A fowl is missing from the next village.
That night they heard a shriek, a snap and silence.
Jòná says “who cares?” it is not my fowl”.
Then a goat was stolen two streets away,
we found clean-picked bones and spices,
remorseful pots, cooking devices, but no goat.
Jòná says “who cares? the goat is not mine”.
Then 234 girls were stolen from across the street
while still suckling on his mother’s laps
The men were in no hurry,they waited for dinner
then had a bath, took the kids and even cutlery
Jòná says “who cares? it is not my cutlery”.
The moon and stars are shy tonight,
some men have lept over the fence,
we hear heavy footfalls outside the wall,
now a noise on the roof
Jona whimpers, “could that be my roof?”
Then we hear a knock, a loud one
On Jòná’s door.
This morning I woke up and didn’t pull your hair
with those teasing words I say every time.
I couldn’t since I woke up next to an empty room,
void except for a bed that mockingly yawns
with the hollow of when you last slept in it
and the mess you left (for me to clean)
but it’s okay,I won’t tell my sister about it
as it would be mad to report you to you.
This afternoon, I went to church (like I always do)
and everyone was happy to inform me
with news they heard from me.
They said, now she’s gone, how do you feel?
So on the outside I smiled
but gave them head knocks in my mind.
This night is the end of the first day you left
but clichés hate the mouth of this poet
though I often wonder what the point is
to say very simple things such as
“I miss you” or “I love you” complicatedly.
I’m certain however that you’ll enjoy your new bed
while ‘tomorrow’, I’ll watch things scatter together here.
(c) Tolu’ Akinyemi
For 3 years, I shared a flat with my sister in London. Last year she got married. Yesterday she moved across the pond to join her husband, so I wrote a poem
Rotten grass is food
to a starving man,
(he’ll even steal to survive) as
a rioting belly knows no shame,(and)
an ‘un-food-filled’ one, fears no rebuke.
A woman in labour has no regard
for funerals and solemn rites.
She needs her help and wants it now.
She’ll scream for it and doesn’t care
if the doctor’s busy on (his) duty
making children with his wife.
Like this dying man scrambles for air
scribbling dire words with his blood.
He wants to live, (so) he wants you now.
I had turned the corner of a bank building into a connecting street when his voice slapped me in the face like a Monday morning.
It was a Monday morning really, a bit cold and with the usual orderly morning confusions. This gentleman’s voice was ringing out, loud and clear over the heads of people going about the day’s business. Continue reading