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When A Flower Journeys: Poems by Wazani Adamu Ijarafu

Image: remixed


I would not have told you
That the first time I learnt to pray
The attackers came with fearful sermons
Wrapped all over their bodies.
Fatoumata laid bare
When they forced close my eyes
To communicate with the gods.
In turns they drew their arcs into Fatoumata
She hated it like Math
She felt like a map of soldiers at war

I wish I could write this poem like a song
So that you listen to the music of broken dreams

I learnt to pray
Not by listening to the gods
But by asking:
Why do the bones of our music
Come with broken songs
And the sounds of our dreams
Echo elegies
Are we rising sun at dusk?
Or sunset at dawn?

When they left, they took along Fatoumata
Studying her body
Discovering roads, cities, mountains and rivers

Men of the desert sun
Don’t you hear your daughter’s voice
She comes from a history of inhumanity
She had journeyed under the sun
Yet she blossomed
Like the journey of flowers

I would not have told you
That the first time I learnt to pray
My name is Fatoumata.



I’m the tree of memories
While you drive through life
I tell you
Go back to the history of a Masai warrior
Learn the secret of a warrior’s tale
It’s the sacred songs of spirits
Who chant with angry tongues

They chant with angry tongues
Our mothers no longer cry
For the tears are tired with crying
Our children no longer run to safety
For their feet are tired of the soil

We’ve stayed with war long enough
Its music is now sweet to our ears
Bullets that shatter bones is all we dream about
Bomb smokes that raise the skin of men to the sky
Our rainy clouds

My love song has now been swallowed
By the haunting cries of dead babies
Our streets desecrated with the bodies of our daughters
Pushed from the edge of insanity to meet death in their sleep



When you broke into my dream fortnights ago
Upon the walls of my heart was captured
Your beauty, with the camera of my soul
It found me reciting a liturgy of poems

Of stars that greet each other with a smile at dusk
Of rustling leaves dancing in mutinous chatter
Of undulating waters that ululate at night
Of folkish lullabies that feel the heart of lovers

It was odd you came
With placards of even numbers
Your footsteps counting 1, 3, 5, 7…
When I fixed the placards in-between your legs
Your soft hands rested perfectly into mine
It found me beckoning on lost emotions

Of moonlit nights that fueled our love
Of fireside stories rekindling our hope
Of a Griot mending our history past
Of times we loved without saying a word

I pray I would wake up next to you
When the night is on an errand
And ghostly lullabies refuse to raise their tune
But for now, all I have are photographs of you

Poems by Wazani Adamu Ijarafu
Image: remixed

Wazani Adamu Ijarafu
Wazani Adamu Ijarafu
Wazani Adamu Ijarafu hopes to one day buy a mountain where people would not think gold was discovered. He wants to build a folk music Island for himself and to one day own a coffee cup. By night he's a Poet, by day he's a Poet. Math is but a borrowed course, he plans to return it to the owners.


  1. This awesome uncle Wazani.
    Please we need more,and i know we will get more by God’s grace.Keep doing the good job.

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