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.