MRS QUEEN, MISS KING! (A tribute)

A short story in honour of the anniversary of this Queen of England

Queen Elizabeth II

Northern,
Nigeria
1st February 1992

Dear Mrs Queen,

My mama tells me you will not get to read this letter of mine, but she suggested I made it very brief all the same.

I wish to prove her wrong, so please write back and say you got my letter. I promise to be your pen pal if you do.

Your friend,
Miss King.

THE PALACE,
LONDON,
ENGLAND.
14th February, 1992.

Dear Miss King,

We got your letter and we were quite glad to read from you. We are sure this letter will make your mother eat her words and apologise to you.

We will love to be your pen pal, so do please write us again and tell us about yourself, your family and your friends, your home and your country too.

We have very few real friends ourselves, and only get to meet mostly boring people who do not know how painful it is to keep smiling everyday of the year; especially if we do not really feel like it most of the time.

We are looking forward to your next letter. We hope you will write us very soon. Do please write your name on the top left corner of the face of the envelope your letter will be in. This will help us locate and identify your letter quickly.

Royally yours
Mrs Queen.

Northern,
Nigeria
1st March 1992

Dear Mrs Queen,

My mum is seated beside me as I write you this letter and she is beyond herself with wonder. She gave me thirty naira to buy the stamps for this letter and has promised to correct all the mistakes I make in my letters to you. She sends her regards.

I was born on 15th April, 1980; which I’m told is a Tuesday. I’m twelve years old and I’m too short for my age. I like blue, sweets, cakes, cats, bicycles, comics and I am in class five. My first name is Titi but I love being called Miss King. I have one brother, he doesn’t have many teeth now though. He lost most of them somehow. He is still only six.

Daddy and Mummy are married. Daddy is a lawyer and mummy is everything else. She drives us to school and back, cooks, washes, cleans and even does most of the talking too. My friends are many but I’ll not tell you about them. You see, I’m punishing them for not believing I’m your pen pal.

I live in Northern Nigeria. They are always burning houses here. I live in Tudun wada. They are always shouting out of loud speakers in Tudun wada. My country is very big and we have so many states, but I do not know all of them now. Daddy says I should not bother to learn the names of the new state governors because they will change them again very soon.

I am of the country’s western Yoruba tribe. Last time when there was trouble we went to stay with my grand mum in Ibadan. When you write me, please tell me about London. Is it true that the people in London do not wear wristwatches because there is a big clock in the sky? My paper is finishing and I must stop now. Please write me soon.

Your friend,
Miss King.

THE PALACE,
LONDON,
ENGLAND.
14th March, 1992.

Dear Miss King,

We can understand your mother’s excitement and the disbelief in your friends’ attitude. It is not always that people so different, like you and we become pen pals.

We were very interested in what you had to say about your country, your home, your family and yourself. We assure you that we are not as tall as our age either!

It is easy to notice how you made your country appear rather unpleasant. We wonder, is it really? Do you always have trouble in your country? What kind of trouble do you usually have? Are you always is some sort of danger in these times of trouble? We do love to know more.

We do love to tell you about London. London is our very big capital city. It is very old in a quite modern sort of way. It is noisy in most parts of the larger city and that is true for most times of the days of the week and all year round too. It has lots of people living in it from all parts of the world.

We do not know about people in London not wearing wristwatches because of a ‘big clock in the sky’. We do know that there is an old big clock on a tower called BEN, which can be seen (and heard) from many places in London. The people we are allowed to see always have wristwatches on, but then we suppose they always dress themselves up rather well, to meet us.

We would be delighted if you will keep on writing us. Do not forget to write your name on the top left corner of the face of the envelope that your letter will be in. It makes it much easier for us to locate and identify your letter from the hundreds we receive everyday. Our regards to all you love.

Royally yours,
Mrs Queen.

Northern,
Nigeria
25th March 1992

Dear Mrs Queen,

Daddy bought me a new writing pad today and mum got me some more envelopes and stamps. So as you can see, I will never stop writing you until I die. I was glad to hear about London and BEN. Daddy showed me a picture of BEN. He says it also has some kind of bell. You make London sound interesting. I will love to visit it some day.

I did not wish to make my country sound so unpleasant but it is quite hard to write anything about my country without making it sound so. I know that there is always some kind of trouble everywhere else; it is human. Actually, I borrowed that last bit from my daddy.

My country is one; at least it appears to be. But even the number ‘one’ has its fractions, so my country also has its ‘factions’. These factions know they must agree, yet they do not agree always just like the fractions in the number ‘one’ don’t agree often, most of the time. I hope you understand all that numbers bit; I am not so good in arithmetic. Neither are most of the factions in my country, it would appear.

The trouble is mainly that of superiority. Each faction claims to be more important than all the others. Religion, population, tribe, politics, literacy and commerce are used as a yardstick to measure and establish the superior faction. It is a sort of social mathematics. This affects the weak oneness that we have amongst all of us and always causes lots of trouble.

At times of trouble, it is dangerous to stay on in the opposing faction’s town. They may burn down your property and kill you too, if you don’t run away. Daddy always makes sure we run away in good time when our neighbours are our current opposing faction, or there is a hint of any trouble.

My country is a beautiful place. There are many tribes and people of very different customs and religions. I think we are together because we had no choice. Daddy said YOU gave us no choice, but he didn’t sound sure. It is late and I must go to bed now. Mummy is breathing down my neck; after making me write most of her own stuffs too. Please write me soon.

Your friend,
Miss King.

Northern,
Nigeria.
1st July, 1992.

Your Majesty,

I’m Titi King’s mother. I must apologise on her behalf for her inability to reply your letters. In fact, I just discovered the last two letters and birthday card you sent her. You see, we were away in Ibadan with Titi’s grand parents. There was an ethnical and religious uprising in the town we reside in.

It started on a Sunday evening. Titi’s father and I were away, visiting friends in another part of town. Only Titi, her younger brother and our maid were left in our flat. The maid got out with Titi’s younger brother but Titi was burnt down with the flat by a mob and we lost her so painfully.

I am sure she would want you to know that you had made the last three months of her life so wonderful. Thank you so much for this and God bless you.

Yours sincerely,
Mrs King

LONDON,
ENGLAND.
10th May, 1992.

Dear Mrs King,

We are so sorry.
I am so, so sorry.

Yours
Liz

________________________________________________

“How do I tell how you feel,
Sitting on this height’s will?
Personal love trapped within,
Expectations curbing peace in.”

“I can easily say your state,
As only a child truly taste.
For love within is personal,
Our judges are then eternal.”

POEMS: Aeon of Dew, Common Story, Goats & Father

AEON OF DEW

Crept in mourning morning
Crying away thy sorrow.
Skies’ spittle woke sobbing,
Burying the last morrow.

Whispers roam on a wind
Saying words all heard,
Soothe the first twilight’s mind
As early snakes grow a beard.

Tender heavenly rays announce
Judge’s back from a night abroad.
This first creation another ounce
In a repertoire of realms so broad.

COMMON STORY

“In days old and long gone by
A young Goat still with speech
Asked humans as he went by
Their old time wasting pitch.

“‘Have you seen my wives go by?’
‘Wives?’ They jeer and returned.
Enquiries to, the grown kid comply.
‘Wives,’ he so proudly confirmed.

“‘No laddie,’ their answer did fly.
‘We only saw your full mothers
And so many sisters walk by.’
‘But they’re all my wives, my brothers.’”

GOATS

POEM
Singing whispers talk to the Angels,
The embers of dieing souls yet float.
Smell and eat the matrimony of singles,
The adulterous flesh of the human Goat.

PROSE
Beautiful, sweet, soft words speak to the good,
Firing up the hapless situation with much wood.
Enjoying fully ungodly coupling of unwedded hope,
Grown up, unethical nature of the animalistic dope.

FATHER

Baba, mutuwa na da wuya?
Mun amince duniyar ka da wuya.

Father, is it hard to die?
We acknowledge the hassles of your world.
With life’s wards always roams a lie;
We all are reproductions of its mould.

Choking in the presence of its grip,
The inscrutable crux not familiarized.
Do we sit out the stages of its trip,
Like your peaceful love that wasn’t recognized?

From the weep the baby wails
To the whip’s lashes life hails,
These tastes we own and inherit.
Say oh father, is there better to merit?

IT’S STILL FUN TO PLAY TAG!

I am making friends all over the place and a model-like favorite of mine; camgal, tagged me with a delightful reminder of how important it is for the blogging community to learn more about its own & show them off too.

So brace up kids & you’re it!

Here are the rules, read them, they are important
1. You must post the rules.
2. You must post eleven fun facts about yourself.
3. You must answer the questions your tagger set for you
4. You must create eleven questions to ask the people you tag.
5. Tag eleven people and link them on your post.
6. Let them know you have tagged them.

So here are 11 fun facts about myself ……

I am tall & I have problems with doors & ceiling fans.
I do not like horror films & don’t see the point in them!
I read a lot & read a number of books simultaneously.
I love classical music & sleep or read with music playing.
I enjoy driving on highways or hiking anywhere.
I make friends with ladies easier & have few male friends.
I find the concept of Gay persons intriguingly misconstrued.
I love kids stuff, Cartoons strips & adore kids to a fault.
I adore Williams Shakespeare & Wordsworth & Leon Uris.
I keep to myself mostly but love feisty heated debates often.
I like making others happy & quite often get hurt as a result.

Answers to questions from camgal

1- If you were a spy and had to make up 3 Aliases and Be from 3 different countries, what names and countries would you choose?

