FUNERAL OF THE DEAD



Once was a rich man
with a big spoiled family;
he lived an unhappy man.

He wrote his will
and he put in a pan,
stamped with his seal.

After he had died
his whole family met
to mourn and all cried.

His will unsealed
and then it’s torn up
as they merrily mealed.

THE PAST MAKETH



Past is never where we leave it,
it goes with us anywhere we go.
Past is the invincible scarred bit
that heals, remain and still show.

Like a past, everyone has a scar
that help make ’em who they’re.
Experience is in the difference,
for stereotypes aren’t evidence.
Those who habitually generalize
would end up telling general lies.

EVERYTHING IN TIME

How can someone so smart,
turn out quite so stupid too?
How come someone so loved
could turn out quite so cruel?

There are ever circumstances;
and ever always consequences.
As there’s timing in everything,
are also reasons for everything.

There is everything for its time,
like everything in its own time.

MAYBE NEWS



Social media has us not so sure
about what’s true or maybe not
When it’s news, we’re not sure
Not even when it maybe not.

News is new, obviously right?
Must be true, not maybe news
Gray is neither black or white,
So nothing in-between is news

CRY BABIES


We’re suffering and call it living;
right where we remain seething.
The reason we’re slowly dieing,
obviously is our own choosing.

This torture is of our own doing;
and this enslaves our reasoning.
Every day we fire up the boiling
and yet dish our all the blaming.

ABORTION



Allow me to call your attention
to a most despicable situation.
One that people ever question,
but it’s only actually in reaction.

All alive extend their creation
with survival acts of procreation.
When choice create a situation
then crime is truly the abortion.

KNOWLEDGEABLE IGNORANCE

It’s common in law as said,
that ignorance is no excuse.
For lots, knowledge has paid;
for much more it will confuse.

For what we claim as ours
is not as we acknowledge.
As ignorance brings chaos;
surely as much knowledge.

FREEDOM TO LOVE OR HATE



Aren’t we all citizens of earth;
firstly simply humans beings?
Sure as we’re free in thought
we’ll love or hate some things.

We’re too different to be same,
too alike in ways that’re insane.
So the expression of our tastes,
merely make up our many faiths

ALL GOOD, BAD & UGLY



Within and outside every being
is the good, the bad and the ugly.
It is true of every single entity;
be it inanimate or alive or dying.
Nothing more is fitting naturally.

ALL OF US NA THIEF

Why you dey stone me with eye?
I dey chop my own, no put eye.

This our country na turn by turn;
you chop your own, na my turn.

I swear, if God dey vex true true,
this country for don talk true

Wetin we chop dey our teeth.
Las las, all of us join be thief.

WHEN HATE RESEMBLES LOVE


When Hate resembles love, it doesn’t.
Especially if Terror claims to come in peace.

Is it possible, loving anything you mustn’t,
Abhorring the whole but not it’s piece?


Then that peace you want wouldn’t; Not ever be yours, even on short lease.

DARK, TAMED & BRIDLED



From whence were you birthed?
The very bowels of ships berthed.

And who had anchored your pains?
Same he that adorned me in chains.

Who housed and fed your pride?
Same he that took away my side.

Who sat you in hard carved wood?
This same master who eats my food.

What lessons were fed to you?
That’s written on my scars too.

What journey have you come from?
One that make up my physical form.

Were you aided and groomed?
Indeed, burdened and tooled.

Where you shaped to a good fit?
Truly, trained to be as yet unfit.

How were you held in place?
Planted, till I lost all my trace.

Surely you tried to branch out?
Rooted trees only get to sprout.

But you grew on and had aged?
Certainly, I’m still not as caged.

So break away and come home.
I’m home in the cage I’m borne.

But all your gains is not evident?
Yet I am surely and truly present.

But you are a readied crucifix?
Yet my time lost I did not miss.

RICH BAD STEW



When daily Life is Too Hot,
Who cares if home is a Pot?

We’re born to make Breath.
We are all groomed to Fight,
Schooled, cooked to Adapt

Nigeria is a pot of Rich Stew
Badly cooked by the rich Few.

EVERY WAR IS JUST A BATTLE



Old men always dream up wars,
To send more young men to die.
It’s been one of their flaws,
Will always be for it’s no lie.

The young always follow them;
For it’s their forte to be gullible.
Today’s young men,
Tomorrow’s old men

SLUG


As we moan in our far watch;
Nagging our peopled conscience,
We miss out entirely that the catch
Is made up of all our overt nonsense.

