Strength of My Loins

Strength of my loins
I remember when you were first placed in my arms
I couldn’t get enough of you
I could never get tired of staring at you
The perfumed smell of your talcum powder
The oil liberally spread on your most shiny cape of hair
I admired your beautiful pink toes. All ten of them
I oohed and ahhhed over your exquisitely formed pink fingers
The nails so tiny and pink
I kissed the soles of your feet ,over and over again
I held you to my heart
And our hearts beat, as one
In the sweet unison
Of mother and child
I was amazed that you had found your way, into my life
I was awed, that you chose to grace my house hold, with your sweet presence
The love I felt, the love, I still feel
Cannot adequately be expressed in words
There are no words to convey the depth of the love, I have, I feel for you
My heart beats for you, little one
I try to peep at the future. I know one day
I’ll have to let you go
I shudder to think.I cannot bear it
My mind comes back to the present
The bundle sucking so tenderly at my breasts
The nipples you hold.. Between your
Oh so beautifully sculptured pink lips
And your tenacity at ensuring all the milk you can possibly drink, comes out!
I adjust you slightly when you’re done suckling
To ensure you burp
You eyes look into mine,sated
Sure and secure in the love, I radiate
I love you, so much it hurts, little one
I love you so much, I catch my breath, sharply, when your eyes meet mine
I love you, my baby
Strength of my loins
Together, no challenge is insurmountable
No mountain too high, to climb
Your eyes close slowly, after your meal
I rock you. Cooing softly
All too soon, your eyes close in sleep
Your total shutdown, in lalaland

