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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Celebration of Love?

He said
I was his only love
but there are five
of us
in the hut

he brought one cow
for the dowry
and I learnt later
it was stolen
the promise to provide
and care is
evident in my stringy neck
and haunted eyes
am chased
for street hawking

Late at night
I fence off
his groping paws
on my bruised and tired limbs

Tonight he says
we must celebrate
his sixth bride
am looking forward
to my release
as I serve him
a kegful of palm wine
laced with the finest arsenic.

bridal bargain

he was king and she
a maiden
brought to the dance
to please his bed

he asked for
bridal discount

when asked to pay
as dowry

ten snow leopards
from the virgin forest
hundred and fifty goats
with white beards
two fresh elephant ears
soaked in five kegs
of dew- fresh palm wine

the maid looked at his pale skin
his balding pate
and frame
moaned to her father
it is still too cheap a bargain

Monday, December 6, 2010

mirror in the sun

he was a lion
imperious in speech and manner
we all stood in dread
of his every word.

one evening she walked in
he took one look at her
and sold his cows
called the chief priest
to sound the gong
of his impending nuptials.
next morning
we found him dead
and no sign
of the new queen.

it is coming
with each dawn
I watch
her potholed tongue
from ground tobacco
and her smile.

My heart strains
as I return
her one tooth

I am afraid to
maybe it will
the coming gloom

How shall I tell
that the tobacco
is all gone
to pay the bills.

as Christmas

Saturday, November 27, 2010

sometimes it is painful to laugh.

my computer crashed
so did my affair
with him,
all my documents
took flight
back to Muse
he also returned
to his wife
and I moaned
more the loss of ideas
and feel relief
from his groping passion
that left me hungrier
than when he came.

She told me:
he is my son
the first gift of my womb
and of my pain
as soldiers line
six deep
at high noon
to return to him
the fruits of his labors

the roar of the watching crowd
and cries of those he had sent
sometimes at dawn
to their deaths
were sound beds to her request.
she said,
I have suckled him
with hopes of a better day
but he laughed and scorned
as I wept and moaned
now dry eyed
she watched unflinching
as the guns boomed
his body limp
on the drums to which
it was staked.

She signed the papers
to take him away
for burial.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Imole Ife

School was over and Ife was running with her friends towards the gate. Dust and flying bags they made it out of the gate towards the main street. They laughed as they saw the other girls caught up in the squeeze to be first out of the gate. There never was any need to rush but they always did. It could be from the excitement of heading home now. Ife had her school box balanced neatly on her head as she skipped and wondered if she should finally spend her lunch money. Her best friend Josephine came close to her and looked solemn.
“What is the matter?”
“You have not heard?”
“They say Joana did not make it from that malaria, she died”.
They stared at each other and Ife sighed. They walked for a few minutes more in silence and Josephine had tears in her eyes. Ife noticed that and was horrified.
“Don’t cry, you are pouring coals on Joana when you cry. It will upset her and you would not hear what she wants to tell you. I have seen her, she is okay now, prettier and really happy. No more pain you know”, Ife counseled.
Josephine turned and gave her friend a very strange look. She sighed and in a soft voice commented, “Really? How do you know about such things anyway?”
Ife looked at her eyebrows raised, “what do you mean, how? Anyone can see you know you just refused to see”
Josephine was uncomfortable and Ife noticed that she was looking everywhere but at her and she got angry and started walking away. Josephine ran to catch up panting.
“I meant nothing”, she tried to mollify her friend. Ife knew why her friend had paused and she was irritated because she didn’t know what else to say as she was tired of being seen as strange or ‘Ogbanje as Josephine said she was called. She didn’t know which she minded more, being seen as ‘Ogbanje” which was the Igbo definition for a spirit child or Abiku which also meant the same thing or the Hausa meaning which was ‘Iska”
She had gradually learnt to accept that her friends and father’s wives saw her differently from how she saw herself. The fact that she was always very ill with one strane ailment or the other had made them sure of her strangeness. She did not feel strange but there was precious little she could do about people’s opinion. She knew what Josephine was thinking just now.
What that meant was that she was seen as a spirit child who could faint at will and visit her spirit kingdom. Spirit children had what was called spirit mates that they discussed with and could visit. She was suspected of hiding her pact stone and was always accused of being hard hearted in not taking pity on her mother. They assumed that she talked to her ‘mates’ and each time she denied, her mother will shake her head and sigh. She was upset because she never saw anyone and was not aware of any discussion with anyone and each time she tried to convince her friends they only stared at her as Josephine was doing now.
She sighed and started walking towards home. Her father was a policeman and she knew he would be home as he was on the afternoon shift. She smiled as she thought of him and quickened her steps. He was the only one who made sense in her world. The others were in the habit of treating her either with suspicion or with horrified awe.
There was a strained silence between her and her friend as they both were considering their thoughts, suddenly her happy nature got to the surface and she smiled at her friend asking her if she would share bean cakes or would simply take some ‘fura’ with her. Her friend smiled and they both walked towards the woman frying the bean cakes.
As she stretched her hand to request for bean cakes she froze and gulped, cocking her ears to the side as if listening then abruptly turned away running. Josephine stared and ran after her. She caught up and tugged on Ife’s skirts whirling her round.
Ife had a surprised look on her face and panted in some anxiety.
Josephine held her still, ‘what is the matter?”
“My brother, he has fainted at home, I must call him back.” Ife said her voice full of anxiety and haste.
“How do you know about that, and what do you intend to do?” Josephine asked shocked and frightened.
“I don’t know but I think I can help, come on let’s go now” and she ran all the way home. She met a screaming woman carrying a limp son in her arms. The other wives were all over the place crowding in on the woman all helpless.
Ife gave the boy a quick fast look and saw the threads around him. She saw his white shadow and using her thoughts sharply told him to stop playing pranks and return. She dropped her tin school box and dashed into the middle of the women, took hold of the mother, instructing her to get some chili peppers.
Get some charcoals quick and make a fire, she yelled with so much authority that the screaming stopped instantly. They all stared.
“Do as I say and stop staring”, she dashed into the room and brought out some chili peppers which she sprinkled on the coals the woman had fetched from the kitchen, then she held her brother’s face down to the hot coals as it burned the chili peppers and everybody started coughing moving away, but Ife held her brother’s face down, after a while he sputtered and started coughing and she moved him away too. He opened his eyes and stared at her. She nodded and smiled, handed him over to his mother and then went into the room.
Everybody was stunned, and trailed her to the room but she simply lay down on the bed and said nothing looking exhausted. Then she felt the soft touch of her friend who had been an awed witness to the emergency treatment. Josephine lived in the street behind hers so it was easy to spend long hours in each other’s homes. Ife raised her head and considered her friend.
“He is going to be okay” Ife answered the silent query. There was some movement and she heard the deep voice of her dad, she smiled, relaxing. Things were going to be fine now. He was home, so she closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep.
When she opened her eyes some hours later it was dark and her mother was sitting by her side watching her. She smiled at her mother and asked if Deola (her bother) was fine now. Her mother nodded a yes and still watched her. Her eyes were full of questions and yet Ife sensed the fear. She did not know what to make of it.
“Have you eaten?”, her mother asked breaking her silence.
“No, I can eat now. Where is Papa?”
“He is in the parlor, you want to see him, he already asked after you” her mother supplied.
“Yes” and she rose from the bed heading for the living room they all called parlor.
Her father gave her a smile and asked after her school and she laughed happy to share the day with him. He did not refer to the drama that had happened just before he came and she smiled knowing he was going to ask in his own good time but wanted her to be ready and willing to share. She knew this and was thus at ease. Most times when such things happen she never really could explain. I mean how do you explain just having a conversation in your head with some people you never see or just knowing something even if you have to argue with them sometimes?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Ephesus: She told me:

Ephesus: She told me:: "he is my son the first gift of my womb and of my pain as soldiers line six deep at high noon to return to him the fruits of his labors the ..."

She told me:

he is my son
the first gift of my womb
and of my pain
as soldiers line
six deep
at high noon
to return to him
the fruits of his labors

the roar of the watching crowd
and cries of those he had sent
sometimes at dawn
to their deaths
were sound beds to her request.
she said,
I have suckled him
with hopes of a better day
but he laughed and scorned
as I wept and moaned

now dry eyed

she watched unflinching
as the guns boomed
his body limp
on the drums to which
it was staked.

