Bayo Akinnola

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Bayo Akinnola
Thursday 2 May 2019

Things that I miss (Poem in four parts)

I miss the blossomed tulip flower of countryside,
And the meadows of the vast green plains.
Watching morning turns to noon
And noon turns to night
Season upon season changing baton-

Summer comes in January and
The rain starts in April till late September,
By October we start smelling the harmmatan
Putting fire to the bush, watching with excitement
As the rodents scampered for dear lives.

Oh! How i miss the songs at Christmas,
And the tales of white bearded man from Rome,
Sitting on the front pew
Those hymns coming from St. John's (the only church in our little village) in the evening
And that of neighbouring town
Bellowing through the hallowed mountains.

I miss friends whom we climb the guava trees together,
I miss Jack
I miss Jill
I miss other folks we grew and dreamt,
Some I loss because they went to the city,
Some lost me because I too went away
fate separates us; as we went our different ways
Fending for ourselves.

I miss the smoke coming from the firewood
The aroma coming from momma 's soup.
Watching next door neighbour grinding pepper on the stone
Hands coming and going
Her back swaying to and fro
Like the pendulum of an old clock,
Ho! How I miss when I was a boy.


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Bayo Akinnola
Thursday 4 April 2019

Ibara in the sun

The thin lines of blushes around her velvety face makes a goddess out of her,
Layers upon layers of brown corrugsted roof 
Just like head gears to an Owanbe party
Bridge at the junction looking down Omida
Like pancakes in a hot oven
Hawkers in various ware, walking down the street.
The rain of her beauty drenched my shadow;

Stars and galaxies came down on the little town
Mood melt, and the day became slippery 
And I fell in love.
I fell in love with the cacophonous market,
Scent of green leaves mixed with red chillies,
And some fish in the tray- dancing.

I said to the passing bird;
Come! Come perch on my sleek shoulder  
Take this letter to my sweetheart,
Tell her I've fell in love with a nodal town
Sing her blues, some purple rain,
And some balads in metaphor. 

A damsel in the fluorescent sun
Her flower blossomed by the warmness of the heated air,
And she danced to the sounds of the striped green taxis going to and fro
Some toward Lafenwa,
Some to a sea of heads at Sapon
And some toward a destination where Lisabi kisses the ground..


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Bayo Akinnola
Monday 4 March 2019

Letter To My Son

Tomorrow when you see me no more
And you’re left to man your world alone,
When pecks and hugs and all the warmth of my skin
Had grown wings;
Don’t fret my son,
That’s how it should be.

And peradventure 
During the course of your sojourning,
You found love,
Choose carefully,
For all bright and beautiful ain’t exact way they look
Our world is a mirage.

Smile my boy!
So you’ll live long
Wave and greet the man that crosses your path,
For whom you met on your way up,
May hold the ladder for you to descend,
That’s how it should be.

You’ll meet wolves, in sheep skin,
Human of varying shapes,
Wonder, ponder and beat your emotion tenderly
For that’s just the way we are,
That’s the cruel world we live.

See son, don’t be wary during adversities,
For the earth is a pendulum,
To and fro it goes,
It waddles and toddles.
All you’ve got is believe in yourself
That’s how it should be.

I’m leaving you some gift to give to your own son,
Just like my father sent me to you,
I’m giving you some books,
Read and pass on to your generation.
Go! Be an eagle
Go! Be a man!
For that’s just how it should be.


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Bayo Akinnola
Tuesday 5 February 2019

Eve of my daughter's wedding

Tomorrow you'll drop my name
And bear that of your husband's lineage.
When you become a wife,
Just like I did your mother
Once upon a long time.

I'll tell tears to wait,
Wait till i get home to miss your absence,
I'll be a man; as I wave you bye
Place you on your man's hand
Watching him giggling and chuckling
A happy hunter with a sumptuous game on his lap.

But before that tomorrow comes
Before this sun goes to the west to rest;
Awero be my girl;
Let me peck you for the last time,
Let my shaky palms caress your face,
Down to your shoulder where I rest my arm.

My daughter; 
Where you're going is not a world of your raised and nurtured,
So let me take you round the haven of our modest home
For tomorrow you'll ceased being a seed in the nursery; 
Cultures will meet, clash on the labyrinth of life.

Go not with just the beauty upon your brows,
Go with virtues your mother and I place on you.
Go! My lingering fragrance that won't disperse,
Go! My recurrent decimal that won't round off,
Go! Bear fruits;
Just like a tree rooted by the river side.
Be green and full of life,
Just like the lily of the valley.

