Journeying through Abeokuta one morning, a fleet of motorists sped out of the jam and soaked the air in reckless dust. An hour later, I came across a suicide scene: a silent woman wavering on the bridge.
A dawn of dim feathers; the road spat
Loud, a new mist of robot chaos
Where limbs were groves of lust, rouse
Beneath throngs of screech and curse
A faint dark in the wind, not voice-froths
Whom the morning had made all one with the soft
Receding shadow, stale shafts of night
The highway split is rounded by dwarfs, double-tiered
And strange procession on the flick of time
Offers a brown-rimed brew—of a lone sheath freed
From presences nocturnal, brown-eyed, brows brown
Shaped by the saddened hour. The light awaited harvest
Of the winding breeds when air was brown,
Brown as furrowed bricklayer beard shrivelled off
The brown-wings of the sun
Brown season it was—nostril
Draws breath in dew-wet ash, eternal to the soul…
Eternal to me comes the brush of feet
In sweet sprint of gore-shone death,
Sepia Photo credit – Pelumi Kayode
But it arose—
A strange image, when yet I saw
Sudden form at the haze
Of death’s brown consul, slouched
Despair of moth-plagued fur at embrace
Of the lingering guardian trough, silent as the world
And in that moment broke her tear of libation,
The brown suds of her heart. A racing cloud
Sunk her chin, for death she had known
First reaper of the dust to time’s scorn,
Pale-eyed of the blurry dome… yet such
Startled pause at the hem she knew
Now the trench teems with grief,
Joyful rite from the vicious deep
Brown was I, then, witness though
I spied the world through her eyes,
A human will indifferent to the hour’s passion
Shrunk in my ears, rose rueful
The imprecations of all humanity…
Woman, you must stretch out
Like the sky. And shred your soul
Against the brown belly of the morning river
Postscript: a poem which illustrates the tragic and fragile paradox of human survival in the spectacle of a suicide scene.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Oyin Oludipe lives and writes in Nigeria. He is the recipient of the 2013 WRR Poetry Beacon Prize. His poetry, essays, and reviews have been featured or are forthcoming in Radar Poetry Journal, The Guardian, Afrikana.ng, Africanwriter.com, Arts and Africa, Akewi Arts House, The Provo Canyon Review, The Bombay Review, Image Magazine of the University of Ibadan, and others. In 2015, he was a judge for the Green Author Prize, a literary award for young unpublished poets in Nigeria.
Voidness pervades my empty soul
Sadness drums for my legs to dance
The endless longing for your presence
Sings melodious dirges to my heart
I stand at this troubled crossroad looking down the path you took
Will you ever come back?
To the waiting embrace of my caring arms
Shielding you away from those biting rays.
Memories rain sorrow on my being
And endless thoughts of you crumble my wills.
I was a prisoner
Trapped in the barricaded walls of your arms
And I was happy, for you filled my life
With the silent touching of your smile…
Not long, Death came and pushed me out of there
And I was left with emptiness
Because I have emptied my life in you.
The pallbearers, carried my joy shoulder high
To an eternal chasm
Now, I am free, living for nothing
And I was left with emptiness
And I was left with a silent void.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Oredola Ibrahim, the winner of Inspiring Brilliance Foundation National Poetry Award 2012, believes in poetry as a tool for self discovery and ultimately, a potential tool for national transformation. His poetry delves into popular themes like politics, love and inspiration. Oredola Ibrahim is the convener of WhatsApp Poetry Contest, a periodic competition organized on the platform of “The Penclan Initiative” (www.penclan.com). He is a campus journalist, a student-entrepreneur and a web designer. He’s currently a student of the University of Ibadan. He tweets @platolaw and can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Time’s moving fast
Behind me is my past
Don’t know what deed will be my last
Can I live without God?
What’s my life without my Lord?
Lord before you break my life’s cord
Make my deeds follow your word
My life is far from pure
Dear Lord I need a cure
Everyday I see the devil’s lure
My epithet – a spiritual amateur
Brain – the wheel of thoughts! Source: Internet images.
Lost is my glory
So sad is my story
When I’m gone what shall be my memory
How shall the world write my history
I was born to die
And I know I only laugh to cry
But when in my grave I lie
To eat me will the ants be shy?
What shall be my lot?
Joy or hurt?
Lord when I’m in your Court
Do not judge me like the people of Lot
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Durodola Folarin Quadri. Born on the first of January 1991. I attended the university of Ibadan as a student of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering. Editor-in-Chief of the departmental press organisation. I like books and one of the best I ever read was Living, Loving and Learning by Professor Felice Leonardo Buscaglia. I enjoy sports and computer games. Poetry gives me succour when I write about how I feel. Most times I write based on real situations because they inspire me more than imagination. I’m quiet and sometimes I’m being labelled as shy, while some simply say I’m an introvert.
Came into your life unnoticed,
when it seems people do not recognize your existence,
when you feel odd among your peers.
Tried to straighten your life style that seems not to be meaningful,
Just because nothing can really define the kind of life you live.
Has always been standing even though sometimes
you feel you do not worth standing for.
The lifestyle you live is not because you want it,
just that you have always longed for that person that
will encourage you to get into that more exciting and fulfilled live.
Did not promise to be there during the storm,
but it is amazing that the rain couldn’t wash away that friendship
and its still standing.
Now laughs at your dry jokes,
Gives a shoulder to lean on and listening ears for your complaints and cries.
Has always been there to love you,
Care and pray for you
Sees the sorrows behind the smiles,
Understands when you scream and yell.
Believes in your dreams,
Has patience to protect your heart,
Has hopes in your dry bones.
Understands what it means to be there for you,
Doesn’t need to make promises when the sun is shining.
That one person.
About the Author
Olaitan Taiwo is a graduate of Economics from the University of Ibadan. She is a Make-up Artist who loves writing and currently an Editor for The Unity Magazine. She is an individual who believes in independence and advocates for girl child education. She is a creative lady who sees possibilities in difficulties. She is a listener focused on sharing her experiences to help young girls who are faced with life challenges. She is the brain behind the girlfriend’s club, a platform towards the outstanding performance of the girl child. She is also into the HIV/AIDS awareness and education.