August 31, 2016 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

H D Fink



Shola Balogun



Nights After Biafra



We thought that

the out-stretched feathers

of our hoisted flag


would warm us

in time of cold.


We thought that

the brazen talons

of our coat of arms


would guide our ballot boxes

from strange dreams

of men who are flair,


not in uncommon feats

in this age of computer,

but only in making gun-powder

and local dane guns

to quell the truce


of polling booths.


The law, as you and I

have come to know,

is a godfather

only to the wise men

who came from the North


and the armoured tanks

could be the dragons

in your cup of tea.


The toast

of our national identity

is when one is given

the grace to retreat

at the point of gun


or fall into bush fire

with the hybrid gods.


Do you notice that

the hangman’s noose

is at times not synonymous

with crimes committed

against humanity but for daring

the spurious bills of the state?


Do you not notice as I do

that while our politicians

are dying of obesity

and the government


dancing on stilts,


cudgels and teargas

could not choke one to death

than the dust that settles

on the case files of those who die

of stray bullets


in a protest march?


This is the law that you

and I have come to know-


The armoured tanks

could be the dragons


In one’s cup of tea










Shola Balogun

Shola Balogun, playwright, poet and writer is from Yoruba, southwestern Nigeria. He received his Masters Degree in Theatre Arts from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, specializing in Literary and Dramatic Criticism. He was the winner of the First Educare Trust’s Olaudah Equiano Poetry Prize (2002) and the Festival of Peace Poetry Award (2005) organized by the Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan. He is the author of a collection of poetry, The Cornwoman of Jurare and Other Poems (2007).

His books The Wrestling of Jacob, Praying Dangerously: the Cry of Blind Bartimaeus, and Death and Suicide In Selected African Plays, are available at Amazon and select bookstores.

His play, Egue Eghae, is ready for the stage. Shola Balogun also writes stories for children. His Yoruba background and encounter at the age of 21 with the poetry of John Donne and William Shakespeare influenced his creative writing.


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