Tag Archives: James Ogunjimi

Freedom

If you see Freedom,

Tell him to check himself into the nearest police station.

The world has been eagerly waiting for him to come;

For he’s the eternal longing of all nations.

 

Someone called to say they saw him,

Giving people jobs, then taxing them to death.

Ripping them off bit by bit till nothing was left;

I said ‘twas not Freedom; ‘twas his evil twin.

 

Another said he saw Freedom,

In Libyan skies dropping from NATO bombs,

But few years after buying the democracy America sold;

There’s hardship in the land for young and old.

 

In 2011, some said they saw Freedom in Nigeria,

Hoisting party flags with promises of a new era,

But today he’s dancing in Kano and campaigning in Nigerian slums;

Saying he doesn’t give a damn if Baga burns.

 

I was told Freedom visited South Africa,

Ended apartheid and freed Mandela,

Years after, apartheid is gone, but Freedom does not ring;

They say it’s because we are still tied to the West’s apron string.

 

Someone in Washington said he saw Freedom,

Giving orders and taking the world for a ride.

He said ‘twas he; I said ‘twas not;

And when I looked, ‘twas his look alike.

Yesterday I Saw Death

Yesterday I Saw Death

Yesterday I saw death,
Standing at a crossroad beside a pile of dirt,
Wearing a long face,
While looking at humanity’s mad race.

Yesterday I saw death,
Inside the delivery room,
Smacking his lips at every new birth,
Watching the bride smile up at the groom.

Yesterday I saw death,
Pacing the streets without a moment’s rest,
Asking every passerby if they’ve got a smoke,
Swift shake of the head proving there’s just no hope.

Yesterday I saw death,
Sitting on the church’s pew,
Listening to the preacher as time slowly crept,
Looking round to see who was listening, but ‘twas just a few.

Yesterday I saw death,
Within university walls wearing a beret,
Wielding a gun while he downed a stiff drink,
Screaming as he pulled the trigger, “Forgiveness is a sin.”

Yesterday I saw death,
Walking slowly towards me with eyes downcast,
Killing everyone he passed no matter how healthy they felt,
I said “Hi,” shook his cold hand and gently walked past.

James Ogunjimi
December 2014

As The Clock Strikes Twelve

As the clock strikes twelve,

Yet another completed book is added to life’s shelf.

First will come the greetings and well-wishes,

And then will come thoughts of happy times and painful memories;

The thought of what should be that is not,

The memories of carefully-crafted plans that have all been lost.

 

As the clock strikes twelve,

Yet another date is ticked in life’s calendar.

First will come the delicacies, into which we’ll delve,

And then will come reminiscences of the journey so far.

Thoughts of plans that never lived to see the new moon,

Memories of resolutions that were gone too soon.

 

As the clock strikes twelve,

Yet another page is written in life’s journal.

First will come the hurrahs from friends celebrating amongst themselves,

And then will come a desire to escape from all the noise to hide under the radar,

To think thoughts of personal relationships that were handled poorly,

Memories of fragile hearts that were left hanging loosely.

 

As the clock strikes twelve,

Yet another race will start to make sense of this life.

First will come the brilliant thoughts and hasty scribbles,

And then will come reluctant cancellations and additional views.

An unwritten appeal to the universe to let the lofty heights desired be,

A silent plea to life to make the year one that ushers in fulfilment of dreams.

 

Happy Birthday to Me!

 

James Ogunjimi

September 2014

As The Day Draws Near

As the day draws near,

When reality must be confronted,

When the truth beforetime masked must be laid bare,

When face to face must come the leader and the led,

Running from the truth will be an effort in futility;

Confronting the issues is the only way, really.

 

As the moment approaches,

When one must be taken and the other left,

When to the rocks we’ll run seeking to hide in its cleft,

When progress, though painful must be made in defiance of self-appointed coaches,

Hiding and living in denial will not do;

Standing up and facing the facts are the only rules.

 

As the hour prepares to strike,

When humanity will be offered a chance to progress or stand still,

When one by one we’ll have a split second to stay down or rise,

When we can confront and slay our demons or let them live still,

Retreating in cowardice and fear will not suffice;

Rising and acting confidently is the only thing that will get us through this.

 

As the final stage is set,

When in the face of overwhelming odds, we’re expected to win,

When in the face of powerful foes, we’re expected not to fret,

When we’re confronted with just two choices: perish or live,

We must move on though faced with threats of destruction;

For even in death, defeat is not an option.

 

James Ogunjimi

September 2014

Taking Responsibility

To that which may never be,

To happiness we may never feel,

To an unbreakable togetherness the world may never see;

This isn’t me saying goodbye;

This is me wondering if we could pick up the pieces and have a retry.

 

To one heart bruised and hurt,

To another waiting to be crushed,

To the man tagged evil and feeling lost;

The balm of gilead have I none;

And I’m no apostle of robbing peter to pay Paul.

 

To the laughter cut short midway,

To the beautiful smiles poisoned day to day,

To lovely people who want to, but cannot stay;

This isn’t me giving excuses or making apologies;

This is me owning up and taking responsibility.

 

James Ogunjimi

September 2014

Nigeria Shall Be Free!

Nigeria Shall Be Free!