She signed the papers
to take him away
for burial.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

My name is BABATUNDE 2

Later in the evening, he still smarted from the teasing of his mother and his younger siblings. Their father had marched them back to the farm not saying a word throughout the silent ten kilometer journey. The day at the farm had passed silently. First he had been furious then gradually he wondered how he could have that stupid. Of course there was no such thing as tree spirit. He cringed inwardly at the thought of any of his educated friends who came from rich homes discovering that he had taken to his heels because he met an Iroko tree spirit. He refused to take part in the moonlight tales or offer answers to the riddles.
Those riddles used to interest him as he would attempt to anticipate the answers but he had refused to be drawn and he also noticed that Papa had been more withdrawn. When they came from the farm he had called him aside and questioned him closely about the old man. That had set him wondering why his father had been curious. He saw papa go into the room he slept in alone and close the door. That indicated no one was to approach him. Some two hours later he had emerged in his evening native wear and gone out. It was close to the curfew time and he started worrying if his father was coming back in good time else he if the hunters that watched over the town caught him he would be asked to sell bean cakes for the rest of the night.
It used to amuse him as he wondered if they actually make them sell bean cakes at night and who was going to buy. One night Uncle Osupa had been caught late and he was asked to hawk bean cakes. He remembered not sleeping for most of the night as he listened to the hoarse voice of his uncle going from one end of the street to the other asking people to come and buy bean cakes! His mother had been upset and angry. The next morning though a weakened uncle had laughed at his troubles. He had asked who actually made those bean cakes and uncle had laughed
“It is not real bean cakes son else I would have simply eaten them and given them their money but rocks arranged in a basket”.
“Yes son and well I did not know I had taken such a long time, plus my captor was my friend really”.
“And he could not simply let you go”?
“It is the law. I would have done the same to him, no movement after ten p.m, so” .. he shrugged and groaned flexing his muscles.
It was the emabarassment of being berated by your wife and the women in the house that usually brought the men to their beds early. In a farming village as his , he guessed it was the best way to maintain security. Most men lived often on the farm especially if it was the cocoa season. It was really a tedious job, you cut the cocoa pods and then handed over basket upon baskets of golden yellow cocoa to the women who would sit in a circle around the growing pile, deftly cutting the pods in two and using their hands to empty out the creamy seeds in into big bowls. When he was much younger, he would take scoops of the creamy seeds and suck them. He would get slightly tizzy and chase his sisters round the farm or go crab hunting with his friends.
It was a life he had been very happy with until he got admission into university and he had to leave outside his immediate environment. Each semester, he needed to return to the village so he could work on the farm. It was the only way he could be able to have money to manage his financial needs. Each time he needed to adjust to a different pattern. Rising very early for the farm, having only lunch of sometimes just fruits from the farm and then coming home early evening for the one solid meal which was usually pounded yam with lots of vegetables and the occasional game if Tope had been particularly good.
That was another thing, Tope had a strange way with animals and beliefs too. He said certain types of animals may not be easily killed in case it was some witch or spirit using the body of that animal to hunt in the farm. He used to be horrified and would be reluctant to eat some of Tope’s game in case it happened to be human. His half brother will tease him and make strange sounds and they would argue good naturedly.
One of the things that had bothered him when he got admission was how he was going to relate with his brother seeing Tope was the older one and by Polygamous hierarchy ought to have been the one in school. He was half brother as Tope’s mum was the senior wife of the family. Everybody called her Mama. Even father did, which was the law for she was the one who laid down the law. She hardly ever slept in father’s room and always woke up late. She would call all the children to her room for the compulsory herbal drink they all had to take each morning., including all the younger wives.
She had a special herbal drink for the men, that is Papa and his brother uncle Osupa. It was a fairly peaceful polygamaous home, an indication that Papa was in control of his family. He gave his senior wife a farm of her own and she generally planted yams, some cocoyams, pepper and okro on the farm and would go to her farm every morning. The other wives were given small portions.
He used to wonder if all his father’s wives actually loved him equally but well, that was just speculation as he was sure that his mother at least did not care much for Ronke’s mum. She would purse her lips and sigh but not say much. Ronke’s mum always had a reason why she was too tired to pound yam and would be sharp with Ronke if she stayed too long in his room. His mother would then start singing and one day he listened to the songs. They were jibes directed at a woman who had a weak woman since all her witch making efforts had only succeeded in making her have only witches like herself.
Mama had come out of her room after listening to those songs and said nothing. She just stood there and after a while, the angry songs had faltered and gradually stopped while Ronke’s mum who had been in tears simply picked her headtie and said she was going out.
He jerked out of his reverie when he had the front door open and Papa come in with an old man. His heart almost stopped as he stared at the man. The man winked at him and said nothing. His jaw dropped. The old man followed Papa to the room and he suddenly shivered. He was sure that was the old man that had given them a bad fright. What was he doing with his father? He tip toed to his father’s room thinking he might hear what they had to say. He was also hoping he might be able to catch the old man’s name. But there was only faint murmuring from the other side of the room and then silence. He quickly rushed back to his room and quietly closed the door his heart thumping. He listened for the outer door so he could go and ask his father what the old man was doing in his room. Papa had feigned ignorance of their reason for flying home. Was he playing a practical joke on them and using the old man to check on them?

His mother’s gentle touch woke him. He opened his eyes to a dawn. The house was silent and he sat up with a jerk. What? It was morning. Everybody had gone to the farm. He was going to beat the living daylights out of Ojo. Imagine! No one messed with him not even “Gbangban” the feared wrestler. One minute he was talking to Anike and then Ojo had the gall to come over. What was he supposed to do to the wretched boy. He looked at his mother. She was considering him with worry in her eyes. He shrugged her hand off and asked if he was the only one in the house. She simply nodded yes.
He swung his feet away from the edge of the mat and checked for his calico top. He also checked for his cutlass. His mother asked him where he was headed and he said he was going to the farm but would check on his palm tree to collect his palm wine for the evening. Besides he had promised the hunters good wine for their meeting. Two good kegs. He planned on keeping a small gourd for himself.
He walked briskly along the farm road, it was fairly deserted as anyone who had any business would be on the farm now. So he made his way to his palm trees. He wanted to check one that had only just started giving out palm wine. It was very milky, and very sweet, evidence of its newness. He planned on making that his own as it could be very strong. Its sweetness would ensure that he would get a good bargain as palm wine sellers would mix in a little bit of water to dilute and have more wine to sell. Arranging his climbing gear near his waist he considered the tree. Not that tall he might just climb it without using the gear he thought to himself. Good practice too. So he clambered up like some squirrel and he suddenly thought of Ojo as he climbed. The idiot wouldn’t be able to do this and he wants to compete with me over a girl. He got to the top of the palm tree and checked the gourd. It was half way full. He decided he should take that and replace the gourd with a fresh one. As he leaned over to untie the knots he had used in securing the gourd to the palm tree, he lost his footing and came crashing down.
Everything went black.
He did not know how long he had been on the ground. He opened his eyes slowly to see a pair of eyes watching him speculatively. He tried to turn and the eyes told him to lie still.
“You had a fall you know”
“I know stupid”.
“You are the stupid one I think”
“Who said you could think?, it is obvious even to a blind fool”
“Okay I will come back when you are ready to talk but chew that leaf when your back starts to hurt” the eye said and receded.
His back hurt and sharp stabs of pain shot through him. He couldn’t lift his leg neither could he lift his left arm. His head felt as if it was on fire, he groaned, remembered he had been asked to chew on a leaf so he looked round with his other arm felt around him.
“It is on your chest stupid” a voice said
He used his uninjured arm to pick the leaf and thrust it into his mouth grimacing at its sharp bitterness. He swallowed severally, tears coming into his eyes from the sharp pain. He drifted off to sleep after a few minutes. It was a deep sleep for the whole day. When he opened his eyes again he could move his arms, both of them. He felt light and thirsty. Where was he? Then he remembered he had fallen off his palm tree! He raised his shoulders as he tried to rise. He saw that he was some distance from the tree. His cutlass was some metres away as his gourd of palm wine which was shattered. He looked up at the tree and shook his head.
That was some fall he mused
“One hell of a stupid fall if you ask me”
“Well I did not ask you did I?” he retorted looking round him to place the voice.
A very small being walked up to him and regarded him solemnly
They both stared at each other.
“You are kind of tiny aren’t you” he asked
“I have better sense to go climbing trees especially when my mood is wrong”
“I don’t recall asking for your opinion”
“Yes I know, so how is the back”?
“It was you who placed those awful tasting leaves on my chest”?
“You ate them right?”
“Well I did. My back was hurting really bad”
“Okay, I know that. You will have to lie still today too”.
“Hmm I am thirsty, be a good fellow bring that gourd over there and tip it into my mouth will you?”
The tiny fellow smiled and simply went over to the left side of the gourd and brought out a small shell from which he fetched some liquid and without a further word tilted his head up and poured it into his mouth. He slept again. He became friends with the tiny being for the next three nights. It will come, observe him and then give him a nut or fruit to eat and then leave. On the next night he got curious enough to ask him the name of the leave he had chewed the first night of his fall. Tiny as he called him shrugged and said he was not concerned with names but asked him to take a long look at the leaves.
“When you want to heal anyone with a bad fall, ask them to chew it and swallow everything. Talk to me before you need to pluck the leaves or friends of mine then we will put the healing property in it before we give it to you. Will you understand that”?
“Pluck leaves and herbs only early in the morning and late in the evening, that way we get a chance to put the properties inside before you take them away and we also have a chance to move out”.
“Hmmm…. But why are you telling me all these, I am going to be a palm wine tapper not a herbalist”.
“I knew you were stupid but I guess I have to tell you. You are going to listen? It is important you listen, you smell”
He was outraged “I beg your pardon!!!”
“All humans smell and wear funny clothes”
“You don’t smell so nice yourself fancy pants”
But that had been on the third night, he had been so irritated that he went searching for a stream the next day and had a wash.
The next night when he woke up, he was very refreshed and had a sense of well being he had not felt ever he stood up and stretched, no pain. His back was healed. He looked round for the tiny fellow he had chatted with but saw only the shell and nothing more. He wondered if he should head home. He would be missed, He had been away for almost five nights. His mother would be in a real panic by now.