I will stick to a single name: Man Fang & I could easily be A Native American, A Chinese man & A Nigerian from one of the southeastern coast ethnicity groupings.

2- What is your worst vacation spot?

The noisy, hot & speculative city of Lagos, Nigeria,

3- Would you overcome your greatest fear if you were offered half of a million dollars?

I do not think so because I dread being imprisoned & a million dollars could as easily imprison me or hasten my route to being caged.
4- Imagine you were about to get killed by terrorists, what would you do?
Take some of them with me & save as many innocent persons as possible; not necessarily in that other
5- If you owned a billion dollar company, what kind of company would it be?
It will be one that sells the most essential live-saving drugs at very affordable prices.
6- What are your best memories since you started blogging?
Finding out how easily I could put my work out there & having it read by lots of interested people, was a huge revelation. I cherish that sole memory endlessly.
7- If you could go back in time would you make all the choices you made or would you change things and what kind of things?
I will make the same wrong & right choices definitely because I still wouldn’t know how the renewed changes would turn out anyway. That is confusing eh? Well that is the sheer abnormality of the concept of time travel. It is ridiculous!

8- Do you find blogging about whatever it is you blog about- EASY/MEDIUM/DIFFICULT and why?

EASY, but that is only because I love writing for writing sakes.

9- What kind of music are you into and who are you worst artists?

I love classical & Praise singers; not the church sorts, annoy me.

10- What kind of novels do you read and who are your best writers?

Fiction based on history & poetry with tangible imagery based on intangible thoughts. I adore Williams Shakespeare & Wordsworth & Leon Uris
.
11- How odd were these questions and did you find them hard to answer?
The first question about being a spy was weird but all the others were rather conventional & easy enough.

My list of honors & not victims;

Rhonda ; I guess there IS a cure for the incurable!
ManicDdaily
earthslang
Subhan Zein
weelilwimsy
Sharmishtha Basu
truelovejunkie
Life is an Exquisite Journey
Kira
insidethebirdcage
boomiebol

My questions for your answering!

If you really had the option of changing your name, identity & nationality, would you & to what, if you could?
What do you thing is the reasons why some people are gay & other are not?
If you alone knew for certain when you will die, would you rather keep it a secret or tell anyone?
Do you think you will be a lot happier of you were a lot more different from what you are now?
If you had the choice of killing someone painlessly, to save them and prevent them from an agonizingly slowly death, would you?
What is cruelest comment you had made on somebody else`s blog post, was it honestly made & would you take it back if you could?
Has blogging made a world of difference in your life?
Do you have any particular event that you could quite clearly identify as the most life altering occurrence in your life?
Do you think educated people are a lot friendlier & more sincere than uneducated persons?
What are the most difficult choices you made & would you change these choices if you had a foolproof chance to do so?
What is the longest time you have kept a secret & did you let it out intentionally finally or someone else did?

Please do endeavor to play along & keep the tag flow going.

YAS

What I Want You to Say,

Most certainly, the most tasking effort in our daily relationships is admitting to ourselves that other people already know what we are thinking of or are trying to disguise, that we are predictable & actual quite normal people by being so.

This poem handles the subject in an abstractive but assertive sense.

BAIS SELFLESSNESS (IV) ; corruption is miss-defined

(This the last of a four part essay on corruption)

CORPORATE MANAGEMENT

One common misrepresented assertion by leadership, is the emphasis of the unconditional unity of the governed. It is a commonly embraced mistake. It appears straight forward and basically advocated as reasonable. Who will have anything against unconditionally unifying different ideas to smoothen and ease the act of governance? Everyone will wish for such a luxuriously pacifying state, it makes things obviously easier.

But this is only a utopian dream. Man is too different to be that agreeable. Hence we would agree only for the instant purpose it serves. But in our agreement is a very obvious yet subtle disagreement that serves only our purpose. There must be that inevitable sense of compromise holding together human unity for it to be comfortably binding. To rely on this circumstantial relationship as the foundation of any policy is to have faith in only one direction of wind to steer a ship on the high seas.

People will always rely on their very own selfish judgment first of all and when the whole community of the governed are being considered, unity is then too unreliable to be an exact policy. Shrouded in his old traditions are man’s thoughts, which are fundamentally tutored to be bias to his very own personal ideals.

The principle of ‘the longer it lasted, the longer it lasts’ was not coined after some rare scientific experiment or sociological evaluation. It is a human certainty that is as old as humanity. Over an extended period man has managed every area of his activities in ways he considered appropriate to his immediate circumstances, with regards to his particular orientation. This is as traditional, as it can be simply broken down to its barest.

An individual’s thoughts and deeds are guided by what is traditional to his own immediate physical and emotional environment. These are major determinants in the reaction of man in every given setting and basically predict his actions, or in-actions. The perspective of the misguided will always be hunted by their traditional orientation and this will pull their sentiments in directions they unconsciously do not have complete control over. In devising an acceptable line of thought for any group, it is essential to consider their prior orientation.

It is important to weigh their special particular sentiments and adjust their methods of choice to their comprehension as well as capabilities. Neglecting this fundamental option is always counter productive and to a considerable extended destructive too. The nature of man’s assorted cultural settings has schooled his customs and ensuing norms in a huge collection of highly imaginatively imposed regulations, even as they evolve.

None evolves without some form of basic communal want that is being advocated for or protected from undesired possibilities. In achieving these quests of managing an embraced system, man’s norms simply develop. They develop into a standard form of behaviour and the immediate community normalizes these as is usual and expected. These norms have shackled the capabilities of any form of government within a society.

They are not necessary ill-conceived enacted laws; which they evolved into with stealth, when not put aright fundamentally. They are mainly conceptions of bias origins. Norms hinder the progressive work in any liberalized institutionalized society. The ethnic origin of man’s sentimental choices has made him unreliable as he is. Man is naturally prone to constant bias at times of decision making. He is completely incapable of continuously taking decisions devoid of sentiments.

Man embodies a life of abject subjective choices and all his apparent or obvious efforts to appear otherwise are actually just as bias. Man is a slave of his feelings and he is in a state of this perpetual captivity. The only possible escape is when he is subjected to his own communal cooperative dictates, which ensures that he functions within a life sustaining spherical confine of behavioral norms, which govern his actions.

This established confine, loosely but recognizably, keeps human action within a manageable state at all times of relative organization and thus man’s bias excesses are managed. This is a mythical spherical form, not unlike his limiting atmospheric earth. And is as complex as it is likewise simple in its revelation.

It is this common compromise that is reflected in the stated communal cooperative organization, which when legally united, forms a defined administrative body that can act as a managerial unit. This group’s natural behaviour incorporates management. The constant bias apparent in their functions actually binds and thus ensures their continuous existence and apparent success as corporate management, based on its practicability.

Man’s state of affairs is too complicated to be given a definite solution at every twist and turn. But true to his nature, man will always respect his need to be bias to his selfishness and when this is determined by norms his very sentiments hold dearly, he is selfless. In the mazy hedge of his emotions and decisions underlines the fact that, if he seeks to succeed he must only show this dogged ‘Bias selflessness’.

Unity is too circumstantial for a policy,

Tradition orients a people’s sentiment.

Ethnic norms always cage the polity;

In constant bias corporate management.

BAIS SELFLESSNESS (III) ; corruption is miss-defined

(This the third of a four part essay on corruption)

COOPERATIVE ADMINISTRATION

One unique feature of religion is its tenacious adherence to fixed and definite principles. These principles are the basis of its existence as a religion and are fundamentally the seed that gave birth to its very essence. The idea will most probably not make rational sense but the most rational being will support and defend it sensibly and at the peril of his own sanity, physical comfort and even his very existence.

Religion is not the faith in the principle that embodies it, but faith in the mystical entity that signifies it. The dictates of this mystical entity are conveyed in the principles adhered to at every physical and mental cost, with an attempt to constantly de-emphasis self and enhance the prominence of the symbolized entity of the faith; be it human or inanimate, or just mystical.

The formation of an organic entity to personify religion gives religion an attitudinal face. The revealed and related activities of these faces give the religion a logical form. Very few persons have really enjoyed the true luxury of choosing a religion. From time immemorial, religion chose man and found him; by force, by region, by clan, by race, by trade, by tradition, by history, by birth, by orientation or de-orientation, ironically.

Nothing calms and still agitates man like his faith in something he regards to be bigger than himself. Religion had given him reason to reason, and answers to ponder and wonder, erroneously or correctly. Religion is honestly a matter of acceptance and conviction, yet confusion as well; individual opinion. One irony of religion is its singular and as yet, unduplicated ability to truly unify all its conquests in a common course without relying on any democratic dictates.

There is nothing democratic about religious overtures. It is the most dictatorial from of human management ever used or applied by the human race. Truly, the obvious belief in its perceived non human origin would have ensured that it is seen as not human and thus beyond the comprehension of humans. But the fact remains that it is basically and entirely administered purely by human beings. Whether influenced or not, the instant choice of believing, complying and adhering is always human.

Hence man administers religion. This, as stated, has been largely successfully done within the religious communities, all in the absence of a democratic fabric. The fact that the back bone of every faith and religion is still the same today as it was at its onset and infancy for millennia past, points to another key feature of religion; it is unequivocally dynamic in every nature.

Religion maintains its structure but adjusts and fits itself rather well in all its many diverse travels, moulding both its conquests as itself to accommodate its conquests and still remains its unique identifiable self. This isn’t easily replicated. And as such this democracy that is being clamored for and that had, with such trendy popularity, thrust itself into more societies, is rarely recognized for what it truly is; a new religion.

