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Still World: Poems by Olufunmi Aluko


IYA – Mother

Pleasant in possession
Like rustic treasure
Sprouting spring
On fountain
Of twin gourds
Subtle eyes on cradle
Cementing bricks
Of hope
Paving paths
Destiny fills
Ultimate goddess



Sudden gushes!
of fresh water
bedding into
an ever flowing stream

clear running waters
in the finger of morning
filling up empty jars
of existence

spilling on grey rocks
breaking like glasses
on ancient volcano



Voidness overflows
your river bank
essence flee
ceasing substance

A pregnant lizard
you crawl too slowly
birds peck the woods
In windless breeze

Aging dreams, weary leaves
dropping amidst still air
moments cyclone in endless motion
approaching feet never seen

A still world
when life’s stagnant



Glittering ray
Lurking in shadows
Burst on paths
Spread on feet
Lifting feebles
Through dark tunnels
From prisoned journeys

Visions of grace
Burst on sight
Burden out and fizzled
in flashes of light
on wings of colour
fly terrains
of a new day



Seasons go
Seasons come
the grey old one
echoed to his kinsmen

as the moon
bled forth seasons
Festive was the land
a dance of fronds
but a foul wind wind blew
and there was wailing at dawn
every one to his clan
denying inheritance
in another

chaos in broken calabash
okudu clothed
a colour of doom
Agemo brought to life

Beneath heavy clouds
Sigidi poise to a dancing season
the white robed man
eager to watch

A show of shame…
…but in time
came the victory dirge
for the green vultures

It’s a season of encounter
new hopes burst into bloom
Kolanuts ripened
water the mouth
new palmwine froth
tickle the adam’s apple

White swimming
Calabash on water
Only the conquerors dare plunge


Okudu – Month of June in yoruba

Agemo –  Month of July in Yoruba

Sigidi – A clay effigy

Olufunmi Aluko
Olufunmi Aluko
Olufunmi 'Renikeji Aluko is a graduate of Communication and Language Arts, University of Ibadan. Her poem, Wandering Souls, received the first prize at the Youth Poetry Competition organized by the Italian Embassy sponsored Communion and Liberation Movement. Published in the Association of Nigerian Authors poetry anthology, A Volcano of Voices, her poems have also appeared in The Guardian newspapers. An actress, singer and freelance journalist, Aluko also writes short stories and plays.

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