Pan to fire

From the Frying Pan To Fire
If ever there was a migration from frying pan to fire, I typify it
I embody it
I had no choice, in the matter
I had no say
I was born into a family of a father and three wives
My mother was the second wife
Each wife tried to out do herself in the procreation aspect
Twas as if the more the children they had, the greater their say in the household
Stupid reasoning, if you ask me
Because the increasing number of kids
Only added to the poverty we had come to know, all our lives
A poverty, we had come to see as the norm
We were as poor as church rats
We were poorer
So dirt poor
That we all co habited in one tiny room
In a face me, I face you apartment
There ,we were all born
The wives would take it in turns to sleep beside my father on the line, creaking iron bed
It would creak so badly especially when Baami and any of the wives were on it
Especially when they were engaged in the ‘gymnastics’ parents engage in, in the middle of the night!
You’d be surprised I call it ‘gymnastics’
Yes, what else can one describe it?
The activity made no sense to me
I would watch with my siblings, silently, because we were all supposed to be asleep
And blissfully unaware of the ‘ gymnastics’
To me it looked like painful activity
Baami would lie grunting untop of any of the Maamis’
My Maami, inclusive
I would wonder at the sheer weight of Baami lying and breathing on anyone
Like a whale about to devour its prey!
Because, for some strange reason, regardless of the abject poverty that defined our lives
Baami was big,and was he big!
He was a well over six feet human mountain, with a pot belly the size of a six month old pregnant woman
I had often wondered how he got so big whilst the rest of us were so very scrawny
We ate only once a day, when some kind of food could be scrapped together for us at night
During the day, if we had Garri, we drank that, else, we stayed hungry
During the day, I tried to imagine the kind of torture the Maamis’ experienced having the immense weight of Baami stretched over them
My elder brother said that was the way we were conceived and subsequently, born
I doubted this
What was the mathematics to the rhythm of Baami’s movement on each of the Maamis?
What was the science behind it?
Obviously there was no pleasure to be gained!
What a painful way to be conceived!
At night, we would all stretch out by the side so as to be able to sleep on the tattered mats strewn on the floor
We were fifteen kids and the room was exceedingly small
We would be packed and arranged like sardines in the can
Of course, breathing on each other was the norm
Some shuffling and adjustment howbeit futile would be done.
Nudgings and whispers of ‘ can’t you be still, you’re hurting me!’ were not infrequent, because of the innate discomfort.
The intense heat was another matter, back to back against each other, almost like roasting bacon
There was no money to pay the electricity bill and so more often than not, we stayed in darkness inclusive of plenty of bodily heat.
We couldn’t sleep in any other position asides on our side, because of the paucity of space
There was no question of sleeping on one’s back or front….no space for such luxury
Baami was a gardener of sorts
I prefer to use gardener as it sounds so very grand
His own kind of ‘gardening’ was to weed people’s houses for a fee
I always could recognise when he was paid
He would come home roaring drunk!
So drunk, he would pee on himself
Once he even defeacated on himself and vomited
The Maamis scampered, falling over themselves to clean him up!
I looked on, with carefully concealed scorn!
The left over change , better yet , the pittance left over, after Baami’s drunken binge, was what we had to live on.
I was a girl of fifteen
I had just the cloth on my back and an Ankara gown for the Jumat service in the mosque on Fridays
I was small for my age
But I had lofty dreams
Dreams of seeing myself rich and educated
Living in an enormous house
Having servants
Boxes full of the finest clothing
I dreamt of becoming a graduate, even though I could only attend the primary school after which Maami, in her wisdom, enrolled me to learn hair dressing
And that was where the migration from frying pan to fire started
I was often hungry, but surprisingly I had a full figure at the age of eighteen
But the older I got, the hungrier it appeared I became
I had no capital to start up a business
But I still dreamt of having a good life
Until, abruptly ,my dreams ended
I got pregnant!
Till this moment, I cannot explain to myself, the rationality of this pregnancy
I was drugged, yes, but couldn’t there have been another way around it
A good ending to my story?
Apparently, not
He used to hang around our shop
The man
He told me he loved me
Said, the man
Love held no attraction for me
Wasn’t it how my Maami ended up, barefoot and pregnant in my Baami’s house?
I had always thought love was over rated, anyways
He would come, regular as a clock work
Talking about his love
They said he was an Omo Onile, what can best be described as one of the sons of the soil of the village
Always engaged in selling land, here and there
He mostly smelt of local gin
After a while, his smell, nay stench, didn’t matter, wasn’t quite so offensive anymore
As he had started to give me money
Money to eat!
I was elated!
Happily I could order for bread and ewa goyin from the hawker
I was eating three times a day
It wasn’t that the money was much , but at least I could feed well
Hunger, my constant friend became an unknown phenomenom
Well, until I woke up one morning, on his bed, raped and bruised
I tried to recollect groggily, ‘how the Hell, did I get here?’
In bits, my memory came back
I remember his insistence on me coming to pay him a visit
I was reluctant to
But he insisted and I , very stupidly agreed.
I even agreed to take the bottle of Fanta he offered me, in my mind, a harmless drink, seeing as it appeared unopened
That was all I could remember
How I left his house, in bruises, my hymen crudely and callously torn apart, I cannot explain
How I left his house my womanity, degraded
My self worth in shambles
That was just the beginning of my long epistle of sorrow
The beginning of my heart ache
I could not find the words to say to him
All I know, all i felt was that I had lost something precious, something inordinately intrinsic to my dignity in the hands of a man, another beast
Pregnancy was the grand finale in this, badly orchestrated story of my life
He, the man came to claim full responsibility, whatever that means.
I think the “ full” is always over rated
I became wife, to the man
I entered his house only to discover he had three other wives stashed away
I also discovered very bitterly, that the money for meals was just a façade
I had married, a poverty stricken, focussless man!
Another, Baami!
Is this not from frying pan to fire?
The only time he had money was when he sold land and promptly drunk himself to stupor. He would lure another unsuspecting girl, into his lair, with his monetary gifts.
She becomes pregnant and then, automatically becomes Iyawo
I cried bitter tears, I cried till I thought my heart would break
I suffered in pregnancy
He had no money to take care of me
My Maami said I had let her down
My Baami said I was a slut
Is it that nobody understands what it means to be gullible?
No one understands the meaning of being drugged?
What part of ‘ I was drugged and subsequently raped’ is difficult to comprehend?
I was laid off from my place of apprenticeship, apparently pregnancy was a misnomer, an embarassment to my Madam.
I was as thin as a rake, as there was no money for ante natals
I gave birth to my son in the one room apartment,my hubby owned, assisted by a local midwife
The sight of my son in my arms, gives me no comfort
What life have I to offer him?
What prospects has he?
This is my Hell, my living breathing Hell
My frying pan to Fire

