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Have You Seen That Land? Poems by Remi Raji

Have you seen that land?

Have you seen that land
where pleasant tales are told without end?
Have you seen that village
where folks neither fade nor age?
Have you seen that garden
where wild roses never wither?
Have you seen that spring
where waters of joy never cease?
Have you seen that orchard
where the scents of wine-fruits never die?
Have you seen that shade
where the warm wind whistles forever?
Have you dreamt of that land
where Laughter’s beams bury Earth’s barn?
Have you seen that land?


Wind Song

Wind, oh wind
slave to fire, master of rain
Come in your spiral beauty
with dancing dust;
Come in the sweeping likeness
of bellowing brooms.
When you left, I heard
only dry whimpers of woe
For the bee has lost its bearing of petals
And there’s no promise of pollen and honey.
For long the streets hold signs of filth,
fresh smell of stumps of stains of slime…
Return the bliss, return
Seedlings still cry for a caress of twigs;
Trees have long missed their magic of dance
And singing birds hold their breath.
Return oh return, well-pool
of waves among crippled crops.


Love Song

When Love spoke to me
it was cotton flesh on my solitude of bones:
“Defy the rock-deafness of Earth,
Burn the twigs of baneful barns;
Sow in the sour spittle of soils
Weed, tend and water them all.”
Flicker-storms of Love
through longitudes of lonesome furrows
I follow
sinking seeds in the lurking oasis of Hell.
“Sow in the sour spittle of soils
Weed, tend and water them all.”
When Love spoke
I became a rebel of the blood
in a convent of scorpions
without a sting to call my own.
I robbed a dumb godhead
to fill the silent altars of men
with the grape laughter
of corn and wine.
Love is the tail-tongue of rain
lisping tuberous notes in twining seasons
the immortal kiss of morning dews
on naked shrubs
the cherub utterance of stars
when a twig of rainbow hangs deciduous
between my teeth
one blue paste of cotton flesh
around splinters of dream-bones
Love is
the legend of a poem
without its pain.



I know the colour of your silence
darkly as dark could be
in this deathly dawn
where a padlock
in every mouth
solves the mystery
of rude ravings.
In this hapless season
where a friendly martial grip
mangles the mere mumbles
of hungry throats?
I know the colour of your silence
red, raw like bleeding flesh
like the expired breath
of a slit goat, I know
the colour of silence is white
blank as the full emptiness
in a deadman’s eyes
blank as the sudden stillness
of a broken love symphony.
I know the colour of your silence
as the feverish
of a groggy dream?
And because I see Silence
in a million-and-one colours
of the chameleon
in your long, insensate face
in this talkative town
I feel not, hear not the echoes
of pain; I hear only
the beautiful laughters
of others at other people’s pain.
the blue-black lip-
stick of fear
or what?


(c) Remi Raji

Remi Raji
Remi Raji
Remi Raji, a.k.a. Aderemi Raji-Oyelade, Ph.D., a lecturer at the Dept. of English, University of Ibadan, is the author of A Harvest of Laughters. The book, a poetry collection, received the Association of West African Young Writers VOCA Award for Best First Published book in 1997. It also emerged joint winner of the Association of Nigerian Authors and Cadbury Poetry Prize. His poems have appeared in anthologies like Voices From The Fringe and For Ken, For Nigeria, as well as in journals and newspapers like The Guardian, Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) Review and The Nigerian Tribune. Raji, the widely traveled past chairman of a state branch of ANA, is currently the National Coordinator of the revived International PEN (Nigeria Center) and editor of the ANA Review, the official journal of the Association of Nigerian Authors.


  1. HAVE YOU SEEEN THAT LAND by Remi Raji,is a good poem. Its prfundity lies in its simplicity leaping form the concise diction. Thus, giving the reader some winds to fly to that ‘land, onlu in their imaginations. The rhetorical questions are also very effective. Again, nice poem from Remi Raji.

  2. Again, Love Song, like WIND SONG is a great poem which appeals to oue senses of sight and sound with its imageries and music, bleeding from assonance and alliterations.

  3. I thoroughly enjoyed reading all of these poems, but in particular "Love Song". I feel this poem is so rich with powerful images. It is a dynamic piece in deed.

  4. “Have you seen that land” is a beautiful poem with a dual message. On one hand it is an innocuous description of a utopia, on the other hand the fact that each verse is punctuated by a rhetorical question serves to draw the reader’s attention to the fact that there is no land (read country) without it’s problems and that no place on earth is ideal and unspoilt by the challenges we have come to appreciate as a necesary part of man’s experience on earth. The answer to that we all know is that there is no such place on earth. Heaven, yes.

    For me the beauty of this poem lies in it’s simplicity and conciseness.

  5. oooooooooooooooooooh i love these poems,they got all the piquencies which a poem is in need of,but i will love remi raji to slash some parts of his obscurantic look of poetry before shooting his next collection to the world…. kudos

  6. the sweetness of these poems dwells firmly on the themes,this could be dipicted by Remi Raji himself, but would love him to garner more striking imegeries to add more oomph to it metaphorical structure..kudos

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