Tag Archives: Nigeria

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

Public Servants

If This Is My LastPoem: Public Servants

We call them public servants,

They are meant to tend our lands,

But it’s here that the servants eat and are fat,

While their masters look lean and sad.

 

We asked for food, we asked for shelter,

We asked our servants to make our lives better,

But rather than give us meat they threw to us bones,

Their only answer to our requests is NO.

 

For how long can the masters bear the insolence of the public servants?

Will the time ever come when the masters will take their stand?

It does not have to be tomorrow or a later date,

The first step to freedom can be taken today.

 

James Ogunjimi

Ogun State, Nigeria

February 2014

The Writer’s Balm

If This Is My Last

 

The Writer’s balm

If Every time our souls are barren, we pick up our pen and write,
We would give up trying to be as famous as Wilbur and Orville Wright,
For whether we turn to the left or to the right,
Whether we end up being wrong or right,
In the final analysis, the end of man is a funeral rite.

If every time we sit and think,
While trying to find the break in the link,
We can either cry our heart out in the sink,
Or we can choose to pick up the pen and use the ink.

If tempted we are to hide our head like crabs,
If we are made to feel like guinea fowls in the lab,
We can our pen gently grab,
And in that moment we’ll realise, that covering us is a writer’s garb.

If while daily working our lives away on the farm,
If the scorching heat of the sun has taken away our peace and calm,
If we suddenly feel like ending it all in the dam,
We can find solace in writing down a psalm,
For then we’ll discover that right in our palm,
Lies the writer’s balm.

James Ogunjimi
Ogun State, Nigeria
February 2014.