Poetry

June 8, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

UN photo

 

By

Paul Oluwafemi David

 

 

 

We Are Born Too Old By Our Mothers

 

 

Babies are gods who will not speak

Until they’ve been appeased with water

And the breast.

 

They will speak after being fed, they will orate

After being fed.

 

My mother wanted a baby

And God gave her nakedness to

Cover her pride and vanity.

 

Babies were all in the garden

When my dad and mum started

Fishing. Babies were all in the

Garden before Adam and Eve

Knew what it means to be clothed with guilt and

Darkness.

 

Young girls hold their bodies

Everywhere without giving birth (I’m tired of that).

 

Babies were already in the

Garden before Adam and Eve

Was coined into coins with

A head and tail shuffles

Of probabilities.

 

Babies were young every day, walked the day they were born,

talked the day they were born without seeking for smiles and breast from mothers.

 

I didn’t understand what was lost by wearing clothes, what was missed by covering bodies,

what was missed by covering the skin until an old woman screamed in my street removing our roof with tears.

 

I didn’t know what was lost until a young baby died a little shy of his one day birth celebration.

We don’t wear clothes to cover our naked bodies; we wear death to look beautiful for death to snatch.

 

Death has snatched many people from my life, many loved ones in my life,

many relatives from my life, death snatched them all into the dark.

 

Babies are born too old,

Too old with a bald head, too old with worn out teeth,

too old with heartbeats on their head, too old with vulnerabilities.

Babies are born too old they grow up to be young.

 

I was born too old by my mother, born too old through her soil making paintings of blood, designing my bodies with stories.

We’ve stopped covering our bodies a long time ago with life, beauty, victories, glories and wonders.

We cover our bodies with death, with darkness, with oblivion and pain.

 

Death has snatched many people from my life, it snatched my grandmother

who fed me love, it snatched my friend who fed me coolers of food.

 

I didn’t know what we lost in the Garden of Eden to judge Adam and Eve

accurately, to comprehend why God tossed their burnt offering towards their faces

to understand why God tossed their coins out from the front door of paradise to become a rolling stone.

 

We’re born too old by our mothers, we couldn’t talk, walk, think, reason

and spend freedom like Nelson Mandela to escape out of clothings of death.

 

Babies are born too old, too old to be free, too old to be an atheist, too old to challenge ageing customs and cultures.

Babies are the oldest beings on earth, they don’t walk, talk or stalk the rays of light,

Babies are born as gods who didn’t understand why everything was different about earth, faces and time.

Babies are gods with small faces.

Babies are gods that cry watching the death we wear, the vanity, the darkness we wear, the apocalypse that rolls up and down preparing on our bodies.

 

It hurts rowing up as a baby, babies cry because what they saw

could never be called home, be called safe.

 

We’re born too old by our mothers to show how young we can still grow up to become.

 

 

 

 

 

The Best Fruits In Life Are Called Coconuts

 

 

You cannot count the numbers of suits that seeds have won to defend

their dreams to become fruits, you cannot understand how it screamed

inside the soil with no one around to help them or deliver them

from the rust that leads to germination.

 

How many will you count to die blaming your tie?

How many must you number to die losing your chambers?

 

Seeds also get pregnant like our mothers do; seeds also go through labours like my mum did with me.

Our mothers give birth to us alive; seeds die giving birth, seeds rust into pollen dust giving birth.

 

The soil wasn’t a gentle hospital interested in the survival of seeds;

it wasn’t a gentle nurse and doctor interested in the survival of seeds.

 

My father planted a seed expecting coconuts, it’s still growing

at the back of our house devoid of coconuts,

it’s still growing at our garden a little far from making coconuts.

 

The best fruits in life are called coconuts.

Forget the years, the tears, the nights, the fears, the bitterness.

You will eat when it flowers.

 

Forget the delay, the seasons, the darkness you will eat your coconuts.

My village is filled with old women who bite kolanuts pretending its sweet,

grandmothers and grandfathers bite their kolanuts pretending it’s a fruit.