A large rich island just drags on,
Not for the size it must always hug.
The bulk of it lost the very reason
Why rich minds will make it a slug.

FRIEND OF FOE


After taking stock of our relationships
And how we all manage to practice them,
With the thorough scan of stewardships
Serving or waiting on this our system.

I come to the stunningly true conclusion
That there is always a thin line between
A foe or a friend in this summation
And it is there for all to lose or win.

It is as thin as is the common thread
Or as is any selfish or selfless whim
That guides man’s search for bread
Or his thoughts, his actions or him.

HANDFUL OF CLAY



That simple deed you daily handle
Reveal so much about how you work.
Just as everybody carries their bundle
Of life’s joy and sorrow that will mock.

That piece of action you handle
Reveal your final piece of work.
Just like every artists’ own bundle
Of clay would praise and also mock.

TALE OF TWO PEOPLE


Up on the plateau they reigned,
Their own old clans so formed.
Hidden on the heights plain,
Living in plentys much rain.

They welcome guests well,
As prosperous strangers tell.
Soon dominance is so evident
And for the sold they want rent.

Wherever time is so kept,
Such a place has it since left.
Two is never again one unless
One is expunged and no less.

Identity established so firm,
Fights a war not for their farm.
Bullying their co-farmers yield
With poised spears and a shield.

PRESENTLY OLD


The buds blossom is past glossy,
time passing has folded its shiver.
Age wither and dry up the rosy
in certain preparation for shivah.

The past left without all of its,
as the present live any place else.
And now, always alone like this;
How then can the old ever bless?

Dryness of thirst spoke its waste
as all bare feet thorns had hurt.
Peacefully alone, wait for fate
with memories in a bodily hut.

When time has consumed its old
as water passes under the bridge;
This route for all, floods any hold,
water must pass under the bridge.

OUR HOMES


It was always dark in all it lack;
All living again, though to us all,
Today it still lingers far off back
In that long night we still do fall.

These cultures that speak the person
Say an Abiku again is everyone of us.
For common reason proves a season,
That only event ended and started us.

When the cries over sharia had settled,
We ran and scattered the towns streets.
Homeless, dead and alive all kettled;
Schemed and steamed out of fair streets.

After all, a rope always starts and ends,
Then it is just after all rope in between.
All of man is birth and the dead ends,
In between is life; man is in between.

After dusk, all return to their own home.
The swines streets of our homes will then
Not be as good again to even just roam,
For the transit pen is now a lions den.

In dedication to the old residents of Rigasa, in Agabi LGA of Kaduna, who were forcibly displaced of the Sharia Riots of Kaduna; February 20th, 2000

AFRICA


Darkest people ever found,
A huge pistol points wrong.
If here man got his sound;
Earth, Africa is your song.

AND WHAT A POOR SONG IT HAS THUS BEEN

WOUNDS OF THE WORLD


Visible cuts we saw,
Deep set and so raw.
It had the pretty torn
And the beholder run.

Worn with its pride
As any true bride.
A scar from a war
Is like a lions roar.

Not on Everests peak
Must anyone do seek,
For even on all hills
Are these worlds ills.

The baby that cries,
Steals away and tries;
To be his own parent,
Where he is only sent.

That spouse out back;
Behind one Holy Ark,
Leaves the same vow
Yet remains, some how.

They; as many, are
So near and not far.
Wounds made bold
In this very world.

RACES


They get set, ready and go.
To where? God only will know.
Revolting round earthly tracks
Which knows not their tasks.

Their quests are not visible
Or even humanly sensible.
Competing with complexions,
Hairs, noses and eyes in nations.

What wins these long races
That recognizes their faces,
Will not justify the future;
For races aren’t their nature.

DATE


Silly days made our teens,
sorting out our teething genes.
Over those moons, new till old,
our hormones shiver their cold.

Tasting all those many dishes;
many we met with their witches,
Others we borrowed and mended.
But lots we created and trended.

The sting of disappointments sore,
betrayal and pain and much more.
Ageing fear is sour but it is caught;
yet still we trove amidst same death.

To all morrows we cherished
that date we shared perished,
and thank it so for that spice
it puts into this new date so nice.

FIRST PAIN



When I felt it happen too;
Like I heard and saw it too.
I died that day that I knew;
I was just me and not new.
Then alive I sprout out again;
Living as all do, after their first pain.

PIGGIES


When I go to market, another stays at home.
If you had roast beef, another had the bone.
Funny how all cry (we); and still end with none.