Then he opened his eyes straight into that of Papa. There was concern in Papa’s eyes.
“Are you okay?”
“Yes” he nodded
“What is your name”? it was standard to test to know if he was normal. So he grinned.
“My name is Babatunde” he said then paused and amended, “no my name is ALALE OSUPA, the owner of the lunar land”.
Papa smiled, “Welcome home, grandpa, I was told you were back and I did not know it was you I thought you were in Tope”.
Then the old man stepped forward a smile in his eyes.
“Remember me?”
“Yes fancy pants” Babatunde snapped.
The old man grinned and raised his lantern. He stared, “so it was you.”
“You ran boy, after all that trouble of looking after you, making you a successful medicine man, a powerful one from the way I heard them say, you ran when you saw me. They never knew why you never liked palm wine after that fall of yours, or why you will sit in a corner and talk to yourself. You couldn’t tell them that you talked to spirits right? Now you are back learning fancy medicine in fancy schools calling those leaves by some fancy names and you call me fancy pants!”
“What are you doing here now, I…”
Things were getting blurred again and the old man with his lantern was receding, someone was shaking his shoulder and he struggled to be conscious as he screamed
Wait!, come back we can teach the modern ones too. We can show them the medicine of the old, how it worked. He looked round wildly then into his father’s alarmed eyes
Papa, don’t let him go, he means well. He taught me medicine
Who are you talking about
My friend fancy pants, you know, when I fell from that palm tree he healed me.
His father was gentle as they brought a cup of herbal tea to his lips urging him to drink it. “You will soon be well. I have sent for Ojo to consult with him. I really should have told you about talking to strange human beings on your way to the farm. I did not know you really took him in. I know you do not like Ojo or his type of medicine, grandfather also did not like Ojo’s father, heard they were once rivals”.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

My name is BABATUNDE 1

The dawn was still a few hours away. It was the time to start for the farm. He did not particularly like the practice of waking up this early. It always gave him goose bumps because he was always afraid of meeting the spirits of the Iroko tree who he was told would just be going home into the big Iroko tree by the particular time. He would wonder about what he would do if he was to come across one. Tope never seemed to have any problem as he looked very much like an Iroko spirit anyway. He left the bed reluctantly and still half asleep groped for his basket, and cutlass.

Tope was up slapping away at his face. It was odd, tope always slapped himself as he wakes every morning. He had been curious enough to ask him why he did that and Tope had replied that he wanted to confirm that he was still alive. Crazy fellow was his quiet dismissal of that habit. He also had the irritating habit of suddenly wiping his face with imaginary cloth while he talked to you. Ige his brother had told him that Tope was by all accounts a strange fellow. I mean he could decide to head for the farm all alone himself.

He watched him as they all moved towards the front door. His mother called a good morning from her bedroom and he grunted his reply. She asked if he wwould check on her pepper farm, he sighed and wondered if he had the time to go to her pepper farm. They were going to the cocoa farm and it was some ten kilometer walk. He was not keen on taking a detour to the pepper farm. Tope answered for him saying if they finished in time they just might call at the farm adding that she would have to promise that there would be hot pounded yam waiting on their arrival.

His mother laughed a reply back saying he was a poor provider as a husband and bantered with him as she came to the door of her bedroom to bid them goodbye. She always called him her husband as he was the eldest son and her step son. In the culture of his tribe, she was not allowed to call Tope by his given name. He had refused to Tope brother as they were only six months apart. Tope didn’t seem to mind all that though. He just did not seem to mind all types of things particularly his face and his stature. Short , almost squat, he had not seemed to mind that he could not further his education and had seemed to take to farming very naturally.

He also seemed to like his younger step brother and would tell him tales of the spirits in the Iroko tree. He did not like the stories though as it tended to give him the creepy feeling that someone was going to get caught one day by these spirits. Each evening as they came home from farm work, Tope will regale them with the exploits of his favorite spirit. Since they usually heard the tales in the dark while they waited for the hunters bells to announce the village curfew he always had problem sleeping.

Most nights, while Tope snored he would be awake going over the fantastic tales of the exploits of these spirits. His world was of spirits, good ones, awful ones and some really rascally ones. He just didn’t like Tope’s penchant for telling them the really awful horror spirits of the Iroko.
They made their way sometimes in single file when the road got too narrow to the farm. When they get to a farm belonging to someone they know they will make farm calls. That is you cupped your hands over your mouth and you gave a long whistle like call. You were not allowed to use normal human language in case any of the spirits happen to be still around so you never called out names nor speak normally as these spirits could copy your voice and use it to your disadvantage or take it to a witch. When he was younger he had had fun doing the same things as Tope but now home from holidays he found he was suddenly embarrassed to use such language. It did not make sense to him and he also did not want to endanger his brothers by using proper language so he would keep quiet.

It was law that he had to join his brothers to the farm each time he came home on holidays and so he was compelled to follow them. If he did not join in the cocoa harvesting there would be no money to take back to the city nor pay his school fees.
“You are quiet this morning,” Tope remarked looking at him keenly. He returned the look with a shrug and said he just did not feel like yakking so early in the morning “besides I need to conserve my strength” he added.
“This city adventure of yours is making you soft” Tope replied spitting chewing stick saliva to the roadside.

That was another thing he didn’t like. Chewing stick, especially the one made from the branch of bitter leaf. It was always very bitter and he would complain to his mum asking her to get the ‘Ijebu” type but she would insist that the bitter leaf one was good for his health as it had anti-malarial properties.
Suddenly Ige froze and stood still. They bumped into him and he signaled furiously for them to be still. In the distance, they saw a moving light. His heart jumped and raced. Ige whispered from am almost strangled throat if they should run. They all three were petrified. It could only be that an Iroko tree spirit was going home and if he met them on the path he would do them harm.

His hands went clammy and he suddenly felt like peeing, his saliva thinned and he shivered. Ige was simply rooted to the spot. Should they pray? To who? He was not sure the Almighty had ever heard of these tree spirits! At least his Bible knowledge teacher never ever mentioned them. The light moved closer and he suddenly became aware that the whole forest path was eerily silent. He had heard tales of Iroko taking its prisoners into the Iroko tree and making them work endlessly. He wanted to be a surgeon. Finish school and get his mother to leave the village. Now he was going to be a slave to an Iroko spirit. He shivered, as the light moved closer. Tope started a chant and he hissed in his ears to shut the hell up so they can make good their escape before the spirit got to them. Ige asked if a cutlass could be effective on a spirit. Nobody answered. He closed his eyes and suddenly prayed, but to no particular deity. That was the problem, which deity was he going to ask to protect him from an alien spirit? Someone touched him and he shivered, opened his eyes straight into the face of an old man holding a lantern up and peering at him. He swallowed and stared back at the old man.

He gave a respectful greeting in a thin voice and the man simply nodded giving a very thorough once over. That unnerved him. The old man said nothing just simply stared. Ige had been standing rigidly straight, staring ahead,eyes almost popping out of their sockets. They all remained like that for a full minute after the old man had passed and then Tope started shivering, his teeth chattered like ,he stared at him alarmed.

What is wrong with you? He demanded
You mean you don’t know who we just saw? Tope asked in an almost strangled voice holding himself and shaking.
An old man returning from the farm
No! That is the spirit
Shut Up!

He knew he was frightened but he was expected to be the educated one and besides that really was an old man not some damned spirit. After all as the story goes these spirits generally tend to have one eye in the middle of their forehead and would be very short with a certain evil look and smell. So he looked at his brother and sighed trying to sound sophisticated. In a lazy voice he gave Tope and Ige a smile, “you bush boys want a spirit by any means right?, that was an old man”
Tope was angry, “so where is he coming from?”

I do not live with him he shrugged and looked round. He wished Tope will just crack any of the outlandish jokes so they could move on as they seemed rooted to the spot. His head felt light, and he goose bumps riding all over his skin. He held himself rigid with an effort. Ige was making no pretence about his fright and asked plaintively if they should return home.
He was brusque asking why he should return home.

Tope looked round and shook his head saying he should have listened to the dream he had and refused to rise that early/ besides there had been the strange calls of the wols all night. All that talk only served to make him nervous and he started walking. That decision galvanized all of them just before Ige looked down and gave a jump high into the air.
They turned round to stare at him, but Ige was pointing at the ground. Tope peered down and jumped into the bush. He missed stepping on a snake.
There was no need for further arguments as they all turned and ran all the way back to the house. As they got to the front of the house, they saw their dad sitting out calmly sharpening his cutlass. He gave them a startled look and raised his eyebrows.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Ephesus: The Naming

Ephesus: The Naming

The Naming

Fehintola’s pregnancy was stress free and she was grateful for that. She went to the stream for her daily water and life assumed a pattern. The dreams also seemed to have stopped. Sometimes though, she would wonder if this was the calm before the storm. But nothing else happened. The young priestess of Yeye also seemed to have forgotten all about her as she did not call. That was strange and she asked her husband if she ought to visit. He grinned and tweaked her ears commenting that he had been thinking of seeing the young witch himself but because he was not sure of how he might act he had decided to keep his distance. She had been stern with him about his plans to flirt with the priestess.

Her mother then came to visit and she was surprised that for once, Mama seemed excited about the coming baby and started knitting. Her husband had taken one look at all the wools and stared.
But her mother had calmly knitted pieces of material for the coming baby. They both assumed that the coming child was going to be a girl. She had however wondered about the words of that young prophetess who had told her that she was going to give her husband a boy. Her young mate watched all the preparation for the baby saying little.

Her baby kicked in her womb and she had a radiance that made her husband joke that maybe he had best keep her permanently pregnant. One night her labour pains came and everybody went into a panic. In the midst of all the rush to get her to the hospital, she felt calm and suddenly prayed, talking to the child and asking that for once this trip to bring forth a child should be a successful one.

