Poetry

April 25, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Surian Soosay photo

 

By

John Chizoba Vincent

 

 

 

The Day Nigeria Died

 

 

Down here,

is an abysmally dead world!

The sun shines at night while the moon

Illuminates the busy day

Planes run on railway tracks and let the

Trains fly up there in the sky

Ships have taken over the road and allow the vehicles to sail on oceans.

Our soldiers returned home joyfully and sent their wives to the war front,

While they breast feed the babies at home.

People die of hunger seated before a banquet

A flower planted by the riverside dies of drought.

 

Out there,

you do not dodge potholes, you only choose the one to enter.

Down here, water sticks between our teeth,

Fishes run helter skelter into the forest,

The mountain minted into water as the streams flow into the deserts in horror;

And rivers rise above the skies for safety.

Stars descend to the grassland for cow’s milk

The heavens are rented by the wild beasts of underground.

To see a man of reputation here is like looking for a virgin lady in a brothel.

 

On this land

Mother taught us how to smile sitting beside a corpse,

How to cry when we see a man succeeding;

How to giggle watching the hell fall on us fiercely.

Watching here like a dry tongue

Looking like shadows from old men,

Looking like a garage filled by slippers.

This land died yesterday

This land never gave us shards of new beginning,

She died leaving a quatrain walked out of its body,

It died owning wounds in our heart…

The day Nigeria died was the day we littered the skies with accusatory fingers blaming the government of every fly that crossed our path.

She made our joy dissolve into shreds of sorrow. Lack. Pains. Calamities!

 

When you see a child sing in the fireplace,

He either sings of his lost mother or father or his only palm fruit.

Nigeria died in our hands and knees

Spelling this spit of fire from my sister’s lip, the beneficent knowledge of dead shows how illusion killed many of us.

The day Nigeria died, she died in our palms crying of her lost prestige.

 

Oh!

A country of glee!

Oh mother land! Oh father land!

We’ll sing no more dirge at your grave

Those flowers shall we gather home

We’ve failed you and killed you looking at each others eyes to find the culprits.

Go well till we make you better by 2019.

 

 

 

 

Who’s Killing Nigeria?

 

 

Has your grandma told you how

she queued to collect a cup of rice

at the campaign ground?

Has your father narrated to you how he was paid to steal the ballot papers?

Have you been told how your mother shot a man down for a politician?

and now, you are a thug for them!

You’re suffering from the same greed rust that peeled your heels like a yam tubers that got menacely tear.

 

Your uncle told us a snake swallowed the money meant for his office & we

all rubbed our stomach & left him alone.

We never chased the snake in the street.

Your auntie told a tale of how a monkey carted away with her money & we smiled at her tale without asking how! Can she still spill sparky sperm in billion?

Do not sit by the door post and weep!

Do not say anything to the abandoned firewood that told of our foregone lives.

 

Weep not, son, for the gods have

woken from the laps of a prostitute.

Those who cried under the rain we’ve seen their tears dangling on their chin.

Political slavery is not skin deep than us,

We made it rise from that creeping serpent that crawled unseen to bite.

Do not ask of my name as a poet cos

I am as ageless as the lonely cloud,

Just know what I have scribbled now.

You and I killed Nigeria before time.

 

Our history was never baked in our school, it was baked by whitemen creed,

They dragged us to the mud to believe what they told us was right, not left.

Weep not, daughter, your mother was

One of the cause of this tolls of death.

We are the fading sigh of everything

we long for & the echoes of our beings.

Our leaders are made from one cloth,

Same blood crossed path and they killed

Brutally in the mind of beloved mother.

 

My greed, our greed, your grandma’s,

Your father’s, your Uncle’s and yours;

Killed our mother before the universe.

There is an empty music in our voices,

You drum to your left, Obi, to his right;

You wagged your tail, Obi waved his

Hand & we never gets to a vocal point.

I am burning my body as a poet to stay alive for you and for this land, for my

Eyes is a mirror to revolution of thought.

We’re killing Nigeria ourselves in a ditch

of greed and corruption.

 

 

 

 

 

Fugitive

 

 

I am learning how to leave

how to hug many lonely roads

walk through the roads in pain

how to mourn those lost brothers

without feeling guilty-wandering

this is what life has taught me:

how to pack my bag and walk,

walk to the river bank and stay

I’ve been forgotten in between

fingers, two unequal fingers

i know I am a street shattered,

littered with filth agonies.

finding home in a graveyard

finding solace in the bosom of

emptiness and foliage of vacant

lonesomeness taught me this:

how to name the street a home

how to hold death in my pocket

how to talk to the wind as a friend

building sadness and excitement

when a dice of stupidity is thrown

fools like me look for gold of sanity

these broken poems in my head

hurt, wish I could split them like

Igbos’ hearts, like Edo and Delta!

the history created has made me

learn more on how to lose home

in every moon, in every star

but am afraid of what the streets

talk about me in their closet.

 

 

 

 

Ghetto Poet

 

 

the street taught me how to name myself,

how to make life miserable to people with arms and weapons around my neck and hands.

how to call a knife a spade and

a spade; a hoe without feeling guilty.

how to lay wait for girls and make

them scream out loud in dark places

where men fall in and come out

happily satisfied.

the street taught me how to pronounce these words: Bread and water.

