February 26, 2019 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Reuters photo



Ngozi Olivia Osuoha




Killing Is A Custom



The essence of defence is to border the bothered

But here, they ambush when lonely

And waylay when crowded.


The gun in uniform is a deform to the form

And a worm to our norm,

Hence, killing is a custom.


Hitherto, they have killed

They have ambushed,

They have waylaid

And they have not bordered

Why we are bothered,

Nor bothered

Why we should be bordered.


The shores, bordering the coasts

And the coasts bothering the shores,

A clone of a drone that hovers

Disturbing the peace of the people.


A gun in uniform, forming a performance

Of a uniformed gun, performing in accordance

Against a people in concordance.


The soot on our root

The boot against our foot,

The shoot they loot

And the loot they shoot,

A sooth they say smooth.


Killing is a custom

Whether by condom,

Customizing a customer to an unknown fate

The custody and custodian of boundaries.


Murder by mother

Brutality by brother

Slaughter by sister

Fraternity by father,

Killing by kinsmen

Hanging by humans

War by women

Mob by men

Why wonder needlessly

If killing is a custom.





If I Lived In Aso Rock



If I lived in Aso Rock

I would not turn it a quarry,

I would not bury the coins

Nor counterfeit the Naira,

It would royally be like Burkingham

And visitor-friendly like White House.


If I lived in Aso Rock

I would not be a hunter

Hunting wild and domestic games,

I would make plain my mission,

Intending no ulterior motives

Yes, I would be that frank.


If I lived in Aso Rock

I would honourably resign

If I turn or seem incompetent

Rather than look negligent,

I would neither be stiff nor deaf

Yes, I would not be tribalistic.


If I lived in Aso Rock

I would not be a hurricane,

Landslide, typhoon, cyclone,

Earthquake, volcano or tsunami

No, I would be showers of blessings

I would not be too strange.


If I lived in Aso Rock

I would not bomb the budget,

No weird fleet of cars

No absurd nor inhumane jets

I would be the peoples’ lift

Ladder, carrier and provider.


If I lived in Aso Rock

I would be the peoples’ gladiator

Their hope and radiator

Their friend and monitor,

Their coat and protector

Their healer and doctor.


If I lived in Aso Rock

I would scrape old faces

Not listen to fairy tales

Bring fresh and young minds

To help clean the mess

Yes, I would take the stress.


If I lived in Aso Rock

I would be a mentor

And not a captor

I would be a reactor

Specially from the creator

I would guide His flock.


If I lived in Aso Rock

I would be a fountain

If I lived in Aso Rock

I would not be a politician

If I lived in Aso Rock

I would just be a NIGERIAN





Nobody Would Unseat Me



I am a soldier

The head of state

I stop terror

And fight corruption,

Nobody would unseat me.


I am herdsman

I own cattle

I am a nomad

And a cattle rearer

Nobody would unseat me.


I am a Messiah

I came from above,

Born to rule

I am not lazy,

Nobody would unseat me.


I shoot at sight

Because I have the might,

Though I cause a blight

Even at night,

Nobody would unseat me.


My palms, my ears, my brain

My mother tongue, my language

My name is da-ura

So I can sleep on duty,

Nobody would unseat me.


Nobody would unseat me

Hear it loud and clear

I rule, I kill, I fly around

I smile with my crocodile

I dance with my Python

To keep my corridor safe,

You dare not unseat me.


I terrorize terror

And corrupt corruption;

This territory is for cooperation.





Dear Ballot Box



I hear you are loaded

Loaded and ready to offload

To spray bullets

And let them stray,

Firing a squad

A squad to scratch and snatch.


Dear ballot box

Green, white, green

Wooden, metallic

Greener than blood

Redder than flesh.


Capital capitalist capitalism

Capitalizing unlawfully

A chameleon from the specie of leopard

Changeful cobra that spits

Spare us your tears o crocodile

Dance alone at the market square

O Python.


Ultraviolet rays so scorching

Gravitational pull that severs unions

Hateful, vengeful, bitter

Angry, and raging waves

Direct current so alternating

The incident, the refracted, the normal

So abnormal a light

Opaque, and transparently opaque

A glass prism of blurred vision.


Rotten root, hot plot

Shooting offshoot, beyond shores

Rotten cotton, punches at ranches

Ranches for punches, a hunched brunch.


Dear ballot box

I hear you are full

Full, fuller fullest

Filled to the brim

Outpouring, outgoing, outlawing

An explosive so expensive

Expanded and exaggerated

Unenlightened, archaic and backward.


Lost but found

Sunk, sinking underground

Drunk, drinking abound

Box, boxing a boxer

Scratching as scripted

So spirited, unmerited

Box, beckoning.


Loaded gun, coded

Folded arm, decoded

Moulded pot, done

Muddy, shabby, floppy

A lobby as hobby

A hobby to lobby,

Dancers, criers, lookers

Performers, charmers, harmers

Hammers hammering the harmed

Roofs ablaze, a gaze at raze

The maze of complexity.


Grasshoppers, butterflies, locust

Cloudy, moody, sloppy

A tale of thunder

A take on lightening

The sound of adventure

Land of scorning scorner.


Voices yelling, yet unheard

Faces smiling, yet unhappy

Singers singing, yet not dancing

A pot cooking a spot

Spotted, to be blotted

General lot, dotting a line.


Troubled sea troubling the land

Tossed, tidal waves waving the flag

Bruised legs wearing some rag

Same game of blame

Shameful, shaming the shameless.


Dear ballot box

The ball is not in the box

Fear not the fox

For the pox is not an ox.


Attacks, murders, terrors and wars

Horrors, blunders, and broken jaws;

Soft, quiet, shy, reluctant, compromise.


Cows, how’s, bows and arrows

Sorrows, hollows, and gallows

Mirrors, errors of fellows

Aside, sided, One-sided; presided

Curious and desperate.


See, dear ballot box

Reader, card, card reader

These thumbs fume in fury.


Harlot of disharmony

Delilah of death

Judas of the kiss

Prodigal vagabond, a solid bond.


Milkless breasts, empty womb

Hungry tomb, deadly feasts

This yeast is so bitter.






Ngozi Olivia Osuoha

Ngozi Olivia Osuoha is a Nigerian graduate of Estate Management with experience in Banking and Broadcasting. She has published over one hundred poems in over ten countries. Her two longest poems of 355 and 560 verses are available on amazon, THE TRANSFORMATION TRAIN and LETTER TO MY UNBORN respectively. She is a passionate African ink.

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