The lights blinked and swayed and there was sudden fluid motion, bells rang and I felt the fragrance of soft folds around me as I passed through the veils as they dropped and things gradually became blurred and the picture of home gradually faded into memories I will see now in walks through the meadows of my soul. The bands of light came ever closer, glowing in brightness and swishing over me in folds of sheer beauty. I walk through the temple. In arches of domed lights and the flute played, then through the curtains of cascading water I am immersed as things receded, as I pass through the funnel and open my eyes.

The naming ceremony preparation started in earnest and Fehintola had so many names she wanted to call the child. Ayo her husband was not so sure he wanted the stress he told her. She stared at him, opened her mouth to say something, swallowed and turned away trying hard not to cry. She had a child yes, but the child was a girl. Ayo has been over the moon when her junior wife had her boy. Pain sharp and intense shot through her and she suddenly clutched the baby to her heart. She was determined that this one will live. She rocked herself singing softly just as the door opened and the priestess stood smiling at her. Her heart gave one leap and she simply stared. She silently handed over her baby to the outstretched hands of the priestess. The priestess held the baby and swayed. Eyes closed she suddenly sang a song of praise to Numen Yeye in the native tongue. The songs brought in Ayo who saw the priestess and bowed his head!

This journey again from the Lights into this existence, I bring you the peace of Numen Yeye, from the heights of the glorious lights, the gardens of constant service. Let her path be simple, without fan fare. Let her fulfil in the simplicity and beauty of her realm. In gentle strength, I come to you, open wide your door that I may dwell with you. My path is simple, my gift from the petals of the Rose kingdom. Celebrations shall only be at the bidding of the Supreme Mother. I am like a stream, nourishing, refreshing. And will overcome all obstacles if you keep the stream clear. No one can hold the water as enemy and the light of love shines on all who wish to serve the Rose.

The priestess opened her eyes and gave them a smile.
“Please there will be no naming ceremony the like of which you have planned” she looked at Ayo and smiled “Make sure she returns to do the virgin dance when she takes up her responsibility as Numen Yeye, go back to your room and pray”
She handed the child back to the mother. Fehintola felt she was watching a play as the priestess asked her to remember the name she was given for that was the name she was to call the child in her arms now, “it is easy to remember for she told you her name yourself, she asked you if you will remember and you said you will”

Fehintola suddenly shook with nerves as she remembered. In a small whisper she looked at Ayo as she said; “I know her name”
Ayo stared at her as he asked her what was the name
Her name is “Imole Ife” the light of love.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Parents are the first educators of life skills for adolescents but this is usually not the case because for a lot of reasons like religion, social and cultural constraints parents are somewhat shy of discussing sexuality issues with their children and wards at home. In these days of information technology and uncensored viewing of electronic materials, the adolescent of today is bombarded with all kinds of information. This leaves the child with the wrong information processing ability. Adolescence is the transition period between total social economic dependence to relative adult independence. It is a period fraught with confusion. A poorly informed parent is a risk to the adolescent who thus sources for his information from other (just as risky) sources sometimes resulting in devastating consequences for parent, government and society.

It is thus necessary to conduct 'refresher courses' for parents on the needs to educate their wards and children on sexuality issues.
Alarming messages or strictures do not always have the intended effect.
According to the World Health Organization the youth is a person within the age of 10- 19 while the National Adolescent Health Policy classifies as between the age 10-24.
Communication in its simple terms is the process by which people exchange information or express their thoughts and feelings. It is thus really a two way process of information exchange. This exchange can be verbal, active, impassive or non-verbal. We communicate constantly. It is part of our everyday life. From us to the receiver. We have a constant two-way exchange. Now we want to look not just at this means of communication, we also are considering the role of youths in using these communications strategies to effect behavioral change. That sounds like quite a mouthful! The youth today unlike the youth of yesterday has come quite under a lot of pressures. He is bombarded at every turn with a variety of information format that he needs to be careful on the things he needs to process the information he receives.

What determines the behavior of a person, his beliefs and drives his ambitions and dreams?

These issues also concern youth as all we have mentioned also affects them. Parents are the first socializing agents for a child until his consciousness is awakened to a level that he can process other forms of information format. So the parent is the first communication contact. The success or otherwise of that experience tend to color the negotiating and discerning ability of the child.

Apart from the immediate family circle the youth contends with these other factors to process information, which affects his behavior.

1. The Print media
They as information agents are sources of information for youth and can have negative influences in their presentation of issues and goals.
2. Electronic Media comprises the radio and television. Though the radio depends on the imagination of the listener to carry its more subtle messages across the more glamorous sister has an immediacy and believability that can influence the mores and concepts of a youth
3. The Internet today is a veritable minefield of information and carries the awesome potential of widening the horizon of the youth to heights or depths beyond his own imagination.
Interpersonal channels like your mother, sister, pastor, friends, teachers or even youth centers carry some intimacy and engender some level of trust but may not necessarily be the best channel for accurate and precise information! Youth talk more freely amongst themselves but are also veritable containers of misinformation, myths and inaccurate information sometimes.
Since communication is the cornerstone of a healthy relationship, it is important to appreciate its importance as a means of behavioral change.

What are the issues we must look at and how can we improve or change them?
What does a youth want?
How does he negotiate his relationships?
How accurate is his information?
Which information channels does he use and trust?
How can he effect change in his information processing?
Relationships and risky behavior patterns.

When puberty sets in, a young person goes through a change that is bewildering and confusing to him/her. Former innocent relationships assume a proportion that can loom large and frightening. Negotiating these relationships becomes very important. A child who had been easy going suddenly becomes taciturn, moody, belligerent sometimes and suffers mood swings.

There are so many different pressures that hamper youth. The most readily recognizable pressure is peer pressure but there are other subtle pressure exerted through the media. For example, adverts that extol the virtues of certain drinks do not help the youth to keep his focus. Concepts that endanger his sexual health when he is confronted with skimpily clad ladies or muscle bound males become pressure points of misplaced value and do hamper healthy growth.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Journey

Fehintola was excited when she could confirm she was pregnant. She wondered if she was expected to go over to Numen Yeye. But Ayo asked her to wait saying if she was expected there the young witch would have come to visit. She gasped at his irreverence but he only laughed and tweaked her ears. His closest to expressing affection. The trips to the stream started. Most mornings they would have the path to themselves, sometimes they could meet one or two farmers along the path. On those trips Ayo would answer for her if they greeted her and he would watch the path ahead. She continued going to her church.

The prayer warriors there wanted to spend the day in the church premises because it was seen as dangerous for a pregnant woman to walk the streets at high noon. It was precaution against spirit children who had habit of chasing the genuine children out and taking the place of their place. She was determined to do everything she was asked to do
The dreams started simply enough. It tended to follow the same pattern. She would find herself in a great hall and listen to very beautiful music. Then she would wander into a garden. The garden always had a flowing stream running through it. The first time she had the dream she wondered if she ought to share it with Ayo but then she was embarrassed as she had nothing to say except her feeling of peace each morning, but she noticed that her husband would look at her and shake his head as if he was contemplating saying something.

The next thing was she had become really calm. She became friendlier with her mate and she would sit for hours staring into space her thoughts far away. There was a glow of happiness and peace about her. She rarely lost her temper and would just smile. One night in her dream she met a very young beautiful lady in flowing white dress and they chatted for a long time. She was however frustrated in the morning when she could not recall what the conversation was about. She still attended church and spent time there because in the tradition and culture of her race she had to avoid walking around at mid-day or high noon so she would not attract the attention of the spirit children. One day in the church she was tired and decided to go to the garden and take some air hoping she would be revived by the fresh air. She sat on one of the hard benches when she noticed she had company. It was a young pretty girl dressed in the robes of a prophet. She smiled at the girl assuming she was one of the young prayer warriors. The girl looked at her and smiled and Fehintola patted the seat next to her invitingly.
“It is a hot day isn’t it?”
The girl smiled and nodded a yes but said little thereafter just cupped her head in her hands and stared out.
Fehintola watched the girl and asked if she was there with her parents as she mentally tried to determine if she had seen the girl before. There was a grace and ease about the young prophetess that intrigues her. She was probably just about ten or so but carried herself with ease and did not act like a gawky young girl at all and had some kind of dignity in such a young person that Fehintola felt at ease.
She started to talk about her pregnancy to the girl, speaking about what she dreamed she could do when the baby arrived. She chatted and the girl smiled, touched her hand and gave her a smile saying she should not worry. “You are worried sometimes that your mate’s son will be the head of the house right?”
Fehintola stared almost transfixed.
How?... then swallowed, Lord even her private thoughts were open for all to see she thought in some chagrin. She didn’t know how the young prophetess could have read such very private thoughts.
“Actually all I am concerned about is that I should have a healthy child so that I would not have shame”
“If you do as you are told you would have a healthy child, and Ayo‘s son is not coming yet” the girl said very firmly.
Fehintola’s heart jumped and goose bumps walked all over her. She shivered suddenly and looked at the girl in awe. This must a very powerful prophetess
The girl stood up and gave her a sunny smile. “I have to go now, I will see you around”
Fehintola stared and requested to know the girl’s name.
“My name is Imole Ife.”
“It is a beautiful name.”
“You will remember it”?
“Of course I will remember, it is a unique name, the light of love”
“I am sure we will meet again” and she left.

