when a tree was all there was to see
I saw her branches dance with abandon
in obedience to the wind
I saw her leaves drop
and die
and dance

The obedience of which I speak
takes life from the yellow
and breathes life into the green
Here, when the wind-master calls
your duty is to dance
till you drop

I ask a dying leaf
why do you keep dancing to this senseless tune of death
he responds, still dancing,
“at first I sought the path of defiance
but age has since taught me
that the wind is a master that one must not resist”

Death comes to a tree in many forms
the way it stalks her branches
and yellows her children
You see death in the way a tree responds
to the ruthless call of the wind
We have learnt to welcome death with open arms
towards things that matter
even to those that exhale us life

despite the wind and the death it brings
I look at this dancing tree
I see hope; togetherness
old and young, green and yellow
the final moments
before gravity comes for its own

I see green
I see death

But first
I see harmony

Ajibola Shodipo, 2018.

Time and Time again

We used to journey down the stairs
To what looked like a garage
Found a little crevice in the cemented ground
And sowed two seeds of beans
The daily shower of love
And the helplessness that contorted our faces
the moment its green began to yellow
Triple our initial investment, it did give
Mother could not have been prouder

Etched into my memory
Are the days of fetching water two blocks away
How horribly we tied our ‘osukas’
The struggle for hydro-equilibrium
And how we got home with half the amount
No matter how hard we tried

Recall the time we had tuberculosis
Or whooping cough
Or a strain of both
How injections brought no relief
And ‘alabukun’ felt like bants
The combined disappointment on our faces
knowing that the elixir we so fiercely sought
lay in the urethra of a cow

In what has been two decades
you have been a constant
a stubborn constant
that puts the derivative to shame
Time and time again

To you, my first friend



Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Her Fiery Majesty


Above the furnace
A differential hell- fire
Bursting forth in her fury
Tonnes of metals having lost their way
wait in line for the molten salvation
With fifteen hundred degrees of correction

Below the furnace literally sang horrors
Something the elders call the Hum of Death
Thirty four thousand volts of unfiltered baritone
featuring souls of metals beyond correction
seeking the ultimate forgiveness

A distant peep reveals
turgid wires made of pure copper sagging
In obedience to gravity and heat
Bearing water and power to nourish her
This is a woman
who clearly does not joke with her rations

She possesses a temper so great
some call her The Consumer
Not of metals but of men
For on a spot not far away
Seven men met their end
With many more to come
… … …
We definitely know how
We just do not know when

Her job, she takes to heart
Correcting metals of their impurities
And she is darn good at it
She loves to feel in absolute control
– a fifth wave feminist if you will
But we silently pray she never knows
the true extent of her power
For she could make so easily
that which only exists in our religious books
a thermal reality


The Unheard Orator …3 of 3

She is being told to speak singly
Rush not those words
And take deep breaths
But the reality, by God,
is as depressing as it is saddening.
Because over this,
She almost has no control

Many of these battles he loses
Some he wins
Draining his lungs of air in the process
But whatever you do
Never look away when he speaks
During that vocal battle
A moment that characterised by closed eyes
May be accentuated by gaped mouths, clenched fists
And probably downward glances and tramped feet
He is aware
But do not look away.

He wants your attention
She silently begs for eye contact
at that lowest moment
In the heat of battle
When the words make their exit
That victorious moment
When those words make it out in one piece

O-or   t-two    pp-pieces


* Stammering affects more than seventy million people worldwide.


photo credits

: http://suburbanprepping.com/the-sound-of-silence-by-disturbed/

The Unheard Orator…2 of 3

That young man possesses a mind
perfectly engineered for humour
He guards a brain
functionally destined for satire
But his is the case where
all is literally lost in transmission

They call him humourless
He is being termed a melancholic introvert
Because he onlooks
when his friends chatter
And rehearses
when his friends laugh
He eventually drops a line or two
to maintain his relevance

He is blamed for speaking too fast
The hot-yam-in-mouth analogy
He feigns a smile and whisks it off
But you lot know not
What it feels having to prep for war
the moment those vocal cords begin to vibrate
The uncertainty of success
And the vivid discomfort of the person
On the other side of his face



photo credits: suburbanprepping.com/the-sound-of-silence-by-disturbed/

The Unheard Orator …1 of 3

First, she thinks, or maybe not
Like everyone else whose thoughts don’t have to rot
Words repeated in her cerebral
Before vented through her buccal

A consistent battle between within and without
Almost like a caged bird with no out
Wanting to man the skies higher
But for a red muscular barrier

She silently hopes her tongue and vocal cords
Have reached a ceasefire as regards their discords
So many jokes and words and clapbacks
Consigned to the bins of her mind in black sacks.

Without being told
“I live to speak another day” was a motto she grew to hold


photo credits: http://suburbanprepping.com/the-sound-of-silence-by-disturbed/