Free verse

Exam Days

Ah! there exam days
when people near me,
they carefully hear me,
please me in many ways
Ah! there exam days.
My loneliness filled with girls and boys
my introvercy

Believing in Iron

The hills my brothers & I created
Never balanced, & it took years
To discover how the world worked.
We could look at a tree of blackbirds
& tell you

The Three Birds

The iron bird, the bird of steel
who after having lacerated the clouds of morning
would want to puncture the stars
beyond the day,
retreats, as if in remorse,

Civilian and Soldier

My apparition rose from the fall of lead,
Declared, ‘I am a civilian.’ It only served
To aggravate your fright. For how could I
Have risen, a being of this

Yaa, the Adowa dancer

The tune of Adowa
Drives Yaa to frenzy,
Her legs alternate–
they close,
they cross,
they open,
they part.
Oh, what a dancer,
The dancer of Adowa.
Her trunk goes–<br

In Praise of Onikoyi

Tell them about an unflappable warrior
A warrior both at home and on the battlefield
The bird’s offspring on Ìrókò tree
Akalamagbo’s child with magical sight
One who walks ahead

Telephone Conversation

The price seemed reasonable, location
Indifferent. The landlady swore she lived
Off premises. Nothing remained
But self-confession. “Madam” , I warned,
“I hate a wasted journey – I am African.”<br

Negro Lullaby

Mammy’s baby, go ter sleep,
Hush-er-by, hush-er-by, my honey;
Cross de hyarf de cricket creep,
Hush-er-by, hush-er-by, my honey.
Hoot owl callin’ f’um de ol’ sycamo’
‘Way down yon’er in

I Am Bad

I came to know I am so bad,
This is the reason why I am sad.
I hurt them and I always fight,
That’s why my days are not so

Upside-down cake

I am going to make
An upside-down cake.
I know I’ll need some flour,
But I’m going to wait
At least half an hour
Before I begin to bake.

I’ll need


The clanging fire-bells shook the air,
The maddened crowd roared like the sea
And hurled its human waves ‘gainst me —
Then through the smoke a face gleamed fair

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