It is relatively new to all other religions and foreign to their dictatorial and parochial principles. One can choose one god from another, democracy preaches. One can change anything one does not like, democracy teaches. All this as long as majorities agree that it should be so. Majority rule is the true definition of democracy. One individual’s choice takes the back seat and watches helplessly but vocally, for as long as he and his like opinioned cronies cannot convince the most from the other divide to accept their own opinion and stance.

They wait for democracy to choose them, like the religion with many deities it functions as and it is. Democracy doesn’t point at one deity; instead it has minor ‘gods’ that expire with their tenures. Governments don’t listen to a particular ministration but to their collective individual might; collectively expressed. Governance is stirred by the dictates of a few individuals.

A consensus is established when the empowered individual works with the majority. In practice this has been altered to fit circumstances and does not float down stream in most instances, but is pulled up stream, against clear popular wishes by certain pressures it must register, accept and comply to. If it desires to remain relevant in its present state, then it must succumb.

Each time a government is determined, it simply implies that power had been given to a small group. The government is a custodian of represented power. Its mandate, man-power and management have to be cooperated with by the people; if it is to be successful. Where there isn’t such cooperation, then its success is not established and tangible but just fragments of its imagination. Common sense shows that people based governments had administered within the confines of its own dictates pulled and pushed to fit its own determined policies.

Even popular governments have sipped from this pond of self-righteousness. The success of any given governance endeavour is strictly determined by the cooperation it gets and its objectivity; the former is as prominent as admits the latter. Their symbiotic romance harmonizes the polity and practically vindicates cooperative administration.

Religion is not as democratic as dynamic,

Thus government stirs to any ministration.

Civil cooperation and compromise laid thick,

Practically vindicate cooperative administration.

BAIS SELFLESSNESS (II) ; corruption is miss-defined

(This is the second of a four part essay on corruption)

LEADERSHIP’S INTERESTS

So many times the blatant fact is assumed but not proven, that the rich are arrogant and that humility is with the poor. But ignored is the reality of pretence being more evident in the poor or the less privileged. Isn’t it predominantly so evident that ‘Humility is the worst form of conceit’? Deceit is disguised in readied pretence predominantly. The vice of the rich being arrogance is akin to that of the poor, humility under duress.

In the weakness that is prominent in the poor, lies a quiet strength that is subtle. In the rich’s arrogance is sincerity and in the poor’s humility is a sinister compromise. But a virtue that makes a unique blend of these perceived extremes is leadership. Learnt or taught, experienced or developed, entrusted or made, given or denied, earned and won; leadership formulates its deed.

Leadership swings like a pendulum, in an arc that represents its own distinct interests; interests that subsequently direct its course, its aims, its objectives and its final achievements. Leadership is resourceful and commands resources in a manner that reveals its interests. If not in practice, it does eventually when it has run its course or ends its tenure, term and time.

Resources abound all over and finders are keepers. But then resources are nothing if they do not translate into a means of leadership. If authority has responsibility, then responsibility has authority. If leadership has resources, then resources have leadership. The resource is not beneficial if those who earned it do not lead it. If it leads them, then though resource has leadership, leadership doesn’t have resource and simply put; he that earns doesn’t get to pay his bills. When the earners are different from the payers, then a contest ensues.

A struggle ensues and subsequently grows out of a tussle for basic rights, borne out of an obvious desire to lead the resources that had been earned or won, by earners or payers, respectively. The disconnection is so evident in the chaos that ensues and nothing is as crippling in any clearly established setting as the corrosive effect of disorganization. It wears and tears with a persistence that suffocates and extinguishes the positive force in any establishment. Hence a contest fundamentally disorganizes.

Competition does not exist alongside cooperation within the same concurrent pair of settings. The presence of harmony represents compromise for shortcomings. And leadership must give a little here and there to enable it keep the flame of the force that powers its establishment. What makes conflict prominent is not the competition itself or even the perceived immediate material dividends of success imbedded in such contests. The attraction is the recognition that comes with it.

Most of the led are not bothered with who leads, but what leadership delivers. In a like manner, most of the leaders are not bothered about what their leadership actually provides but what the led think of what their leadership provides. This is leadership’s interest as it reveals itself now. This interest response easily to pretence and thrives solely on the feedback it gets from those around it. Most times the feedback is filtered through its cronies, who surround leadership and concentrate on giving it the kind of response that ensures their own personal existence and comfort, while not necessarily forwarding the actual response that strives to reach the leadership.

Leadership is thus misled and its interests with it. The elite are not as unsympathetic as they appear. They are as humane as every other being of every other economic class and status. The reason for this conclusive perception is however not far fetched.

The unquenchable desire to always have and keep protected that power gotten, has made the elite appear heartless. They strive to ensure that the sorts of lifestyles they enjoy are not reversed on any account. They have come up a steep road they see again and again; altered here or there, but very easily recognizable.

It is quite easily recognizable as a similar road that would take them downwards, if they are unwary of this fact too. Wealth and fame is like health and game. The big and strong appear fit but will become ill and die if careless and unlucky. The famous are loved today and hated tomorrow like a winner today loses or ends his winnings tomorrow. Mindful of the cold they could get, the elite will rather kill to stay warm, unsympathetically so.

The common man’s simplicity has made him blind to the difficulties associated with or being daily considered by the elite class. His decisions are mostly straight to the point, so much that the complications evident in being something else is not recognized and appreciated but instead simply taken at their clear face value and not scrutinized with proper analysis.

Evaluation is in itself an act of analysis and the two cannot be pinpointed divorced successfully. The led criticize easily for this same reason and leadership does not, for the same reason. The interest of leadership has to take a lot into consideration and most times, some of the things considered can not be publicly highlighted but still are very essential. Compromise at that level is mandatory, for every single detail. It is for this reason that a state of leadership is attained in the first place and will even be remotely and extensively exercised.

Arrogance is in the Rich’s vices and virtues.

The Earners’ and Payers’ contest truly rests,

Not on dividend, but on recognized dues;

Paid by all the leadership’s own interests.

BAIS SELFLESSNESS (I); corruption is miss-defined

(This the first of a four part essay on corruption)

PERSONNEL ASSESSMENT

Once too often we have faulted corruption for many of our woes. The cliché morale of the thief being the best guard is lost to our hypocritical high sense of fairness, justice and professed faiths. Truly and generally speaking, corruption gives undue advantage to the most undeserving individual. But then, that phase; “undeserving individual” is the vaguest in the most corrupt settings. Most times the individual deserves but is termed undeserving for reasons that are plainly put, manipulated.

The reasons are manipulated by individuals that undeservingly use their own privileged placing to emphasize bureaucratic procedures. This is practically the simple origin of corruption in the most organized settings, as we commonly recognize them. We have stereotyped our views of the organized human sector as a very complex hive of related human activities that are geared towards specific functions. This is true, but these same organized entities are basically made up of simple people firstly.

Organized settings are made up of separate persons that function in miniature micro niches of their own selves, family, clan and communities that are basically informal in nature. Their daily functional relationships with each other, has them exploring means to get the upper hand over the next person.

These efforts are loosely enhanced by acts that interpret into seeking undue advantage. This is not obviously encouraged, especially since most of those concerned get the bad end of the deal. But these same disadvantaged persons actually cheer the visible fruits of these very acts that are detrimental to them.

The so many gains of corruption are thus revered in the same communities that abhor it. The irony of it all is the fact that this is not quite literally contradictory, but genuinely existing opposites on the same plane of existing functions. The most vocal perpetuators of the ills of this derogatory human vice are consciously the same advocates of its human face.

The cheat is thus ‘heroed’ and put up on a pedestal of esteemed status. Then he is encouraged to unconsciously lead the trend, while he consciously leads the community. Given the very same opportunity, most of the clearly disadvantaged persons will readily make others as disadvantaged in their stead too.

The trended old ways recorded had much earlier reported that the simple origin of corruption itself, is definitely ethnical. The primitive ways of doing things had ushered means of seeking undue advantage. The ancestor, the elder, the in-law, the parent, the ruler, the intermediary and the interpreter are all doctored, by all means possible to ‘water down’ their resolve to ensure ‘due process’ is followed or adhered to, in a manner that appeared to be seeking undue advantage.

Payments are not stated in their clear terms, but insinuated. Or better still, most times not; but still expected in ‘Cash’ and in ‘Kind’. Cash is too definite, it puts exact value. Kind is loose and the gratitude shown lingers on for so much longer.

The generous nature of the action lies. Its will is a whim and its benefactor a fool and a tool that only necessitates the whole course of action. The action is not a perceived selfish push, but rather a pull with a bionic human horizontal-gravity-like pull, attracting all to maximize the ever elusive gains to excel by all means workable. The lie in the perceived generosity is just too evident in the visibly covert insinuation, so insultingly offered.

The sense of value marks out the level of priority of the people. What is valued and why it is valued and how it is valued? All makes out the essence of the people’s priorities. The fabric of society is hugely dependant on this. It is what differentiates civility from anarchy and stabs common sense behind its back.

Education when pursued for the sole aim of attaining a status is thus achieved with the same aim. While civility suffers in this course, a state of prosperity is attained. This sort of valuing has characterized our trusted modernity with such unequalled prominence, that nothing else matters to a generality of humanity. Humanity is nothing but what man’s deeds makes it and man after all becomes what he worships; it represents him.

