July 29, 2016 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION


Shola Balogun



Metaphor Of My Wasteland



The chorale of the balladist

in the Akropolis

is the metaphor

of my wasteland.


There is communion

in the silence

of the millstones


and in the dimness

of the eyes.


There is union

in the absence

of songs


and in the ravages

of the sun.


Restless run of the unrest

at the polling booths

is for rice.

My people pant after rice.


The beggars and the abandoned

street children grope for oil lamps

as darkness draws the veil

over their plea to the state.


Patrol wagons rid the streets

of probing eyes of the poor.


There is bond

in solitude


and in the limits

when the heart envy the birds.


The loneliness of the homeless

is the metaphor of exile.













I ride on the waves

of their lies

and tell how vicious men

master vain manners

for a piece of unhallowed bread.


I ride on the waves

of their rumours

and belch at the ridiculous riddles

of the swindlers babbling boisterously

in the scam of their filthy scandal.


I frown at the unholy fragrance

of their floppish feats

and gaze with contempt

at their lusty eyes


longing after the lucre

of the poor;


I mete also the verdict

of the cohorts of vandals

and in no little weight

find in it


the thirty pieces of silver.


I ride on the waves

of their humours.











In The Slum



Deep down in the slum,


There is more sacred baptism

in silent doctrines.


Invading fears are ripen



They keep you

bellow the pool of debris

to keep you alive.


Your baptism is complete

when you rise slowly above

the muddy waters,


and in a sudden roar


laugh at the charity

of the state.










To A Friend Who Died In The Swamp



Rivers meet in my eyes

for you.


Transfixed on the veiled

Mound of the swamp,

Lone Beholder of unsteady opera

On rotten marble,


You saw the reeds dancing

To unknown winding plight,


Smothering storms broken

At your feet.

Doors of the earth swung

Into the dark footage of the waters

As they took you in.


The river that meets rivers

In my eyes for you


Is a lament for a nation.










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.

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.