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i

in the pen-dens

let no drum beat
let celebration dance far from my ears
for these legs have crippled the gracefulness of gaits
and drowned in the swollen thoughts of sadness…

my heart is heavy and this air is deceptive
i know not the dance of deception
my heart is not happy…

tell the drummer to save his dexterity
these pockets mourn the dearth of mints
there are no coins for his blood of rhythms…

ii

in the pen-dens…

our skins have bleached under many suns
and yet we have no sign of shine

we have run for solace under many moons
do you know we reaped fear from the roots of our shadows?
shadows that mock our coats of ignorance…

we climb the trees for fruits
do they not say we could eat from any tree?
but they do wickedly and lie…

we pluck bruises from thistles for our faded flesh
and our hunger takes a new robe of meaning…

iii

in the pen-dens…

let no drum speak rhythms and rhymes
or what pride is in the repetition of history?

tell them we would not dance
we shall mourn our lost children…

or how will they have known the pains of widows?
the agony of orphans?
the pains of widowers…?

ah! do you know death comes and goes?
he eats the hearts of our innocence
and take our farms for graves…

iv

in the pen-dens…

i hear the wails of thousand spirits
the wails in the echoes of thousand echoes

hunger!
death!
nakedness!
fear!

we run after the whoring rumps of corruption
and we raze the flag of change in the platitude of illusive noises
we copulate and pour in pleasure the seeds of our fidelity…

and corruption begets corrupt fidelity…

v

in the pen-dens

let no drum peel the barks of rhythms

or what is in the celebration
of the nothingness of freedom?
what crooked celebration could clothe
in fine regalia and strange euphoria?

perhaps, we should mourn our failures
and cry over the ashes of our dependent independence…

in the pen-dens
tell the drummer to save his dexterity
for today i wish, we mourn to right our fate again.

 

Written by: Goodness Lanre Ayoola

Goodness Lanre Ayoola (b. 1989) hails from Osun State, Nigeria. Some of his poems have appeared in the tuck magazine, indian periodicals, Kalahari Review, Novel Afrique, words rhymes and rhythms, praxismagonline, ijagun poetry journal and other online poetry magazines and sites. He has a B.A (ED) in English Education and an NCE certificate in English and Yoruba languages.

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