What a majority represents insinuates a national character, a popular norm; which is embraced mainly because of its success, its viability and reliability. Corruption has thus developed into a national character for this same reasons and it is now a norm embraced mainly for its success. Its viability and reliability as it were, against what is otherwise termed proper. The people are after all one whole package with a single identity. To assess a nation, the main consideration is its very visible people.

The branding of the entirety of a company’s service is labeled by its personnel, the staff that functionalize the firm’s activities. Hence, to assess the personnel by means other than their very own, only really serves to disconnect the staff from their firm and then tradition runs a different race from the present, this should matter. Maybe it is then so apparent, that corruption is either wrongly branded or just plainly wrongly defined.

Corruption shouldn’t give undue advantage

Only when bureaucracy hinders advancement.

A nation’s constituent as one sole package

Needs its traditional personnel assessment.

POEMS: Judas; Peter, Saved, Live, Tale & Avant Garde, Cause Célèbre

JUDAS, PETER

“In faith I betray.”
“My faith I fail to say.”
“I put cost to my trust.”
“Mine in fear I just lost.”

“Silver pieces I sowed.”
“An ear my dagger mowed.”
“Son of man amidst us I show.”
“Son of God amongst us grow.”

“The master I so truly know.”
“To His end I didn’t follow.”
“One of the dozen chosen.”
“A special place I was given.”

“I failed myself not He.”
“It was as it was to be.”
“And my life I chose to kill.”
“After my tears, I humbled my will.”

SAVED

Saved as caught fishes,
Within their own wishes;
To leave waters so free,
Entrapped in fine twines.
Enslaved, seasoned free;
Saved from these times.

LIVE

It was the morning,
She was wide awake.
Eating rich breakfast pudding,
Picking the latest buy to make.

Her thoughts wonder before;
When cold, homeless and hungry,
Fasting and praying away her woe,
With God’s long wait she was angry.

Obedient as humanly possible,
Obvious promises she had made.
In luxury and comfort she’s unable
To live up, as time altered the shade.

In tears and sweat teeth gnash,
Bearing man’s trials on hand.
Fear of the unknown so harsh,
As pride sits on faith so hard.

Man seek the great illusion,
Misspelling the obligation to live.
Shunning God, His only illumination.
Evil backwards only says Live!

TALE

The tale of two lives;
All one to a person gives.
A life of haves and receives,
Another of wants, needs and lives.
Living able and able who gives.

AVANT GARDE, CAUSE CÉLÈBRE
(A very famous trial ahead of fashion)

“Wake up, you’re dead.
What says your plea?”
“Pray, I am in bed.
You come and flee.”

“Arise, you sleep not.
Your dreams all end.”
“Pardon, my reason is rot.
I am no fiend.”

“I ask not for I know.
State your stewardship?”
“To those above I, I bow.
For those beneath I, I reap.”

“Did they smile above,
Were they glad beneath?
“With every pain I solve,
With every single breath.”

“What of all the lands
And all that is of it?”
“With my mind and hands
I cared for every bit.”

“What of I, thy Lord?
Did thee walk My path?”
“I knew not only one word,
Couldn’t tell lie from fact.”

POEMS: Eggs, Paths, Inkatha & Doesn’t God Have Mercy?

EGGS

Of all the eggs man hatches,
Bred chicken’s he most matches.

To have laid and consume such;
Grow, yield or still change much.

None knowing its own whence
Or where’s much timely when.

Unlike its master whose knives
Pick off its yet feathered lives;

It has no say in what brings
The very end of all things.

PATHS

Births aren’t starts,
Conceiving on facts.
Gestation’s little price,
Only the baby truly cries.

Bubbling youth bursts,
Adulthood courts lusts.
Stereotyped in existence,
Coloured in conscience.

Death can not be all,
All gather and will fall.
Like time of all births,
Vague are the real paths.

INKATHA

Soaked in the pride of birth,
Who is scared of this death?
Knowledge softens our carriage path,
Burdened with the spherical earth.

DOESN’T GOD HAVE MERCY?

Lit to glow and to flow,
Row down this miserable show.
To perch on the rock I know,
Time again only to flow and row.
How He copes and again sow
Belies His mercies for my loose soul.

POEMS: Prostitutes, Still it is Love, What Love & Somebody’s Fool

PROSTITUTES

Most prostitutes are normal bodies,
Hard workers doing their oddities;
Which seem unpopular so visibly,
So they can continue to feed boldly.

Circumstances they try to overcome,
Upturned obstacles making them so,
Resembling every other fleshed bone
With less hypocrisy and shyly so sour.

They are not traders selling a bodily asset,
They rent out for material gain and power
Like the more popular, with more respect;
Unlike political integrity, with less shower.

STILL IT IS LOVE

Plucked feathers litter the cage of marriage
Like dead leaves beneath all family trees.
Age’s breeze stirs their lightness in rage,
Exposing the polygamy in love to its knees.

Once tender leaves dry and carpet a shadow,
Every chicken’s bastard is seen so real.
The spouse’s love remains a wife’s sorrow;
To acknowledge its still love, love is still.

WHAT LOVE!

Lived a time solo
In anywhere hollow.
Leaps to go further,
Crawls as any other.

Grows into time,
Ripe for one crime.
The only one ever
And it’s done forever.

Into sight steps
Love and it helps.
For common quests
Meet there guests.

Legs scratch creak
And mate a pick.
Love only matter
And don’t murder.

After that instance
Breed will enhance.
Death is all healed
As the mate mealed.

For one love act
Fed nature’s pact.
The only one ever
And again never.

SOMEBODY’S FOOL

Tomorrow came, sun shining.
Yesterday left with its dining.

Readied for the certain raining
And aged by much experiencing.

Yet very much the stone in a pool,
For everyone is someone else’s fool.

THERE IS A THIN LINE BETWEEN PARENTING & ROLE MODELING. IT IS MIRRORED IN THE WAY CHILDREN TURN OUT OVER ALL!

RHONDA MORE THAN SCRATCHED THE SURFACE IN THIS PIECE……..
…….YAS

THE OLD WOMAN’S MAID ~ (The series: Part IV)

THIS IS THE LAST PART OF FOUR POSTS ON A VERY COMPELLING NARRATIVE!

IV

Emerald green reigns the being,
Capable being all living green.
To scavengers’ bin cometh sin,
To prey lean the unwary being.
(SIN; Yas)

The maid unfolded her wrapper once more and wiped her shiny perspiring face with the edge of the wrapper, and then she let it fall off over her right hip, letting it hang there.

“She didn’t know I knew about the money. I wanted the money. Oh how I wanted that money. No one deserved the money as much as I did. No one! The Pastor came around mostly during the day. He stayed around to talk, preach, pray and he brought her loads of books too. Often he will give her the Holy Communion feast. She joked that even the Holy Communion wine was a sort of medicine because it tasted like cough syrup. I almost never saw the Pastor but for my pay days, when I had to go over to the church to collect it.”

The maid sipped some more of the water. She looked down in the faint light and paused before replacing the cup on the ground. She now had two moist cup imprints ringed on the floor beside her stool. She ignored the fresh one, retraced the older almost dried one with the cup and carefully sets it down again.

“I knew I had to be careful. Yes, she was old and very ill. She was a dead body with some life still loitering about in it. Her body became stiffer as the months dragged. The smell grew worse. I was sure something was spoilt and rotten inside her. ‘She will die any day now,’ I told myself. But what if she got worse and is taken to the hospital and she dies there. I would have no reason to be in her house after that.”

She sat back and looked away briefly.

“I knew the Doctor still visits her and could have taken her back to his clinic anytime he considered it necessary. I wanted no one to see me when I carried the money away. Since no one knew about the money, I wanted it to remain so. I planned to go to work…her place, with a very big bag. She must be dead before I move a single note from where she hid the money. I had worked it all out and planned it carefully.”

She picked up the cup beside her and drank up all the water left in the cup. She didn’t return the cup to the ground immediately. She just held on to it, like her slow story.

“There was the Yoruba lady and the two elderly men from the Mosque to consider. I had to plan it well. I could have poisoned her but I had no idea how fast the poison will work. I didn’t want her to die while I was away. If I tried to get the money while she was alive, she could very likely see me because she rarely slept while I was there.”

With two swift simultaneous movements of both her chubby arms, she handed over the cup to the person seated closest to her and at the same time folded her wrapper back into its unusually common right-hip place, with her right hand.

“I had to plan it well. I couldn’t stab her of course; maybe strangle her, if I dared. But I will be doing everyone a favour by putting her out of her pains and misery. Her family will be put out of its shame, the church will get the house it can’t wait to get its hands on, while I was to get all that plentiful free and loose money she had stashed away. I deserved that money, no one but me. I worked it out carefully for days. It had to look very real. One early Monday morning I left her house knowing she would be dead in a day or so, and I was so right.”

She leaned forward, this time resting both her elbows and flattened fore-arms on her thighs. She seemed to roll up like she had stomach pains. She merely concentrated in talking.

“When I got to the old woman’s house early that evening, I had my largest bag with me. Her room smelt like someone had brought back the dead rat. She had eased herself on the mat, right there on the floor, where her female tenants must have placed her at her request. She had eased both her bladder and bowel all over her body, completely ignoring the bed pan beside her, in her innocence and helpless disability.

“I was glad they had moved her from the bed, where I had left her before leaving in the morning. Ordinarily I would have complained because I was certain there was a conspiracy amongst the tenants against me. I always struggled alone to put her back into bed, that was why I wasn’t keen on having her put on the mat. They all knew this but persisted. This once though, I was glad they moved her as I cleaned her up and her mess.”

