TRIBUTE TO THE LION SHOT IN JOS

I am sorry. . .

I am sorry for the cold whimpers of Jos,
The one that blows you from ear to fuss.
I am sorry, sometimes we caged you and cuss
We let hunger lingered so you know we are the boss.
I am sorry for all those festivities,
Where we served you cold ice creams
Or came up with ways for you to escape our imaginations.
I am sorry we became too human for your liking
Offered no food sometimes, no grass for you to feel healthy
If you was suppose to be king
We didn’t know how to choose  your meals from your subjects
We misused English for Economics (little goats for food).
I am sorry, you had to live this long
And the pages of history has this to scribble.
I am sorry we took your pictures
When you were out of mood we were in selfies (selfish)
But you was always part of a 25th December, 1st January, Sallah or a birthday.
You practically was one of us.
I’m sorry you knew too much about us,
Explains why.
I am sorry for the heartbreaking news of your Queen.
We never even cared at all.
I am sorry we already had guns
Our nature knows how to kill than love, but we will soon Change.
I am sorry we saw tranquilizers only in movies.
We didn’t know we had to buy one.
I am sorry you had to find a way out somehow,
I guess you were on your way to see Santa
And ask him about the gifts of the previous years.
Or is it the Malaria, I hear their mosquitoes are not different from ostriches.
Or is it probably to celebrate Christmas?
I am sorry if you thought you were always living alone
Because now not even in death were you ever hated but exceptionally loved.
Maybe except the bullets that put you out.
I am sorry you was a Mufasa
But Scar didn’t get involved in this, he wasn’t behind the gun
There was a trigger and the bullets.
We mistook them for tranquilizers and now you’re asleep.
I am sorry if this tribute is late.
We didn’t wield this in our minds, not this fate
I can’t really fathom you’re gone.
Or really believe your story is done.
I am really sorry your soul is lost in the cold whimpers of Jos,
The one that blows caution to tranquilize our fuss.
I am sorry, sometimes your cage will no longer hold a curse.
We will never find another you, not another boss.
You’re now free to live in death.

#JosMufasa lives on 1972-2015

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POETRY ‘by Dike Chukwumerije’

Poetry is when, after seeing a woman pass, instead of just thinking quietly to yourself, ‘Wahala!’ you go home, sit down, take a piece of paper and write: “Without a doubt, you can stop a star in its celestial track. You! Twist it round for chance to see that glorious back. Shall I describe it? Swing and wobble, shake and tremble; that thing behind you will put me in trouble.” Yes. This is Poetry.
My sister, do no think too far. It is in the tempestuous flow of our ever-evolving language. That is what I told a young classroom. For I had asked for metaphors and been presented with – ‘Peter is as strong as a lion’, ‘Mary had a little lamb whose fleece was white as snow’. And I thought to myself – Really? Are they still using these things to teach Poetry? Even when they know that none of these children has seen any in real life – lion, lamb or snow? So, I laughed and said – Is that how your mother insults you at home? Tell me, how does your mother insult you at home? And one boy raised his hand and said – My mother always says, Why will you never sit in one place, this boy? You chop dog leg? And I told him – That is Poetry.
For how else could I make him understand? Yes. How else can I make you understand, that understanding is not the same thing as understanding the meaning of every word I use? Not when the objective is to make you see – to see the darkness as I see it, to force your hand up to your chest as if it was your own heart in danger of breaking. For we are not so different, you and me. The same palpitations wake you up too, like rain drops on a tin roof, or the low rumbling in the distance – of fear, of relentless thoughts running tight circles in your head, whispering, ‘You will not make it’, over and over again. Just that I sit up and put them down, those things we both have say to ourselves to get out of bed in the morning. Did you not know – written or whispered – that they are Poetry?
As are the moments we wish would never end. Like the minutes before the rain catches up with the wind, when it is just the trees at your window rustling in anticipation. Tell me, how do you express the feeling? Of waiting for a storm? Of lying beside a child and feeling her fall asleep to the disjointed sound of that your join-join story? I tell you, that is why we cannot mind these people who go about acting as if wealth is only ever something you can write a figure against in your column for assets. How? When each of us has at least one memory of a moment we wish had never ended. How?
So, do not think of it as something Shakespeare wrote. My brother, look to the left. Then look to the right. Now rub your eyes vigorously and try to see the things you see every day – houses with fingers dug into the sides of the earth; children giggling beneath dull trays of groundnut; women standing like rocks against the rain; men squashed together in a small bus, laughing out loud as it puffs its way up a hill in second gear. It is everywhere, this thing. True. You may search till tomorrow and find not one person on a soapbox anywhere calling out – ‘Romeo, O Romeo, wherefore at thou, O Romeo?’ – but this our Poetry? It is everywhere…

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POEM: PEN FOR YOUR THOUGHTS

 

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This discord from which you stare

Should be a light to burn from when you glare

Shadows befall and strangle your

Head from your neck so you’re choked tight

You have a gift of the art, itself in pots

A fall from the highest point of knowledge

The integral expressions of desire

Sets to its cloudy fragments

But nothing has been written on that sheet

It is as blank as the little piece of mind

Erased by the fear of the future, its stain, too perfect to design

I have also a globe of misdirection

But still stiff my neck to glorious parchments

Where wisdom is taught and understanding is precise

Why then will the time piece be colored back in black?

When all your thoughts hold are white pains in stains

The look in your soul prefers the enigma in softer words

Shallow enough to let a tear roll from the eye of the fish

So life rolls you in and around the neutral orbit of glitz and glam

You can entwine in the drum-rolls of the black man

But also shall dust travel to soil your friendship

So you too can borrow what brothers have leased

A pen for your thoughts, where no one can bother.

© Rudolph Adidi