Femi Osofisan




There is a hole with jewels and eyes of quartz.

Time’s metamorphoses of the message I hoarded there…


Oh wind and water have wounded me

have stolen the secrets of our hidden trysts


into seashell and lily, distilled

into seafern, the filaments of our story’s song –


Salt and shingle have betrayed me

have unwrapped the scars I hoarded here,


Conspired with the clay’ mysterious alchemists

to emend my hidden laments into madrigals…


And all they say is now in the air,

like sails unfurled, balloons, and wings:

the seeds upright and attentive,

like summoned trumpets


The water gathers around me:

       Time to kneel now and bow my head

The seagulls gather above me:

       I bare my chest, my sunburnt loins


The words which follow are my escorts…





Hurry, they say –

the afternoon is all a-clamour


& young men and women are scattering everywhere

like discarded leaves


offals on a crossroads abandoned…


The locusts are here

but there is only discord among the afflicted


The carrions are here

they bare their teeth on the silos of our soil

on the baskets of our riches, our pots of oil…


The locusts are landed:

continuous division among the victims

is what the conqueror needs


parasites in stiff khakhi cloth or flowing gown

they eat our harvests and our virgins…



I stand by myself in the fable

(for one can be lonely

even in a dream) –

the afternoon is like a scream on my shoulders.


Motherland, release me…




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Sentinel Poetry (Online) #46

The International Journal of Poetry & Graphics...since 2002                  

ISSN 1479-425X

Editor: Amatoritsero Ede

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