She paused with a hardened expression and a brief silence noticeably passed like a reflex shiver among the small group. Then she half-yawned as she straightened up in her low seat.

“Her senility had reached an advanced stage. She was so stiff she couldn’t move her fingers to hold properly. I wasn’t sorry for what I was about to do. I refused to think of good and God. I just cleaned the floor and the whole room like always did. I gave her her meal and more out of habit than anything else; I mashed and mixed her drugs into the food. She ate all of it. ‘Your last supper,’ I said without even feeling bad about it.”

She exaggeratedly blinked, repeatedly in quick succession. It was all of a sudden as if she couldn’t wait to say it all.

“Late that evening the Yoruba lady came into the room as usual, she did her business and left. Then the old woman started to talk. She told me about her village, her mother, her brothers and all her friends…. I listened patiently without interrupting her. I was so tired. We had scrubbed the entire general hospital’s wards, where I worked mornings. The Doctors had resumed work that same day, after many months on an industrial strike action. There is no telling how many people died as a direct result of that long medical unions’ strike. We had to clean the whole hospital and I was so very tired. I soon dozed off. When I woke up, I could hear someone sweeping in the compound outside. It was morning! Oh God, I had over slept.”

She paused momentarily, not really to quickly look round at her very attentive listeners; which she still did, but to rest her mouth.

“I looked at the old woman on her high old fashioned green metal caged bed, where I had put her back with much difficulty the night before, as usual. Her eyes were shut and she had a smile on her lips. She must have been dreaming. It was too late for me to do anything then, I mused. ‘Tomorrow,’ I thought. I opened the windows and saw that it will be light soon and I must be at work on time. With the Doctors back now, we had to be at our best behaviour. You don’t play with government jobs these days because they don’t come by easily anymore”

She giggled alone at the honest fact she had just made.

“I didn’t even bother to change the clothes I had on. I left her sound asleep, grabbed my big bag and hurriedly left for work. I greeted a tenant as I walked out; it was an Igbo woman sweeping outside and I left the compound. About twenty yards or so from the house, I didn’t even cringe emotionally as I meaningfully said to the old woman in my mind, ‘Tomorrow!’”

For a short moment the sparkle left her eyes and she looked sad. Realizing this she looked away, but not quick enough to hide the fact that her disappointment was all too evident.

“I turned to look at the old woman’s house just before I turned round into the next street. I saw the two elderly men from the Mosque entering the old woman’s compound. I stopped when I realized that they hadn’t seen me. In my haste I forgot to wait for them before leaving and they will wonder where I was. I made to return, and then thought against it. I figured there was no need since they would meet the Igbo woman sweeping on their way in. ‘She will tell them I just left,’ I comforted myself and hurried away to make good time for work.”

As the skies darkened and the buzz of the mosquitoes over head began to faintly usher in their impending foray into the tropical evening outdoor gathering, the mood in the setting was wholly entrapped in that one female voice moulding it.

“The next evening I arrived with my largest bag again. There was no one about in the compound when I entered. All the tenants were in their rooms watching an international soccer match involving our over-hyped up senior national soccer team. The front door to the old woman’s rooms was locked up. My heart skipped a beat. Her door was never locked.”

She shifted in her low seat.

“I knocked on the next tenant’s door with some urgency. The Igbo woman, I left sweeping that morning when I left for work, appeared at the door. She was surprised to see me. ‘Ah! You have come?’ she exclaimed. ‘The old woman died just after you left this morning,’ she said excitedly. My heart missed another beat, this time I felt a slight pain as it metaphorically dropped.”

She shrugged the way only African women do and the latest click that is heard from her conspires to purely accidentally synchronize with the sudden joining in of the early crickets, as they brought in their louder shrill sounds into the tropical evening’s outdoor gathering’s sing-songs for all insects.

“The Igbo woman told me how the two elderly men from the Mosque came to see the old woman just after I left. I didn’t tell her I saw them. She went on to tell me how one of them stayed behind with the old woman while the other one briefly stepped outside the compound, apparently on some errant.”

More crickets legged in and complimented the music of the consciously visible lively breeze of mosquitoes floating over the heads of the gathered people. This left the people no choice but to swing their arms heaven-wards as would conductors of this impromptu tropical orchestra and choir, playing away to the discomfort of the beautiful evening’s outdoor gathering.

“The Igbo woman went on to tell me how she could hear the two of them talking. That is, the elderly man that stayed behind and the old woman. Though she didn’t hear much of the old woman’s weak voice, but she heard the man’s voice clearly. He did most of the talking. She usually would have.”

She chuckled as a short burst of hisses and claps rang round the gathering. This caused a brief lull in the insects’ noise as the tropical orchestra music is forcibly stanza-ed.

“‘Shortly,’ she went on. ‘The other man returned with fruits in a bag, much too big for that purpose. He went straight into the old woman’s rooms. He was away only briefly and I was bathing my son by the tap when he returned. He even gave my child a banana.’ She was adamant that she didn’t see them leave.”

The maid suddenly belched loudly.

“She told me how she had entered the old woman’s rooms to greet her and see if she wanted something. ‘When she didn’t answer my calls from the sitting room, I thought she was asleep so I entered her bedroom and the moment I saw her, I knew she was dead. Her eyes were closed and she had a fixed smile on her face. It looked like she was dreaming.’ She said there was a peeled banana in the old woman’s right palm as it lay lifeless beside her. My heart skipped a third beat, the pain I felt lingered as I went home a sad person that evening. This was my first night at home in months but I didn’t sleep. I couldn’t sleep.”

She looked around at the discerning looks returned at her. She grinned and a glossy white slit showed and split her mouth as her dark lips parted, revealing strong white teeth.

“The very next afternoon, after work I went to see the Pastor at his joint place of work and residence. He excitedly told me how they sent someone to him from the old woman’s house with the news of her death. He didn’t know the loudness in his voice gave away his excitement because he tried to keep a solemn expression on his face. She was buried that same day, like a true Muslim would have been; which she ironically isn’t any more.”

She smiled intelligently; or tried to, like most people try to do when they are pleased with a smart remark they just made. A silly thing we manage to keep repeating always.

“She was summarily buried with a very short grave-side service conducted by the Pastor. He told me this with such pride, as if I should be proud when he should be ashamed he was. He went ahead to thank me for a job well done and gave me two months’ full pay in advance, even though it was only a week into the new month and I had only worked a few days of it.”

She smiled again, in her refreshingly beautiful way.

“I went by the old woman’s house just last weekend. The Mosque has been completed! There is a big thick rug on the smooth ceramic tiled floor. It now has huge glass windows fitted in and four massive wooden doors, a spotlessly white ceiling, lots of ceiling fans and a very loud amplified speakers’ system. I could see all that from the street, since all the doors and windows were wide open. A tenant I met by chance told me the Church had already sold the old woman’s house! It is not yet two months after her death and that house she had been so proud of has been sold out to complete strangers.

She scoffs with contempt.

“I saw the Yoruba lady too. She said the new landlord doesn’t collect any money from her, but simply lets her do her trade undisturbed. Everyone is happy now…. I think. The Church people are happy, the Mosque people are happy, the Yoruba lady and the old woman’s folks are equally happy, the old woman is deadly happy and I am too. Yes! I am! I really am!”

No one argued, but she didn’t look happy and frowns. She laughed her short laugh with her forehead lined up with thought. It said so much for her feelings at that moment.

“You see, I had prayed and thank God for the turn in events. The guilt would have killed me. I am happy because I kept my innocence. But…! Does the old woman get her heaven?”

The late old woman’s maid sat back and shut her eyes. It is obvious that she had finished the story, but no one moved or spoke. The tropical choir continues to moan a low humming tune outside the seated people’s conscious notice, as the night quietly pulls out its dark sleeping blanket overhead.

“That is presumably the ultimately proper destination?”

In the semi-silence ignored by every personal thought in the small gathering seated round her, the old woman’s maid still spoke. Her emotion laden voice sounded as if only to itself, but still quite audible in the hushed attentiveness.

“Do any of us get this heaven?”

Who makes the most noise
And is as dirty in his poise?
Who soils his needs as toys
And spoils all his ego hoist?
(SWINE; Yas)

History itself nourished,
It might’ve thus been humbled.
In her need she’s again banished
And her steered nurses, all bundled.

Seasons are overlapped famished,
All the shaft and wheat are rumpled.
Her senile stroll is beautifully enriched
And for nothing else, her maids are long rustled.

THE END

THE OLD WOMAN’S MAID ~ (The series: Part III)

THIS IS THE THIRD PART OF FOUR POSTS ON A VERY COMPELLING NARRATIVE!

III

Let us play a game of trading places,
Pausing triggers of mud slinging tongues.
Viewing with glasses that mirror chances,
We will find all toes fit the shoes it belongs.
(SO?; Yas)

“When the old woman’s husband died suddenly, she knew exactly what to expect. Similar drama had been played around her many times before and she was knowledgeable if not experienced, prepared if not ready. She broke into his cupboard, opened the cardboard box she knew he kept his money in, took all the money he had left there and hid it somewhere else. Events soon overtook the family’s grief, as it most quickly does for the wealthy families and attention veered towards his assets.

“There was enough assets to go round his extended family twice over and no one bothered about a ‘few change’ they didn’t even know existed. There were no quarrels at all. ‘It was hardly surprising because there was enough to go round,’ she told me. No one complained. She got nothing of course; she was just a ‘wife’ and mother to ‘some’ of his nineteen children. Her husband’s brothers took over, promising to handle all his affairs until his sons were old enough to take care of things themselves. But that was the end of it. They simply kept it all.”

