GENERATIONS

A lonely sunset bird walked home
We watched him go
Then we strolled until we came to the field
The empty field
The barren field

There the old man stopped and pointed
It used to be a forest once
We felled the trees, to make of it a garden
But someone forgot to plant the seeds
The rains, they came in vain

Washed away
And now the sun burns away –
And as we strolled away again he said
That field is another wasted generation
That fruitless field.

– AKA TERAKA.

MAID

They are nice masters
In this regard she is lucky, I guess
They make her feel at home

When she cooks and cleans
Sings to the baby, feeds the dogs
And the cats and is allowed to watch TV

But when she gets home in the evening
Without electricity, it’s a marvel to her
In the midst of her poverty, to see the joy
In her family’s eyes and to be at home again.

– AKA TERAKA.

BOTTOMLESS WELL

Everyday she printed dust on feet
Earlier than sunrise
She was a surprise
To every sleeping wanderer she will meet

On her way to the well, wishing well,
An empty bucket on her head
On more in each hand that bled
On her way to hell

The well, the well is dry
It is dry, barren, unresponsive
The less you get, the more you give
The desert will never cry

Every evening she dusts her way home
Not a drop of water
To herself she will mutter
Soliloquy on when the rain will come.

– AKA TERAKA.

LAGOS

They call you many things
Name-calling is a game of stones
Hydra-headed mad woman chattering away
Away noisily to the sea – come to me, let me be
My own jam-packed contradiction.

Let’s take a stroll to the sea shore.
Before you get there, you will have to heal
The sick and infirm, educate
The ignorant, the uninformed, the misinformed, the rudderless, help
The needy, house
The homeless, don’t forget
The aged, the retired, give money to
The poor, awaken hope
In the despairing along the long way to a casual stroll.

Dictators raise hell
Entertainers raise the roof
We’ve had enough of them
Let’s raise our standard of living.

There can never be freedom, never
Be peace, nor security, in a system that nurtures
The endemic poverty of this
Many people.

– AKA TERAKA.

P.O.V.ERTY

Sand for breakfast
Tasted no better than shit
I don’t beg for alms anymore
I just snatch it

My mother’s tears
Son I did not bring you up to be a thief
Mom you didn’t raise me to suffer in poverty, did you?
I just want some relief.

Sometimes they look out of their cars
Our eyes meet
I wonder if they ever wonder
If I know the taste of meat.

If I were in their shoes
Would I mean nothing to me
If driving by I saw me chained by poverty
In a system that benefits only me.

– AKA TERAKA.

P.T.O.

That moment
When the bitterness
Isn’t bitter enough to sour
Your forgiveness smile

And yet sad is the smile.

How friends fall away like unmasked leaves
Unable to bear the weight of trust
In all its lightness
Treachery by politeness.

– AKA TERAKA.

EVENING WALK

Kidnapped
Is there still hope for me?
The sun sets sadly as slowly as he can
By the last light of day
Find my way

Did you see the baby that was stolen?
Did you see the boy that was broken?
However hard you look, you will see
No resemblance at all between them and
The man now woken, now walking.

– AKA TERAKA.

TRANSITION

What is adulthood
But childhood lost?

Shopping for arrival
But at what cost?

Goodbye because I want
Welcome because I must

Morning to ashes
Laughter to dust.

– AKA TERAKA.

NEW ROADS

How maddening it must be
Upon reincarnation to see
The fullness of your memory
In all its grime and glory –

Take it away, take it away
I don’t want to know today
The sadness and joy of yesterday
With my heart let me find my way

I fell in love, in love anew
With dawn and dusk, with dream and dew
With life and love, through vice and virtue
Another me, another you.

– AKA TERAKA.

TAKE HER ACHING

I met a girl in the dark
I’m hurt, she said, hurt me
You’re singing in riddles, I said

She shook her head intensely
Her eyes were full of things she could not say
I’m in pain, she moaned, give me more

Crooked words lead straight to truth
Those who love each other hurt each other
And die wanting each other, immortally.

– AKA TERAKA.

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