In her next dream, she met a young girl who she found sitting pensively on the bench by the stream and they smiled in recognition at each other. She followed the girl to the stream and they had a picnic. They picked flowers and took it to the great hall where the girl taught her how to arrange flowers. She was shown different types of flowers. She was in an enchanted world, happy and relaxed. They returned to the great Hall and she was entranced by the sheer play of lights that filled the Hall. She had a sense of expectation, just like everyone else in the hall. It was full and everyone was gaily dressed. She stared at the guests, not recognizing any one of them but feeling quite at home. Then from the distance, music started, slowly at first and then it swelled to a melody of such beauty that she recognized the tune and sang along with the rest. Strangely, the scene changed and she was by a great waterfall and the water was sheer in clarity almost like it was living, and then from the sprays, her friend the young girl came out laughing and invited her into the cascading waters telling her it was healing water and she would be safe. She obeyed and followed the girl into the crashing foaming water. She felt like a weight lifted from her shoulders and suddenly laughed happy to be in the water. Her friend led her out of the water.
“One more trip I think” her friend said looking her over critically as you would assess a patient.
Fehintola nodded in agreement.

Then she opened her eyes. For a long time she still held the vestiges of the dream. Not understanding at all. She had a sensing that she was expected to learn something, her thoughts jumped “I am being treated for something like I have a disease” Ayo came in and she wondered if she should tell him about the dream. She shook her head and silently got ready for her trip to the stream. They walked the forest path silently. For some reason she sensed that her husband was changing slowly towards her. No, it was not something she felt alarmed about. She noticed that he would come into her room and just sit there for hours. He was never good at stating his feelings but this was different. Silence was some kind of conversation. He rarely wanted to make love but even that was no longer a source of pain. She felt she was suspended in some half way world where she lived. Her pregnancy was not showing yet but she was beginning to glow. Her skin felt soft and most times she had a smile.

Her young mate seemed to want to be friends and gradually from stilted conversations they had started reaching out to each other. Ajide was respectful and wanted to do everything to please. It was odd because she had assumed she was going to have a hard time with her junior wife, in her culture all the wives of Ayo would be referred to as her wives, since she was the oldest wife. The junior wives must also see her as their husband as she had right to determine who could share his bed. It was amusing and painful as Ajide was handed over to her, so she had a junior wife now, not one she married or had even wanted to marry. Tradition and culture had made that easy for both of them. The women knew that it was in the nature of the African man to have several wives. Her mate was a Muslim who went to the mosque regularly. Ayo was not of any fixed religion she had discovered few months after they had eloped from home together. He had an irreverent attitude to any form of religion and she used to wonder if that wasn’t the reason for her problem. He never took religion seriously. He hardly went to church and would stare at her in amusement each time she had attempted to make him be consistent at church services. He also did not like the prophets and would call them scammers of the spirit. At first she had being alarmed that Ayo was going to be besotted as to change and become a Muslim but nothing had happened.

They returned to the house and she went to get breakfast ready when there was a knock on the door. Curious she went to open the door, Yeye”s priestess stood at the doorway smiling at her a bowl of water in calabash in her hands. She was startled but asked the young woman to come in.
“Yeye brings greetings”
Fehintola smiled her response and brought out a chair for her to sit. The young woman handed her the calabash bowl and said she was to have her bath with the water.
“Just pour it over your body after you have had the bath and do not towel just allow it to dry off on your body.” The priestess said as she watched Fehintola a smile in her eyes.

Fehintola took the bowl and was about to place it on a stool when her hand was held stopping the movement. The priestess said she was to carry out that instruction right now and the calabash bowl must not touch the ground. “In fact I will hold the bowl of water for you until you are ready to pour it over yourself. Don’t worry we will need to return to the stream and no one will see you, nor will anyone here notice you have gone until you return” Holding her by the hand the priestess smiled and Fehintola’s heart almost gave way when she felt herself passing through bands of light os so many different hues. Everything paled into oblivion even as saw, and felt the lights going through her and also felt someone holding her hand as they seemed to move at great soundless speed. Everything and everybody seemed to have paled into the background and then she was in the gardens and making her swift way to the stream. It looked familiar to her. At the stream, she felt herself dipped into the water. She emerged onto the bank of the stream and saw the outstretched bowl of water which was poured over her. She shook her head and used her hands to wipe out the water from her eyes and was shocked to find herself back in the room still about to make breakfast. She was stunned. She looked round in complete bewilderment. Ayo walked in and stared at her.
“What is the matter”? He asked.
“Did you see her”? She asked looking round and behind her husband.
Her husband looked round as well and was puzzled, “Did someone come to the room?”
Fehintola abruptly went to the bed, closed her eyes and shivered.
“Don’t you think you should have toweled yourself before coming out of the bathroom? You are dripping wet on the floor and on the bed.”
She looked up, opened her mouth and then closed it. She shook her head and in a quiet voice she asked if her husband if she could skip preparing any food. She wanted to be alone.

Fehintola prayed all day, really confused, but a longing to understand the threads came slowly alive in her and she supplicated as we watched and joined her in prayer that she might understand the threads of help that lies above her and for that matter all other human beings. There was little we could do; we had helped her to hold the bridge. I wanted to help her untangle some of the threads she had knotted wrongly, but I could only do that if she allowed me. The clouds of ignorance that hovered could only be cleared from within.

Fehintola still went to church and after a few days, she seemed to have forgotten her strange experience. Still went to the stream and for some weeks she did not have her dreams of the great hall and gardens. She started her ante natal and hope flickered in her heart and she found herself most times taking long walks when the heat of the day was down. She would walk for an hour and never felt tired. Some days she would simply sit in the church courtyard just watching the ebb and flow of worshippers as they came to see the prophet. Life seemed to have settled into a pattern. She did not see the young prophet and assumed she may have been taken to a boarding house. She never did find out who her parents were though. Fehintola was a naturally shy women and had a gentle smile but really found comfort in solitude.

When her pregnancy was about half way she had the dream again. Back in the great hall, there seemed to be a lot of great preparations going on. A lot of the ladies in the hall smiled at her and greeted her with a lot of old gentleness. She had become very familiar with them but she waited to see her young friend. A lady came to her and told her not to worry that her friend will be along presently. So she sat in one of the great chairs by the entrance wanting to catch a glimpse of the Queen. From the look of the preparations it appeared that it was the Queen who was been expected. She asked a lady what was going. The lady curtsied to her and she was very surprised. The lady told her that the queen was traveling and so they were making everything to get things ready. She looked round and wondered what was keeping her friend away when she saw Imole emerge in very beautiful flowing dress. She smiles and waved. Something about her friend now looked familiar just as her friend turned and waved to her and she held her breath, it was the same Imole she had chatted with in the church! Imole waved at her and asked her to come close.

“Hello, you look very lovely” Fehintola complimented her young friend trying very hard to act normal, she really could not take in the facts she was seeing. Who really is she? But Imole only smiled and with a graceful nod of her head, “The queen is traveling and you will not see me for sometime, but I will always look for you”
Fehintola only nodded they held hands as music sounded in the distance indicating that the arrival of the queen was imminent. Her young friend took her to the exit door and sent her on her way waving promising that they will meet soon. She walked out of the great Hall into bright lights, and she woke up. Her baby kicked for the first time and she held her stomach in wonder.

Through bands of waving light
And boundaries of the Rose
I descend the mists
Wrapped in light veils
I left my home again, my home of extra ordinary beauty, of streams that gurgle with musical notes and forests that are wrapped in the glory of the color of service, the whispering winds, and laughing sun, from valleys of shimmering lakes I am led into swirling bands of light as I pick cloaks of my choosing falling further and further down, like a white cloud of softest hue escorted by friends, we serve together the Rose and I start a mission again into matter to learn and serve and hopefully point the way home. I leave my friends at the bridge but take the thoughts of their help and guide with me across into matter as I become human again.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Stolen dreams

When I came home for the holidays, I looked forward to seeing Lucas.You know holidays in the villages are something special especially for those of us who claim to be educated or were regarded as ‘alakowe’ by our country cousins. It was a time to strut and be haughty with the village folk. Add the fact that I spoke English more naturally and understood very little Yoruba I was regarded as something special. I had watched with girlish amusement as the boys made a rush for me when I got home. My mother was nervous. We were growing apart and both worried about what to do. I was feeling stressed about her concern for my health.

Dad had insisted it was time I got to know my roots as a Yoruba girl and be friendlier with my grandmother, his mother that is, but it appears he was going to lose that battle as I had taken one look at her and shaken my head. I went up the stairs, into the bedroom and refused to emerge until someone called me to come down for dinner. That was another things. Dinner was at five! I stared at them like they were from another planet. I had been used to dinner at the decent hour of seven or eight who ever heard of having your evening meal at five I had grumbled as I watched in horror the children gathered round a big mortar containing pounded yam. The younger wives then poured steaming vegetable soup over it and all the young children in the house descended on the mortar. I simply stared and waited for my food. My grandmother rolled out and stared at me as I stared at the others dipping their hands and eating the food from the mortar! I was horrified. She asked me if I was feeling so arrogant that I did not want to eat.

I stared at her and looked at the horde round the mortar and asked her if she expected me to eat with them. She was angry and bellowed at me. I simply walked away and spent the night without dinner. I did not like her, I made it obvious and she did not bother to show her distaste for me too. My father was amused. This angered his mother who said I was too free as a female and too pert for her liking besides she frowned at my open preference for the company of boys and predicted I was heading for early marriage. So the last time I came home for the holidays I had met Lucas. Dark, small and with all the dreams of a young brave he offered me his cardigan when he sensed I was chilled by the cold harmattan wind. We would seat and chat for long periods. He would insist on speaking English, picking his words carefully and in soft tones.

