August 12, 2016 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION


Shola Balogun



In Rwanda



At the borders of Kivu and Gisenyi,

The land mourns her emptiness.


There is stirring silence

In the fragments of lone bricks

On patched earth.


Sprawling tombs retell

The litany of a mother’s sorrow

At the crossroads of an Eastern soil

When she heard the wailing

From the wall of her home

And the ballads of her children in exile.


Mothers’ sorrow is in Africa too.


You may not know what their eyes

Have seen in the lands

Where they call their homes.


You may not understand their silence

And the fire of their lips.


In Africa, mothers see their children

Die in the streets.










All for Oil



It is now

that the fauning fellows

fool themselves

through thrilling tricks

that I know why mean mad men

make madness

their merry merchandise.


I know now why those

who fume for the poor

are also found wanting

in their vows.


Now I know how

a spoonful of hunger

is more than enough


to light a keg of gunpowder.










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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