The old woman’s main swung an arm and accidentally knocked over the empty water cup beside her. It rolled in an uneven semi-circle, as far as its one curved arm will allow it and stopped. She picked it up lazily and placed it carefully beside her stool, right where it was before. Deliberately fitting it precisely in the same small moist ring it had earlier made on the concrete ground, where she had placed it down initially.

“She didn’t go back to her parents in the village because it was clear that she was now ‘too’ literate for that kind of life. She also didn’t like the idea of another husband. She said nothing about the offers that were made for her hand, yet it could be imagined that for the sheer pride or luck of having a late wealthy man’s wife, offers were certainly not short in coming. Also for the purpose of getting her permanently out of the inheritance picture, persuasions were surely plentiful too from her in-laws. Not to mention her own desire to fit in somehow into the traditional and religious scheme of things.

“She was then still quite young by our modern standards; considering the age in which she got married, her two-children-every-three-years average and her less than a total of seventeen years of married life. She would have been a good ‘buy’ in the scrap market of the ‘once-married.’ But she wasn’t going to have that again. She wanted her life back the way it was before. Since that is not possible again, then she would only settle for something else, according to her own terms. She started a little trade and rented a room. Her late husband had left many houses scattered all over the place, yet there she was renting a small room on a side road. Her children stayed with their uncles.”

Soon the sun can barely be seen over the top of the broken bottles lined western wall. The mild sun rays glowed through the all green pieces of broken glass, casting a halo light-green display of lined lighting on the opposite eastern wall, far behind the maid. The sight achieved more of a viewing attraction at this time of day than it achieves the anti-burglary objective the crudely enforced walls were conceived and defaced for.

“A number of years passed by and as soon as she could pass off all the money she took from her late husband’s stash as money she had made from her business, she bought her own house.”

She exhaled as she conquered a yawn and rapped two sharp knocks on the centre of her head to warn the onset of an itch.

“Her late husband’s brothers started to peddle silly tales about her. They were saying that she was now a whore. Her children were ordered to stop seeing her and they came to see her only in secret. Soon they stopped altogether. She only heard when they got married. As years added up into decades, she saw her daughters, daughter in-laws and grand-daughters when they were pregnant, then their babies. She never knew when they gave birth. It hurt her so much but there was nothing she could do about it. They tried to come to see her secretly but she wasn’t allowed to go to them, ever. Their uncles did not allow that and they had ‘poisoned’ the minds of her sons too.”

The strain of talking is usually managed with the love for ones own voice and not the point being made or the reason for it. With the old woman’s maid, it had to be something else. Maybe it is the silent encouragement? It could be the attentive eyes following her every twitch, or all those knowledgeable nods she kept getting. Maybe it is the apparent riddles snared inside another person’s misfortune in the almost reluctantly unfolding story she is telling in her own jerky wavy self-entertaining way?

“The years didn’t change anything in her situation. Still she prospered in her trade, she grew older and she started to have great grandchildren. She grew so old. Some of her great granddaughters got married! That in itself was an unusual thing. The years were not being fair though. With so many years beneath her skin, her body organs started to wear-out. She became very ill. It started quite normally though, like the onset of most fatal ailments; common headache, knees and back hurt, belly ache, that sort of thing. She was turning bad inside out”

She cleared her throat and appeared to swallow with difficulty. Her eyes fazed up momentarily then cleared up as she blinked.

“For someone her age, not being ill is very abnormal. She was alone and that in itself was an illness. Over the years she had massively changed the little building she had bought on a huge piece of land. The price was ridiculously low. Finally, she had sold off two-thirds of the land and built an impressive house on the remaining land. Later she had the old renovated building initially on the land completely demolished and further expanded the new house. A huge modern building now graced her land, instead of the original one. It is a simple styled solid structure, common in all its four sides, a very well made house.”

She choked, coughed and cleared her throat. She appeared relieved, with no trace of the brief discomfort she had earlier experienced. It almost epitomized her personal decision to tell this story, which like the cough, she had initially tried to suppress, had been choking her up. Telling this story was theoretically relieving her conscience, which is why she must.

“Her illness took a turn for the worse and some of her tenants took her to a nearby government owned hospital, but all the Doctors were on strike. So they rallied round and took her to a private clinic instead. None of her family members came to visit her during those two months she was in the clinic. But honestly, they didn’t even know. All the time she was admitted in the clinic her most frequent visitor was the Pastor, who came to visit and pray with all the patients in the clinic’s wards. They had met on her third day in the clinic, chatted for a while and the Pastor was impressed with her mind.”

The maid politely asked for more water and the cup beside her was taken away as someone left for more water for her.

“The Pastor took a special interest in the old woman, and unpredictably, in addition to his regular routine of Saturday morning visits; he came mainly to see her every Tuesday afternoon too. They talked some more and he brought along books for her to read. He prayed for her at the end of every visit; even though she kept telling him that she is a Muslim. She got slowly better and her bill slowly grew into a huge sum. Sometime after she got to know about her bill, she chose to tell the Pastor her whole story. Smart move, if you ask me. He then seized the opportunity to preach to her. An even smarter move, if you ask me. But hey, I am only telling a story here.”

She laughs in her gaily way, a shade longer this time and then she stole an impatient look in the wake of her yet to appear water, her discomfort worsened with her evident impatience.

“She told me that it was on that rain soaked Tuesday afternoon, after the Pastor had preached to her, that she made up her mind to give what was left of her life to this new faith; that is new to her. And she did, though not on the same day. But she did on the Pastor’s very next visit. The owner of the clinic, who is a member of the Pastor’s church, told her not to bother about her bill. A nurse in the clinic revealed to her later that the Pastor’s church had paid up her bill in full.”

The water arrived; she gulped down half of it and placed the cup beside her again, gracefully and without looking down.

“The old woman was so touched. These are people totally new to her, yet they are doing things for her that her own folk are not doing for her. She concluded that these people must belong to a faith that is actively true. She gave her life to their Christian faith and willed her house to the church.”

Wiping her perspiring palms on her wrapper, just over her thighs, the maid smiled into the space between her and the western wall. Her smile said something to all those who saw it follow her eyes over the wall, transfixed as it followed the fading lightening of the dusk skies, giving up its retiring Judge, who had started his daily trip abroad for just another night.

“Her family heard all this and then they started to visit her in large numbers. They came in doves like vultures to a fallen lifeless corpse. It is strange how word traveled to her family. Even her late husband’s brothers; whom she hadn’t seen since his funeral, came to see her on more than one occasion when the story got out that she was now a Christian. I came into the picture much later, but I have a strong feeling in my guts that those old men from the Mosque outside her house were the early pair of vultures that escorted her juicy story and reported every vowel and syllable of it to her people.”

She stressed her perceived ingenuity by widening her eyes.

“Her grandchildren and their spouses and their own children; some of whom she had not even heard of or seen before, all came to see her. They couldn’t change her mind. They had cut her off completely. She had been like a heavily bandaged bad arm they had neglected, and then they had amputated her with their desertion. She was alone and the Pastor, the Doctor and their fellow church members all became her family now. She was picked up in flashy expensive cars for church services and brought back home with small gifts weekly. She even got a social life again. Her family’s desertion did not hurt so much after her conversion because what relationship she had with them before was not worth weeping for. Soon afterwards the Pastor baptized her in a simple ceremony.”

She leaned forward slightly.

“The church took care of her. Soon, even some short evening prayer sessions were held in her compound. The church got her a young maid to stay with her and paid the maid handsomely too. The church also gave the old woman a monthly allowance. They actually gave her money! Can you imagine that? She is by far, so much richer than eighty-nine percent of the church’s members, who gave money regularly to their church for nothing back in return. Still the church paid only her bills.”

She cleared her throat thunderously and made a face.

“She became ill again. She was so ill this time that the Doctor said there was not much he could do for her. She was just too old and getting older. She was returned home from a second sojourn in the private clinic. The young maid left while she was in the clinic, so I came into the picture when a member of the Pastor’s congregation told me about the job. No one who was approached wanted the job. I already had a morning job at the government general hospital. But when it was agreed that I can manage both jobs and I will cost them much less because I will not be working full time, I started.

“It was established that the old woman is always cared for by her married female tenants during the day and as such, I was to stay with her from the late evenings till dawn. Since in the mornings and afternoon she was cared for; when the women weren’t too caught up in their other daily chores, I naturally assumed that I would just have little to do for her while I was there. Little did I know that I couldn’t have been more wrong in my assessment of the work laid down ahead for me. To think that the old dying lizard had so much money hidden away all this while, was such a rude revelation. No one knew but me, I am certain of this! But that is not why I thought of killing her.”

THE OLD WOMAN’S MAID ~ (The series: Part II)

THIS IS THE SECOND PART OF FOUR POSTS ON A VERY COMPELLING NARRATIVE!

II

Master though you be,
Lord over life as it’s set.
Moments looms for we;
Conquered mortals, you we net.
(ECLIPSE; Yas)

“I got married the same year as her last child, going by what she told me. Mind you, I wasn’t a teenager when I got married. But from both our calculations of the years involved, we worked out that her last daughter is just twelve years older than my first son; that is her last child. She didn’t say how many children her last daughter has though. I tried to work it out this way on my own. I thought that with the kind of early start she must have had, she should be well beyond my five by now. And mind you, she is still going on strong, full strength! One thing is very clear though, the old woman is quite fond of her last child.”