 

The best fruits in life are called coconuts.

Seeds are bitter,

Seeds are bitter.

 

Have you cracked a seed with your teeth and feel

the long sensation of bitterness on your tongue?

 

It’s through death that fruits come; it’s through corrosion that fruits flower.

 

Seeds die giving birth, giving birth to fruits.

Forget the darkness, the nights, the bleakness you will live

to hold your flower; you will live to eat coconuts.

 

The germination of seeds leads to termination, my mother never died

giving birth to me, it’s different with seeds, it’s the soil that kills them,

it’s their home that kills them.

 

Seeds are bitter,

Seeds are bitter.

 

Forget about how seeds taste now you’re holding the real thing,

the sugar, the sweetest of all fruits in the world.

 

It’s bitterness that transforms into sweetness;

it’s bitterness that transforms into aroma.

 

The home where seeds live kills it

 

Seeds are bitter,

Seeds are bitter.

 

Forget about the taste of seeds you’re holding sugar,

holding honey that don’t spoil, rust or get sour like an acid.

 

You’re holding the real thing, thee fruit that never spoils.

The best fruits in life are called coconuts.

 

 

 

 

 

Kogi State

 

 

A state is a plate where citizens come together on their land or home in

Love and unity to celebrate and

Eat the fruits produced by the seeds of time.

 

We’re water loaded in Kogi State seeds shouldn’t die,

We’re land loaded in kogi state seeds should be viable.

I saw a Goliath in Ajaokuta and I immediately knew what it took for David to win,

I heard the sounds of rivers walking while travelling on a long bridge to know we should be farming and feeding Nigeria.

I’m alive and drinking from the water of freedom, love and unity.

 

Homes being tested in a coffin will never have rest,

Homes being measured in a coffin will never be a treasure,

Homes that walk around cemeteries as balconies will never talk.

Homes that crawls around graves will never be safe,

Homes that refuse to talk while being emptied into coffins protects cowards,

Homes that smiles inside

caskets are never markets.

 

People have dreams while growing up;

they’ve boundaries between and around their homes to copy and post

to be free of assignments fetching low marks.

 

We played a lot when we were young burning candles into the wind to make wishes

at the gaze of night stars far away from our bars of laws and jaws.

 

We played without worrying about who owns tomorrow or the present;

we just played in the rain cashing all the sounds of thunders in our bodies to serve as warnings,

as echoes of gods gazing beyond.

 

Childhood was beautiful without stings and venoms, my mother cooks and I ate

leaving my plates refilled because it couldn’t be consumed by a single mouth,

I’d invite my friends to borrow their mouths and eat the food that remains untouched.

 

My dad bought me everything I needed without any excuses, things were right,roads were safe,

faces were smiles, home was safe, farm was harvest. Friendship was relationship.

Everything was fine then.

 

Many didn’t remember how beautiful those days were, how memorable it was, how dashing it was.

 

I remember how much fun I had swimming in rivers with my liver dancing on its levers,

I remembered the fun I had roasting cashew nuts spraying my soul with the scent,

I remembered the mud house we built with our bare hands without getting scared of the soil that raised us,

I remembered everything that makes remembering a remarkable December.

 

Things were all right then, faces don’t cry to bed then, bones don’t run then,

bodies don’t speak then, blood don’t dry then, homes don’t fall then,

families don’t fall apart then. Things were fine then.

 

My friends enjoyed everything about those days, we do chase the rain to home in those days,

we do listen to thunders sing in those days, we do listen to the claps of thunders to worship and serve our maker.

 

Things were all right then, faces don’t pack dust, babies don’t starve to death,

parents don’t hide, widows don’t die counting windows, darkness don’t lead, evil don’t lead,

homes don’t burn to lay naked its dwellers, roads were safe, water was safe,

days was beautiful, children s were safe, dreams were safe.

Everything was safe.

 

Things were once safe in Kogi state, love was once shared, pain was once shared,

home was once shared, faces was once shared, roads was once shared,

light was once shared, everything was once shared.

