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Fear is that thing with no Name: Poems by Amina Dauda Oseme

Image: Vlc via Flickr
Image: Vlc via Flickr


Fear is that thing that grips your belly; that stalls your feet.
That keeps you wary on how good you are to compete.
Fear is that thing that pumps your nerves, leaves you restless, and cuffs your sleep.

Fear is that thing that burns, leaves you hungry, yet makes you distant.
Fear is that thing with no name, no shame, hounding daily risky choices you never make.
Fear is that thing with wide eyes, no smiles and a racing heart.

Fear is that sound, shuffling feet, crashing rocks, hitting walls though knocking on doors.
Fear is that thing we feel on our fingertips, when we march on gray Street

Fear is that thing that keeps you going; keeps you hoping, keeps you trying,
Even when you drop to your knees.



God is love said my neighbour
Dressed in Brioni vanquish three piece suit,
And proud leather heels.

Every Sunday morning,
He passes my stead on his way to church.

Kneels in the pew among the saints,
Places his hand on his chest and says

“Father, I love my neighbour.
May you provide him food.
May you provide him water”
On his way out, his pocket jingling with change.
He takes hold of my carcass- eaten hands and says

It is well with you, my friend.
For I’ve prayed and the lord will answer.
The lord will give you food.
The lord will give you water.



Of what use is it, in gathering all that space?
The blind old man said to me.
In a time no sooner than now, you’ll be gone,
And nothing of this earth will remember how
You were once here gathering all that waste.

I paused, reflected a bit.
Surely, he too may learn wisdom from a young, young workaholic.
Oh, you see! You have me all figured wrong.
I have things to speak for me when I die.
The lives I’ve touched; things I have done-
They all will remember me when I am gone.

Ha! He laughed.
You are more foolish than I thought!
The lives you touched will be gone someday, and
The things you have done remembered some days.

But tell me, when memory fades,
And the fields go gray
And no more you hold my sun.
Who else remembers you –
Busy but empty,
Other than your soul, you left thirsty?



When a woman like me
Hangs on your every hip,
There is no telling what tomorrow will bring.

It’s no lie
I promise death between my thighs,
Or I carry poison in my lap.

It’s for you to know,
For you to understand,
That a woman like me-
Alluring and sly is no less a charmer, than you‘re a snake
© Amina Dauda Oseme

Image: Vlc via Flickr

Amina Dauda Oseme
Amina Dauda Oseme
Amina Dauda Oseme is a lawyer and poet. She lives in Kaduna, Nigeria, where she practices by day and writes at night.

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