebayo drank

Just a little bit

so that when he kisses me

I would drink from his lips

and swallow his spit more eagerly

rather than lift a bottle

of Smirn-Off or Redd’s or Kagor

to my waiting mouth.

 

I wish Adebayo drank

Even if only a little bit

so that when we shake the bed

the flush on my skin would be redder

the bites on his shoulder deeper

and the clench of his cheeks tighter.

 

But most times, it’s okay

I can drink for us

I will drink for me and my Coke and Fanta gentleman.20160314_210654

Changing for Enore 01

The reflection holds power over the actual. Breaking the habit is more about what is given back to you than about what you do to destroy it. The luckiest thing that would happen to you is finding that person who would reflect a different image and thus give you the chance to break away.

______________________________

The first time is never the last time

turning and cycling,

a revolving door fitted in with mirrors,

the same event reoccurring in rapid successions of

mobile static reflections.

Continue reading “Changing for Enore 01”

Niger Area Cantata

I have never been one for poetry but I heard Graciano at Writer’s Hangout in Port Harcourt on Saturday and I absolutely had to have this poem on my blog. So I asked him and he said “Sure!” and sent me a Word document this morning. So here is Niger Area Cantata.

Enjoy…

______________________________________________

NIGER AREA CANTATA

aljanusi.wordpress.com
River Niger

 

The hills of Enugu applauded the exposition.

Olumo smiled from her position.

The southern streams catwalked to her seat’s edge;

As the northern ball lit up the stage.

“Now on to the crux of the matter,

Welcome to the ‘Niger Area Cantata’

Frederick had always loved adventure –

Or, so was the palpable conjecture.

If not, why will he flee his heaven,

And trot to the hard have-nots’ haven?

Continue reading “Niger Area Cantata”

The 3 pieces of 8

All or Nothing

We tried our hands at love

supple pink flesh

turned snowy white leprous.

We failed

I was right

You love hard

You hate harder.

A monster is born.

Mara

I slept in tears

dreamed of rain and storm

and woke with her crouching on my chest

as I sank in the flood.

She places her lips on mine

as our eyes lock in time.

Someone, Anyone

please wake me up.

Adieu

The first day of spring

the seeds of hate will now bloom

as you march like unto war.

If you would still leave

take one last look

have one last thought

hold me one last time

For auld lang syne.

These 3 poems are how I feel this February.

Your comments are welcome.

Follow us on twitter @tele_ola and @Janus_aneni

The Tale of Tikva

A songbird woke from its nest
tunes of hope in its tiny chest
It knew not the day had come
which would bring with it a dreaded storm.
Tikva arose, for that was her name
and thought the day, like always, would be the same
but she really didn’t have a say
for in another’s hand she was already prey.
Many chips and bites at this tight rope
would cause a fray soon, was all her hope
A further sink into an abyss
as her watcher calculated amiss.
Finally, she broke her only hold to light
and ran amok into the silent black night
Flap flap, flap flap, she flew way too fast
Flap flap, flap flap, before her watcher’s net be cast.
There are a hundred ways in the black and blue sky
for a little song birdie to die
And Tikva flew with all her might
deeper into the abyss without her sight
towards a power beyond her tiny birdie brain
towards a force from which she could no longer refrain.
The winds grew tired awaiting her return
the fatigue in their arms they could no longer adjourn
And so all hell let loose
putting the last knot in our dear Tikva’s noose.
Down and under she went
spirit, strength and wings all spent
Down and under she went
laying sprawled at her predator’s tent.
Gutted of all pep, perk and song
the songbird lay as a cloth so wrung
How she crawled to her watcher no one knows
for she did suffer many blows
And now healing with all feelings numb
she awaits an absolution that might never come.

P.S.
2014 was an average year till this December. I made the worst mistake of my life this month and I will live with it for the rest of my life. But it’s fine really. I always bounce right back up. Just give me a few weeks.
My name is Tikva.
My name is Hope.
Adebayo baby, there’s no one else I’d rather be watched by.

 

“Bad things don’t happen at once. They steal upon us in bits and pieces. In fractions and decimal places. One little bad decision after another.”

Follow Janus and I on twitter @tele_ola and @Janus_aneni

Abiku

Colder than the breath of Iku himself
egbon has come, slippery as an eel yet again
with mien as a shield
immune to the loud silence
as Iya Agba lay
spent in her mess.
Baba murdered infants in the war
and Iya Agba spat into Osun
a juvenile fool
but what is my own sin that you torment me so?
As flowers to a bee
As feces to a fly
I call you egbon, listen to my cry.

