ISSN 1479-425X

Magazine Monthly

Issue #20  - July 2004

Kole Ade-Odutola


I Gave Everything

(For James Bola Ige, 1930-2001) 


Ori-Ade could not make

it to the final resting spot

But the tongue of good report,

as Brother Ekisola would comfort,

spoke the scenario to life

and lifted the burden of distance

that stood in the way.

So Bola Ige is dead?

gone? and buried?

Yet Ori-Ade remains in exile

Transfixed outside home of many wonders 

As a fast-paced depressing drama unfolds,

Liars dressed in rags of reality and holes of legality

Poke fun at a bruised people

But the cockerel of death visits and brings back

Melodies of the toothy gap and sonorous voice:


"I Gave Everything

I gave everything

to the cause I believed

to the country that believed in me

to countless of believers in

justice and fair-play. 

I gave everything

as Minister of Power

that won't steal

promising steady supply

to a nation in constant supplication

for light 

I gave everything

at the turn-coat generals

that ruined the future

rubbished the present

and keep desecrating the past.

I gave everything

at thorny moments in Supreme Chambers of Justice 

I gave everything

as a piece in a national puzzle

waiting to be solved,

wanting to dissolve like rubble

in the jaws of steel,

wondering if we are still the nation

of our heroes' dreams 

I gave everything

the night they came

the night the bullets rained

the night the security failed

and ASS-a-SINs passed unhindered

into the inner chambers

that does 'Justice' and Ministers to weary souls 

I gave everything

in hope that warriors will be tired

and return to the shrine of peace” 


I gave everything continues