Sunday, 19 February 2012

A Tear For Nigeria By Ayoola Oke

A Chain Sonnet



Dusk snarls and threatens to swallow daylights
As bleak darkness creeps on the sprawling land
Its shadows climbing trees and hilly heights
Before intense blackness descends its hand

Soft lanterns, lamps and bulbs punctuate the speech
That draws a sword’s sharp curtail on freedom
They are no match for this harrowing pitch
Each creates just an island of wisdom

Under this guise the jaguars reign supreme
They are the sculpted fangs of corruption
Who suckle dry the blood of our frail dream
That this land by truth, spring forth a nation

A tear I see in the face of the sun
A tear for Nigeria the loaded gun


We dance to the drumbeats of filthy lies
Argue hoarse as deception bleeds our lungs
And poverty-struck people fall like flies
While hoping to gain from nepotic wrongs

We are the opened mouths of orphaned chicks
Waiting in vain on providence’s lost tail
Each rapture away as death’s hunger picks
And ailing shells of forgotten dreams fail

Shrewd vultures on our decaying flesh feast
Sweeping Abuja streets in crude finesse
Fat bellied arrogant strides that resist
The counsel of restraint and quietness

A tear I see in the face of the sun
A tear for Nigeria the loaded gun


They blow the smoke of their pomposity
In the faces of the dregs of our land
Paupers, fed on hopes of mendacity
To escalate them to millionaires’ brand

We all dream on foolish hopes of one day
Not like Martin Luther King’s brave forecast
But we dream selfish hopes of a big pay
That shouts personal rings of “freedom at last”

But dawn wakes to another dreary morn
“Forty nine sitting, ninety nine standing”
Our soaking sweats are tear drops that mourn
Our gross lack of basic understanding

A tear I see in the face of the sun
A tear for Nigeria the loaded gun

*Words of Fela Anikulapo Kuti from his album Shuffering and Shmiling
Ayoola Babatunde Oke
November 2008


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