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Home, Sour Home: Poems By Adebayo Akinloye


moon stars clouds and sun
time merged and dispersed
on the sandy thirsty plains
of sahara we trudged
against fiery trade winds
we forged

sun clouds stars and moon
in cold hunger and strife
we arrived morocco
the threshold to golden europe
as the mirage of golden fleece
played in the sands before our
cataracted eyes

dogs barked and dogged our tails
mortal voices sounded death knell
and we fell one and all
our sunken face asking
is this the way to europe?



in the boulevard of
our broken dreams
there will be an oasis
in the desert of our
forlorn hope there
will be a spring
in the place of our famished faces there
will be a fire of fabulous lightning when
every day someone cries
every day someone laughs…
when we can share with others
when a smile can sparkle our lives
there’s no shame in tears.



my breasts are small
the village say am but a girl
three moons after now
they ask why the golden pair has come
so robust

my breasts are big
the village say am spoilt
by the fondling hands of men
who stay behind at the ancient stream
does the act make breasts grow?

my breasts are known
like yam tubers in the village market
they are the topic at the village square
mama and papa say i bring home shame
in this court i can make no plea

to a harrowing ritual I submit myself
i am another lamb
in the shadowy shrine of breast-ironing.



a powdered face
with bleached and transplanted teeth
advertising themselves
a pair of lips dyed with luxurious lipstick
20-karat gold in the holes of erring ears
like gold-ring in the snout of a swine
toe-nails pedicured in scarlet
constructed mediated breasts that
shame reality as they pop out
like the head of seething anaconda

a vain and glorious caryatid sculpted
over thousands of moribund nights
a face of beauty no more than skin deep

our conscience may mock you
how many of our eyes feast on you!
and in the name of light camera action
we glorify your beauty.



i can talk about it now…
dusts of broken china clouded the room
pearly pieces of earrings jangled out of their holes
and balls of beads bounced brazenly
off my violated neck
shreds of sundered dress carpeted the floor
pints of blood dotted the bedspread
as the stiletto tore through my flesh

i can talk about it now…
the filthy fingers froze feelings on my face
i looked on ceaselessly like a decapitated head
as by a cruel stroke of lightning I was put asunder
and shook like the epicenter of a sacrilegious violence
a temple desecrated
he was on top
as my world began to crash
in the fleeting ecstasy of a stranger

but i can talk about it now.



the word is not
what hurts us
it is the space
we call our place
a cauldron of chaos and conflagration
inspired by the convolutions of
counter-claims charges and clashes

the word is not
what kills us
it is a race
we dare not look in the face
a race of evil men
inspired to plunder and murder
it is not home that exiles us
it is our people
our blood.



the state of mind
the prison of heart

i am the gaoler
i am the warden
waiting to exhale
hesitant to excel

i am the liberator
i am the prisoner of woes
waiting for rebirth

i am the sown seed dying
growing in death
life’s breath is within my grasp
i shall breathe again

i breathe
air of renewal.


(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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