Everything was once safe in Kogi State.

 

If it rained in those days people smiled and danced, people call everyone

with their beautiful voices and scream love everywhere.

 

If it rained in those days in Yagba West kids run into their house to carry their buckets,

to carry their jerry cans, to carry their cups for a drink of water showered by the stars

to quench their thirst on dry floors. Citizens run into their rooms to fill empty jars with water.

If it rained in those days we run into its stage dancing, smiling, talking,

and wishing with happiness that wishes forever to galaxies.

 

If it thundered in those days the soil open giving birth to new plants,

giving birth to seeds that have lived their whole life waiting for flowers.

If it thundered in those days’ citizens run to carry drums and dance away

all their worries and sorries. We hold kites everywhere praising God, worshiping

God for safety and rest in the only soil we know as our own.

 

My dreams led me to everywhere,

My faith led me to every fire that cannot be quenched by men of corruption,

men of tyranny, and men of gluttony, men of darkness, men of evil, and men with no hearts,

men of horror eating the corridors of dreams to death like termites.

Parents want to be young and beautiful when they will attend

the wedding and naming ceremonies of their seeds.

 

Trees don’t blow air they blow here, birds don’t sing aloud again they whisper,

crickets don’t play rickets again they’ve ricket, nights don’t go down again they rise

as immortals, days don’t wake up again they die, I’m sure about nights in those days

they fall and die, they fall and go to prepare the path to sunrise.

 

Things were once safe in Kogi State, plates were once served hot for the citizens,

palm wine was cold and chill, plants were drugs inside pots of soups

without anyone dying after eating.

 

Retired workers don’t fall like snows and die, things were right then, roads never kill,

lands never betray, salaries were paid at the right time, retirement fees was paid.

Roads were smooth, water was safe, home was safe once in Kogi State.

 

Things was once right in kogi state, parents don’t lie in those days,

parents don’t run away from their responsibilities and choose to drink,

parents don’t run away from their responsibilities in those days to drink.

 

What happened in Kogi State?

What is wrong with its leftover?

 

I was afraid the last time I saw her, I couldn’t believe what was left of her,

faces were graves walking alive, smiles were deception coming from fear,

bodies were strolling with ghosts and spirits who thought my state was a cemetery.

 

The state I saw was in slavery devoid of freedom from the leaders meant to guide it,

from leaders meant to be angels fighting for it, defending it and saving it from going into extinction.

 

Kogi State is too dark for love to see, for unity to walk safe, for progress to come building,

for industries to come building, for citizens to think and succeed.

It’s too dark for love to see, for peace to plant and harvest happiness.

 

The state I saw was in slavery devoid of happiness and good health under sad dictators,

leaders,politicians,kings ,queens and elites who’re cowards absorbing all the wealth,

peace, love, rights and priviledges of the citizens like evil magnets who know

too much about the art of torture like Russian spies.

 

The state I saw was in prison, in tatters smiling alone, it’s now a state safest

to rob the citizens, torture them, starve them, and strip them naked.

Lead them to death lead them to petrol stations and light them up

with cold petrol that burns like hell, which burns like pain.

 

Kogi State is now the safest place to rob bodies to mortuary alive preparing them for burial ceremonies.

Kogi State is too dark to even see who cycles them, who are behind their sufferings,

who are behind their poverty and tears. The masquerades that cycle my state

are evil men who will not stop until it becomes a dessert never to be remembered again.

 

Workers go to work as a slave; teachers teach their students as a slave,

citizens work their sentence as an inmate caged by the leaders they voted for into power.

 

Power crushes dreams in my state, elected politicians rob the citizens

carrying government house as their ammunition of mass destruction.

Politics is a weapon of mass destruction in my state; it’s a weapon of mass decimation.

 

Citizens sleep on their bed and refuse to wake, citizens hang themselves in Lokoja

expecting people to help, citizens die in my hometown screaming salary as their last word

to the world, it’s not right to scream salaries when you’re about to die, it’s not right.

