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Of Souls and Shadows

I’m sitting here

In the middle of this debris

Of blood and jagged muscles

Pulsing the beat of the drunk man’s trudge

The demons race

Debating pain and hurt

Whispering dreams and hopes

Madness tethers on this unspeaking frenzy

 

Your eyes tell that story

Of empty bottles and drowned soul

Mine speak primitive tongues

Of broken groans and rising throes

Don’t say tomorrow

That pregnant dream reminiscent of nightmares

No. Don’t shed light

It casts shadows too

 

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The Books and I

27/07/2016

18:45hrs

Phone: *Beep beep*

Dupe: *musing*

“message at this hour of the day tho”

*picks phone lazily, reads new text*

“Aaah… salary y’av come. I’ll finally be able to do that money spending analysis thing. Let’s even know how we really spend our money by the end of the month. Good Mister Finance Officer ”

28/07/2016

17:30hrs

*Dupe starts mail correspondences *

17:45hrs

*browsing books after following Goodreads e-mail link*

Dupe: *whispering to self; trans-like*

“Daaamn. Boooooks”

*drools*

18:30hrs

Laptop: *Beep*

On-screen tab: “you do not have sufficient funds to complete this transaction”

Dupe: *Jaw drops. Lone tear rolls down cheek. Blinks unbelieving at teller response*

“Salary y’av finish? God! Hunger. Hunger is coming.”

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Humans of Abeokuta: Episode 1

Abeokuta literally means “under rock”; a referent to the refuge people found under its many rocks in 1825 while escaping slave hunters from Dahomey and Ibadan. That was 191 years ago, but the rocks remain in their majestic beauty; wowing visitors, and lending a picturesque quality to the scenery of the town in almost every direction. I suspect too, that some inhabitants of Abeokuta didn’t leave their refuge under the rocks those many years ago. Matter of fact, I suspect some of them -through perhaps an overdose of the many juju/jazz/ogun/magicks that were used at the time- were placed in some state that maintained their youth while putting them to sleep. It seems those people are only now waking; ignorant of the passage of time and ancient norms. Only that, you see, explains what I saw last week.

It was 10:34 a.m and two meetings after breakfast. I was running low on ‘human’, and in desperate need of some beany love-in-a-mug (that’s code for coffee, by the way). I trudged my way to the office kitchenette, and was washing teaspoon and mug when the shrubbery in the house opposite the street moved rather sensibly. It wasn’t the effortless bow or wave of wind-caused movement, but some haphazard shift that could only result from human or animal manipulation. My hands stopped mid-air, raising my mug for draining, and I tipped my glasses up my nose with my left hand; my concentration fully on the ‘moving bush’.

Tick.. tick.. tick

I could hear the hands on my wristwatch pace, feel the soft breeze kiss my cheeks, see…

“Hunh”?!

A naked arm rose from between the shrub, holding a blue bowl. The hand turned the bowl, and water poured down the middle of the shrubs. 

I could smell dust; lots of it. I realised then that I had unconsciously moved forward, perhaps in the bid to see clearer, and my nose was now pressed against the window. I stepped back, even as I sneezed, then moved as close as I could without breathing in dust.

“What the…?!”

A head with a mop of undone hair emerged, then shoulders, swinging breasts, curved waist, flared hips, a miniature bush of hair at the juncture of athletic thighs…

My jaw slackened, my mouth hung open, and I couldn’t find the will to lock it back. A woman was in the shrubbery behind a house, sponging her body! And this, right in the middle of town, not some outskirt. I don’t know how many minutes I stayed there; mouth agape. I was jolted back to reality when she bent, head forward, and rose again, swinging a wrapper around her wet body. An iron bucket rose in her hand from somewhere in the shrubbery; and she was gone, through a door, beyond my vision.

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I sat on the nearest chair then, wondering what I had just seen. And if maybe she had seen me… If she would be coming for me in my dreams one night. Because, who showers in a mere back-of-house shrubbery in this age? And at almost 11a.m, when the world is up and about? And in the middle of a busy area where storey buildings abound?

Who knows these things???

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Humans of Abeokuta: Introduction

As usually happens, strangers and visitors note nuances easier than natives. Also, the farther the personal culture of the stranger/visitor from the new land, the easier it is for them to note socio-cultural nuances. The simplest reason for this can be explained in terms of the Biblical log and speck of wood analogy. Simply put: if you live with something (the log, in this case) you get used to it; and either never note it, or  note it but label it as ‘norm’. When faced with something new (the speck, in this case) however, it registers in your subconscious; at the very least. That would be why visitors say things about where you live that you had either never noticed, or taken for granted. It’s also why you imagine your mother’s soup the sweetest until you travel. Experiencing new things widens horizons and perspectives; the consequence of encountering new experiences.

I moved to Abeokuta some weeks back, a state capital that is a picturesque town. Exploring the town, I am often the lone person smiling to herself, trying hard not to smile, or getting so frustrated she’s chewing on her lips. So I had this brilliant idea: to show you the Abeokuta I see, tell you of its peoples. Let’s explore Abeokuta together, through the city girl’s eyes for as long as I can manage. Noting and enjoying the nuances of this town and its peoples.

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An aerial view of Abeokuta; found on Google

 Aye, all of these long ‘Englishes’ are to introduce a new series on dupewrites: Humans of Abeokuta. Thank you for coming on this journey with me. Perhaps you would show me and the reading world your town/city too someday; aye? 

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Thirsty Thursday

Voice in my head: “I want coffee”

*I lift mug to nose. Deeply inhale seductive aroma of coffee which I’ve been sipping*

Me: “I’m already giving you coffee. You’ll know in a couple of minutes”

Voice in my head: “More coffee”

Me: “Yes”

*I sip more coffee, stretch left hand backwards to switch on the coffee maker for another mug. Staring at the impression of red lips edging coffee mug, I think:

“#Addiction must be wanting something; even while having it”*

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Love you. But…

I love you

Really love you. But

I’m done

I can’t do this. Anymore

You don’t hear them

The words

You don’t see them

The tears clogging my throat

I love you

Really love you. But

I’m done

I can’t do this. Anymore

I repeat the words

I need you to hear

The hurt is deep

A knife twisting in my heart

I love you

Really love you. But

I’m done

I can’t do this. Anymore

My eyes lock on yours

Pleading you see the tears

“I will hurt you”. Words. Yours

“You already have”. Words. Mine

I love you

Really love you. But

I’m done

I can’t do this. Anymore

These words

Screams in my head

Not granted passage

Past my unmoving lips

I. Love. You

Really. Love. You. But

I’m. Done

I. Can’t. Do. This. Anymore

You never hear them

The words

You never see them

The tears clogging my throat

 

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These Days

I’m the figure taking quick glances at a red Skone watch at regular intervals; whispering “the fuck?!”. They are angered exclamations offered to the universe; some sort of argument; I think.

If the universe would agree to negotiations and talks, I’d make my case like this:

There are tons of things I couldn’t do when  I was ill. They all have deadlines. Do you think you could maybe drag your tail a bit? You know; make time a little slower? I still can’t do so much; lest my doctor scrunches up his nose at me in disapproval and, heavens forbid, declare I can no longer have coffee. Or, worse, that I have to be back on some over-sized medication.

But the universe isn’t responding today. And I’m that scared figure, heads bowed into her laptop, mumbling inaudibilities, hands and fingers fluttering in a frenzy. Or the one with her hands raised to the ceiling; a helplessly frustrated expression on her face. The perfect vision of desperate beseeching.