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The Flight of a Minstrel: Poems by Al-kasim Abdulkadir

The Flight of a Minstrel

I am a minstrel fleeing across
The sahel to join the sahara
Where the shrubs and trees have taken flight.

First I shall take a bite of Gurasa
And take a rest by the Badala of Kano
Dala’s homestead of once upon famed hunters.

But, Masar Bauchi beckons
I scurry faster than vanished elephants
That roamed the plains, trampling hamlets of dreams.

The Dogari’s gown of a thousand colours
Detains me in a spell, the horses glide by
Of hoofs adorned in silver, Zazzau why have you
Banished daughters of a gallant woman from the
Majesty of your Durbar?

I shall learn…
The secrets of life at Gobarau
In Katsinan Dikko,
I shall sip from the brook of wisdom.

In Kabi, Kebbi of Kanta,
Kanta Commander of Shongai
Argungu here I come, but I shall dance
To the rhythmic thumping
Of pestles on millet at Ambursa.
Argungu permit me call the biggest fish in Rima.

Here, water gourds obey Kings
Konta Gora the King said,
And now I beseech my thirst to
Pay obeisance to my fetch from Rijiyan Nagwamatse.

I am a minstrel fleeing across
The sahel to join the sahara
Where the shrubs and trees have taken flight.



Now that you have uncovered the veil
And thy shy smile peeks out
What tales shall you bear?
Not tales of broken pots
For brides beget not broken pots.
Nor darken pots.

Now that your chattering friends
Have left you in the company of
Suitcases of Atampa and stacks of ceramics
What tales shall you bear?

And the morning after
After the warm embrace of the night
And the caress of the night breeze
And the fragrance of rain
What tales shall you bear, Amarya?

What tales Amarya?


(c) Alkasim Abdulkadir

Al-Kasim Abdulkadir
Al-Kasim Abdulkadir
Al-kasim Abdulkadir’s works have appeared in the anthology Dance steps at Dawn, Echoes of young minds, Drum voices Revue (Uni. of S/Carolina U.S.A Eng. Dept. Journal), Unique Madmen. (ANA Niger anthology of short stories), Verses in Absencia, Melody of stones (PEN Nigeria Centre), Pregnant skies, New Beginnings (British Council Nigeria). In 2004, he was the writer in residence at the Foundacion Valparaiso, Spain. Aside writing short fiction and poetry, he works as a broadcaster in Abuja, Nigeria.


  1. Enchanting poetry! Almost feel like the minstrel myself. In a deeper sense, i feel that these poems have great cultural and historic significance because of the allusions to people, places and culture. Keep your wings in flight! Senator Ihenyen is the author of Colourless Rainbow:Poetry of My Childhood (forthcoming, Coast2Coast).

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