CLOUDS OF SALT (Hadarin gishiri)


Skies are drumming,
The body joins in too.
Clouds are partying,
Invited winds are too.

The body is hurrying,
All corpses are met.
Real hot or chilling,
Salty must be wet.

Sama na kidi,
Jiki ya dauka.
Hadari na biki,
Ya gaiyache iska.

Jiki na sauri,
Kowa na mushe.
Ko zafi, ko dari,
Gishiri sai ya jike.

HYPOCRITES


Those who curse the dogs wet nose,
Let them please cast the first stone.
It can’t wag its tongue mouth close
as they commonly do on their own.
It barks its reason like all of those
who do but wouldn’t leave it alone.

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 seeks the great illusion,
misspelling the obligation to live.
Shunning God, His only illumination.
Evil backwards only says Live!

CAIN’S WIFE


I wonder who you are;
Some lost line or verse?
Lost somehow so far;
We can’t now transverse?

You are there in view,
Yet we chose the dark.
And rendered the new
Old, like a lot we lack.

Our acceptance of you
Is not sincere at least,
To admit what we knew
Had outlived its wreath.

Shrouded in some mist
Of age old, yet new norm;
That captured life’s feat
And figured its only form.

We spouse a ghost
And live in cemeteries.
Like a true coffined host,
Scared for our souls stories.

Your place true as cast,
Even if subtle and lost.
History gain from; at last,
Those Cains wives, almost.


(Genesis 4:17)

THE SPOUSE OF SENTIMENTS


Daddy smiled and coughed light,
Understanding my explained plight.
Men are lonely and they know,
Yet they conspire not to let show.

These women are assisted all through
By their very own sex, unlike you.
Firstly by mothers or sisters, then peers.
All thrust, show or coax their shares.

Ladies understand the bodies world well
As they grow so guided, you can tell.
The boy discovers on his very own.
And thus, what he finds is his fun.

IDOLS


The patience of man
Had over many ages
Given to his own land
Births of many images.

It has made gods
Of so many symbols;
Earthly made rods,
Also celestial balls.

In his long wait
His patience creates
Answers that relate
Only to his state.

The clouds of reason
Cover his horizons;
Make a sky season,
Or mystic masons.

Sight is so deceptive
That it can tilt a view,
Halo any perspective
With inspired preview.

Man looks around
And sees such beauty,
Beyond any he found
Or his own humanity.

In his natural urge
He pays respects to
Visions and courage,
Where honour isnt due.

In his all human way,
He puts faith in those
He comprehendsll stay;
Idolizing his very nose.

SINGLED OUT


Found out amidst the threshing stones,
sort out of the cupboard of bones.
Where the situation was doctored
fell out that one not to be mastered.

Revenge consumes like any fire
and depends on sentimental air.
An action sought to set any aside
is vengeful if reason and sense coincide.

When anybody is singled out
the stone-casters dance about,
exposing ignorance and malice;
ironically with the drummers piece.

MONEY AND THE MISER


Spend me! You miserable clot,
So I can travel, visit and just be.
Have I not uplifted all your lot
With my coming and swelling sea?

Ha! See what is talking here;
Another creation grown astray.
Has making you collect near
Lost its purpose as any way?

I have existed so long before,
Making many, long before you.
Hadn’t my might sown more
Fright in you than you’ll rue?

My fear of you doesn’t keep,
That is why you I do amass.
How trivial your might heap
Just like any furniture was?

I taste the air men breathe,
Inhaled in its life and gasped.
Hasn’t the ease I could knit
Warm skeletons all trapped?

I don’t lodge or host guests
And don’t burden any to host.
Haven’t I seen your requests
Send errands until they’re lost?

I plunge in a lake all humble,
Help will come and does drown.
Had not man’s urge so trouble
His lust for his own crown?

Then I’ve unraveled your plot,
So with me you’re ever sunk.
I’ll keep man’s own twin clot.
After all, arent you precious junk?

THE SPOUSE

The spouse is the chosen partner;
either by craft, design or choice.
Becoming indeed a legal partner,
regardless of thought or noise.


No other legal relative is such,
not even the adopted children.
For they never share that much,
not in bodily or geno brethren.

Spouses come to a disadvantage,
one that timelessly edges it on.
Success makes it an advantage,
failure casts it good in rusty iron.

Spouse is a lengthy subscription,
one that needs constant renewal.
Spouse is one true legal relation,
in danger of instant withdrawal.


JUST THIS ONCE


Truthfully none lives all alone,
But dead as alive all has none.

The words we are saying now, found us somewhere we know.

