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Memories of Another Day: Poems by Sola Osofisan

Memories of Another Day
(At the 1990 ANA Convention, University of Ibadan)

Sovereign spiders plot meandering puzzles
In the crooked elbows of bald inevitables
As roach eggs ceaselessly crack,
Xeroxing the multitude haunting
The messy blank of the well-aimed slipper

Homeless paragraphs quarrel in dead breath chambers
Eyed warily by banished bones and the discarded ghosts
Of a yesterday of youth…
Lost in the soundless buzz of maggots
Joying in the swell smell of fattening rooms
Filled with the recycled fullness of black market tubers

Whoremoon tickled thin
Moanlight splicing the eager thighs of moanmaidens
Insomniac trees reaching teasing fingers
From the ringside seats,
Warm memories of another dawn…

The lonely flap of unseen wings
Usher the bleary eyes of Penitent sleep unclose
Ah, Ibadan…
It’s mind-blowing here in the wrinkled presence of greatness.


Seven Hills
(For Kunle Ajibade jailed by the Junta)

He who buckles spines
With cerebral outbursts,
The seven hills miss your
Ceaseless fro-ing and to-ing
The sulking streets flaunt lame recollections
And disconnections on the pain-pocked faces
Of back-turned walls
The tarmac tricks cocky tyres
And the seven hills miss you.

Dragons on the rooftops
Set houses afire,
Circling the leaping flames,
Looking to pick us off one by one.
Smoke from secret bonfires
Finger the road like codes
From discrete wires…
And the meltdown begins.

Friend of mine with chest enough to breathe
The come-backing song of risen bones,
The Seven Hills miss you
The written words miss you
The pillars of stone miss you
As do I.

(Seven hills, from JP Clark Bekederemo’s “Ibadan”)


(For B.J. and hearts about to be broken)

Your untutored pen leaked strange blood
Bled me the hidden words of unvoiced songs
Secret cuts
Secret pains
And so I wander the fading night
Lost in the silences of morningtime…

Your contours strip me like musical strokes
Whip me with the fire of very brief hours
Secret buts
Secret faith
Your evensong smile displaces the nooning sun
And your weary hand of the world distances me

It hurts here outside your squared defenses
Time tortures these forbidden thoughts
Secret hurts
Secret stains
Please stay this pain with lips of an endsong
When your fated time comes to say goodbye…


Poems (c) Sola Osofisan

Sola Osofisan
Sola Osofisan
Sola Osofisan is a writer, screenwriter, filmmaker, and founder/editor-in-chief of AfricanWriter.com. His movies include 'Unbreakable' (2018, Screenwriter, Co-Producer), 'Over Her Dead Body' (2022, Screenwriter, Producer, Director). His award-winning radio play, OLD LETTERS, was produced and broadcast by the BBC. A three-time winner of the Association of Nigerian Authors national awards (prose and poetry), he is the author of DarkVisions (Malthouse), Darksongs, The Living & the Dead (Heinemann), Blood Will Call and The Simple Joys of her Final Days.


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