Poetry

The Revolution Has No Tribe: Poems by Dike Chukwumerije

THE REVOLUTION HAS NO TRIBE

Do you not know that poverty is not an Ijaw man?
He will not spare the rest of us and afflict only the Ishan
He will step over the river and come across the border
So, when the drums sound let everybody answer

Do you not know that corruption is not from Nekede?
He will not hear that Ife had no dealings with Modakeke
He will wake up all of our children at might with hunger
So, when the drums sound, let everybody answer

Do you not know that HIV/AIDS is not Kanuri
He will not select his victims and kill only the Fulani
He will set the land ablaze from the delta to the sahara
So, when the drums sound, let everybody answer

Do you not know that our enemies have no face?
They are indigenes no state, they come from no place
And, if this boat capsizes every one of us will go under
So, when the drums sound, let everybody answer

Do not say, “I am an iroke”, when the forest is burning
Do not say, “I am an obeche”, when the forest is burning
Our differences will not prevent us from perishing together
So, when the drums sound, let everybody answer

———————————————–

BELLY POLITICS

Adamu Magaji- candidate
Will he win?- No
He makes fine speeches- True
He has fine feelings- Good for him
How come he won’t win?
Belly politics!

Chika Ugonna- candidate
Will he win?- No
A man of vision- (yawn) What else?
Enterprising, educated, enthused young man
Good play on words- He won’t win? But why?
Belly politics!

Shola Balogun- candidate
Will he win?- No
A bright, young man- If you say so
Impressive records, he’s full of zeal
I know you will answer, he won’t win-
Belly politics!

Belly politics! Belly politics!
Then who will win?
Not Adamu Magaji- No!
Not Chika Ugonna- No!
Not Shola Balogun- No!
Belly politics! Belly politics! Then who will win?

Alhaji Kudi- Alhaji Kudi?
The illiterate?- Belly politics!
The…the…but why?
This way and that way
Shake a hand here, shake a leg there
Alhaju Kudi, he might win

Or Mazi Ego Juru N’ Akpa- What?
That…that buffoon?- Belly politics!
That imbecile…that…that…oh why?
This way and that way
Shake a hand there, shake a leg there
Mazi Ego Juru N’Akpa, he might win

Or Alhaji Burukutu- Impossible!
The man can hardly speak- Belly politics!
How can? No-
This way and that way
Shake a hand here, shake a leg there
Alhaji Burukutu, he might win

But- kai!
Belly politics is a strange thing
It raises our buttocks to the eyes of a laughing world
So long as those are rich, fleshy buttocks, well oiled and tender
Who cares?
I do.

———————————————–

OKWESILIEZE

Today, I saw a mysterious thing
A thing that vexed me to my very soul
I saw the black man dressed like a king
But crouching in the shadows with a begging bowl
His children were starving in fields of cassava
Dying of diseases the palm kernel could cure
Homeless in a land of rock and timber
“Why are you begging?”- He said, “I am poor”

Today, I saw a mysterious thing
A wonder so great I cannot tell it
I saw the black man dressed like a king
But lying in the dust, crying at my feet
His legs were sturdy like the iroko
His forests were rich and teeming with game
His muscles rippled like the proud Zambezi
I told him, “Get up!”, but he said, “I am lame”

Today, I saw a mysterious thing
So shocking I have no words to say
I saw the black man dressed like a king
But standing like the lost by the highway
He huddles in a cage that had no gate
He could see where the keys to his chains were kept
He stood in clamps but they had no weight
“Why are you here?”- He said, “I am trapped”

Today, I saw a mysterious thing
Oh! How can I tell such a horrible story
I saw the black man dressed like a king
But he was sharing a sleeping mat with poverty
His poverty was a fat man with a bulging stomach
Lying on his back, beside a pot full of treasure
This knowledge was all he seemed to lack:
That he could get up and make his own future

——

Note: “Okwesilize” is an Igbo name which literally means, “He is supposed to be king”

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19 Comments

  • Dike, I never knew you wrote poems! I congratulate you, as a person who attended the same primary school with you, and watched your progress, up till now; and even when your dad became Senator.

  • Dike!!!! Of course this is your true love, I promise to go and get the book and support my ex classmate! Many more successful writing ahead:) God bless

  • Well done!

    I hope you find the satisfaction that drives your thoughts through you pen to your paper. Well done, worthy colleague! Found this when I set out to read some of your works this evening. It was meant to be nerve calming for me; indeed it was.

  • Dike,i still have couple of the poems you wrote while in GWAGS(University of Abuja).you are such an amazing and unique person,i ve always known you are wordsmith.Good to see this.Regards from Debo in South Africa(One of your ex-classmate)

  • i am not quite sure which one of the poems i like best…they all seem to resonate with me somehow….congrats bro…. you didn’t tell me about this last time we met in central london…all the best

  • Excellent poetry for the people, especially leaders who hear the drum beating and because they are at the top, they think that ‘the bell tolls for someone else.’ ‘Okwesileze’ and ‘The Revolution’ are super; they are stories, they are entertaining and upbeat, they comewith lessons, they are in ballad form and are poetic. I think a storyteller is born in Chukwumerije. (Now, where have I heard that name before?)

  • Good piece, i’m particularly impressed by the fact that despite your dad’s official position you could still be a revolutionary. Its a testament to your dad’s surmi willed personality that in an age when son’s of senators live on their dad’s ill gotten wealth, you and your sibling’s are excelling in your own right..Dont know if you are marshall art son, i met at my friend shem’s house back in med school calabar, if not your dad is sure a different breed of politician..Back to your poem’s they are good, a lil handshake here and there you’d be an excellent poet. Belly politics was straight up! Hope nigerian senators are reading

  • Awesome! Absolutely splendid. Saw the poem you performed as a tribute to Chinua Achebe, then GOOGLED the rest of your work. Its different and fresh. May God keep you in the right direction IJN.

  • Ur words are powerful
    And ur thoughts are wide
    Ur works are wonderful
    And ur wisdom so high

  • This is poetry that is filled with rage. I had one Professor recite “Belly Politics” yesterday evening and, oh! what a feeling it triggered! Potent words indeed.

  • Nice quotes from you sir, I almost refers it to oby Okwesilize, Lol….
    I so much love this, especially Revolution has no tribe,