HOW DEAD MEN COME BACK HOME by Kanyinsola Olorunnisola

HOW DEAD MEN COME BACK HOME by Kanyinsola Olorunnisola


by Kanyinsola Olorunnisola

[for Safia Elhillo, after her collection, “Asmarani”]
We only mourn dead men, so why do
you grieve for a man whose name takes
on a life in your mouth? The way his songs
pour you back into a minstrel in search of a
melody is a story I have lived myself. A singer
died the year I was born & [wo]men poured
from balconies [you know the drill]. He went
by the name Fela Kuti [which means he could
never die]. Unlike you chose halim, I didn’t
choose him. He found his way into my poems,
a reminder that my people lost their way a long
time ago with no remorse whatsoever. Both of
us have found a way to bring them back home
even though we do not know if we are their shade
of preference [does he mean you by “asmarani”?].



 Kanyinsola Olorunnisola is a poet, essayist & writer of fiction. His work discusses anxiety, brokenness, [in]sanity, existential torment, grief & the black body as a warfront  – things typical happy people write about.  He has an unhealthy obsession with Ziggy Stardust, Lana del Rey, magical realism, James Baldwin, the Beat Generation & Golden Age Hollywood movies.

A lucky fellow, his writings have appeared in Brittle Paper, Kalahari Review, Bombay Review, Lunaris Review, African Writer,, Bird’s Thumb, Gyroscope Review & elsewhere. He is the founder of the SPRINNG Literary Movement.

His chapbook, “In My Country, We’re All Crossdressers” is forthcoming, courtesy of Praxis. He is currently working on his first full-length, “How Dead Men Come Back Home”. Say hello on Twitter/Instagram @K_tops

THE RULERS OF RULERS by ‘Kunle Adebajo

THE RULERS OF RULERS by ‘Kunle Adebajo

Many years ago, from the days of yore
We learnt fine tales from fair folklore

Of men who got bored of poultry-farming
And thus made for some thrilling enslaving

They ruled and ruined, they even became gods
Other lads’ sweats were their daily cuds

They lied, saying we are the electorate
When really we have no mandate to elect our fate

They said the people possess the sovereign power
Perhaps what they intended was suffering power
Source: Photo Credit: Mana Neyastani

Photo Credit: Mana Neyastani

They promised us seventh heaven on earth
Only to later appease with ‘life after death’

They oppressed, suppressed and often repressed
Buttons of tyranny they endlessly pressed

They got drunk from the calabash of power
And sunk into shame, high as the Eiffel tower

Seeing as few men molest his virgin land
The Good Lord blessed some men with ken and pen

These arose to battle, they arose to fight
With the pen, they placed next to the tunnel some light

With words, they fed the hungry
And with words, they freed the sundry

They are the tapes of reason, the rulers of rulers
They are the keen ‘Benjamins’ and incubi of ‘Squealers’

They are the daring vanguards of journalism
Wielding placards against the dons of Nazism

Their pens have again lined the clouds with silver
Their quills have caused ‘the gods’ to quit and quiver

‘Kunle Adebajo is a potential colossus at law, honing his skills at the shores of Nigeria’s premier university, University of Ibadan. Sadly the waves of poetry, oratory, writing and generally not minding his business have diverted his attention from the Isle to the endless majesty of the sea. In his trance, he has discovered that there are a thousand roads which lead to the doorstep of justice. He however hopes to retrace his footsteps to the law books soon enough. When he is not writing or preparing for a speech, he fantasises about life as a married man.



The giant of the black continent,
locked up in the den of dwarfs,
looking haggard with overgrown hair,
she must be very old,
for her head is a fountain of grey leaves,
and these wrinkles come only with old age,
The king of the jungle
with a roar that begins the songs of mockery,
these claws are sharp,
they must have torn apart
the skins of preys during war
and this bushy mane is not for a cub,
Happy Independence Day to Nigeria! Source:

Happy Independence Day to Nigeria!

The Super Eagle of the skies
with wings clipped like an emu
and can barely fly
when expected to soar,
the span of these wings are wide
and these sunken eyes is only for a Mother Eagle
The land of milk and honey
where dairy owners starve to death
and landlords are milked by tenants,
until the lips of their pockets got glued
and could no longer swallow a drop of honey
produced by swarms of bees in their own hives.
There was a Nigeria,
known as a nation of enviable jewels
where all birds wanted to build their nests
and all beasts wanted to graze her pasture,
where peace and justice were citizens
and not sons lost in exile
dining with only those who live in foreign lands.
P.S.: This is for a sober reflection as the most populous black nation in the world, Nigeria celebrates 55 years of Independence.


Osho Samuel Adetunji is a graduate of Mechanical Engineering from Nigeria’s premier University, University of Ibadan. He is a budding poet, a blogger, a Public Speaker, an on air personality with a knack for short stories, inspirational articles and poems. He is a great thinker, creative and dexterous young man who does not only believe in excellence but also extols the tenets of discipline, hard work and effectiveness.



& if at all the world wants to write about me

Tell them to remember this country: Its broken body.

The sketches of tears that litter everywhere.

& if at all the world craves to sing my name

Tell them to echo the names of boys covered

with leaves. Tell them to scribble the names of girls

raped till their thighs bled, till their cries

vanished in the wind of silence.

& if at all the world carves me a plaque

Remember to tell them about unbuilt monuments
for people devoured by earthquake, people left
with shattered hearts, people buried like
dead dogs, like the bits of a broken glass.
Happy Independence Day to Nigeria. Source:

Happy Independence Day to Nigeria.


Remember to tell them about lives limping in

the fire that leaks the rusty roof of this country.


& if at all my song tickles your ears

Remember the woman next door,

the one clutching the photograph of her
bombed son. Remember the man waiting to

explore a dumpster for wastes.

Remember this country and its fate,

its history full of lengthy dirges.



& if at all tomorrow comes with laughter

breaking the tunnels of our throats

Remember the poet that

remembers this country.


P.S.: This is for a sober reflection as the most populous black nation in the world, Nigeria celebrates 55 years of Independence.


Rasaq Malik is a graduate of the University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria. His poems have appeared in Connotation Press, Heart Online Journal, Jalada, Saraba, Sentinel, African Writers, New Black Magazine, Kalahari Review, and elsewhere. He believes writing is an act of healing, an art that transcends the world, that survives every death.

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