By Olajide Salawu
May 13, 2015.
In Garissa, we expected
The story to change
But it does not. Knives
Are running through the necks
Fear is tearing through mind
Metal is slithering through the flesh.
In Damasak, we expect
The bird to fly. The space is windless
Instead it hops on the earth
A black fog occupies the sky
Angels of death haunt the night
The guns sing their song.
In Chibok, we expect
The children to return. Instead,
They send us funeral note
An elegy before a lullaby rhythm,
We start an hashtag revolution
And paint a Trojan war.
In Syria, when they want to go
To their death, they put on their jumpsuits
They celebrate blood carnival in Nineveh
Bones grow like trees
Night descends in a broad daylight
They also speak of God with sword in hand.
OF BROOMS AND UMBRELLAS
If we are burrowed by rodents’ spirits
If the moon keeps us in eternal darkness
If words refuse to form fire in our mouths
If our stories are written in hieroglyphs
If we climb the tree and refuse to sight the future
If our deltas produce blood and fears
If the world looks on unconcerned
If our umbrellas are made with human skins
If its handle is made of spine
If our branches grow like wires without electric charges
If the elephants come with their manifestoes
If the grasses under them suffer
If we write a letter to God
If the priest does not append his signature
If the emperor is too busy flying falcons
If the empress is busy adding up her lipstick garage
If in a single sweep of broomstick
The land is rid of dirt.
Salawu is a Nigerian poet and writer. He blogs at http://zodml.org/