OPEN She is a vagrant poem,a cautionary tale,an old story,an open book. Her belly opensand pages fly from it.Words fall to feet,letters flood the floor,questions mark her steps. Like Sylvia, she straddles,and stumbles. Who will put her backtogether again‌What will bind herand bring her to a close‌ AUTHOR: Lola Shoneyin (in full, Títílọlá Atinúkẹ́ Alexandrah Shónẹ́yìn);Continue reading “NAIJA POETRY 25: Open”

NAIJA POETRY 24: Your Vote Counts!

YOUR VOTE COUNTS! Nigeria the land our fathers fought foris now a place where ours leaders are reaping from.The masses are being exploited by the same people they elected into power.The youths are now left with no jobs.Graduates are forced to become thugs and criminals all becausethey have no other means of survival. Nigeria hasContinue reading “NAIJA POETRY 24: Your Vote Counts!”

NAIJA POETRY 23: A Walk on the Plateau

A Walk on the PlateauBarkin Ladi, near Jos, Nigeria 1walls of cactuses, a dark path:an invasion of shadowsannounces identities of armsand whispers shedding names, the womenmelt into shadows into lights,blooming, like melons – voices and shadowsa happy hysteria – benita’s bar ladi’s night is wrinkledwith cold, importunate, prolonged,hiding behind the reigning rocks –a divided view,Continue reading “NAIJA POETRY 23: A Walk on the Plateau”

NAIJA POETRY 22: Praise For The Inner Lining Of My Morphing Apparel

THEME: Some countries give new meaning to dress codes, not only dictating what their citizens wear, but also enforcing strict measures with fines and imprisonment— Fashion Police(s). Satin worn past twelve is buttoned satire. all that glam spent, unstarching uniform grains. low-waist silk & the sagging yarn, both heavy with polymer sweat. mother sow cottonContinue reading “NAIJA POETRY 22: Praise For The Inner Lining Of My Morphing Apparel”

NAIJA POETRY 21: The New Nigerian

Chosen for a reasonIn a seasonNot by the dozenBut individuallyTo be bornA NigerianOne who can runThrough the thorns of lifeWithout being cutBy its spikesInto a familyBy a parentWho will not relentMaking fervent prayersFor the childIn anticipationOf the tribulationsThat lay ahead The New Nigerian:One with talentsSilent but efficientMore active than motivesHelping to liveAbove the perceptionOf corruptionMakingContinue reading “NAIJA POETRY 21: The New Nigerian”

NAIJA POETRY 19: I Am Leah Sharibu (abridged)

Dedicated to Leah Sharibu the Christian girl still in Boko Haram Captivity, and to all other captives who have not been rescued I am Leah SharibuI am NigeriaI am a captiveTaken from my homeAway from love and careNow I live in fearIn the midst of the unknownI am Leah SharibuI am Nigeria I am LeahContinue reading “NAIJA POETRY 19: I Am Leah Sharibu (abridged)”

NAIJA POETRY 18: When The Monuments …

For Walter Rodney and Ngugi wa Thiong’o When the monuments to our pastare whittled down by new factsand our dew drops of changeare sacrificed on the altar of state security,we awake to the knowledge thatpebbles lodged in muddy pondsmust grow muddy with time… Now that our messiahs have chased our dreamsfrom the sacred corners ofContinue reading “NAIJA POETRY 18: When The Monuments …”

NAIJA POETRY 17: Say Me A Prayer

If in my sleep tonight I cut the ropesAnd hear not the bell that wakes the daySay me a prayerThat all may carry my songs to darkCorners and sing light to their sight.That the dusts which gather at my feet mayPaint pious portraits on all walls. Say me a prayerThat my hands may once againContinue reading “NAIJA POETRY 17: Say Me A Prayer”

NAIJA POETRY 16: Always Remember

Always remember to forgetThe things that made you sadBut never forget to rememberThe things that made you glad. Always remember to forgetThe friends that proved untrueBut never forget to rememberThose that have stuck by you. Always remember to forgetThe troubles that have passed awayBut never forget to rememberThe blessings that come each day. AUTHOR: Albashir AdamContinue reading “NAIJA POETRY 16: Always Remember”

NAIJA POETRY 15: Corn Rows

‘Those rows in the backfield, they need more water, ‘Mom whispered.‘More cow dung, ‘ Dad claimed.I guess he meant more carefully manicured manure. It’s not as if I am new to this old field.It’s not as if I am a hired hand or something. I have planted these rows before, seen rainchange to sunshine, changeContinue reading “NAIJA POETRY 15: Corn Rows”