 

Crushed by the weight of the evil ones’ greed,

Nigeria shall be free!

Sinking deeper and deeper in the abyss of misdeeds,

Nigeria shall be free!

 

Numbed by pain; they cannot again feel,

Nigeria shall be free!

Watching the future of the nation felled like trees,

Nigeria shall be free!

 

No longer taken serious; now the cause of international gist,

Nigeria shall be free!

Inside, it’s not safe, but then, neither are the streets,

Nigeria shall be free!

 

Stealing public money and ruling with impunity,

Nigeria shall be free!

Bedevilled with leaders who don’t care how the people feel,

Nigeria shall be free!

 

Travelling round the world with begging bowls; on their knees,

Nigeria shall be free!

But Nigeria is not poor; we have more than we need,

Nigeria shall be free!

 

Justice has become a myth; freedom exists only in dreams,

Nigeria shall be free!

The newspapers dare not report; journalists must not speak,

Nigeria shall be free!

 

The Hallowed chambers have become boxing rings,

Nigeria shall be free!

Here, it’s jail for the poor; bail for the rich,

Nigeria shall be free!

 

Children and students murdered in their sleep,

Nigeria shall be free!

Parents crying, friends gnashing their teeth,

Nigeria shall be free!

 

Waiting endlessly for a messiah to set us free,

Nigeria shall be free!

Looking abroad for a salvation that will never be,

Nigeria shall be free!

Let us look inward at men true and real,

For it is only then that Nigeria shall be free!

 

From western domination,

Nigeria shall be free!

From economic exploitation,

Nigeria shall be free!

From religious manipulation,

Nigeria shall be free!

 

James Ogunjimi

Ogun State Nigeria.

July 2014.

 

Follow me on Twitter: @hullerj; Google +: James Ogunjimi; Email: ogunjimijamestaiwo@gmail.com

We Don’t Need No Western Boots

We don’t need no western boots,
Coming to our land with their minds set to loot.
We don’t need no western boots,
Troubling our land and acting like crooks.
Africa lays reeling under these big brothers’ rules,
So, No we don’t need any more western boots.

We don’t need no western boots,
Preaching peace and making war look good.
We don’t need no western democracy,
That we have to pay for with our blood only to discover it’s all vanity.
We don’t need no western religion,
That undermines our culture and fuels the fire of division.
No, we don’t need no western boots,
For Africa is rising; we’re done playing the fool.

We don’t need no western boots,
Killing our leaders and saying it’s for our good.
We don’t need no western boots,
Creating the problems and presenting the solutions.
We don’t need no western rules,
On how to go about our revolution.
No, we don’t need no western boots,
From now on, Africa gets to set the rules.

James Ogunjimi
Ogun State, Nigeria
May 2014

Follow me on Twitter: @hullerj; Google+: James Ogunjimi; Email: ogunjimijamestaiwo@gmail.com

To Those Who Sit In Dark Places

To Those Who Sit In Dark Places

To those who sit and dark places,
To plot the downfall of the just.
To those who gather with hidden faces,
To cause nothing to the righteous but a fall.
Posterity says it has not slept or forgotten;
Nemesis has just one message: “I am coming.”

To those who sit in high places,
Looting and stealing collective resources without care.
To those who fight and leave in their wake broken maces,
And promise to wreak more havoc without fear.
The law of ’cause and effect’ says: “I am still active,”
The grave says: “Inside me is where you’ll live.”

To those who gather in religion’s name,
To destroy, maim and kill.
To those who deceive the people with clause and phrase,
To keep them perpetually in need.
Scripture says: “The triumph of the wicked is not for long,”
Life says: “Remember Abacha and return.”

James Ogunjimi
Ogun State, Nigeria
March 2014

Don’t Tell Me We’re Free

Don’t judge us by the Smiling faces

And conclude we are happy.

Don’t use as examples just a few cases

And say it’s reality.

For Smiling faces do not mean the same as happy people,

Neither does smooth talk translate to goodwill.

 

Don’t see the big cars we drive

And conclude we are rich.

Don’t look at the clothes we have

And call us the real deal.

For big cars do not mean the same as rich men,

Neither does big clothes translate to big men.

 

Don’t look at us ‘going places’

And conclude we can soar.

Don’t look at us like cheetahs running in races

And expect us to roar.

For ‘going places’ does not always mean it’s in the right direction,

Neither does aimless running translate to eventual elevation.

 

Don’t look at our feet without shackles

And conclude we are free.

Don’t look at our faces without wrinkles

And say it’s the good life we live.

For the invisibility of chains is no proof of its absence,

Neither does smooth face translate to a life of rest.

 

James Ogunjimi

Ogun State, Nigeria

March 2014

Chained Tongues, Imprisoned Minds

Chained tongues, imprisoned minds,
People who have lived their lives their humanity trying to find,
People who would rather give up than stand up and fight,
People who have lived too long in darkness they can’t see the light.

Chained tongues, imprisoned minds,
Birds of a feather; they’re one of a kind,
Burdened with problems, living daily in fright,
Freedom seems now distant, there’s no hope in sight.

Chained tongues, imprisoned minds,
In rudderless ship, the blind leading the blind,
What else will unite us if not our plight?
When will we understand that in unity lies our might?

James Ogunjimi