She smiled at her listeners in her most pleasant manner, some of them smiled back at her genuinely. Some looked on hard faced, while others looked away politely. She didn’t show she noticed their countenances or mind in the least, as she turned away and blinked at the slowly setting sun, sneaking down behind the ‘horizoned’ western wall. The weaken sun rays it casts looked brighter from within the shadowed shaded surroundings of the fenced buildings. The small tree’s shade she was seated beneath had crept on eastwards, just behind her, unnoticed. She sat in the glow of the late twilight sunlight like the witness she is, shielding in the lonely guilt of the shade while facing the all knowing celestial Judge, seated on its all seeing pedestal, the unsmiling, unblinking and uncompromising everlasting high presence; a true master of the universe, setting in our east.

“Would you believe that despite her poor state of health, the old woman knew how much money she had, to the very last coin? And don’t you go thinking that it was some small amount. It was plenty, so much money. Not kept in some bank somewhere. No! Banks were not for her. She never had any dealings with banks. The money she hid was plenty. I knew where she kept it. She knew every coin and note by heart. She clearly thought I had no idea where she hid her money. She went through a lot of trouble to secretly ‘fondle’ some of it, when she thought I wasn’t looking, and then quietly hid it all again. But I knew. I had never seen so much money in my entire life. She also knew who owed her what and when exactly she should be paid.”

Another fine smile graced her face nicely.

“The old woman told me her sixth child came to see her once, not too long ago. She said that daughter of hers told her if her husband knew she came, he would divorce her and send her packing. When you are the current fourth wife of a man that has sent away three other wives before you, you know he doesn’t need much prompting or excuse to send you packing too. But can you believe that? Your child, who you carried and bore in and out of you for many selfless eventful years, cannot come to see you because of a stranger she married?”

The maid hissed surprisingly loudly and shook her head from side to side as she protrudes her plump lips in apparent awe.

“Her husband was a good looking man. His pictures were all over the place. She even had one of his framed large pictures placed on a cushioned armchair. I had silently crept in on her talking to that large picture a number of times. She spoke to it as if it heard her and was capable of talking back to her.”

She coughed once, with her full mouth open and uncovered.

“It is so strange what pictures can tell you or confirm. Her husband loved life; that much was clear. He was always dressed in very fashionable attire in every picture and the pictures were always taken in the most breath-taking scenery. Her husband’s pictures spoke volumes. The pictures she took had lots of family members and friends in them; and some few foes too, you would imagine. There were pictures of all her children too; she affectionately pointed them out to me.

“Most of her pictures were quite old-fashioned and funny-like; going by our current modernly coloured tastes. Posers all had their hands crossed at their wrists and she proudly introduced them all. ‘They are all alive and somewhere, some place,’ she said of some people in a picture one day. ‘They will not come to me.’ She said it painfully even though she smiled. I knew it hurt her so much. I saw her sacrifice, recognized her pain and honestly, I really do respect her for them.”

She smiled and swallowed visibly. What was left of the kola nut went down her throat with that gross action. A quick lick of her wide mouth, accompanying the hiding and revealing of her lips, only served to make her listeners more anxious.

“There was no way; definitely, no way I could possibly carry her to the toilet by myself. It was just not possible because of her large size. It was all I could do to carry her off and on her big and average waist-high metal cage-like framed bed. She was a big woman. I was alone with her every night and it is a task quite beyond my considerable physical capabilities”

She asked for some water and someone left for some.

“She was a pretty woman in her early married years. The pictures said so abundantly. Hers was a very big and happy family. She said so proudly. Her husband had worked at the railways. He was the fellow in-charge of what goods the trains carried; what was weighed, billed and paid. And you know, in those days everything traveled by rail. He made a lot of money from either over-weighing or under-weighing goods, as well as from over-billing and under-billing the customers. It is one of those jobs were the system is at the complete mercy of the worker’s sense of proper values and the customers deliberate ignorance, usually expressed in both relief and astonishment.

“Her husband made lots of money from his dubious dealings, lots of money for himself and his bosses who ensured he stayed at the same lucrative job for much longer than it was ethically right, because it was convenient. He had many houses built and bought for him. He and his family lacked nothing. He wanted everyone to be provided for, long after his death. She told me all these. She said it slowly and took her time in saying it, but it all came out clearly and surely.

“In front of the old woman’s house is a mosque. It wasn’t much of a building. It had no loud amplified speakers or rugs or ceiling fans (or ceiling) or window and door frames. The building was simply cement bricks erected walls with the usually edged out spaces left to fit in the doors and windows. The building had reused zinc roof sheets neatly fitted over it. And for a floor, it had only loose building sand on the ground inside. It was far from finished, though it was in full use.”

She licked her lips and swallowed, betraying that she missed the sensation of the kola nut. The water arrived and she paused to noisily drink quickly. She cleared her throat after emptying the cup. It looked like she had just started the story.

“Every morning, after the first Muslim prayer, two elderly men came to greet the old woman (if she was awake) and then left for their respective places of work. They were not important to me, but they were to my work. I got to know later on, that one of the elderly men was the muezzin who called for prayers, and the other led the worshipers in prayers at the mosque. Also in front of the old woman’s house is a young Yoruba lady who fried beans cakes and yams in the evenings.

“This lady pays the old woman a certain amount of money as a daily rent for using the front of her building for her small business. Since the lady leaves for home late every day, she brings the money quite late at night. She had to pay up after each day’s sales because the old woman will have it no other way. The old woman is always awake to collect the daily payments, no matter how late. It is a daily event we both looked forward to for our own different reasons each.”

The maid is quiet for only a while.

“The Yoruba lady was also not important to me either, but she was to my work. She and the two elderly men from the mosque saw me everyday, so I had witnesses to account for my being present at work always. I am sure the Pastor asks them. He had warned me not to stay away from work. He said when he finds out I stayed away, he would not pay me for being absent. So I made certain the Yoruba lady saw me every night when I arrived and the two elderly men saw me before I leave the next morning, everyday. It was a daily routine I was to personally follow through, religiously. I felt a time will come when I will need somebody else besides the old woman to prove I was present for work. With her vindictive nature, there is no telling what she is capable of saying or doing for extra attention.”

A baby starts to wail in the next house. The maid looks in the general direction of the next house; slightly left of the fast setting sun. She shook her head with contempt and quickly picked out the few other mothers amongst her listeners with her eyes. They incredibly join her in meaningfully piercing through the view obstructing wall with their eyes, in what appears like a cultish attempt at soothing the poor wailing baby’s troubles and/or its erring mother’s desperation too, or whatever way they choose to understand it at that moment.

They all showed clear contempt, in complete irony to the vagueness of the situation. It is always a ‘mothers only’ thing it seems. No one else comprehends it fully because it is a ‘mothers’ only’ concord. Only they comprehend it; that is every other mother at that point but that single mother of the crying child who is presently marooned in the lonely embrace of motherhood’s daily dilemma; the mother’s instant comfort or her child’s? It’s a ‘mothers only’ thing, only they venture.

“She was born a Muslim, she is so quick to remind all and sundry. At least she never lost an opportunity to remind me, repeatedly. You wonder, why the pride still! I understood this better when she once pointed out, with the words; ‘I have been there and I know what it is like to be an Unbeliever.’ I saw her point. Her father, mother, uncles, aunts, cousins, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, in-laws, husband, children, village and clan were, are and will always be Muslims.

“Everybody she had anything to do with was a Muslim. She only had something to do with non-Muslims when it became unavoidable. Like a Doctor here, a nurse there or a taxi driver here and fellow bus passengers she must tolerate on a bus ride. These were the only contacts she had with non-Muslims and they were as far between as they were unavoidable.”

The baby’s sobs became silent as the maid stretched out her fleshy legs to its straight full length in front of her and crossed them at the ankles. With her wrapper now pulled up, just above her revealed knees and the hollow indentation at the back of her fleshy knees filled out, it is much more clear how close to the ground she is seated and how low the traditional round wooden stool she is sitting on is. It didn’t look like a comfortable way to sit from the bodily posture, but it is.

“When her first son started formal school; to learn European-styled education, he returned home very excited daily and she easily make him repeat all he had learnt in school. It was her husband’s idea and it worked like clockwork. She followed it through with unwavering discipline and focused dedication. Before long she could write her name and say all the alphabets. By the time her last son was old enough for school, she taught him his alphabets, and to read and write elementarily.

“None of her daughters went to school, but no one heard the last of their intelligent mother who could read and write. And it turned out to be a very good thing she could too, because it became her only real source of joy and entertainment in her old age. With her still very strong eyes, clear as good boiled water, she reads and reads. Fortunately for her, she never lacked things to read; the Pastor made very sure of that.”

The impatience of her listeners was beginning to appear on their faces. Their body language was not as truthful because while their limbs aimlessly wandered in a reflection of their real lack of rapt attention, their heads routinely nodded the falsehood in their deceptive minds. The maid was indifferent to all this as she told her story still. Momentarily she paused to scratch her left forearm; it was a very simple act she made look flawlessly graceful and pleasant, like her cheery smiles.

THE OLD WOMAN’S MAID ~ (The series: Part I)

THIS IS THE FIRST PART OF FOUR POSTS ON A VERY COMPELLING NARRATIVE!

SHE INSPIRED THIS COMPARISON!

To the memory of a lady from Bauchi,
Who I most certainly here will never meet.
In the peace and sanctuary of only He,
May we dwell as conquerors of this feat.

THIS IS NOT HER STORY!

To the memory of this oldest woman,
Who I most certainly here will never have.
In the pieces and mortuary of her son man
May the duel they conjure pray behave.