It was good he could speak English well because I would have been stumped for peer conversation as most of my peers in the village only spoke my dialect which was not even regulation Yoruba.
Now on this trip there was no Lucas and I was lonely so I made friends with Olaiya a young cousin of mine and her English was atrocious, besides she was more interested in boys than she let on to her parents. This evening she came to me, her eyes round and unblinking as she solemnly told me she might not be going back to school. I was scandalized and demanded why she would not go to school. She said since she was a girl her parents felt she had learnt enough, they did not want to waste their investment.

What did they mean waste I asked completely puzzled. Well she replied in a matter of fact voice, she was going to learn a trade so she could be married off and start having babies. I was outraged and took the very first opportunity I had to talk to my maternal grandmother. We all call her Yeye and amongst other things, she was the High priestess of our village. She had been the only one I could really relate to. Yeye , beautiful one tooth Yeye would smiles at me and tell me stories in her soft voice making me feel safe. So I asked her why things were like that and was it wrong to dream? Still cracking melon seeds she gave me a long look then smiled. She asked if I meant Lucas, I stared at her I did not even know she had known about Lucas, so I grinned and said I meant dreams generally. She looked at me and I suddenly knew she did not see me or was she really thinking of me as spoke.

“The problem is you are not to dream. The reasons are simple. You are too late. You should be thinking of dying. The cessation of all feelings. That might be nice if all that you need is to forget you ever met him. If all the cessation would mean he never existed and they never stood at the sidewalk and laughed at your attempt at dignity as you watched them and your heart was pierced. Might be nice to stop dreaming if you were seventy and decrepit with all the worries of the world. But how could they demand a cake after they had taken the flour from you and given you vinegar to add as the oil to the buns of life you thought you had prepared? How could they imagine you will chew on nails while you had planned to eat lentils and wash it down with the fresh spring of hope? These maggots who walked the horizon of your dreams in tattered clothes of broken promises? They stood as chants in your dreams and their cackles kept the promises of a better day at bay. They called themselves the ones who will midwife tomorrow but they killed it and hung its carcass around their masses of shrunken necks evidence of their stolen promises. I am afraid to walk the streets at day, hemmed in by the dangers of their siren, the bedlam of their shouts, not dead but I am on first name basis with Hell. I am a member of the human race but dammed by the excruciating inability to see into the dawn and expect the sun to rise. Not because it won’t, but simply by my geographical location the prognosis of its promise for me is better imagined than anticipated. I am a member of the human race, but the color of my skin also has darkened my dreams from my fellow brothers who make merchandise of my dreams
So why dream? I have waited 50 years to give birth to a pregnancy at ten and the skeleton of the dead baby has refused to be buried? They have bowls of rotten promises and have negotiated my future across to my neighbors. There is nothing left in the kitchen. Father went to the farm and only harvested the stringy yams. It is cheaper to die and the burial is more expensive than the corpse. Why dream when all the children do is watch you closely and in their hungry eyes you see not their hopes for the future but their anticipation for your demise.

Don’t start a chant of hopelessness it only takes longer for the dawn to come. The sum total of life is not the quality of the meals you shared with the best of them, but in the quality of love you have garnered from creation and the garment of experience you have sewn. It is so easy to give up, even the shining sun might tell you a tale of two of its many struggles to gather enough heat to garner enough radiance from the glory of life and in fulfillment of the laws return it in manifold gratitude to all that was created. It is the only way it exists.
When life’s troubles becomes a howl that rises deep in your throat and comes out in snarl, take another breath, look to the ant, steeped upon and smashed and never considered, but necessary in the tapestry of the loom of life. The softer option is to moan and rant, it is good for the lungs of your soul for we must breathe the good the bad and the unseemly so we might sieve from the muck the shinning nuggets of life’s real lessons. Not all the gold of Fort Knox, nor all the jewels of the crown will bring you the lasting benefits for the working manual. Remember, even the dinosaurs, great Sango, the god of thunder, and his wife Oya the goddess of the Niger are today history.

Yesterday’s cup is stale, and we sip indifferently from all the opportunities. Hate is nice and is really the softer option but like a dark cloud it blocks out the sun and blocks out the chance to see love in the pain. For it is better to shine your spirit than to fill your belly and you know, the sun will come up again tomorrow.

There was silence and I turned to give her a look. She had not really been the woman talking but from the hills came chimes of sheerest sound and I distinctly heard the rush of the stream. Lights came on and I suddenly longed to be home. My home, the halls the bells and the stream. The banding lights came again then gradually faded and I was back in the sticks and mud of the humans.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Nemen Yeye

I could tell you about me, about nights lying awake wondering where the next meal was going to come from. I could tell you about being black, being proud and being hungry. I could tell you so much about the times I walked the stairs, my heart in my mouth as fear rode me like a monkey on my back refusing to let go. I could tell you so many things I could tell you about me. But where do I start?
Let us start with my mother, for I knew her before I was born in climes of golden rain and blue sunsets, where the water spoke to you of the journeys it had made from the green sided mountains when silence and the winds were songs that caressed her heart. But then she swayed to a different music and came through bands of light so bright into this realm and promptly forgot why she came. We called her Jasmine but she needed lessons and so travelled down to earth and she got the name Fehintola, which in their language will mean she leans on honor.
Mother knew she was a victim of repeated still births and in the tradition of her culture was told that a child from the spirit world was the cause of her troubles. She had watched her husband Ayo, stayed silent and hurt as his attentions wandered away as he picked another bride for himself for it was taboo to have an infertile man in his family and he really could not wait any longer.
The nights she stayed silent in the other room and cried as she listened to the sounds of passion from the room of her mate and her husband. The social outings she could not attend because she was afraid of the pitying looks. She could not be angry nor could she make demands so she became a prayer warrior. She prayed to the Lord to remove the rebuke, and shame the devil that made each pregnancy an agony of nine months wait and a tragedy of birth. Some of the births were painful as sometimes the child would wait long enough for love to blossom in her heart and then leave very quietly. The child will maybe have a slight fever, and before she could do anything, the child would be gone.
Her husband was beginning to be tired of coming to her bed for she knew he was asking himself what was the point of all the passion if he was going to have to bury another child. Some evenings, Fehintola would stare into space unaware of her surroundings just wishing she could die and then shiver that such thoughts should come.
One morning, a simply dressed young woman knocked on her door, gave her a beautiful smile. She had stared at the lady wondering who she wanted to see. The lady had identified herself simply as a priestess and usher in the house of the goddess Yeye. She was invited to the shrine to respond to the summons from Yeye.
Fehintola blinked and shook her head even as she sent her respects to the young virgin. It was an honor to be visited by the priestess of Yeye but how was she going to explain that to Ayo?
The young lady smiled, ”it is to ensure that Nemen Yeye when she comes is given the right surrounding” the lady had finished.
Nemen who?
“You are to be pregnant again and we have decided that this is the final time she would try to cross the bridge into you. If we do not mend the bridge, she would not come and you would remain barren.”
Fehintola sat up electrified by that information and tears came into her eyes. She was suddenly resolute. She was going to keep the appointment with Nemen.
Ayo was skeptical when she told him. He gave her a long look, she sensed that he was maybe wondering if she was half way normal. The last death had almost unhinged her and so she suspected he was not sure.
“Please Ayo, I understand it is my last chance,” she pleaded in some desperation.
And what did you say the name of the girl is?”.. he shook his head, “honestly Fehintola, are you not taking things a bit far?”
Fehintola was silent fighting to hold back her tears. She did not want to cry as that would only irritate him and making him totally refuse to come along. The message was she was to come with him.
There was silence in the room she could swear she almost heard her own heart beating and she could almost smell her longing. He stood up and she remained in her seat because she felt if she tried to stand up her legs would not be able to bear the weight of the pain she was going through.
Ayo got the door and then turned around, “what time?”
She replied softly, “Four in the morning by the river”
He turned completely round and stared at her, “You have not gone completely crazy have you? You expect me to meet some mysterious witch at four in the morning?”
“Nemen is not a witch…”
“Like hell she is not, she just simply sends her apprentice to invite you and me to a stream at four in the morning? What does she want? My blood or semen sample?”
She sighed and walked past him. What was the point?
She tried to decide who really had cursed her? Her mother or her mother in law? Both of them had been furious when she ran away with Ayo. It did not matter that a stained cloth had been presented to her mother. Her mother in law had one of those smiles and simply said she was going to kneel only once and her mother could accept a dowry if she liked.
Ayo found all the fuss amusing and she had been terrified that she would be disgraced if he did not follow through with the wedding plans until his uncle had come and vouched for her saying she had been under his care until that very wedding night.
But then each pregnancy had ended in disaster, with her mother strangely silent never showing anxiety nor coming over to the North to help her to look after her baby as was customary.
Ayo became restive and one day walked into the house with a young Arab girl. Pain like hot lead had streaked through her whole being but she had stayed silent. She had gone through a very awful night as Ayo snored by her side. Her heart ached, the days looked uninteresting and the nights while plans were on for her mate to come in were awful.
She could not cry, or rage only she kept breaking things and then she discovered she was pregnant. It became a relief for her. She looked towards the coming baby and in fear, she joined the “aladuras” a white garment church, that was a mix of orthodox Christianity with a large dose of traditional, visions and revivals thrown in. It was a fast growing church.
Then she lost the baby and her agony was immeasurable. The Arab girl had moved in and was pregnant too so Ayo had little reason to be miserable. Ajide, the Arab girl was very beautiful, young and had very winning ways and Fehintola saw her husband was besotted.
She wanted her own love, and she hoped if she could have a baby then she would be happy too. She railed at the stigma of being the mother of an ‘abiku’ even as she was warned not to call the child an ‘abiku’.
She was puzzled why they all said the child was one and the same who kept coming back. One evening at Prayer sessions, as the clapping was reaching a frenzied peak, the ‘spirit’ entered one of the young girls and she started speaking. The ‘spirit filled’ girl had insisted that Fehintola would soon be a successful mother but she was to follow all instructions she would be given later.
It was while she waited that she had received the visit from Nemen Yeye. Could she blame her husband if he was not keen on following her to a stream at that off hour? She slept off and was rudely awakened by an irritated Ayo shaking her and saying if they were thinking of making that time she had better get dressed.
She was so happy at his willingness to come along that she rushed into her clothes looking for a stale chewing stick to chew as she got ready.
A house of flowers, running fountain, and peace. She had sat quietly until the young lady of the day before came and took her hand offering her a glass of cold water. I think I should introduce myself the young lady had said.
You can simply call me Yeye. I know your name is Fehintola and you are married to Ayodele. You have had five children now who all have died at infancy. We want to help you. Are you willing to listen?
She had nodded, stunned by the knowledge of the young lady
Yeye had smiled at her and explained that the incoming spirit was special and thus she was to be in contemplative state. Then she gave instructions that kept both of them stunned and silent. There were quite simple instructions really. No ritual, in fact it was strictly forbidden. She was instructed that the incoming Nemen Yeye will talk to her and send down her Earth name when the time was right.
“Every morning as you fetch the water you need from the spring water, you will talk to no one, until you return home. You will fetch only the water you need for the day. You will also ensure that there is no disharmony for as long as you are pregnant. You will always think of Nemen Yeye and listen in to yourself for in quiet meadows your mind will open and you will see glimpses of Nemen Yeye.”

