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Ambassador of Death: Poems by Adebayo Akinloye


it won’t be once
and it won’t be twice

you will always come to drink
from this fallen fountain of fleshy waters

the broken cistern of hades
palaces of red-light ladies

where secrets of shamefulness are shared
in the shadowy interior of

paradise of promiscuity
where potent seeds of pestilence

are sown and reaped and spread
and you go into hundred halls with harrowing

hordes of statistics preaching
the gospel of zipping up

apostle of death fouling salvation
with your soiled soul

how could we survive when you sleep with
our girls mothers and sisters?



dream waves lash against my uninspired head
gashes of bloody thoughts gush
fantasies of flowery fountains floundering in my fickleness
condiments of chaotic cadences cooking in my cauldron of collections
am i a poet or a writer?

with written words writhing in wrong wreaths
woven wishes in winsome words under wraps for world-weary women
singing sing-song serenade for soul-searching spinsters
and bachelors believing blooms blossom in blues
am i a poet or a writer?

setting up silly alliterative sentiments
who cares where when and what I wear
is it the toga of triumph or that of trepidation?
let me write and writhe and wriggle in wrong words
am i a poet or a writer?

cooking condiments of chaotic concoction
using a catalogue of comatose clauses in catacombs
as i intend to intensify the intensity of my intention
inter alia to interject and to intercede my interest in the interim
am i a poet or a writer?



shibos-kilimama jili mama

eresh she sie yaya
rebos skeke sese…

ja jiri ja-ja
papa piri piri-papa

eli eli ja…
God did you speak?



i am Bobolaiyefa
begging bread on Lagos left-over streets
with the bleating goats and barking dogs struggling with me
i am the common face unknown in the neighbourhood
the miasma that hangs around selfish lives

i am Bobolaiyefa
bending down below earth’s below to feed
on earth’s rottenness
what brought me here is not madness
it is you and my people’s mindlessness

i am Bobolaiyefa
who are you and who is your father?
have you heard wisdom out of insanity?
know not life’s travails yet you claim wisdom
who taught you its lessons?

i am Bobolaiyefa
enter my shoes and tell where they pinch
is everything inch by inch a cinch?
see your incurable madness around me
but how many of you think!



the drifting clouds and the blowing winds
the winged creatures on heavens pathways
inexplicable formation that took our breath
our eager eyes fixated on the heavenly

like the least infinitesimal thing
in God’s multiverse
we felt lost in the middle of somewhere
as our pupils widened in wonderment
God’s fingers wrought this miracle

the squalid quarters and the gushing gutters
the human race in hell’s dungeon
souls shackled in misery and insanity
grimy fingers repainting our walls
misshapen mouths opening old wounds

we watch your nature’s handiworks
we see purpose and definiteness
intrinsic order and undying love
we look and look but never move.



what if i sleep
slumbering from ethereal space
to eternity and choose my portion
in the ben of dusty crevices unperturbed
by the cries and joys of mortal men

oblivious of what goes on where i
once occupied and become a condiment
in the kitchen of carnivorous worms
where continental dishes of cadaverous
foods are cooked and chewed

what if i sleep
and your wake-up call sounds so distant
dim and unheard and in the sea
of wails and tears and chest-beating

my hands drop hopelessly
as a final note of capitulation

will i live on in your heart?



beloved bintu
permit me not to dawdle
here the screaming silence
has only me as an audience

shackled in this residence in who shall i place my confidence
when your much desired presence continues to linger in absence?
with whom will I share the fondness
a gale of togetherness pleasurable and immeasurable
in this screaming silence?

the dusk’s chill intense
my intent transcends concupiscence
loneliness is what attacks me with fierceness
in fairness i want you in earnest

beloved bintu emotion rushing high
your approach not nigh
and like a pestilence this screaming silence
is hitting hard against my faithfulness.



tell atisha
tell her that the silence hurts
like a dead knife cutting through
the flesh
tell her that mother-hen does not
look on while her chicks go astray

tell atisha
tell her that she cannot cuddle
the tail of a cobra
for when an idol becomes too proud
it is shown to its face from which
wood it is carved

tell atisha
tell her that many moons may pass
but the past she left has no where
to go

we shall tell atisha
we shall tell her the words that have
eluded our tongues.


Poems (c) Adebayo Akinloye

Adebayo Akinloye
Adebayo Akinloye
Studied Mass Communication at The Polytechnic, Ibadan. Graduated in 2002. Served in Lokoja, Kogi State. Have strong bias for poetry and creative writing. Co-authored an anthology [with Gbenga Ogundare]: GENESIS. Have other collections waiting to be published. I strongly believe in love, in sacrifice. They say it takes some madness to be a poet; I have some measure of craze!

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