THIS CAN ONLY BE HER STORY

I

Is to live a curse or gift?
If you wonder, you need a lift;
Up to the skies of living memory,
Back and forth man’s own glory.
(MANNA; Yas)

She must have come on a visit. Though not the ‘all-talking’ type, she did all the talking. This story can only be told by her.

“She made her way; her own, very own way through life. No one helped. She wasn’t alone, but no one helped. She had to start quite late in life too, but she did it all on her own.”

The maid coughed softly. She reached to her right hip and unfolded her wrapper. She untied a knot at the wrapper’s edge with both hands and got out a piece of kola nut which she offered round. No one wanted some. She threw the whole piece of kola into her mouth and started to chew it noisily.

“Everyday I look at her and I say to myself, ‘God, is this what we struggle all our lives to be, alive; only alive?’ I look at her and she looks back at me. Again I ask myself, ‘Where is the fun in living?’ You are born to want to live, to live and live. Is that it? The answer was in the depth of her mind’s inner recesses somewhere, out of sight, but I wasn’t looking for it.”

Somewhere in the street outside, in the breezeless thick humid dusk air, a hawker calls out loudly the names of her wares, as she quite noisily solicits patronage from those she disturbs. The maid is silent. Only the soft sound of her chewing reaches her listeners for a short while. The kola in her mouth is slowly being broken down into small pieces.

“She might have been eighty, ninety, hundred or more. I did not know which was closest nor had I any way of telling. She was so old she seemed to need help to cough or even whisper. But the Lord has mercy for the things that came out of her mouth! The things that old woman will say, you never would have thought it possible of a ‘Believer’. The curses! God! She could call anything or anyone with names off a list as long as my arms, both! And she still manages not to repeat a single name again for ages, like only the aged could. Ha!”

She shrugged like only African women do, pulled back her lips and a deliberate click is heard somewhere in the borders of her mouth and throat. With a sinister grin and an unforced hard stare she very carefully shook her head. She paused in her chewing and it looked like she winked with both her eyes. Then she slowly closed them for a short while, firmly. And quite suddenly, she swiftly opened them again, focused.

“I think it is because she grew up with the Hausas. You know how free with curses and mockery they can be. She must have gotten this vast abusive vocabulary from them. That is the only reason possible. That notwithstanding, she became a Believer! Well, anyhow you do not expect a life time long habitual way of talking to change abruptly, do you?”

The maid was silent, as if waiting for the solicited answer she had insinuated she didn’t want. The listeners looked on, obviously waiting for her to fill the silence with some more words or action, but she made none for that brief while. The so many ways people fill up those uncomfortable periods of brief silence reveals, more than it is often acknowledged, the hypocrisy in their act of honest conversation; which is most often just the two sided polite hearing of the others’ boastful revelations of privileged experiences already known and felt.

“The Pastor promised to look her up all the time. ‘The Pastor promised to see me a lot!’ The old woman would complain always. The way she said it always, it was obvious that the holy man didn’t show up as often as ‘a lot’ interprets itself to her. The man was visiting her almost thrice weekly! I know how large his ‘flock’ is. And at the rate of thrice weekly visits to every family; even for a few minutes a visit, no sleeping or office work and ignoring travel time; it is impossible! The old woman was getting special treatment and she knew it. She not only knew it but demanded it with her continuous bickering. Like the desert traveler gulping more than the helpful bowl of water, I knew the Pastor’s patience will soon start to hurt.”

She grabbed the edge of her wrapper, where the kola nut had been, and suddenly folded it back into place on her right hip. She made an unpleasant face and that click is heard again, faintly above the fading voices of a passing group of people just outside the wall. Their conversing voices just audible enough to hum out words not loud enough to render the said words comprehendible, as the sound came over the wall.

“The smell was sickening. She smelt like…I don’t know. Her body just smelt badly. The rooms always smelt like someone just threw out a rat that had been dead in the room for weeks. You could never get use to the smell. You may think coming and going, in and out of the smell will help, well maybe staying in it all the time like she did might help. I doubt if it did. The smell hovered over the densely furnished rooms like an invincible ceiling and depending on the humidity, it changes its intense offensiveness incredibly so regularly.”

She untied her slacken head tie and firmly retied it again.

“I really didn’t like the job that much, but the pay wasn’t too bad. I did very well with the extra money I got. Little as it was, it helped. Everybody would do well with extra money these days, things are so hard. Kai! Things are so hard.”

She widened her eyes and looked hard at her listeners, craning and stretching her long neck almost painfully. For only a brief while, it looked like a habitual facial expression.

“My youngest; Markus, just got into secondary school and I have to give him money for transportation everyday. I am planning to buy him a bicycle. It will make things easier.”

She was quiet again, her forehead lined with thought, like she was wondering where the money for the bicycle would come from. She moist her lips with her tongue and noisily cleared her throat, all the while she continued to chew. The kola nut in her mouth had slowly tuned into a saliva soaked mash, leaving dark brown stains on her lighter coloured full plumb lips, which she almost ceaselessly protrudes habitually.

“She said she has four sons and six daughters, all living married and doing very well. Her husband had been dead for a very long time now. She was his only wife but he had many mistresses. There were nineteen children in their house then; ten of them were hers with him and the remaining nine were his, with the other women. They all lived together in the big house her husband had built, but she showed no difference. She looked after all the children like they were all hers. I figured, they were all his anyway and she hadn’t a choice. That is why he had them all in his home anyway. Her hands were twisted all along and there was only pain in her gain.”

She shrugged and moved in her seat, protruding those lips.

“She hated taking her drugs. She promised to give me money if I don’t make her take them. I protested only briefly; and falsely, and then I told her I agreed. Then I collected the miserly money she offered me and I still secretly mashed and mixed her so many colourful drugs into whatever food I fed her. I would not lie that I didn’t want the money, meager as it was. Everybody would do well with extra money these days, things are hard. Kai! Things are so hard. But honestly, it was only fair to her I reasoned. If I didn’t take the money and promised not to make her take the drugs, she wouldn’t believe me or trust me. I will accept that my only sin is not telling the Pastor about this. But he would have made me return the money, which would have made things harder for me. I mean, I gave her the drugs, not him. Then he would have probably insisted I give the money to his church as an offering, since it was ill-gotten money. I would have refused still. So I kept it quiet.”

She choked and coughed but continued to chew softly.

“She lost all sense of most things; touch, taste and smell, definitely. But she still had complete cognizance of her money, her hate and her God. She could curse and pray in one short sentence. It is a first for me. I don’t know about you, but it is new to me. She is the only person I know that can do that and she did it in a way that almost normalizes it, making it appear proper and not the blasphemy it really is.”

She laughed. It was a good laugh; short, just the necessary length. Her listeners join her, politely. The unheralded burst of all kinds of sounds, which mostly should pass for wailing, encouraged her. She went on before the noise settled down.

“The old woman’s house is very big. I grew up in a village, but even now in the pigs ‘infested’ part of town I live in with my family, there are no bigger compounds. Her house has as many as fifty doubled rooms, with tenants in all of them. She occupied four rooms with connecting doors, a toilet and a kitchen. I slept in the room that served as a sitting room. That is not to say that I slept much while I was there with her.”

The maid cleaned the dark moist stains on the corners of her mouth with her right hand’s thumb and fore-finger, in one swift elegant move. Then the annoying protruding lips again.

“She always wants something. Sometimes I wonder if she doesn’t spend her days sleeping so that she could be awake all night to torment my nights. But I suppose, it was what I was paid for and she was just putting me to work, typical.”

She looks away with an insinuated disgust her expression hid.

“I have wondered for very long what I will find myself doing more of when I’m really old. They say with the insane, it is always those things one thought of the most when still sane. But what of the really old, they are still sane and mentally alert to know what they would prefer to do. Being mainly unable to physically do most of what they would rather do, what options are open to them? It’s like being in prison. I think it is worse. It is worse than insanity too, because the old have complete knowledge of everything and everyone. It is worse than being in prison too, because in jail your body still has its physical abilities. It is like being physically disabled. It is.”

She smiled. It was a good smile too. She didn’t look middle-aged when she smiled. Her smile lies about her age.

POEMS: Faith, Pressure, Sheep to Goat & Lord

FAITH

With what comes where
And how follows when.
For the lost will ever fear
And the found never learn.

Faith lives and all own.
What’s seen is received
And again left all alone;
Like all believed, conceived.

The mind roams no course,
Thoughts feel their own way.
For many, their remorse
To others beacons a bay.

In the quest for source,
The search is the force.
Its hunger is blinding
And its timing, binding.

Many has sight failed,
More will lust then wish.
The senses’ boxes mailed;
Multitudes fed on their dish.

If mind had one more sense,
It will be its chosen thought;
Which is just another lens.
For faith, it has always sought.

PRESSURE

Not this push’s cure to be read,
Bought or however with all science.

Sought o’er but never had,
Thought never bore its conscience.

Brought ever near and sad,
Doubt never the lurking consequence.

Fought only to severe till mad,
Naught all to sever its laid sequence.

Caught ever, history has said.
Though ever pinches, it is all nonsense.

SHEEP TO GOAT

Sheepish dumb, eating schooled.
Shaggy wool worn; looks the fooled.
Simply gentle and calm for sure.
Story of yours is for the pure.
Sovereign lord wished no more.

Goatee presence, ever the sharp.
Greedy, parentless, adorable chap.
Goody oh, all lively and bold.
Gullible sexist, rearing coined gold.
God must’ve let off your hold.

LORD

Sower that plants me, shower that wets me,
Power that grows me, mower that cuts me.