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friend or Fiend

She offered me friendship,
I gave her my kinship,
Then she fancied him,
He was yesterday’s pansy,
That became today’s dandy,
He was quite handy,
To anyone he fancied,
Both of them became foolhardy,
When they chose to be tardy,
And turned beauty into bawdy,
As their stolen love became tawdry.

Here I stand,
My friendship in tatters,
Flying in some feathers,
Neither hither nor thither,
For it was never tethered.
T’is novel to kill
What you can’t ken to fill,
With the truth to feel,
When your treachery keels
Over one looks ill
With love for you
My friendship killed
By my lady Serpentine!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Fire dance

He came out in cold sweat and stared at the ceiling. It was the second nightmare this night and the third night in a row. His mouth felt he had something lodged in it and he wondered if he still had his teeth. In the nightmare he had been trying to clean his mouth for it was full of teeth. He shuddered and tried to get up from the bed.
He stared at his watch, illuminated by the torch light; it was only 3am. Bike, his younger sister, had always said, it was the time the witches held their meeting or concluded it He didn’t know what they really did. But he was interested in finding out.
Should he go to his mother’s room? What if he went there and found her sleeping with her legs on the wall? Witches tend to sleep at odd angles, the prophet said. They could sleep with their heads hanging on the extreme end of the bed or some esoteric posture, like being fast asleep standing upright. The prophet had given him incense to burn assuring him that witches do not like incense. He had burnt the incense and got no reaction from his mother.
He was weak from hunger from seven days of fasting and praying. They had taken him to the stream to wash his troubles away. That was after the several revivals he had attended, streams he had gone to for redemption. Then he had been asked to come to stream to wash his bad luck away. That was another thing.
A cold stream, in the middle of the forest, with dead rats and twigs, and he had shuddered wondering if all these cleansing was worth the trouble. He shuddered and wondered what he would do if any of his constituents should come across him now. The prophetess had asked him to undress. He had looked at the woman and wondered, hell man, he had some reservation about revealing his nudity to women and definitely not to her.
What she would make of his nudity? There wasn’t much down there, not much of the power his friends told him he ought to have; the bloody thing just stayed there limp, no matter how beautiful the woman nor sexy. This was the reason Molara left him. All that masculine beauty, deep voice, sexual talk was a waste. His third member had simply stopped functioning.
He looked at the prophetess, speculatively wondering if she meant she was going to give him a wash, even as far as there. He had used his hands as a protective shield while she chanted words, sang, and soaped his head. His head, it was the important part of his anatomy, they had said. He should wash it to chase away the evil ones away so his luck and destiny can be restored.
He was alarmed when he was aroused by the soft touches of the prophetess on his body. He grabbed his ‘weapons’ that is his genitals in one hand and held her off with his other hand spluttering that he felt he could do the rest of the wash by himself.
She had ignored him and went on with her songs, until she got to his “armory” now fully erect! What had not happened in months? They both paused, she with the sponge and soap, and stared at each other. She saw his arousal and he stared at her, feeling shame, but oddly amused. How was she going to handle that? She simply rinsed her hands, handed him the sponge and said, “You should get respectable.” he should get respectable. Indeed Ma’am the only way I get respectable is if you agree we test this out so we know your medicine is effective he said to himself trying hard not to be hysterical. In the middle of the rest at night with a white garment female!
He had laughed aloud. “Respectable, huh? That is what I just did, lady,” he said to himself, paid you my respects.
The crazy night passed and he returned to his flat with the holy water she gave him. The dreams had not stopped, however, and to compound his problems his mother had taken that particular time to pay a visit fuelling his suspicions that she was up to no good. He had not been aroused after that night either not even the thoughts of the prophetess.
Did she suspect that he was trying to rid himself of all the bad luck with which she had surrounded him? The prophetess had told him some one was using his destiny for money and had also used his genitals as well hence he could not be aroused again. He suspected his mother for she had been against Molara his wife. What kind of a mother would donate her son to the coven if not a witch, Bike had insisted,
The evidence had been compiled for him to see, he had lost a good job abruptly without a reason. His other attempts to make something of his life had met with failures. Then had come the last indignity: Omolara his wife. Beautiful, exciting, Omolara, who had had taken his breath away. His mother had taken one look at her and said no, he could not marry her. She said she was the wrong color, looked like a mammy water spirit and would bring him tragedy.
Determined to ignore his mother he had proposed and he could not believe his luck when she had agreed to marry him. He had collected a loan from his employers and set a wedding date. His mother said she could not attend.
He went to Uncle Seye, the head of the family, and explained that he had found a bride. and he should start negotiations, begged, and Uncle Seye had been willing— until his uncle woke up one morning a deaf and mute. It was startling and dramatic, Uncle Seye’s wife had screamed at him, asking him to tell his mother to restore her husband.
His mother had feigned outrage, and dared in a soft voice if she was being accused of being responsible for causing the strange affliction.
“What was anybody to think?” he had asked her repeating the classic saying that the witch cried yesterday and the child died today. After all she had objected to his choice of bride and now Uncle Seye, was properly being dealt with.
The nightmares started soon after. His teeth fell out in his dreams or they were so many that he kept picking handfuls and dropping them just as he felt choked again by another set..In the nightmares, his genitals dropped off, that was particularly alarming as he would wake up grabbing his genitals to see if they were still there.
His tension was so much that he barely spoke to his mother. When Bike came , he told her his troubles and she had suggested the prayer warriors. They had every patch of his body washed, anointed, and sanctified he was told. Nothing had happened. Except the nightmares and then the final indignity, he had tried to make love to his wife. He had done everything to get the mood right: music, the right food, the right perfume; she had been willing, curling up next to him and making the right noises. He suddenly felt a need to pee, went to the bathroom and that was it. He could not get it up again.It was maddening.
He heard sounds coming from his mother’s room. He stood up. It was time to catch her out in her witchery. The sounds became clearer, someone was singing and doing a vigil. He finally recognized the voice of –Lord, No! “Omolara,” he screamed silently as he saw her dancing around a big soaring flames. She turned and saw him then gave a smile, waved something at him. In his shock he looked closely, it was his genital! He screamed, grabbing for it as she made to throw it in the flame.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Step in babe

don’t play golf
nor need cause
to stay on course
but he has a golf

he has no fiat
nor the gait
but drives a fiat
he cannot afford a lexus
but carries his lettuce
well above his plexus
my son in braids
claps and raps
yes we can
I stare and shake my head
when we can
we need a fan
to tan his hides
so he will not go
out with the tides

Sunday, May 23, 2010


She wore red
midriff across her breast
and took the path
that led to her nest

The crickets sang
a melody to the breeze
Jasmine scented night
Moonlit kissed sky

They stood hidden
amongst the brambles
machetes gleaming

She sang along the path
thoughts of loved faces quickened her steps
they moved one pace closer too
the owl screamed a warning
lady you are led
to a fiery slaughter

The moon dipped
they jumped out
incantations galore
faces smeared with terror
one pinched scream
then a whimpered silence
the march to the grove
of the ancestral spirits

Now her red is spattered
with the red of her blood
it is the ritual of ignorance
danced by dead and living
In the eerie market square.
As they danced
her head impaled
on the grimaced mask
of dead ancestors
and her children
wait for her return.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Roadside explosion

Roadside explosion

the kick of the foetus
brought her to her feet
a dark silhouette against
the desert.

the gathering ball of
of the fleeing jeep
took him away
from the lust of war.

face to face
she stared at him
a nightmare from her dreams
his scared staring eyes
jaded from the screams
of constant mortar fire.

across the haze of
mutual hate and suspicion,
her pain and shame,
the soldier
mid-wifed the newborn
of the rejected bride.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


She said,
We could be friends
I wonder how

she wears laces and gold
I am garbed in tattered folds
she dines like a queen
My meal is of figs

wish I can feel
her vision
as my mission
she is a politician
that dances
to different tunes
by fake praise singers

my voice is lost
in the din
as I try to
show her my
welts from her thugs

she wants to be
first lady to
initiate her pet dreams
that will only keep me
in dread
for my future

Saturday, April 17, 2010

the dowry

we paid five cows
fifty goats
and hundred yams
danced round
the village square
and gave salt
and honey
for our brother’s wife

she came
looked like
a tanker
back and front
ate all the food
had no warmth
chased mother away

she sat
on the stoop
and made herself
pretty for every passing
male, laughed loudly
at his pains
of getting a whale
for a wife

we decided on a course
to stop the abuse
of our name
by our wife

one night
we gave her
kegs of palm wine
lots of barbecued goat
now merry and noisy
we led her in a dance
to the biggest cow
tied at the village square

morning brought relief
as our bride
awake and shamed
returned to her village
and peace returned
to our home

Friday, April 2, 2010

Dream Murder

He did not want to go home. He stared at the table in front of him as the shadows gathered, the hustle of the city slowing down as the night hawkers set up. He sat there as the sounds around him changed in tones and volumes. Why bother to go home he asked himself, should he maybe go to the police?, and tell them what? He shuddered and slouched deeper into his chair. At least he should make some attempt to put on the light. He could always go see the pastor, he told himself, or well one of these miracle churches where they would promise him release… from? his wife?

