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On the Wings of the Wind: Poems by Akeem Lasisi



Let me sing my widow’s mite
Into the immortal thrift
Of earlier brides

Although I may be a thin-handed child,
I have a role to play in my mother’s chores.
No matter how small the organ of the groom
He will not borrow another man’s for the midnight course.

This eve of my flight,
I wish to tour the universe on a bill of words,
Weaving weird and winsome sounds
Into one nuclear family of borderless songs.

I hook my voice
To the server of time,
Strike a bilateral chord
With unassuming angels of seasonless things.

I am in tune with some other realms
Where their nights are brighter than noons
Where autumns are cool,
Winters warmer than interior chamber of a pregnant womb.



My spirit returns to the childhood brook
Where I had my baptism of pastor joy,
Where, a petulant Keats,
I watched nature at play with self

Where when cobras belched,
Tilapias cringed
A kingfisher perched on a willow’s branch
Eagerly waiting for her looting turn.

Confluence of my moon and noon;
This night of my flight,
I rinse my fears into your memorial pot,
Claim the promise of nuptial bliss
As I hear memorable rhymes of your mating frogs.


(For Wale Adeeyo)

I think like never dying
In this opulent garden of living things,

I love to sing when the earth is green
When the sky is blue

When the magician chameleon is trapped
In its endless pranks for mottled forms.

Within my inner self,
Every desert is getting green

The artic is warm, dungeon is cool
The dumb chant, the deaf dance

Lepers laugh at lofty miracles
Of rising nails

The rainbow, philanthropic with bowls and bowls of synthetic dyes,
Spread the glad tidings to ragged birds.



Under this mango tree,
Nature sobers my parting nerves
With a million kilohertz of sexy breeze.

Suddenly I shrink into a trance
Only to rise and see on dongoyaro leaves
The fall of my ageless fever
Vividly printed on nature’s palms.

Within a century of a minute’s ease
I forget all the whispers of hunger,
Signals of regimenting pains
From a plenary pest in my resilient flesh.



Coconut palms too
Play a Christmas host to the musing bride
Their leaves as soft as stone,
They hold in immortal contempt
The fiery deeds of autumn-ous swords.

Sometimes I count myself a family of the palms
For despite the fiery deeds of vagrant climes
My skin is dark and dark across the year
And the source of my mammary gland:
Strange, bemusing
Like the source of water in the coconut fruit.



Sometimes when I die in thought
I wish the garden egg
Spring forth from my pastoral tomb,
Because I ate from Adam the forbidden fruit

My life is never always a honey pot;
Because of random incursion of fair laughter
My tongue is not always a lobe of bile,
Now a vessel of the sweet-and-sour,

Sometimes when I die in thought
I wish the garden egg,
Wish the garden egg
Spring forth from my childhood’s grave.



A mile above the city’s towers,
The sky cups her cheeks
On the trestle of her palm;
Canvassed in mournful clouds,
Her countenance a wrinkled tabloid
Of a sophomore’s art.

Far above the ocean view,
Right in front of Chrisland Square
A crowd gathers around a myth;
Hit beyond wailing
Only cursing man, cursing mammoth
Cursing God for watching man carry out his heinous spree.

Just behind the Cedi Towers
Only adjacent to Global Bank – a torso
Her eyes were plucked
Her breasts,
Her vital temple
Gone were all with the ritual axe.



Ado Bayero,
Like Israel like Kano,
I pose like Holy Moses, trembling in awe,
At the threshold of thy holy land.

Like Kano like Israel,
I dump my bridal shoes
For my feet to kiss the sacredness
Of your earth

For here in the Emir’s galaxy,
There is more to earth than shoes can feel,
Face to face with tradition,
From a diary to clay

I read the testament of a heritage:
A canvass of breathing clay
Decking the palace walls
In canonical grace.



The dongaris draped in layers
Of Rose and pine
Each wielding a Moses’ rod and ornate whip,
Fling the gilded palace gate for the birds of flight –
A blaring horn for my gorgeous train,
Daura, I want to tread your earth with my feet unfettered

Let the flower girl take charge
Of my bridal shoes.

The magnitude of the palace universe
Finds its peer in the Volta sphere,
From the outer hall
Of canonical clay,
A lake conducts my train into Tiga Dam
Tiga to a Nile

Until here before my wondering eyes
A seasome hall of precious clay.

Then, tell the gods of Geography
To update the map of the world:
There is a separate planet in Bayagida’s Square.
Here in the Emir’s haven where the past is young
Like a northern star;
Face to face with tradition,
I read the diary of nobility on the lips of clay
Decking the palace wall in canonical grace.


© Akeem Lasisi
(All poems from Night of my Flight, with permission).

Akeem Lasisi
Akeem Lasisi
Akeem Lasisi is known for his experimentations with oral Yoruba and English poetry. A graduate of the Obafemi Awolowo University, he won the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) and Cadbury Poetry Prize for the year 2000 with Iremoje. A well-known performance poet and journalist with The Comet Newspaper, Lasisi is also the author of Wonderland and Post Mortem.


  1. Thanks for writing. You are remembered and appreciated in Azania. A land occupied with the name South Africa. We are prisoners of strange apparitions and ill-conceived actions.
    Today your name happened to my head and in my search, I found this.
    We shall speak again soon.

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