Meat and fish, gizzard and croaker,
All rolled into one steaming hot and large bowl
of hunger as harsh as the sun in Sokoto,
And lack that grips us as firmly as a vice
as we sing in fuzzy voices: what shall we eat?

Rice and beans, egusi and fufu,
We hope for some but are fed full
of empty promises and malnourished dreams;
We ask only that we be allowed a chance to live,
But for that to happen: what shall we eat?

Bread and tea, yam and oil,
The stomach wants what it wants,
But breadwinners have won nothing
for the past eleven months and counting.
How we do we survive? What shall we eat?

Indomie and egg, macaroni and cheese,
The prices of foodstuff are higher than Everest.
Not that it helps but the biting reality of our crippled
economy has forced us to slim-fit our stomachs.
Yet the question still persists: what shall we eat?
Salad and baked beans, pizza and chicken sauce,
These are just fancy dreams, top-shelf ambitions.
It is not good to give the children’s food to the dogs,
But what happens when even the children have no food?
Again we ask: what shall we eat?

Garri and groundnut, plantain and pepper stew,
The cries of their fat belies in utter delight,
Suffused with all manner of delicacies while we roll
from one end of our mats to the other assailed by pangs of hunger.
To these ones we ask: what shall we eat?

Eat to live or live to eat,
It hardly makes a difference at this point, as we cringe at
the belching of our bellies filled with hot air,
And the sinking of our spirits in utter despair.
We keep asking with no answer in view: what shall we eat?

It is beyond reprehensible that the supposed
government of the people, by the people, for the people,
has succeeded so spectacularly in failing us again and again.
They enjoy three square meals a day; we can’t even get a square meal in three days.
In our own father’s land: what shall we eat?

© Pendulum.



I dug till I met the crust of your smile
And realized it wasn’t mine.
You should have told me
‘Cos I’ve fallen so much that
I can’t find my way home.
Hey, you should have told me.

“I wish I could show you the way out,
But I love you so much that
My heart’s jungle wants you lost in it.
Yes, the love you saw behind my smile wasn’t yours.
I can’t hide that truth.
I’ve been lingering around
Believing he will return as promised,
But he sent a matrimonial missive a year ago.
I didn’t know how to recover
Until you irrigated my tattered soil
With the rains of your love.
I’m forever yours.”

That’s all I want to hear.




I lived the moment I died.
I journeyed the moment I slept.
I knew places my legs touched not.
I drank the dew of the moons,
I got lost in the open,
And I fed from tables’ remnants

I used to be revered by million smiles
To be held by pristine solace
To be called honey.
I used to be…
Nothing more than this but I had parents.

They pledged to themselves seven lifetimes together,
They pledged to themselves the golds of nirvana,
They pledged to themselves forever and a day,
But now, where are they?
Unpledged, you guessed right. Such is life, uh yh.

I was parcelled like a pearl to a swine
When I was ten (I’m a girl).

I dreamt of savoury appetencies,
I dreamt of London bridge,
I dreamt of fantasy’s reality
While I dined with the rays of the sun.
I dreamt of…Uhm… let’s just end here.

I died the moment I was born;
I lived the moment I died,

But life itself is an antinomy
Of what is unknown.

I wish to celebrate my dad.
Sorry, cancel that line.
I wish to celebrate my mum.
Sorry, cancel that line as well.

How can I celebrate them
When I have a fatherless child? (from a rape).
It seems my destiny is intertwined with theirs.
Should I leave my girl to follow suit?

If tears could only speak…
Advise me ‘cos the pain I’m going through…

©TurksonQuills, 2021.