The road is going to be crooked my love
So, don't fret; when you meet some pebbles and stumbles, 
Some curves and corners,
This thing we call marriage,
Is a journey not in a vertical line.



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Bayo Akinnola
Thursday 3 January 2019

Rainbow: An African Girl

How much is your price
More than rubies or silver
Or the sand of the long long seashore? 
Tell it to the trees to tell the the hills
Tell it to the translucent waters of the warm springs
Tell the birds of the blue sky to add to their annual songs;

How much can you worth
Oh you daughter of eve
More than the gold under the earth crust 
Or diamonds in the belly of the vast ocean,
How much can a son of man pay
To have your sun rises and sets on his arm,
To have your loins hung on the roomlet's wall.

Tell me your bride price,
And see me work to season's ends,
Tell me in gems and jewellery and see me
Break the rocks with the palm of my hand;
Pluck the stars and give to the moon for dinner,
Bake you bread with the fire from my mouth.

Your lips are beautiful flower,
Your eyes nothing can compare,
Your skin, like the peels of wild banana fruit,
Your hair, like the seed of newly blossomed Ishin tree. 
And when you walk; your back swings like a Jakaranda tree in the wind.

You're a tree with leaves green
Ready to bear fruits by the next rain, 
You're a song I've been learning to sing,
You're a rainbow with seven colours.
Tell me your bride priceIs it more than thirty one cows
Or how many goats shall I bring?
Name me your price in paper
And I'll pay in thousand Pounds.


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Bayo Akinnola
Saturday 1 December 2018

Nostalgia

It rained yesterday,
My shadow drenched,
Stars blurred
Galaxies went shy
My mood cold, the night became slippery 
And I fell in love.

I said to the passing birds;
Come perch on this melting heart of mine
Take this letter to my lover, 
Sing her blues
From the rising of the sun.

It rained yesterday  
on my way to the field 
To see some blossomed flowers
To perceived the scents of the fields 
And bring some memory home
Of those days of yore.

What song would a poet sing
For love and the cold rain?
And I said to my emotion:
give me sunshine, give me some warmth
Give me direction around the slippery terrain.


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Bayo Akinnola
Saturday 1 December 2018

Silence

Whilst feeling blue and under the weather,
You're the loudest ruthless noise.
In the time of overwhelming emotions.
You're the mbience and tranquillity. 

Wet my grass and make it greener,
Shines my shoes and keep me walking
Gold within my reach and some diamond under my sole.
When my mouth is eager to speak.

Rope over my buccal cord
Speaks only to myself
Only to my inner-self
In time of emotional outburst. 

A soldier,
Fighting in the time of battle,
Hands over my shoulder
Saying: son let's go home
For we've won the war 
The coast is clear and the voyage can be made.

Speaking in the time of anger
And when anxiety took the best of me
Thanks a lot; silence
The best of all answers.


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Bayo Akinnola
Thursday 1 November 2018

I, Too

I, too want to travel out
Sitting under the chandeliers
And taking saultry pictures 
In front of the fountain. 
Updating my social media wall
With pictures of me and the whites
Sitting side by side in a pub.

Or standing atop the snows 
With jackets from Saint Michaels 
And shirt from downtown stores
My hands in the pockets
In a gesture of a fulfilled man.
Of a free bird from his cage.

I, too want to travel out,
Calling home on a foreign lines
With accent just borrowed
Trying to impress my folks
With strange and flowery words.
With tales of my beautiful world;
Of Winter,  Autumn, Fall and Summer. 

Sending goodies home
Those I pick from the paved streets
Maybe someone will see my pictures 
And tell them in the village I'm now a hero
And my ex-girlfriend sharing the gossip with her mates 
On their way to the market.

I want my name on the lips of neighbours,
That the son of an ordinary carpenter 
Has jetted far away out
To a land not across the bridge
Or a city behind the long hills
But a land where one has to fly in the sky
And descend like migrating birds.

I want to travel out,
Don't mind whose ox is gored;
Father's bike in a bargain 
Mother's garments raise at a bazaar
To fund my voyage to a dreamland
Even those plots that belong to my ancestors-
Will go for all I care.

I too want too travel out,
To a land where grass is green and lush,
America won't be bad,
Australia on my mind,
Canada and England are my dream 
Of endless list of lush paved garden.



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Bayo Akinnola
Tuesday 2 October 2018

Butterfly

What song can a butterfly sing for us again?
We've heard songs of birds,
The croaks of crickets,
We've listened to the unuendoes of the passing breeze,
We've heard rumbles wake us up in the morn'
Sounds of trumpet along the route of our intestines 
Hunger of last night and the blinking of the iris 
So; what song has ears not heard?