No pastor it is not about divorce. She is giving me everything I ask for. Good food every time I ask for it . Right figure, you know the type of figure that seemed to have- no don’t even think about it.

His skin crawled and he knew he was afraid. Should he tell his mum? ‘I told you she was the wrong color, didn’t I?’ , his mother would scream at him and then suggest they go ask the ancient one, or she would suggest a village wife as antidote.

What would he tell the police? They had seen worse maybe. So his story wouldn’t be anything new— except maybe raise a laugh.

Was he really frightened? He really didn’t believe that, did he? But then, did he dare to say it to her. He also felt jealous. She had described the affair so well that he was not so sure he should not actually head for the divorce courts. He should give Ade a call. He imagined Ade’s smile and he cringed, for he also remembered that his friend had been skeptical when he had come in excited that he was going to marry Kike.

He tried to remember that party Kike told him about. She had acted like a normal lady. You know quiet, respectable, married lady. As always, she had not said much either, just kept to her corner and stayed close to him. What was the conversation at that party? Not much-er, okay, yes, he remembered. Jide had come over. Did he notice anything in the handshake he gave his wife? Jide, bland Jide, who they all teased because he never seemed interested in women. He looked and acted as if he was happily married.
How was I to know the man was a raging lover or, at least, her dream lover? I’m going crazy. But what the hell was the man doing in the dreams of his my wife?

That is right, he mocked himself. Was he to report to the police that his wife was having an affair with a man in her dreams?

He was not going to give the same reason to Ade, that he wanted to divorce his wife because she had a lover in her dreams and had been dumb enough to tell him.

He shifted in the chair, knowing he was afraid to admit to what had frightened him was not the explicit love making she had described but what had happened. It was not the dream lover but his wife. He was afraid to go home because his wife. He searched in the drawer for the bottle of whisky and took a shot. He did not feel better. I mean if I am going to die I had better do it as a man. Had she marked him too? He heard that such people do not like eating bitter meat and he shuddered. Go home to your loving wife he told himself and the phone rang with the special ringtone he had allocated to his wife. He jerked as if he had been stung and stared at the phone not answering.

I hit him in the head with a stick and he called me the next day to say he had a headache. Why is he having the same dream as me, and why is he having a headache when I only hit him in the dream?

He had stared at her as she asked that question, her eyes wide and worried, tears filling them as she gave the final sequel to the story. He could not ask her if she had enjoyed the lovemaking in the dream, or if Jide was better than him. He swore at himself in self pity.

I warned him not to bother me again because next time I wouldn’t just hit him with a stick I would come with a knife and stick it up and kill him,’ were her final words and he remembered how he had backed away. The phone call to Jide, how his throat went dry when it was picked up by a stranger who said Jide was found dead on his bed with blood on his lips. He came to work in a daze.

The phone rang again, it was his wife calling and the janitor knocked on the door as he crashed to the floor.

Friday, March 26, 2010

When is it time

There is a small amount confusion amongst us mothers from my part of the world. First has been the relief that we can now claim to have ‘seat’ in our husband’s family as a bride is not considered a wife until she has what is called the fruits of the womb. We also have a saying that a bad child belongs to the mother while a good child is the one that has not pointed to his father’s house with his left hand never mind if the child is left handed or not. The world we are now a global village and so we are expected to be part of a global community with our diverse cultures and customs. This is the rub where the old and the new seem to have a divergence of opinion. My mother will tell you that you must do it as it was done in her grandmother’s time if we do not want to eat unripe fruits that will set our teeth on edge! By translation therefore discussion on sex is completely off.
In the old days it was enough for you to announce that your monthly cycle had started for you to be given half hints, innuendoes and unfinished sentences. That was the best you would from your mother or aunts about the meaning of monthly cycle, what it means to you and what you were to expect. You were pretty much left to get the answers yourselves. The dictum was, nice girls do not discuss such things! I remember being mystified each time was discussing with my young aunts about if they had seen their ‘time’ as the monthly cycle was quaintly referred to then. There was the added myth that it was the best time to get pregnant! I remember when I was young I kept away from anything male during that time!
It evolved from being described that way as the ‘time’ to the description we gave it .We simply said we had a ‘visitor’ and therefore excused ourselves from our peers if cramps made the day difficult. The myths and misconceptions had grown and we gleaned from our biological textbooks what sexual education we could if we were interested. The ignorance about an open and frank discussion cost some of us dear, even taking the ultimate cost of lives from illegal abortions.
It is different now, open and frank discussion on sexuality has become the order of the day.The question now is how soon should you start such discussions? We have those who feel that innocence should be maintained for as long as possible. That a child should be allowed to remain a child but there have been increasing cases of paedophiles that makes nonsense of such longings.
We have lost our innocence from the days of accepting sweets from an uncle or aunt and most homes now frown definitely at the idea of live in house helps of whatever sex even heamphrodite! One worried neighbor put up a sign “MILITARY ZONE KEEP MOVING< GUNS AND DOGS ON DUTY’! why, he had teenager daughters and they were a sensation on the street with their skimpy clothes and habit of taking a walk along the road anytime the father had to go work.
One pissed off mom said she didn’t think the girls had mothers. She could not answer the question though when I asked how soon she could start talking to her children about their bodies. To mothers from the Western world they’d probably wonder how far back in the middle ages am I referring to? But my friends who are mothers and from my part of the world, would understand the embarrassment of a mother whose daughter just started her monthly cycle, she well went to the supermarket, they walked along the aisle until they got to the space where sanitary towels (why do they call them towels Mummy?) are kept and she simply picked one up and quickly hid it amongst the other purchases
She sweated looking for opening sentences when they got home. There were no guides about em you know,, er.. your and the child opens up and says ‘oh mum I saw you bought sanitary towels, did you remember to buy mine I will be due for the monthly mayhem next week.
What? May what?
The mother got an education.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Logic of Faith

Faith is a derivative of conviction and the conditions of conviction are based firmly on your experience. If no one has ever given you a slap, you would be hard put to accept that it could be painful. Do we thus wait until we have experienced the Almighty before we accept His existence or do we look through his creation and in experiencing the laws he has embedded in them do we then have faith?
How do you hold faith when you go to work, smile desperately at the boss and hope he will not call you round to his office, adjust his tie as your Adam's apple suddenly lodges itself on the wrong side of your throat and you stare at him waiting for him to spill the beans! Then he simply asks you if you have submitted the weekly report. Then you were on the edge of your faith thinking he was a nice guy.
How do you hold faith when you are afraid to answer the phone as you know the caller at the end of the line is your account officer and your bills have been due for more than the required grace period? You are sitting at the edge of your faith my friend when you lose count of the number of job applications you have filled and as your choices diminish your preferences take a dive into slime and you would apply for any job!
You are done fighting, you are done beefing about the egg heads who sold out your tomorrow even before you planned for today. Man! You are done! Pretty nigh extinguished in fact! You are done, see? Because you just counted the pennies in your pocket and it is only enough to buy death! Really? Don't go over the edge of your faith.
Sounds trite, but as boring as it is to read, there is always reason enough to wake up and smile. Move away from the edge of your faith, feel the steady beat of your heart, the next beat might be the change you need. God knows it is true! After all you are actually reading this! Imagine!
How do you hold a faith when your neighbors think you are better dead with his knife in your throat? How do you feel love when you are tied, and helplessly watch the slaughter of your closest and dearest? When being a member of a community might be invitation to murder or suicide depending on which side of the divide you happen to be standing.
It is the night when you stand watch for the whispering sounds on intolerance, the rumbling groans of hunger for blood spilled unevenly on the ancestral floor.
Masquerade in high places masked from the reality of their short sightedness to show the humanity of our common pain,and deprivations.
When to be a member of the street, you need to have everything yourself, your own road, your own water, your own electricity and the honourable thieves garbed in their obscene wealth will pay a few hungry soul to separate your head from your neck in order to re-arrange your destiny.
Friend, you ask, where in heaven’s name are you to grab at faith here?. Half a century of hope washed down the drain from the myopic vision of the same elders who paid your neighbor to kill your loved ones?
From the recesses of your tortured pain, the sun is still shinning! The atrocity of the rain to fall on the farm of those who have made you cry! The impersonality of a creator who returns to each and everyone the measure of their sowing.
That is the logic to your faith friend, that even this will pass and one day, all seeds at their appointed time will ripen and to each will come the just harvests!