I think nothing is right in Kogi State, nothing is right.

 

You’re all cowards eating in your home of assets, all cowards who loot into your home of banks,

who rape citizens off their virginity into your heart of pride, all cowards

who use citizens as slaves to achieve your dreams and goals.

 

You’re all cowards who smile for the misfortune of your citizens,

all cowards who spend the dreams of your citizens, all cowards who rape your state to death,

all cowards who burn down churches for your victories,

all cowards who dream and dream in your house of assets.

 

Kogi was once safe, safe from looters who hide in their home of assets,

safe from kings who serve money instead of people, safe from leaders

who disguise in the crowd to hide in their home of assets.

 

Things was once right in Kogi State, students don’t drop out from schools,

young girls don’t waste their future drowning inside babies and sex out of wedlock,

parents don’t cry watching their children roll away because of hunger,

roads don’t prepare to swallow, husbands respected their wives, husbands

don’t go to drink to forget about the debts burning under their skin to forget

about the credits burning under their bones, to forget about the fear burning under their faces.

 

Debts are the bodies of death when it leaves,

Liabilities are the bodies of fire when it leaves,

Disabilities are the bodies of darkness when it leaves,

Days are broken glasses without windows,

Homes are shattered vases without happiness.

 

In those days houses are buildings not debts.

Kogi State has changed, our leaders did the changing, did the damaging,

did the dividing, did the piercing, did the crumbling and the tearing apart in their home of cars.

 

My state is now a dessert where ghosts roam on calling it a cemetery,

where our enemies, problems and terrorists hide in government houses

in Lokoja or Aso rock in Abuja smiling at your tears, laughing at your miseries,

grinning at your hunger, smiling about your hardships and adversities.

 

You’re all cowards mocking in your bed of roses, all cowards

smiling in your bed of flowers, all cowards laughing in your bed of loot.

 

I saw a Goliath in Ajaokuta and I knew what it took for David to win,

I heard the thunders of rivers in a confluence state where the name Nigeria was born.

 

Hairs has been  turned to chairs in my state, eyes to ice, nose to hose,

bodies to copies, bones to cones, foots to loots, faces to vases,

houses to blouses and dreams to streams flowing with blood.

 

You’ve seen too many movies to forget your stories,

You’ve seen too many cowries to forget your armies,

You’ve seen many worries to forget your histories.

 

To forget about the bravest men and women that Kogi State has seen,

had and loved because they love their state completely.

 

Leave your movies and come to Kogi State,

Leave your cowries and come to Kogi State,

Leave your worries and come to Kogi State.

 

If you’re not blind you’ll see nothing saying everything,

If you’re not deaf you’ll hear nothing saying everything,

If you’re not lost you’ll find everything walking into traps.

 

What happened to the confluence state?

What happened where rivers found love?

What happened where water found home?

 

If you’re not blind you’ll see ghosts everywhere,

If you’re not deaf you’ll see spirits drinking spirit like alcohol,

If you’re not lost you’ll reach the end of this darkness.

 

What happened to the source of water?

 

Things was once right in Kogi State, citizens once shared love, shared values,

Shared cultures

and religion.

Share this poem everywhere if you can, tell this poem to a friend if you can.

 

Home was once safe in Kogi State, share this poem if you can,

recite this poem for a change if you can, read this poem to the end

and you’ll understand why power has led many citizens to their graves.

 

If YOU and I aren’t lost we will reach the end of this darkness.

 

Debts are the bodies of death when it leaves,

Liabilities are the bodies of fire when it leaves,

Disabilities are the bodies of darkness when it leaves,

Days are broken glasses without windows,

Homes are shattered vases without happiness.

 

 

 

 

 

Paul Oluwafemi David

Paul Oluwafemi David is a Nigerian who fell in love with poetry watching the beauty of nature,he is a student of professor Wole Soyinka and Ben Okiri.currently he is a student doctor at the college of human medicine university of Nigeria with a strong mandible for the wonders of the universe.

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