Initiation

Before midday this sun now sets
This book now reads itself
My sister now wishes I were
Her father.

This thing has led me away
Brazen-faced clasp
By-and-by, crawling
To the nights
An adjuration to sleep
     with a blanket in case
The clouds burst.

Vicious voices
Pachydermatous palms
Distressed drums
Wasted waists
Innocuous initiation.

HOLLOW

The sun adores
        your gold-rimmed tyres
Screeching
Melodies on your marble roads

Naked eyes and brown teeth
Lurk- invisibly
Around your visible compound
Separated
Low, suspicious wall
Evil gate which strolls, ‘éémo’

These naked eyes
See your children’s blindness
Brown, indignant teeth that
   love your kola but hate you for
Stains, decay
Seeking to taste your blood-
Perhaps, brown go red, love’s own colour

The cloud resents their heads
Torrents lift roofs
Fearlessly
Send landlords scampering
Jackboots stumping pedestrian paths
Shameful stains from mud splash
Your armoured machines
Stampeding their brothers
For generous tokens
Floating in the air, freshly minted
Released from silver-laced hands
Hands of god.

Their children see your children
With clear vision.
Keep their faces in  the tight
Grip of their middle-class brown teeth
Whispering, not in Queen’s English
You use to keep them down,
But native tongues
You refused to teach your children
Perhaps, one day, through it,
They overpower you.

No Less

We say mainstreaming
You pay lip service
We say inclusion and rights
You label angry, single feminist
We say quotas
You shout get a dream- like Sarah J
We say career
You demand kitchen service

You say head
We shout neck
You say cooks and servants
We say you’re courting hunger
You say it’s your rib
We say we’re made of the same stuff
There are so many things you want to say
But we don’t want to hear

You want a clean pant after soiling many- we love cleanliness too
You want to pat your ego- can we get a suite for ours?
You want to do as you want- we want resources too
You want entertainers and cheerleaders- we want to be on the high table too

You can
But who says we can’t?

Remember

Lover of my youth,
Mist of my young eyes,
Art that my curious hands adore,
My whole body shivers,
Like a hundred years slave.

Throw caution to the winds.
Disown common sense.
Forget about everything.
Stay with me.
As a dog at the shrine of my lies,
Worship.

I took all in.
And became clueless.
Not dumb shit.
Just remember,
Anytime I cross your mind,
I, too, am capable of emotions.
I, too, am human.
I, too, can take risks.
Don’t call it senseless.
Love is already senseless.

A Material Figment

I discovered
A way under the sun
I unmasked
A face of the supreme being
I beheld
With my eyes a face of HIS creation
The clues pointed at her.

I saw
An image of Him
Eyes that glowed like stars
Precious hair not Peruvian
A face that spoke good things
A smile that dug cheek holes
Legs that tripped other legs
I saw Valentine
In her.

Then- in a flash
I saw- no more.

TRAVAILS

Listen to the voice of the preacher,
Wailing
Restlessly shaking the earth
Speaking redemption to the full maturation of the sun

Your bodies soaked
In distress
Sour sweats dripped
Everywhere
On the surface of the field
Your feet heeded distant calls
Of strange Salsa patterns
Eyes that did not tremble
Hands that fixed its gaze in solemn dedication

Listen O ye that travails

Living your life to the fullest
Cold gulps of reckless moments in familiar company
Every night to the fair skinned attraction
Lo, the offering of her breasts and secret powers
You sell caution- to the wind
Spending eternity- on frugal acts
Of wild pleasures

The toil
The joy
Drowning and drowning
Every day- for thirty years now
Poor old soul
“Twelve books of Ecclesiastes, or the preacher”,
The preacher advised,
“Can save whatever number remaineth”.

Ife Adedeji (IA, 2014).
(A product of relief. Of a messianic appreciation for the book of the preacher. This may yet be the best book I have read).