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Mothers of Sorrow: Poems by Akeem Oyalowo


the ear that hears
will run and hide
the heart that beats
will desert the streets
the sidewalk of hawkers
also hears the trumpet and disappears
everywhere is silent except those who chanted “president”
his brows are not enough to protect his eyes
from the breeze of curses, hence that glass
the useful males locked inside
some of them lie tied down
the free lips that still complained
raced their legs away from this land of pain
thus ours became a large village of the dumb
who neither ate nor talk what they want
and he walks…yes he walks
joyful at the dearth of opposition
to his lust for silver and gold
the dimes of the hanged souls
he is the one, silent and boastful
gentle and forceful
the one who never ploughed yet reaped apples
the sudden gift that had his breath scuttled
he never knew when he was leaving
when everyone heard the tales of his last minutes
we all imagined him clutching something
the same thing we first did
holding ourselves to show ourselves to show we were not dreaming
really he has stopped ruling…



If truthful men aren’t this few
and the earth hasn’t these much feuds
if ladies aren’t this hasty
if silver and gold weren’t the main reason
if preachers are to be acting
in line with their preaching
or the congregation listen
and afterwards let the words remain
if the ancient and decent earth
didn’t for the otherwise of the latter changed
or if public men are to remember
that one day they won’t breathe again
then this world will be a better place.



Truth comes slowly
to a mind already given to folly
when it berths
it is welcomed by a lonely mind
that aches to turn back
the unstoppable hands of time
the flesh of a flower
is greener in water
not in a field filled with snow
which first seemed like gold

truth is the flute of the morning
warning of a future mourning
crying before the heart comes to mourn
shut! shut! a folly mind’s ears calls
for the feet has been hidden by shoes
thus when doom looms
the mind knows not that this beautiful west
is pebble blessed
all this while
the light of youth was bright

when night comes with its blue covers
along with the stars in their colors of silver
as the time becomes right
for the feet that bidded time
to ceaselessly dance
there she lies in a reminiscing parlance
beauty was buried long before this dance
long before reason had a chance
to tell you, you are the mothers of tomorrow
o’ mothers of sorrow.



Isn’t it time you hear the rhythm
and catch a glimpse of the public dances
hear the classic giggles of the first ladies
and the roaring laughter of men of the assembly
this night, the hat doffer takes a breather
he, also joins to dance all night to the music of the band

isn’t it time you know the reason
why smiles don’t show on public faces in the morning
for, the night  before’s hang over
is still pounding on the skull’s window as ever
whilst in class, if they had learned a bit
they woulda known, aspirin is better as a preventive

high time you know the reason
while adolescents hardly listen
to your daily evening travails
for, the picture is yet to fade
yesternight’s telecast at primetime
when they beamed it live…

our public men’s dances
notes and more notes being pasted on faces
it’s still fresh in the memory
the gold on their wrists
the giant chicken stuck between their teeth
or which is more sweetening
which song is more endearing
which words are more worth sharing
the one about your own payless day
or the public men’s partying
preparing the minds of these budding saints?


(c) Akeem Oyalowo

Akeem Oyalowo
Akeem Oyalowo
A poet. An Arsenal fan. A Muslim. I am brand crazy. An extremely Nigerian Nigerian. I live for laughter and love.


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