Our thoughts are always near, holding us captive right here.

REBIRTH

Everything is chaos
that comes to a head.
Like life is not yours,
if it owns you instead.

The parent of logic
is simply knowledge.
What’s certainly tragic,
is all life is in bondage.

IMMORALITY

Time is a precious commodity,


one we cannot create but waste.

How we use every opportunity,

determines our enduring taste.

The fabric of every community,

makes up it’s content and state.

When a people lose their sanity,

old men rule like boys in haste.

BOYS & TOYS

Boys’ll ever be boys!
Even if they’re older,
they like same toys;
only just get bolder!

Men get a lot older,
playing more bolder.
Craving similar toys,
make men still boys.

THE 411 IS 404

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe


All roads might lead to Rome but all dogs are heading for Katsina as the State Government is to expend N300 million on them to secure schools. Who is supplying the dogs? Certainly none of Ejike Mbaka’s “three contractors” nor Eedris Abdulkarim via Festus Keyamo! Anyway, this laudable proposal might however start off dog rustling because some Nigerians particularly from …, ……., ….. and …… would have already started calculating the cumulative length of “Telephone wire” that would be roasted, fried or pepper souped. If you decode the 3, 7, 5 and 6 dots na you sabi! Now that negotiating with bandits has obviously failed are dogs the best way forward?

While canines are wonderful as temporary early warning mechanism they cannot be a permanent preventive measure. Dogs are not bullet proof. Katsina people should rather implore their kinsman in Abuja to wake up on the job to identify and root out the immediate and remote causes of abductions – nationwide.

After all that is what he was voted into office to do! By the way who will feed and maintain N300 million worth of dogs? I ask because in Katsina “members” are said to be mainly concentrated at the Mammy Market of you know where. Chances are that each time there is salary delay or month far a government owned Bingo or two might end up there! If so it will be just a question of time before man’s best friend starts turning out to be other men’s 404!

LIVING

Living is a trip that keeps going.
Daily it comes, always it’s going.

It is peopled, hectic, never cozy;
Fares as pests all quite naughty,
Only it’s tiny stops are a bit rosy.

Picture from @xinorino

January 15, 1966

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe

The last official public function of Nigeria’s first and only elected Prime Minister, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa was the commissioning of the River Niger Bridge linking Asaba with Onitsha. After which;
“On December 19, 1965 he (Balewa) went to the small village of Arondizuogu in Orlu for the commissioning of Dr. Ozumba Mbadiwe’s “Palace of the People” Built by Italian contractors, it was a three-storey affair resplendent with blue terrazzo walls, swimming pool and a fountain, grand conference halls and event rooms, red carpet and gilt chairs. All these in a village where most houses were still born of mud and thatched roofs. Since the first tarred roads were constructed in 1890s in Lagos, and the first dual carriage way in Nigeria – Queen Elizabeth Road – appeared in 1956 in Ibadan, no road in Arondizuogu or in Orlu had ever been graced with bitumen before.

Yet Mbadiwe situated the grand palace there as a source of pride for his people. At the commissioning ceremony, the Eastern Premier, Dr Okpara never saw the project as a white elephant planted by megalomania and watered by corruption, rather he hailed the project as “a great achievement for pragmatic African socialism.” The press placed the value of the house at least half a million pounds. Mbadiwe said it was “at most £40,000.” After the commissioning, Abubakar then proceeded to his farm in Bauchi for his annual leave.”

The Prime Minister was briefly in Kaduna on Tuesday, January 4, 1966 before returning to Lagos.Despite the fact that Sir Balewa was a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire and member of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom, he was a modest person who had throughout his life led a Spartan and ascetic lifestyle. He owned only 2 private residences in Bauchi and Kaduna and a 50 acre farm near his hometown of Tafawa Balewa.

His personal integrity was unassailable, yet in Lagos as Prime Minister he headed a government that glossed over the proven corrupt practices of its apparatchiks for the sake of political expediency;
“The NCNC parliamentary leader and Minister of Trade, Dr. Ozumba Mbadiwe was caught using his office to divert a government land at Ijora Causeway to his private company Afro Properties and Investment Company since 1961. He then assigned the land lease to Nigerpool in return for a hefty annual profit. The discovery generated another media-exposed corruption scandal.

