Saturday, May 25, 2024

Top 5 This Week

Related Posts

There are Ghosts Abroad in Fukushima: Poems by Toni Kan Onwordi

There Are Ghosts Abroad In Fukushima

There are ghosts abroad in Fukushima
Spectral presences denied resting places
Interred in watery graves they bristle
They who missed the warning whistle
Who left this earth at the lunch hour
Noodles dangling from chop sticks

The ghosts are abroad in Fukushima
Seeking answers, they will not know rest
Like the rest who though alive will never be whole
Their world arrested at lunch time
When the earth spewed fire and the sea belched havoc

There are ghosts abroad in Fukushima
A benighted place of darkness
Of watery graves and grieving hearths
Of hissing reactors and ghosts that will never find their way home

There are ghosts abroad in Fukushima
Where peace and sleep remain forever banished
Fecund earth that can only sprout grief and pain
A garden of dreams that will never bud
Never grow tendrils nor boughs

There are ghosts abroad
In the grave yard of Fukushima.
Spectres forever seeking rest


No Man Is Lord Of Hate Or Violence
(for those who sow hate in Jos)

They say words do not break bones
They say poems will not bring back the dead
But one day our Words shall become weapons
Stones that break bones
Swords that cut asunder
Machetes that behead

And then those who speak the language of hate
Shall learn  that no man is lord of hate or violence
The time shall come when the blood that flows
Shall no longer belong to those who pray to one God
Even those who bow to another God shall know loss too
They shall wipe blood from their own doorsteps
Beat the fire out of their own eaves
Raise helpless arms in desperate grief
Because no man is lord of hate or violence

Because every flesh no matter what God we call upon
Will bleed if cut and bones break when bludgeoned
One day, the screams shall issue forth from your own throats
Your mothers too shall beat impotent arms on flabby breasts
One day, the blood shall flow from your throats and stain your doorsteps
One day, soon, because no man is lord of hate and violence

One day you who scatter the seeds of hatred
Like demented farmers
You who arm the hungry to decimate the hungry
You who sire orphans, like Ogun, from semen of hatred
One day, all you purveyors of hate will
Reap the whirlwind you have sown
One day, when you learn that no man is lord of hate and violence.

And that day shall come and speedily too
When we reclaim our city like Troy after the siege
When the smoke filled skies turn blue
When the rancid air no longer suffocates
When the soil is no longer wet with blood
That day will come when those who have despoiled our city
Will learn that there is always an end to hate and violence


The Devil Now lives in Jos
(For our besieged city)

The Devil lives in Jos
And the language he speaks is hate
He feeds on flesh and his drink of choice is blood
He picks his teeth with the bones of innocents

The Devil lives in Jos
He walks with a hood
He wields a scythe in his hands
He is a young politician with hungry eyes
A money bag with no scruples

His thoughts are grim
His schemes are evil
He will not be at peace
Until the city is a pile of rubble

The Devil lives in Jos
He walks the streets of Gada Biu
And sharpens his sword in Farin Gada
His eyes aflame with blood lust

The Devil lives in Jos
He is the neighbor gone mad
The friend who has turned bad
The Devil, now, lives in Jos.


© Toni Kan Onwordi

Toni Kan Onwordi
Toni Kan Onwordi
Toni Kan Onwordi holds both a B.A. and M.A. English (Literature) degrees from the Universities of Jos and Lagos. His works have been published widely in the Art pages of prominent Nigerian newspapers and his poems have appeared in the anthology 25 New Nigerian Poets edited by Toyin Adewale. He has also had short stories published in anthologies like We-Men, Little Drops (1) and Diamond and Ashes. An award winning poet, essayist and short story writer, his awards have taken him to Scotland and Switzerland. Toni Kan is currently working on a novel, Secrets of the Untold.


  1. thank 4 dat. God bless 4 fighting a peoples cause wit dose lines.
    Those words reflect d passion poem gives.
    Above all,i like ur writing.

  2. These are the only poems of Toni’s that I have read but they have really impressed me. His writing style is simple and even though it carries the heavy burden of bringing his thoughts to life, this he manages with aplomb.

  3. Save for ‘The Ghosts Are Abroad at Fukushima’, the other poems are just okay. Their failure is a case of unsustained imagery. Save for few lines in those two poems, the others read as prose without any poetic touches. I think Kan is the short story writer, not the poet.

SAY SOMETHING (Comments held for moderation)

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Popular Articles