I was born without nipple to my mouth,

my mother became religionist making temples her home.

My father, whose shadows I fell under reek of bottles of beers and found satisfaction from the twisted public holes of skimpy sluts.

The street made me, I am part of the street; a ghetto poet, ghettoising.

life pushed me into the den of wildness

there was time I visited hope and hope failed me yet the end didn’t come.

I whimpered, but life must go on.

You know these words are broken,

I lost my soul scribbling them on slates

I picked every word I say from the ghetto.

I won’t stop this game, forgive me like

I forgave myself when I sliced a knife

into a Bishop’s throat,

like when I shot a wealthy man at Nnewi

like when I set the church ablaze for treating me like a Lepal at restitution.

like when I slaughtered an Imam for a false doctrine.

Just forgive me ’cause of this ghetto sermon playing in my head.

I was made the black sheep by broken marriage

I do not know when the world begin to trade a boy like me for bloody adventures!

they made beast from baby like me,

when was it signed into our constitutions to overlook dregs of the society- children in the street?

how do you hold your bodies together

knowing you’ve held a future in your tongue, your arms and weapons?

begone! There is no point being who I am…

Don’t leave me to perish! I need a shoulder to lean on!

 

 

 

 

Nobody’s Business

 

 

I am a poet describing nature

none of your business if I have

mansion or live in a teary hut

curse me or spit on the sand I

step on, i chose the life I live now

Destiny choose me for this dream

It’s nobody’s business what I do.

 

I have known girls from the hood

I have dated girls from the hood

many I have made a public hole

change their profile side-down-up

and they’re called unprintable names

it’s nobody’s business whom I choose

to  marry now and tomorrow.

 

I have been to school and dropped out

I studied medicine and no result

I have always wanted to go to the sky

crack it bodies and return home

happy but mother rechannelled my

legs, now, I have no route in life

it’s nobody’s business the life I live.

 

I have no children to give me water

My house is littered by lizards and

Wallgecko describing dire poverty

even if I feed from hand to mouth

Leave me to my fate and eel destiny

Life is but a dotted scars in hearts

It’s nobody’s business to tell my tale.

 

My father reek of bottles of beers

He found home in gutters always

My mother is a furnace religionist

She found grace in arms of Bishops

Don’t mind what their children

will be tomorrow or today, It’s

nobody’s business to tell of their lives.

 

Christians are ambitious catholic

than Pope Francis of Roman catholic

why wag your mouth here and there?

why point your finger here and there?

what is your business with their lives?

Pull down the sun today if you like

You have no business with their lives.

 

I’ll keep wandering and get lost in the

Darkness, don’t look for me like your lost country; it’s none of your business

Remove those things in your eyes

before mine, I have no business with your businesses morning and night.

I choose the life I will lead for today.

 

I have no business with your

businesses, no, I don’t have any!

Marry as many wives as you like

Plenty your hair with fish hook

Paint part of your moustache grey not

my cup of tea to drink and get drunk

I have my own headache to think of.

 

 

 

 

Everybody’s Business

 

 

Open the book of history chapter 19

Allow your shadow to roam on its surface, turn to verses twenty and

wait. trace your finger forward, keep going; then Stop! Do you see that word corruption marked In red complexions?

That was who they made us to be

after the amalgamation of our thought

through their thought to find home.

 

You bottled up yourself and elected sickle cell patient in office to rule

While the youths lazied at home.

Last time was a woman and his wife,

a man; and you cracked yourself up,

Break every bones of your marrow biopsy complaining and singing how

Womanly he was to lead you home.

Now, what is the scores for Chelsea?

 

open the constitution of your land,

Flip towards section 111 of the book.

Where was it written an eye for eye?

Was there a mouth for jungle justices?

I know is not your cup of tea to see a

Brother beaten black and blue alone.

He pleaded not guilty but they killed him, has he sinned more than the

cocktail Politicians that stole money?

 

I broke my silence and spelled pains

and tears and sorrowful agony

To those that killed themselves in themselves before the end comes.

I agreed with my fears when I saw no

PVC among my people but naijabet papers. I made my doubt fixed my broken legs to shave off angered tears.

You need yourself cos here is chaos.

 

When we cry to be free and clear,

Our grandmothers collect cups of rice

On the campaign ground for all of us.

Don’t you know to be poor is a way of life and to be rich is a way of death?

When a fly passes by you rant and call

Government who has sent them to you.

I agreed with my fears that government will place that morsel into your mouth!

 

2019 is everybody’s business to handle

We can couple together those broken

Laughter left on our humble fine faces.

Dusting of every road in the state is everybody’s business to talk about.

Those colourful children in the street are everybody’s business to care for.

Not my cup of tea if you fail in your business of patriotic service to the land

 

Now, close the book in your thought

Let me tell you a broken tattered tale:

Our ancestral politicians are the disguise   herdsmen in the greener street of our home. Don’t mention my name to any ear finding truth in this lie I just told.

I am going home now, my mother seek my face for an errand I have to run.

We are all reeked flag and coat of arms.

 

 

 

 

 

john chizoba vincent

John Chizoba Vincent

John Chizoba Vincent is a poet, actor, Novelist and D.O.P. He is the Author Of Hard times, Good Mama and letter from Home.

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