Oh Ika, ancient though you bawl
Irunmole buruku, timeless though you crawl
Have mercy on these children of men
Forget their blunders of before when
they knew of your wrath and unforgiveness.
Accept their offerings
appeasements being made
since before Maami bore me
for they are old and worn
this is a battle you have won.
Aburo, think of me
as you close your eyes in mock
I promise to follow you
To the river
To the market
To the end of the earth if you want
Only wait and play with me.
By Baba’s shriveling loins I swear
Not one scar on your body
Who would dare?
Egbon mi, Aburo mi
Stay
Let me be your protector
Till Iku your accomplice
takes me when my years are done
be-shielding only you.

 

Glossary

Iku -Death

Egbon  – Elder sibling 

Iya Agba – Older mother

Baba – Father

Osun – River goddess of fertility in Yoruba land

Ika – Wicked one

Irunmole buruku – Terrible demon

Maami – My mother

Aburo – Younger sibling

 

N.B.

I’ve always been fascinated with Wole Soyinka and JP Clark’s Abiku poems, and thus this was borne from them both. Wole Soyinka writes from the perspective of a proud Abiku who feels no remorse whatsoever about the pain he causes while JP Clark tells the story from the side of a relative begging the Abiku to stay.

Butterfly

Tears are not enough
What did you assume, little fool?
You think your spine is curved for no reason?
Wailing will profit nothing
sobbing and weeping will not suffice.
As your eyes can never empty
the curve will never straighten.
Embrace the wet dust
then you’ve only just begun.
If mucus were wine
surely you’d be drunk.
Keep at it, furrow your brows
Calluses and scars
Blood and sweat
Wrinkles and age
These be the only propitiations you can make
Because tears will never be enough.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Every time I am under duress, my already small voice becomes smaller, fading away with each blow life or the devil delivers, until my mouth produces squeaks barely audible to whichever perplexed person is listening and I eventually become mute as I stop talking altogether and become wrapped in my misery.
I like to think that I am not a lazy person but sometimes when challenges come, my first reaction is to stop and let the lamentations spill through my eyes, like a few days ago when I was just celebrating a successful August and looking to shock myself and colleagues by steadily climbing higher this September, and then all of a sudden, a brick wall just sprang up in front of me, right in the face of my joy. I hate that I cry at these times. I hate the weak feel it gives and the frail person it projects me as but try as I may (and have in past times to no avail), my frown always gives way to salty leaks.
Ironically, I feel better after a good cry. So much better that only after tearing up can I function normally again. Only after sobbing and thinking of how the universe is against me am I usually more alert, as I am now, barricading my feelings and emotions, preparing to wave off future blows.
My smiles these days are more from self-pity. I keep comparing myself to friends that have achieved what I am still dreaming of but I find that I am being ungrateful. There are thousands in this country that will be happy to have even half of what I own so I try to replace my stupid self-pity smile with one of gratitude and hope.
I’ll keep pressing forward, bending my back to the full glare of the sun with SZA’s Omega and Sia’s Titanium sending me to sleep when it has set.
Lol.
Look at me talking like I have a choice.

Shalom.

Monster

Hello guys. I have quasipoetry today (I think) and it’s in form of a narrative in two parts. Please share what you think you see in the comments section. Thank you.

I

Master left at dawn

on the last day of the rains

with a little wave, a few tears and a promise to return.

Bound, voices laughing in my head

my songs and moans echoing to the mountain tops

where I roam free only at starlight.

I have heard tales of the sun

how it burns and destroys all in its path

how it reduces my kind to soul-less shadows.

Isn’t master a god?

Coming and going all these seasons?

Festering wounds and burst blisters,

bloody metal and my putrid stench.

Death must come to all things one way or another.

Awash with blinding light,

murmuring last words in deluded sanctity,

awaiting my screams and sure demise,

birds erupt in songs sweet, breaths are lungful and sweeter.

Where, oh death is now thy sting?

Master never told a lie

surely I will meet my end.

Puzzling and musing on this new mystery,

master returns with the love in his eyes

“Why do you wish to leave me and become a soul-less ghoul?”

My god and master never told a lie.

The cold darkness welcomes me

for in shackles is where I belong.

I am, after all, a monster.

 

II

The fire has gone out

smoke rising as from a funeral pyre

smelling of sweat, infatuation and saliva

of lust and unbridled passion

floating into the thick darkness as unholy incense

leaving them groping

he for reason, she for sanity.

Songs by the shore replaced with throaty growls

as she unveils herself

daughter of Eve, ever disloyal

mother of sin, ever unfaithful.

Flee, oh gentleman, heed my voice

head for your light

before she engulfs you in eternal icy blackness

bid her farewell.

Leave her be in her evil form.

 

 

 

P.S. – There’s a monster in all of us. Let they that love you gird you in shackles.

 

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