Lifeless, but Deathless

Death is the new life.
Death is the old lie-fe.
Although we become lifeless when we “die”,
we become deathless when we leave.


My gentle Oladapo is okay. He fell sick and he left me but he is okay. Bolanle is okay. She was so energetic.

Uncle Ismaila is okay. He took me to write my common entrance exam at ISI and taught me Mathematics the day before. That bread and egg and tomtom though. That year. Immediately after the exam, we began to look for where to shit. It wasn’t until we got to Osogbo where my other family members were before we “shat”. I can’t believe we held watery shit from Ibadan to Osogbo. We should have been on the Guiness Book of Records. The way we were sweating. My uncle Ismaila is okay.

Debra is okay. One day, during one of the social events at the ISI cafetaria, an A-Z list of the junior and senior students was mentioned. “As attractive as so-so-so. As beautiful as so-so-o. As creative as so-so-so. As dirty as Ronke Babajide. I was going to get some food [I stopped going for socials] at the tuck shop when I heard my name on from the speaker that could almost cover the whole school.

Gosh! I ran back to class so fast and placed my head on the table. I was so embarrassed and sad. Whoever it was that submitted my name, I hope it was worth it. It was the exact thing that I needed for the low self-esteem that I had. I, for some reason, thought being different was bad and I had to keep up. I didn’t fit in any group.

Debra was a class higher but we became friends. She didn’t let me get depressed. We would walk to the main gate together and spend our money on suya or corn. Debra even bought chicken suya for us one day. Romance-novel gang. There was always one woman that needed to be “saved” through sex but it was worth it. One day, Debra took me to watch Amos Tutuola’s “The Palm-Wine Drinkard”. Debra passed on after a car hit her. Debra is okay.

My grandmas are okay- Mama Ireakari and Mamee. My grandpa is okay. Jane Davenport is okay. She didn’t stay so I could show her how I tie my scarf, but she’s okay. My cousin’s baby is okay. Gorgeous-eyed Matt is okay.

All our “dead” relatives and friends are okay. They just don’t live with us anymore, they are living, and they are okay.


Save Justitia


Let us save Justitia;
let us rescue the Lady of Justice.
They have blindfolded and enslaved her,
and taken her voice away.

They command her to strike
even when she can’t tell who is who,
who is right or wrong,
and who is innocent or guilty.

Things are not being done fairly,
but how can she tell
if she cannot see for herself?

They tell her blue is white,
and white is black,
and black is red,
and red is green.
The assigned kidnappers have
been trained to deceive her.

She holds a sword in one hand
and a scale in the other,
but bigger and sharper swords 
constantly threaten to attack her.
She feels the bigger swords’ pinch on her back,
and she takes their orders without question.

So, dispose the sword and toss the scale;
we must do it, have no fear.
We will not let evil prevail;
O̩ya will take over from here.




I’ve Carried Me for Years, My Darling


“Two Eggs (violet)” by Tom Gregg

In a world were most of us, eggs,
have been taken away from our innocence,
removed from the bosoms of our mothers,
placed outside our crates
and forced to harden up,
I want to remain as I am, as I was,
in this terribly hot conditions.
Why don’t you remain raw with me, my darling?

Although we’ve been terribly hurt,
I’ll roll to you,
and you’ll roll to me,
and when we do,
we’ll close our eyes and
swim in each other’s insides,
roll in each other’s albumen,
bungee jump on each other’s yolks.

Do you remember how you felt
the first time you were in love?
I beg you to let me love you.
I’m not going to hurt you;
I don’t want to.
Look into my eyes.
Can’t you tell that I terribly love you?
Why don’t you be vulnerable too?


When Life Gives You Melons…

When life gives you melons,
don’t confuse them for lemons:

Melons Painting

Ovanes Berberian (American, born in 1951)- “Still Life Saturday with Melons”

It’s for your good. Melons are juicy and yummy, although they don’t look like they are on the outside. When you cut them in half? Hmmn…

Not everything is planned to give you a sour life. God/the universe will always find a way to put you in the right place, whether you think it’s the right place at first or not.

Life gives you/lets you keep lemons when it lets you have the things you don’t need anymore, whether it be people or properties or positions of comfort or a kind of peace that might lead to sorrow eventually.

Persevere and endure the painful process of cutting things in half, and into different shapes, when life gives you melons. They are not lemons. You’ll see.


Changing the World

You cannot change the world but
you can change someone’s world.
Give to people in need,
with intentions as pure as can be,
and a day would finally come when
a better world would be ours to see.



“Tick” goes the clock,
“tick, tick”.
What you have to do,
do quick.

“Tick” goes the clock,
“tick, tick”.
What you have to stop,
stop quick.




The ‘green’ dey plenty
but the ‘white’ no reach,
upon say we dey preach.

Daddy is the first “green”,
mummy is the second,
and the “white” is their son- Junior;
all his decisions are made for him.

His birth name is Purity,
but they barely call him that,
and his opinions almost never matter.
“Junior, sit down there.”
“Junior, excuse us;
go out to play with your friends.”
“Junior, the adults are talking;
you ought to walk away.”
“Junior, cover your ears.”

We say “the young shall grow”, abi?
It’s one of our favourite quotes.
Our hope is that one day,
Junior will grow to be a strong man.
A pure-in-heart woman will marry him.
They’ll give birth to a gorgeous daughter;
she’ll be very “green”,
and she’ll grow to be big and strong.
Our new flag will be “white-green-white”.

Green wouldn’t need to cover her ears;
there would be no need to.
We would have a new country;
our leaders would do what they should do.

Na only ‘white’ we dey see,
but the ‘green’ no reach,
sake of say we no rich.”

You can agree that
the above won’t happen,
and you can disagree,
but wetin be the point of the wealth,
if na only few people rich.
Wetin be the point of the wealth
if they no dey share the money-
if they no let the money reach?

If we do am make the money reach everybody, nobody go rich, but you know as e dey go now. Everybody wan rich.

Socialism means- nobody gets rich, and we’re all equal, wealth-wise. This can’t work in reality. Capitalism means- some people get rich, but some people stay poor.

Either way, some people are not going to be rich.

Does nihilism come with socialism? You know you can’t be richer than you are anyway, so what is the point of aspiring to achieve anything if you can’t get the ultimate reward (whether or not it’s gotten at the expense of others)- wealth?

Everything is designed to be fucked up in one way and another.




When he ordered drinks for us,
I could tell that he was hurt.

“I’m with another woman,
an other woman,
a ‘not her’ woman,
but by God, any woman will do.”

“What do you mean?”, I asked.

He looked away.

“I couldn’t get Queen out of my head;
someone else had to.
I couldn’t get Queen out of my bed;
I needed a rescue.


Mistakes are for Retakes

First, you make mistakes,
then you let them make you.
You are not your mistakes;
pay no mind, if you begin to hear “boo”.
“Experience is the best teacher”;
that, in fact, is quite true.
Fall, then raise yourself back up,
there is nothing you can’t do.



Can You?

If you think you can,
you can.
If you think you can’t,
you’re right.