Poetry

Dance With Me Brother: Poems By Abdulrasheed Yusuf

DANCE WITH ME BROTHER

life is like a song
nobody seems to understand
even the wittiest dancer is lost
lost in the mist of this unending song
we are all dancers here
we all must die or dance
dance in the sands, die in the tombs
Dancing under nature’s eyes
..Dancers different, dancers alike
All in this drowning tunes
life’s tunes, strange percussions
the wisest piper fails to comprehend
the futility of his illusions.
A creator lost in his creation
life is indeed a song
filled with many varied tricks
spiced with  myths
excess dirges
A confusion;
for a confused soul
so, do not mistake life’s oppressive tricks
next time you come this way…
unfortunately
none can pass this way twice
the right of passage is only once
once for all; never again.

play this music; let me dance
I want to dance in the benue…
let me wash away my ills
How about a dance on Idanre?
beautiful abode of the gods
I want to dance on the hills
in the mountains of this world
Let me dance in all the valleys
and low lying terrains
I shall only dance once…
let me dance to shame the song
I will dance to disgrace the piper
I will dance in the deserts of this earth
from sahara, down to kalahari
I shall build my home in the winds
the roads shall be my shelter…
Come brothers;
Join me in the unending dance
unending? No…a wilting dance
the unity of this dance
a common destiny
sweet sure death…
An end to this earth

Let us dance to forget our pain
let us fizzle out in our world of troubles
Dance brother, dance sister
You’ve the opportunity to dance once
my sister with a practiced feet
buttocks giggling, hips swaying
my brother clapping his hands
following the rhythm of life
Join me
All of us are dancers
brother and sister
offsprings of my mother
Let us dare the hills to a fight
let us challenge the mountains of this world
this dance..
unwilling and drenching
but we must dance and shine
unwilling victor, son of my mother
A sure win for the daughter of my mum…
bend your waist! let us dance

 —–

A LAME’S PRAYER

The odds scream out against my crumpled frame
What is it that nature wants with me?
Is it a shame to be born lame?
Why all these gossip
here and there
Why am falling in and out of baits
the river of life is drenching,
an escape so tempting
The girls abhor me
the people avoid me
Even my brothers deny me
the other day,
my sister from the same mother
she walked with her head
facing east
towards the rising sun
challenging the sun’s rays
Ignoring my cursed way
my brother
the same spring we suckled from
yet today
you warned your offsprings, thou
never play in my neighbourhood
why…
why…
why does the world hate me so..

 oh, my creator
You created me a mass of bones
You made me useless to myself
to my community
I, object of scorn
apt to scrub for peanuts
you created this contraption
you shall have to destroy it..
with my crippled hands.
I shall seek out your kingdom
then I shall come to rest..
but my creator

If lameness be a curse
let it visit
all of this world
let disability travel wide
and infest all those growing cities
Everywhere, anyplace
where a lame person is seen as destitute
where the physically challenged
are considered imbeciles
Spirit of lameness
spirit of shame
deafness, dumbness
I send you on this errand
you fear not who you’re sent to
all fear is for the sender
Go now, to every township
where the blind are beggars
where the crippled traverse the land
anyplace where a blind man’s identity
lies in his bowl of alms
ravage towns with your crippling aura
make an increase in their trauma
let them learn
let them suffer.
teach the survivors of this plague..
let them hear my aspirations.
let the blind trot the streets
let the lame sleep in gutters
as they condemn us
they shall be condemned too..
teach them a lesson
from the child of their wombs!
in his eyes..
let them witness
the pain of the unwanted.

Unwanted spirits
Go ahead,
Preach it to every home
to every house in the neighbourhood
spread the gospel of the rejected
tell them that it is nobody’s wish
to be born a bag of vegetables
a bag of bones
incapacitated…incapable
Let them have a feel
of the devils dish
Teach it to them
the hard way
Let them learn it by force
As they reject us..
so shall they be rejected

—–

FELLOW EARTHTRAVELLERS

I live
In my presidential quarters
one of the most demeaning of all
The rooms lying under the roofs of fabled bridges
The bridges of Lagos
all home to me
I and my rejected progeny
singing eulogies and rhapsodies
Who says under the bridge is bad?
Not at all….
not with all the Aladura’s chants
you can find under bridges,
what you don’t find in beaches.
Bangles cast, practiced feet
worshippers chanting
celebrating new churches
under these bridges
who says under the bridge is bad?
Never!
not with all these touting beings
Under this bridge
there is excitement
they keep me laughing when I’m bored
They give me joy amidst sadness
They provide company when I’m alone
These destitutes, these whores, these imbeciles
Forgive my language
I only praise thee..
What else can I do, my old friends?
Crossing the gutter Nile,
Swimming in the seas of life
Is it our fault that we boast
not of three meals a day?
My friends
Let us content ourselves in other options
another sport for our satisfaction
Food may never come
Cry till tomorrow.
Let us learn to go without food
with each passing meal
we become better
with each day.
The firewood of this world…
stumps form the forest trees
are only fuel for ravaged people
Farmished, tarnished!
no hope for thee
Gasoline stoves, and cooking earthen
only for those who can afford fuel

Fellow earthtravellers
I welcome you as you come…
the bridge is home for all…
My brother from the village
my cousin from the township
my stranded stranger lost but found
welcome to Lagos…
welcome to this bridge…
The bridge is full of space
no worry, no house rent.
You have no need for air conditioners
the wind…that’s all we need
I’ve lived here for a   fairy of years
Time is tired of my ugly face
Yet, our society thrives
with newer faces
I welcome you
with my wrinkled hands…
Welcome, our next generation
of touts and imbeciles…
The bridge is full of amusement
the young sturdy bodies
the young sinful smiles
the night is sweetest time
for devouring those thighs
Unbordered on the hardened floor.
Taking trips
challenging Eros…
The music from the distant shops; luring
A game of Ayo?
Whatever you cherish, the bridge has it all
the bridge is full of lessons too.
it teaches character building
how to be a man
you learn how to  fast
when you can no longer afford food
you also learn to use  your tools
and remain not a fool
This place is nice,
if only you know.
Hurry, do not wait to learn life’s tricks
Maneuver your way through this thickset forest
the storms of life know indeed
how to turn dreams to regrets
ambition to dejection…
Yet, our leaders live in affluence
their offsprings attend the best schools
we, the populace…living in squalor
the only education we bequeath our children
is that of the streets.
fortunately though;
the streets teacheth knowledge
the streets teacheth wisdom
The streets also breed success
Wipe your tears
brother
it’s not over yet.

—–

(c) Abdulrasheed Yusuf

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