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.

 

Do follow on twitter @tele_ola

 

The Coming

I come to you

with sweet words

with my heart as a flower in spring

the truth on my teeth

my head full of tales from when I was young

when you were all I thought and ate and saw

when you laughed and I dreamed

when silence meant happiness.

I come to you

my hopes riding on the clouds

that we would fall and we would stand

we would cry and we would laugh

in synchrony, each with the other

standing the test of time

strengthening the ties that bind.

I come to you

my arms outstretched

wanting the embrace that calmed me

wielding an olive branch

a tune in my head

a song on my lips

“Come to the middle

the middle is just fine.

Fine for a truce

a truce that satisfies .

A satisfaction that makes us come

a coming to joy.”

 

 

Claimer

  • I really do have a tune in my head for the last six lines.

Nitor

Janus: Ehm..hi guys? I had to show up here. Somehow. How’s your..?

T-baby: >_>

Janus: Okay, okay..today’s offering is Teleola’s. The next voice you shall hear is hers.

I’m out.

NITOR.

I rise
from my bed too short, from my blanket too narrow.
We have turned, again, to the sun
and the tears fall as the dawn breaks.
Thump-thump-thump-thump
like a mouse’s pulse.
Unlike Atlas I know not my sin
but like him I carry it all
all on scrawny stunted shoulders.
Weak, frail, forsaken
Yeshua, save me.

I tilled my land and spread my oats
spring in step I cast my seeds.
The sun came and turned green brown
the sun came and burned it all down.
I fell seven, stood seven and some
seven and some miserly inches.
Dark tunnels, too far their lights
this dark tunnel, an ending not in sight.
Head bent, I asked when it will end.
Silence.
Taciturn Yeshua.

 

A nudge on my knee
lifting my head, a figure is before me
“What is this tug on my sleeve?
Little girl, who are you, what is this pull?”
She pulls me through memories of times past and the journey to my here.
Thump-thump, Thump-thump
Of course I am human.
She leads me to my bed, now, not so short
my blanket, now, not so narrow
singing odes that lull me to sleep
while I dream dreams long forgotten.
I am in awe of what she can do.
This little girl called Hope.

Teleola

________________________________________________

Nitor translates to Hope, in some arcane language I think.

DO follow us on Twitter @janus_aneni and @tele_ola

GOD Bless Nigeria.

The Feathers 2

This is a sequel to The Feathers which I posted last week. I thought about it and here I am. Do read the first to follow.

For my Sunshine, ‘Bayo.

__________________________________________________________________________________

The tale of we three

continues two seasons after the last.

Good twin farther than I wish

the spitter, a frequent caress on my skin.

We three weaving our nests

with twigs, grass and toast-coloured leaves.

Good twin bearing colourful petals from her northward pilgrim,

the spitter donning hues obtained by blood.

I, searching to the world’s end

strong twigs and some white hibiscuses.

But things, as always, go wrong

maybe for good or better.

Ever so slowly I forge my path, alone.

Picking the maize I do love and storing for the rains

with Sunshine by my side

making my living worth chirping.

Brightening my days,

assuring me of plentiful harvest

where the land will be filled with long ears

and my beak with fat grains.

Both twin and spitter gradually forgotten

their feathers deep in Mother Earth

replaced by the sun’s colorful rays

on my long black wings.

I am still friends with them though. But…. You know how it is.

The Feathers

A true life story in poetry.

I wrote this poem in my second year in the university. ASUU was on strike too (go figure). Yemisi was in her room packing some clothes to go home and I was watching her. Shayo had left days before. As Yemisi packed her bags, I wrote. This is the only poem I have written within minutes; I started as she opened the bag to put her clothes and when she was done, I put it in her purse. To me, it is the best darn thing I ever wrote and I have kept it jealously since then. I am posting it now because Janus once told me that if I never let go of what I think is my good stuff, I might never write anything better. I wrote a part 2 two years later and will share it if I get a good response to this.

For Yemisi and Shayo.

With love.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

I met a bird when I was young.

It spat at me and I spat back

but it flew away.

After three rains, it returned with a flower for me

and we played, ate and slept together.

It brought its friends, twins, the next season.

We became quadruplets and though we did fight over the best worms,

we remained together.

But of the twins, one had a bad squawk

and we never really did get along.

Double seasons later, the bird with the bad squawk left.

We trio moved to the South for greener pasture,

met other birds and it all started to tumble down.

I loved corn, good twin and the spitter, rice.

They flew away most of the time to satisfy their appetites.

Loneliness crept in and I found comfort in other flocks

but I missed them so.

They stayed away longer each time they went

‘cause they did see others that loved rice.

Now, the rains have come twice and will be here soon.

I have seen others like me and another that makes me happy.

The twin and the spitter seldom fly to see me

and  no matter how hard we try, it can never be like it was.

I know one day these flights will stop

but I have two feathers from them each

and will cherish them when the owners are long gone.