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Secondary Worlds: A Poem by Sola Osofisan

S E C O N D A R Y    W O R L D S

You saw me before I saw me
Said I to men who have more power than God
and invoke money by its secret name.
The color of my soundless cry
is the intimate shade of nothingness
You saw me before I saw me.

Do handle me gently!
Hollered I to the guns totting weightless men
Exquisite vision crafted in the blazing
forge of seven riotous rainbows,
(rainbows…even the gods love rainbows!)
…please handle me gently.

A careless wave of yesterday’s wand
pumps today’s biceps full of the intoxicating
steroid of power…Superpower!
I am afraid for the mighty manifestation
that can save me and my kind
still has to re-create itself
I have to find me
You have to find you
We have to find us
or the crooked memories of a faraway heaven
will ferry the innocent to hell.

But tarry awhile
Crack the ovate outrage farted by the insatiable hen
with the wayward pant…
Apocalyptic visions!
Are we indeed in the end-time?
Hang the hangmen who utter such profanity!
Tell their displaced ghosts it will take forever
for this mighty egg to birth God
…and a new world.
Old things will flake away
All things will become hues
sheer layers of electrifying light
shocking intermingling colors
– like walking into a rainbow in progress
and suddenly becoming incapable of seeing
its edges and creases and slopes and stops,
suffused in yielding yellows
and reds
and brooding blues…
Lost in greens
Lost in oranges
Lost in a gazillion undiscovered shades
Make the aha! noise again
Did I not say to you once upon a time
God is still God…

And so I said to the voodoo man,
the merciless feet of distance weary the shoe
Still my kind will traverse treacherous terrains
if you would make for my kind another world
one far from this one that we know no more,
a secondary world to shame mindbenders
who choke our dreams in the dark tunnels
of their nightmares and pretend we cannot
one day snap frozen fingers like the
forgotten wizards of forgotten realms
to call back the sun.
Magic, voodoo man, make our fingers magic…

So I blunder through vacant streets,
walking my drunken walk along the rickety bridge
at the end of a rickety world,
scalding a firstfinger in the
mucus streaming from the conjunctiva
of homeless children,
talking my drunken talk,
eluding the firestorm in the heart of every
outspoken sun hollering
in the deep dark holes in my head
“call back The Son! Call Him back Now!”

I-we-all fling ourselves into
the promised blank,
but the long rope of gravity
would not yield
And so I-we-all dangle,
bats in the crevices of confusing caverns,
bleeding into the cup of your open palms…
With what shall the invisible man
personalize transparent screams?

And so I-we-all wake the voodoo man
Forgive this aberration, voodoo man…
Forgive the miserable words
composed of the crumbs of stolen seconds
that hastily build a rocky mountain of broken hours
Forgive this distraction that finds expression
In the humbling reflection of oppression and just
make for my rare kind that Otherworld.
The time is now!
Take me, voodoo man,
Take me elsewhere by the nowhere river
Near the somewhere tree with the limp branches
that get re-charged on cold smoke.
Take me far from the headless roach
rat rumbling street tumbling after my fleshy rear…
Astride a sliver of runaway sunlight
To a sirening fountain of molten rocks,
Rhythmless star ping-ponging in the scanty shadow
of skewered space
Take me away, voodoo man,
Each time I wander with snakes,
I take my charmed smile along
And even when they think I’m dead
I am alive
Take me, voodoo man
God is still good.

Unsound rhapsody
Primordial feet waddling at the watery edge
of the unrecorded end of the beginning
Tomorrow’s child in an unexpected playground
nurturing a once-upon-a-time-mind
I urge the recognized universe to stretch
in the name of the many offsprings of my fertile imaginings
Every new thought unveils a virgin galaxy,
a fresh destiny for blistered feet.
At the left hand contour of cosmic orbit
I see a man, he looks very much like a man
The glow in his left eye is stronger than in the right
He floats above many, each holding a magic horn
Invoking Holy Michael and his just blade.
The man, he looks so like a man,
I light a candle in his name
He starts a forest fire in my name
He has no clothes and he has no face
He has no secrets and he has no shame
In his transparency dwell the elements
Water skirting the thick toes of a sullen Earth
Restless wind caressing a blaze that burns nothing…
The man who looks so like a man
A cloud of warm energy holds him perfectly in space
And from stray strands of everything
he weaves perfumed music
The player turns the melody around
Drumstick beard dipped in the cosmic whirlpool…
I strip off my skin to display my sins
He laughs and says “you’re too clean to be unclean”
Justify the pain, I crash at his feet,
the one reason for this terrible ache
In the space of a frigid moment
He urges me to joy in the sun,
light a hundred million times the size
of my little place in creation.
The seamless man points at the farthest star,
a pin-point prick of unconquered grace
five hundred million times the size of a sun
a hundred million times the size
of my lonely corner of the equation
Joy in the stars, urges the seamless man
The sun!
The stars!
The son of the sun shall kindle faggots
to thaw the frozen marrows of our day
The scars of the stars shall bear the memory
The very voice of this fragile age
And even when life acquires only a minuscule significance
and little men in little fortresses make cult horror movies
of the little emissions of little minds,
I-we-all can call the Son!
The scars!
The sun!
And the stars of a thousand sleep…

On some unknown stretch of reclaimed sand
I scrawl a wandering twig
the first chapter of my elusive masterpiece,
small prints of the mind once misplaced in the creases
of a bulky tabloid –
Now found!
I trail a wounded crab
on the leftward journey to the healing stream
And in caverns deep within
I-we-all detect the high-singing clear-headedness
that faithfully follow the abrupt expulsion
of hot semen
for our dead God will be our living God
the unsought response to the unasked questions
God is God is God is God!


(c) Sola Osofisan

Sola Osofisan
Sola Osofisan
Sola Osofisan is a writer, screenwriter, filmmaker, and founder/editor-in-chief of 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.


  1. like in DARKSONGS Osofisan refuses not to be weird, mystical,eccentric, spritual and mad, anyway are those not the five fingers of a poet.

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