Off the rat race

Off the Rat Race

It is silent
It is always silent, now
It is quiet
It is always quiet, now
It is still
It is always still, now
I can hear a pin drop
I can hear a faint sigh
No ariya( merry making) to be had
No movement of any kind
A total cessation of the rat race
That had characterised our former existence
In short, it was our very existence
We lived for it
We longed for it
We yearned for it
Now, we are on lock down
We’re on a leash!
Bound after a manner!
A kinda house arrest!
We can only hope we’ll be let off the leash soon
To pick up where we left off
In the rat race


Whirl and whirl it goes
The clock keeps ticking
My heart keeps beating.
Whirl and whirl it goes
I wish I could hold it
I wish I could stop it
Whirl and whirl it goes
My head keeps thinking
My eyelids keep blinking
Whirl and whirl it goes
I wish I could hold it
I wish I could stop it
Whirl and whirl it goes
I keep strategizing
I keep deliberating
Whirl and whirl it goes
I wish I could hold it
I wish I could stop it
Life keeps happening
Life keeps moving
I wish I could hold it
I wish I could stop it
Whirl and whirl..and whirl and whirl it goes!

Covid 19

Covid 19!
We hail the!
You thought us remote working
You thought us to stare at ourselves from a distance
You thought us to use nose masks
You thought us to use sanitizers
You thought us to shop on line
You thought us to avoid any form of touch
You thought us that hugs and kisses are not indispensable
You thought us to look inwards and not outwards
You thought us self sufficiency
Covid 19, we hail thee!

The Pains

The pains start at anytime
Sometimes it wakes me up at night
At times it sneaks up at me at day
It comes and makes me breathless
Leaves me groaning
Leaves me unsettled
Leaves me hapless
Leave me devoid of strength
Leaves me cheerless
Leaves me, misreable
I have sickle cell anaemia
Not a death sentence
But a pain sentence

If Only

If only i could just walk away
If only i could just turn back the hands of time
If only i could freeze happy moments
Make them last forget forever
If only i could delete bad memories
If only i could with draw mean words spoken
If only i could erase the past
If only i could recreate the present
Map out the future
If only i had the power to leave all my challenges behind
If only i could change, me

I need your love

I need your love
I need your understanding
I am tree
I live in the forest
I live around your house
I provide you with shelter
I serve as wind brakes
I provide you with oxygen
From my green leaves
I leave you refreshed
All day long
I act as your shade
When the sun is at its zenith
I remain faithful
Never complaining
Always taking the brunt of weather changes on my broad branches
I do not complain when you cut off my branches
I bear the pain
When you rip off my leaves
I murmur not a word
This is because i love you
You despise me, i know
And yet i remain faithfully loving you
You seek to bring me to my knees
By cutting me down
What is my offence?
What is my sin?
I do you only good
You repay me with planned destruction
I need your love
Please love me back
Albeit, a little
Do not kill me
Do not take away my pride
I beseech you
I need your love

I Wish

I wish I could hold you to my heart

I wish I could kiss you

I wish I could whisper ‘ I love you’

I wish I could hold you, never let you go

I wish I could clasp your heart to mine

I wish I could snatch you from the cold hands of death

I held your cold body in my arms

And knew I had loved but lost

I wish I could see your impudent grin again

I wish I could feel your arms around me ,again

I wish I could hear your voice asking for more cookies

You the strength of my loins

You whom I felt was my salvation

I wish you could give me one more smile

I wish you could give me one of your adoring looks

I wish you could say good bye

I wish I can find closure

I wish I can find out, why you, why us.

I wish.