I am sometimes called a poet, though I don’t self-identify as a poet. I am a person who likes the feel of words… in any language. I love how words trip out of the mouth, how they express and conceal, how they can sound like noise and music, love and hate. I often wake up in the morning and write short verses for myself, to express, to feel and to conceal. Here are a few I have written over the years… some have titles, some do not. Enjoy.
Sometimes equality is…
Too quiet a word,
Too small a word,
A not-enough word,
A word not able to bear the weight of yesterday,
Not strong enough to carry tomorrow’s visions…
Sometimes equality does not say enough.
A RÍ SE L’A RÍ KÀ, A RÍ KÀ BABA ÌRÈGÚN…
The things we do are the things that can be spoken about
Eventually we boast of spoken things
Then today’s boasts become tomorrow‘s legends
‘Each morning testifies that I have not been given over to darkness
Each morning says, “try again”
Each morning is courage
Each morning is joy.’’
INSERT YEAR HERE (because it works for every year)
Time changes nothing.
Time passes and we engage in the same crimes,
Call them new names and beat our chests in pride at how progressive we are.
This is 2019.
The human heart can still dream up the darkest atrocities.
The human mind can still justify them, coldly.
This is 2019.
There are some experiences for which there is no metaphor
There are some dreams for which there is no present structure
But still they exist.
Some are satisfied with the cosmetic changes we call progress
But I want a completely different world from the one we have
I have no time for mediocre dreams or half-hearted visions
And though the world has not completely failed me.
For some the world is only blood and tears.
An open grave, a living nightmare, the picture of hell itself
If we cannot imagine a world where everyone is free
We do not imagine a world, but perdition
As long as there is a sliver of hope for utopia
I will dream of a world.
I will dream of paradise.
Weaving words into the wind
Casting stories into the grey gaze of winter’s sun
Hoping they may be borne by the breeze
Set free from centuries of silence
Find fertile fields
Fruits to be borne once again into the wind.
To freely fly.
There is no non-violent revolution;
You were met with violence before you were born.
As you were forcefully expelled from your mother’s body,
You opened your eyes to a violent world.
The violence began long before you resolved to resist it.
There is no non-violent revolution.
THE WICKED AND THE WRETCHED
Sometimes the wicked live long,
The evil they’ve done so steeped in their bones,
That the earth delays its calling song,
So that easy may rest the early dead,
For a while at least…
There is no oppression in the grave.
Side by side we lie, when we die.
We give thanks in Nigeria each day we don’t die,
Each day our aching eyes are able to open up to another day under the scorching sun, We give praise each day that we are not dead…
Life should be more than this,
More than a celebration of the absence of personal death.
It is the spaces between the words that shape us,
The gaps between the lines that make us.
We are made from silence.