Wow, how many years has it been? 15, 20, 25? I am sorry I haven’t written in so long, life comes with its peculiar sort of problems made even worse by the length of living. I hope you accept my apology, I know I haven’t been a very good friend but I strive to be an honest one.
I saw your father last month. It was a chance encounter and very brief, almost like he wanted to hurry off on recognizing who I was. I do not blame him for his haste, I understood and mumbled my apologies as I took my leave. I remember when you and I would huddle in your father’s workshop and play with his discarded paper and thick industrial glue. Sheltered from the world we would make cartoon figures and day-dream about who we would be once we got older. I am so sorry that time drove us apart, I would love to hear if the future brought you the very things you craved for as a child, I know mine didn’t.
That reminds me, how’s your sister? I must confess now that I always had a crush on her and I suspect she, on me. We used to steal glances and smile at each other when you were not looking. I wonder where she is now. I suspect she is married with children. I doubt she still remembers me, I would forgive her for it, we were only children were we not?
Remember that day we fought? I can’t for the life of me remember why we fought but I remember we had traded blows and when we were separated from causing more physical harm to each other I had started crying and shouting how much I hated you. Funny, we were back playing 2 hours later in my sitting room. Ah, the innocence of children.
I have to go now Tunde but I promise to write more often henceforth. I hope you get to read this letter and it makes you remember that you haven’t been forgotten. I miss you my friend, your death at the age of 12 will never change that.
Still her wake (awake) Sleep breathes no more My eyes tour the darkness My thoughts feel so sore For her wake leaves me spent I tire of tears Do not ask me to cry for her death I tire of fears So all I can do Is look out the window Beyond the darkness And see the inner glow For she lies silent in my thoughts A dead relic of nature’s gift A placebo for my dark thoughts A drunken binge, a face lift.
“Where something stands, there also something else will stand”
I read Chinua Achebe’s “Beware soul brother” anthology when I was much younger. I think Grandpa had grounded me for a week for a misdemeanor and to cure my boredom (because we had no phones at the time), I had gone through my dad’s things and found his books in a box.
I took special interest in Chinua’s work because his poetry was …. easy. It sounded like an older person telling you a tale on a dark night, lit with nothing but a lone firewood cackling with flames to keep you warm. It felt… friendly.
I had read the above quotes in one of his poems and it didn’t really resonate with me then… but it does now.
Black’s stark dark
White’s life’s spark
Black’s darkness doomed
Dark’s hellish fumes
Dark alley filled with dark goons
White lane filled with bright boons’
Bright’s’ the mind where greatness looms
‘Dull’s’ the thoughts where Senseless spoons
Even God hates black
Seperating light from dark
Dark continent filled with boohoo
Dark dolls are voodoo
Dark thoughts? A booboo
But I seem to know some noble
Black were the heels inside the “King’s “shoes
Black’s the ‘X’ unsought in our Maths group
Black was the glove on Smith’s fist too
Black might be the finger that triggers the pistol
But white’s the hand that crafted this fist tool
They pocket the gains more than a fist full
While the blacks die, pitiful
White Jesus, black devil, all dribble
White salvation, black starvation, all fables
The Dark Continent’s filled with tables
The mind’s well fed,
They even got food for thoughts too
Before you walk into the light, embrace the dark
And you shall see that it’ll bring genius sparks… OOPS
Tonight I become vegetarian
For I tire of their cock and bull
No more beefy dreams please
Let me lean on my lean realities
What do you make of me?
For I quietly lose sleep
I wake to sit on the plateau
Ravaged by the hate in their arms
NO!! I say
Do not come hither
For I take off my shoes here
But your boots cannot be removed
Do not shed my tears
I care not much for crocodiles
I shall feed off the greens of my flag
For the white has been made a loud lie
My fears are buried under the Plateau
So now I stand an immoral man
What did you think the result
Of an open wound licked by flies?
The putrid puss of vengeance
calls out to my brothers in arms
And like bees to nectar
They are drawn to my stench
So tonight I warn you
Sleep with no eye shut
For I shall come on the wings of dreams
And torment your already damned soul
I run faster now
For I feed off the earth
Here the plants grow fast
Manured by the innocent dead.
Broken Words unspoken open wounds festering Lub-Dub of a vacillating heart beating Here, sitting, unfeeling, unseeing Silent, spent, bent Unhoping Listen, Silence Hoping Rifle to the temple, simple? Petrified of the after A cold frown or warm laughter? A slave with no master Adrift with no rudder Mother, here? Where fear and resolution become one? Or there? Naive dreams of unending sums I hear… nothing No turn of the knob Nursing a violent and continuous throb Of a heart beating in fear Who shall receive my missive? Words to paint the why But mostly to deceive Because my reason is non-existent Like the myth called happiness
HER: To kill a foetus
What does that make us?
You want us to take an innocent’s life even before it’s started
Snuff it like it was never here?
Like it’s not a combination of us
A child, sleeping, nestling inside of me
A child you put to be nurtured in me
Now you ask me this, so torturous
Telling me it’s the only way out, giving excuses
Well excuse this! because I’m not doing it
I’m not dimming a light meant to be protected
I will protect it
With or without your assistance
This is my cross, I will carry it
HIM: Girl, Listen
We barely see eye to eye, see what I’m saying?
How are we to raise a baby when we constantly beefing
Bickering like little children
You can’t stand me and I get it
I can’t stand you so we even
To put a child in all that is madness
I’m not ready to be a parent
It’s not all about you, I also have a say in this
A baby can’t be discarded,
It’s a life-long commitment
Plus it was conceived through a one night stand
HER: One night stand but you didn’t stay protected
We knew the probable result but to not care we elected
Why should it suffer the consequences?
Why should it pay for our indiscretions?
I cannot snuff the life of a part of me
Even if it’s another of you
I refuse to not see past my instant fears
Into probable wondrous years
HIM: We are a China shop and this baby is a bull
I barely have a job and you’re still in school
How are we to feed it?
How are we to pay hospital fees?
How are we to parent it when we are barely grown ourselves?
We can barely clothe ourselves
Don’t be a fool
What you ask is impossible
Why bring a child into this when we are trying to break out of it?
I do not mean to crush your spirit
I know it’s what you want but is it what you need?
Do you think we are fruitful enough to raise a seed
Call me a coward but you can’t call me stupid
This is a fool’s dream, wake up
Don’t make me a stereotype,
I’m not the deadbeat type
But you decide you’re hellbent on giving it life?
Then I’m out the door by sunrise
I might be a coward but I’m one that tells no lies
You’re going into this blind even though you got wide open eyes
You’ve got dreams, a baby right now gives them wings
I don’t mean it will make it soar, I mean away it flies
You can’t do it alone
You need me and I won’t be here, I swear
You need me and I won’t be here, I swear