Tuesday, October 3, 2017



Obododimma Oha

Dark visitation, the spare hand of Thanatos,
Have you come for the last battle?
And hiding under those slippery words
Minted by ages of subterfuge?

Go back with those smells of disaster and all
That make the land shiver
And the devil jealous

Go with your garlic, water melons and carrots,
Who needs a blood-soaked unity?
Or patriotism that learns target shooting
With my kinsfolk? Go with your eternal hatred
That pretends affection, and nation that sprouts
Only from one devil’s skull

Go with your bleeding yams and perilous beef
Your truckloads of mischief make hunger much preferred
Go with your burdens of hate
Through the highways of hypocrisy

A nation in the light has seen darkness!
Hopes to move from darkness to darkness.
Has cursed itself with the greatest curse.

Go with every sabo next door
To bury you with their patronage and praise-songs
Surely, the last night cometh soon, the last knight too
All riding steadily on the backs of anger.

October 3, 2017.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

A Rainstorm of Curses

(for every invader)


Obododimma Oha

Roused, the power to curse again
On beholding these many dead!
Gather around, ancient guardians!
Time again when you lift your ọfọ
And let it descend heavily upon the earth!

Come, rainstorm of curses,
In strokes and flows and twists,
Come, it is time.

Gather around, Great Elements,
Roll up your rage into a ball of fire
And drop it
In the homestead of the sender and the messenger!

Come, the riotous breath!
Lock up the doors and windows
Of those lungs that inhaled life to end life.

May those unrepentant thieves
Who steal from Chukwu’s eternal project
Meet the ọkụ-mgbeehi!
May it follow them home
And harvest their welcome!

Nwa-nwa pụta ụwa, ọ lọkwuru!

May miseries suddenly descend
The devastating misery on Eke-Ukwu!
The dumbfounding misery on Orie-Nta!
The climax of miseries on Afọ!
The finishing blow on Nkwọ!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Nigeria, at Crisis O'clock

At last
We go our separate ways
The marriage that never was.

Time was
When we thought our stories were
Different chapters of one book

Has the tribal demon not woken up 
Where hypocrisy slumbered? 
Book people against the Book,
Thinkers against Thought
At crisis o'clock

At last 
We return to the darkest past
To beat tribal drums
In praise of ignorance

The country, never a good book
Where form is wedded to content
Only conceived ironies 

At last 
We return to the same sad beginning
The Lugard mistake

-- Obododimma Oha

Firing from the Hips

There were poets in the army
Who chose to fight a war
Within the war, poets who penned the pain,
Poets who fired their words against war

"Fire your guns, not your poems!"
Screamed a red-faced commander,
"Make every bullet count, you dogs!"

And soldier-poets made
Their metaphors show
The shocking wounds, the battered men
The headless bodies running to nowhere,
The scream of blood against the trembling earth

Those tropes hoped to change the troops,
Hoped to pick the fragments of life
And stitch up the wounded land.

-- Obododimma Oha.