The Prime Minister met privately with Babatunde Jose, the editor of the powerful Daily Times spearheading the intense campaign to remove the corruption extremist if he declined to resign. Mbadiwe never bothered. Sir Balewa told the editor: “You want me to remove this man? What he did fell below what is proper. Under British standards, he would go, but the NCNC who put him in my original coalition are solidly for him. Its central working committee had just passed a unanimous vote of confidence in him. If they withdraw, since Awolowo can’t join, the [coalition] government will collapse.’”No doubt during the First Republic there were numerous signs and symptoms of rapid democratic decay against the background of massive political corruption.

The bloody events of January 15, 1966 did not just happen in some vacuum. By January 15, 1966 our nation was a disaster waiting to happen as there was a noticeable buildup towards chaos as noted by declassified US diplomatic cables which clearly stated how our nation had got to a level of; “Very complicated African politics, in which tribes, religions and economics all play a part, are involved in the situation. The Northern Premier is at odds with the Eastern Premier in whose region large oil deposits have been discovered. In the heat of the election campaign, there have been threats of secession by the East; threats of violence that would make Congo look like child’s play.”The American cables were about the intense political rivalry at the highest echelons of government;
“Following the controversial Federal Election of December 1964, ceremonial President Azikiwe of the NCNC, refused to invite Prime Minister Balewa of the NPC to form a government and issued orders mobilizing the Army to enforce his authority to suspend the government, annul the elections and appoint a temporary interim administrator to conduct elections.

However, the oath of allegiance of the officer corps was not only to the Commander in Chief but also to the government of Nigeria. The Army Act (#26 of 1960) and the Navy Act (#9 of 1960) were also clear on lines of authority and control.While the Army and Navy were “under the general authority” of the Defence Minister in matters of “command, discipline and administration”, the authority for operational use and control was vested in the Council of Ministers and the Prime Minister. President Azikiwe and the service chiefs were so advised by the Chief Justice and Attorney General of the Federation.

Thus the Navy Commander, Commodore Wey politely told the President that the Navy (under him), the Army (under Major General Welby-Everard) and the Police (under Louis Edet) had decided to refuse his orders. After a week of cliff hanging tension, in which the military stood aside, a political compromise was eventually reached and a government of “national unity” formed under Prime Minister Balewa.” Was Dr. Azikiwe privy to the January 15, 1966 coup?There was also the political collateral damage of;
“Operation Banker’, a joint Army-Police operation in the Western region, led by then CO, 4th battalion, Lt. Col. Maimalari, allegedly at the behest of the pro-NPC regional Premier (Akintola) culminating in the declaration of a state of emergency in May 1962 after a fracas in the House of Assembly and the appointment of an administrator.

Interestingly, the General Staff Officer at the Army HQ in charge of Intelligence was none other than Captain Patrick Chukwuma Nzeogwu who, as a Major, was later to play a key role in the coup of January 1966 in which Maimalari lost his life.”This politicization of the military led to; “The arrest on September 22, 1962 and subsequent imprisonment of the opposition leader, Chief Awolowo, on suspicion of planning a civilian overthrow of the government. It was alleged that 300 volunteers were sent to Ghana for 3 weeks militia training.”
Interestingly; “The last interview granted to the magazine ‘West Africa’, by the late Prime Minister Balewa on January 14, a few hours to his death, went like this:
Question: Do you see the solution as taking the form of a coalition government in the West?

Balewa: Yes, it would have to be that …The Action Group has accepted my mediation, but the NNDP has asked for more time. If I use real force in the West – and make no mistake about it, I haven’t yet – then I could bring the people to their knees. But I don’t want to use force like that. Force can’ t bring peace to people’s hearts.
Question: Would you consider the release of Chief Awolowo as part of a political solution of the West’s troubles?

Balewa: I think that might be part of it; yes, obviously we would have to see.
This interview was not published until January 29, 1966.”
Little did Sir Balewa know that the political end game of the January 15, 1966 mutineers was to release then opposition leader, Chief Awolowo from Calabar prison and install him as head of a national unity government. Chief Awolowo has never confessed to being privy of the coup attempt though the official documents containing the details of what actually happened and how 54 years ago are still classified.May the souls of Sir Balewa and that of all those that lost their lives on January 15, 1966 continue to rest in peace.

LIKE IT OR NOT

To avoid being quite sorry,
it’s always prudent to worry.
Not just for the tiny bit thing,
but to also laugh, cry or sing.

Good are also ugly and bad;
and can turn fair moods sad.
Most friends’re opportunistic,
indeed their needs are mystic.

IN THEIR SHOES

Common is the expression;
not quite the true situation.
Rare does the circumstance,
fit the damned consequence.

Whenever the setting changes;
timid viewers face challenges,
same fashion commentators
will become eating predators.

#poem
#poetry