Which happenstance have we not court?
We've seen jubilee and mourning;
In the four corners
Sometimes they form a triangle 
With us entangled within their lilac lines
We've witnessed our world intertwined, 
Just like climbers on a twig-tree.

We've dreamt and hope
We've read from the pages of life, paint pictures of the comings:
Rain, sunlight, winds and humidity 
And the accessories we crave for;
On this side of the planet earth. 

Tell me what have we not lost?
Gems; rubbies; name it 
And all those mix of circumstances  
So; may we ask for your permission
To wake us up 
When dreams come true?

What prayer haven't we offered? 
We've placed libation on the labyrinth;
We've prayed for meat on the table,
With cups full of rum and soda
Looking through the window
Seeing Naija sun rising;
Again,
And we sing to the butterfly in our tummies.



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Bayo Akinnola
Saturday 1 September 2018

Ire

If you're coming home tonight
Come along with that lamp,
The one that has a rusty metal around its wick
For our ways are crooked,
dark and full of dragging thorns.

Don't let the mimicking of the nocturnal birds deter you,
Grab your light with poise and gait 
That lamp; the one its oil don't go quick,
Come with matches, a dry stick
Inside the jute bag on the room's wall.

If you're not coming today, 
Then remember us in your prayer;
That the greed of man should not kill the land
That the pendulum swinging to and fro
Should not land with big bang
And the fowls and goats bring more yields.

And if it's tomorrow you'll come,
Please start your journey now,
Please bring good tidings;
Like roses on the bloom,
Like fruits and looms in the basket
Seeing pink feathered birds accompanying the sweet smell
Of bountiful harvest home.

If it's going to be a decade tell us,
But set out early enough,
The suckling babies will wean
You'll have them singing their lullabies 
Our little girls 'll ripe and turn mothers;
You'll have the sounds of their mortals and pestles calling you for dinner. 

The weeds of the pathways 'll turn to trees
The skins of the olds 'll turn maroon  they'll metamorphose and go to meet our ancestors 
If your arrival will tarry; start now;
Walk if you can't run;
Crawl if you can't walk,
Just move, don't keep us waiting.



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Bayo Akinnola
Sunday 12 August 2018

My Scars

Insignia upon the layers of my skin.
Come brother; let me show you:
Memories of my past
Stings endured, bites, fangs and tan from the other side of a yellow sun.
So, when you see me again crossing your path.
See a man who had been through the fire,
A constant traveller.

Come dear let's discuss
About the pigments on my body
A mirror I see on my days:
Time; to breathe, to think, to joy
And to love
A succour; a friend; a secret and
Reminder of hopes and dreams.

Who told you man hasn't cried  
Have you been to the moon and back 
only to go and pick some specks on the eyes of the milky ways?
Have you ever died, so you can live?
Have you ever llived; so you can die again? 
Come peep my scars and find the meaning of tears.

These scars are mine,
They belong to the past I had lived,
The torment I had left 
With some hope of better days ahead:
Tides on the ocean of life
And some fishes in my net.

Where my scars came?
Maybe from the falling glass on my skin
Maybe from every road I might have taken
Maybe from the moon
Or the rising of the sun
But all I know is my scars are mine forever.


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Bayo Akinnola
Wednesday 1 August 2018

Song for things

Beneath these heels you see;
the fine shoes upon my feet 
And sweet fragrance of my talcum
Are pains and tears of my daily hustle 
Hoping from Marwa to okada to bake my daily bread.


Beneath this glowing skin are wrinkled fleshs 
like the back of an old distant tree
I'm a Nigerian youth with sweats amidst my blood
With tears under my smiles
With obligations to make before the sun retires to the west;
Streetwise and always at alert.


Don't mind my laughter, I too cry sometimes,
Just that the tears upon my cheeks
Have been overshadowed by the hope unending.
Don't let my suits and ties deceive you;
They are just my instruments of daily hustle.

I'm a youth,
And not too young to rule
I mean rule my world with the simplest things of life;

Show me who doesn't like good things
Forget about the big things for now
Let's talk about the small things
I want linen to cover my skin
Fish praying on the heap of rice upon my plate
And a roof just to cover my heads.

Me walking on four legs,
Stretched limo aside, a phantom or Rolls 
Just a bit of comfort for a living thing like me.

I've got no connection to wire my life with those at the top
So enough of this poem
I need to hop and hustle more
Lest I'm tagged a criminal.
The price I've got to pay in a country
Where Moons and Stars are between dreams.


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