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Creation and Criticism

ISSN: 2455-9687  

(A Quarterly International Peer-reviewed Refereed e-Journal

Devoted to English Language and Literature)

Vol. 05, Joint Issue 18 & 19 : July-Oct 2020

Poetry


A Gift from China and Other Poems — S. O. Oladokun  


Stephen Oladayo Oladokun was born into the family of late Pa and late Mrs James Oladokun in Igbeti, Olorunsogo Local Government Area, Oyo State. Nigeria. He obtained BA (Ed) in English at Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Kaduna State. Nigeria. He has taught in many schools at elementary and secondary levels and has won award of the Most Innovative Staff for three consecutive times at Queenview Academy Minna, Niger State where he raised from a classroom tutor to the currently Principal of the school. He is the founder of Delight Institute, an organization which seeks for better methodologies in teaching and learning oral English. He has written and directed several playlets: Petals and Gardeners, The Master's Song, Gift, and Education in this Generation. He is one of the ambassadors for World Literary Foundation's 2020 program and also a member of Hilltop Creative Foundation in Minna, Niger State. Nigeria. He can be contacted at stephenoladayo45@gmail.com.


 

1. A Gift from China

 

Death in the air,

A gift from china

Coronav-19

 

House arrest

Or grave arrest

Order by Corona

 

I cough, mother flees

I sneeze, father runs

Now, I walk like masquerade

 

My ears in Italy

my eyes in Russia

I know your might

 

Few meters away from lovers

Leg greetings, a moral act,

Your handiwork, Mr Corona

 

This one life I got

It is not yours to take

Wind traveller, agent of death.

 

2. Dinner with Lucifer

 

On a dinner in hell with Lucifer

Shield of faith, I fastened very high

Knowing hell as cool as aquifer

 

Thrice, heart spoke, but to conifer

'Sip me a little', called Lucifer's eye

On a dinner in hell with Lucifer

 

My tentacles, too strong to quaver

So I thought, till my soul was set on fire

And my burnt hair sainted like fresh aquifer.

 

There wasn't room to decipher.

There wasn't time for Lord's prayer

On a dinner in hell with Lucifer.

 

I pondered, 'Devil is a crucifer'

But Lucifer was too truthful to lie.

He gave me nail & voice & said, 'crucify'.

 

Twice, I should 've stopped being a- bluffer

For faith was no bird to fly.

I wished I were wise like Junifer.

No water but blood on a dinner with Lucifer.

        

3. Mystery

 

I know not all

I know that I know;

Heart lingers to heart a lone heart

Yet Love loves not Beloved

And two Wises can't drive in marriage.

 

Wisdom gets a wise man killed

Foolishness drowns a fool

Yet lukewarmness is the worst of them all.

 

If a man closes not his eyes to see,

He is willing to fall in broad day light.

 

4. My Motherland

 

I opened my eyes that very day

At my stepmother’s laps

With warmth and affection

I was wrapped in my father’s cloth.

I looked around and saw heads like water.

 

A sense of belonging came to me

I leaped for joy in my heavenly language

But they could not understand

So I remained mute and they all laughed.

 

Soon…

Imitation began in me

I joined the mammoth of children around

In vertical, horizontal and even circle

We sang and ran joyfully

In our innocent nakedness

As elders sat to play backgammon

 

A path was shown to us.

In myth, folklore and legendries.

We were cajoled to the ancient way.

This mystery of buccaneers still flows in my blood.

 

How can I forget this kindness?

How can I forget this motherly affection?

How can I forget that sweet voice

That sang me lullaby from childhood?

How can I forget the land that nurtured me?

How can I forget her prairie

That produces corn, yam, cassava…?

How can her love elude my heart?

 

Oh igbeti!

The mightiest among her mates!

How awesome to have as a mother?

You are sanctuary of peace.

Cold weather tabernacles over you.

You feed hungry souls with kindness

And angry souls find peace in you.

Aliens settle in your loving heart

And erect abode for their offspring

 

Children of Igbeti,

Listen to my voice,

Do not forget the rhyme of our fathers’ song;

The song of peace they sang with their clumsy voice

Which was passed to us to add melody.

 

Wherever you are- home or away

Sing that song to all ears

Preach that gospel to all flesh

Teach that knowledge without counteract

Peace is our emblem

We must showcase it

It is our mission

Peace shall forever be upon our motherland.

 

5. A Dirge To My Father

 

At that moment

When trumpet was blew

To announce your season of transformation

Then silence…

 

Gong became mute

Dundun ceased to utter a word

Cymbal and tambouring became dump

Guitars’ and harps’ voices became clumsy.

 

The jovial sun became moody

Darkness overcame the great light

And rain started falling to soften the earth

In preparation for a journey home.

Mourners took their positions

In tremble, tenor, soprano and base

They proclaimed your departure in meticulous voices

'Cos life ceased to be a garden of roses.

 

We, the children of Pa James Ajala

Lost laughter to weeping

Our mirror fell into River Jordan

Our mirror was snatched from us.

 

We opened our mouths in awe

We lost lips to cover our teeth.

Why couldn’t we discern for long?

Why couldn’t oracle reveal this mystery?

 

Our father was lured to leave mansion for self-contain

He became worriless of worrisome in this vile earth.

Pa James Ajala, be relaxing in your lonely room

But do not close your eyes else you become a woman.