Poetry

WHAT SHALL WE EAT?

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.

Poetry

IF TEARS COULD ONLY SPEAK

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.

#helpagirlchild

Poetry

BEFORE THE CATHEDRALS

Before the cathedrals,
We knew good and evil.
Before the cathedrals,
We knew the way to our GOD.
Before the cathedrals,
We knew.
What happened to us,
Sons and daughters of the soil?
Why did we call our sacred land evil?
Why did we call our cultural values primitive?
Why did we look down on ourselves?

We’ve allowed people kill our essence.
How do we then enjoy the fruits of our land?

Before the cathedrals,
Our oaks knew.

©TurksonQuills

Poetry

THE SUICIDE NOTE

I stopped writing the moment you left.
You were my inspiration for every single word I thought of.
I loved the desire of your eyes when they looked at me.

Many a time, I felt your hug was the safest haven (tears flow from eyes).
Since you left,
I’ve swum in reverie thinking we were a thing,
Thinking we were a bliss,
Thinking we were better than hatred’s abyss,
But I dreamt of a fallacy—we were just a fling.

Days birthed—crawled—walked into the lair of years,
And years gave up the salt for new dawns.
Love, I still held you close to my heart.
If there was something I did,
You should’ve told me,
But you chose to walk the aisle of the dumb.

Why, why did you leave?

My love began and ended with you.
Death is whispering its silent, ebullient, melodies in my ears

Pen drops in pain—moves to the noose.

‘the silent estate welcomes a new soul’

©TurksonQuills

Poetry

LOST IN BETWEEN DAWNS

…I thought ’tis one of the odd days of love
Where the curls of your hair will walk away from me,
And still, respond with a wink.
Where dashing for the doorknob
Was just a way you expressed anger and disgust—
It wasn’t.

At least, it could’ve been voiced—this breakup,
Or probably said over lunch,
But it came with a beep—
A text laced with thorny swords—
A text as deadly as a serpent’s venom—
A text, midget-like, but full of pain.
It whispered it’s over,
For another sits on the heart’s throne.

At that moment…

I’m still lost in between dawns

©TurksonQuills, 2021.

Poetry

WAILING QUILL

Have you ever seen words

That pierce the heart like arrows,

Or a nest inhabiting not birds,

But a crowd of bedfellows?

Maybe, just maybe a yes.

I met her on the sunshine of March.

Perhaps shining, but she was an angel of mess.

She seemed a perfect match

With glows of the august colours of petals.

Her aura defined betrayal’s serenity,

For her beauty portrayed meaning of lethal

Outlining its sin to love’s eternity.

She made my heart bleed

the inks of a wailing quill

© TurksonQuills

#SAFE