The Changed Man

Behold all things have become new
and the old lie in a forgotten heap
childish memories of me digging
underneath my bed on a Sunday morning
for where I’d tossed in my old pair of shoes
nowadays the changed me keep them up neatly
on a rung of wooden stiles the carpenter calls a shoe rack

Bible sleeps on a bedside stool
for a constant bath in Holy words I reach
across to it as often as I go
drink in words that lead, that guides
same letters in the book, a new meaning on the morrow

I remember mom’s narration on Joseph
please tell Dolly Parton
I share same story with her Coat Of Many Colours
only I took mine to many tailors
at the price of my chopped sandal soles
shoes on worn out feet
grazing gravelled road as they bleed
thank God, praise God I sing
because no longer do I handpick rags
all I see are tailor-made suits
my wardrobe is a rainbow of clothes
none having no holes

Nonetheless what I have outgrown is
the filthy old man inside of me
that cheated at elementary school
and purloined mum’s ten kobo
when she was busy at the hearth
One day aunt Betty suffocated my wrists inside mum’s purse
and gave me her two kobo
number eight of the decalogue says, ”Thou shalt not steal”
I hear you ma, my heart thumps with complete remorse
Tell that to the birds, coo that to baby lions
Whisper that in the ears of insensitive politicians
and the starved masses reaping where they did not sow
maybe they’ll pause then retrace their steps
and make way for the new experience.

Rebekah E.
© 2020

In Sickness

You were supposed to have his back,
Be his anti-body in this sinful world,
He broke the tablets of our hearts,
When he left us for you,
You had him looking above this cloud,
This cloud of flaws hovering over humans,
You were his mentor; a star guiding him into this Perfect life,
A view obscured and inverted to our hearts,
But a clear and perfect reflection to him,

He never for once ignored your call,
Remember when he housed you with his sisters; Mary and Martha,
He never for once judged and questioned you,
But when he needed you,
You were far from home,
You could have used one of your tricks,
To race against time and space,
But you didn’t, instead, you chose your work over him,
I guess he was always a second choice,
A means to an end; the path to our hearts,

Four days! He has been dead,
This tomb now clothes his lifeless body,
The passage to the afterlife,
And here you come with your twelve,
Wearing sad faces and tears,
Like a kid who lost his candy,
If only the news of his sickness,
Had quickened your feet,
To behold your friend on his sickbed,
Maybe he would have seen another sunset,
Maybe I would have felt his lips on my forehead,
Maybe his Aunt would embraced his warmth one last time,
Just enough for us to bid him farewell,
But you abandoned him,
You broke your vows,
The communion of promises you both shared with one another,
Sleep on Lazarus,
Your friend, Jesus is here,
To say goodbye to his dear friend,
Whom in sickness, he abandoned!

Olaoye Adeleye
(C) 2020

Lasisi gaping sticker

When I’m dead and my tombstone is among the press,
More than fame, did I hug the pressed?
More than religion, did I know deep rest
Or just live with my mouth open…
Never having enough?

Will they say I was circular, just because I circulated?
Will they call me gospel, because I mostly showed up in church clothes?
More than famzing, did I have a family?
More than pain, did I bring relief…
or was pointing fingers the point of my hands?

The Niel
©2020

Flying shadow

Black bird, d’you wanna fly?
D’you wanna take my blackness with you?
Would you rather take my darkness to the sky?
Or would you stay here too?

I’m caught in the midst of things I don’t wanna do,
Wings to fly I crave but don’t have,
I rend my clothes into halves,
And bare chested I stand in fear of you,

Lend me wings to fly,
No!
Take me with you to the sky,
No!
Heal my broken soul,
No!
Please make me whole,
No!

Flap flap flapped,
And off she went,
Flapped and leaving me a-trapped,
With my back bent,
And my soul sapped,

Black bird said no,
But at the horizon our shadows met,
And at the horizon my shadow flew.

Steven Kator

© 2018