Sunday, April 1, 2007

Olutayo Osunsan

The Truth About Life

The truth about life is death.
Some people’s hunger for death exceeds their thirst for life.
They take a bite first. Mouthful. Nibble. Whatever.
The truth about life is that you die when you live.
You live when you die.
Dying, like Sylvia, is an art.
Not all people do it well.

If Love

If love is fire, let it burn me with
Raging relentless flames, let it burn
True till I am crispy and no more juice
Dares to flow in my rustic veins.
If love is water, let it take me far
Away into the unfathomable depths
Of the grand blue ocean and bury my
Soul where it will remain lost forever.
If love is sand, let it swallow me with
Every grain, draining my spirit of doubt,
Let me be covered far in the belly
Of the bottomless, dark cruel lifeless earth.
If love is life, then let me live every
Nanosecond filtering the goodness
And the purity it spills. Let me
Never die. Let me die only to live
Again. And again.

We Will Live

The mountains are gray and the valleys are green.
There are days and nights.
We will live.
The sun burns the back of those on the fields.
The rocks cut the soles of our bare feet.
We will struggle.
The baked earth crumple into dust as we plough.
Our sweats water the earth.
We will labour.
Our fathers die in their struggle for the promise.
Our mothers cry in pain.
We will stand.
Blood flows through our veins.
Tears fall from our eyes.
We will survive.
Stir down in our bruised hearts.
Roam in our heads
We will live

*previously published in Electric Acorn - Issue 10


Talking drums unwrapping tales
In resounding bounces of leather,
Daring youth to exercise its charisma.
Palm wine staggering in calabashes,
Gracefully white and beaming,
When passed from hand to hand.
Head ties, wrappers in bright colors,
Embroidered caps of different shades
And sandals laced in intricate designs.
Eloquent dishes spread out on the table,
Beautiful smell of freshly pounded yam
Laid out next to fish and vegetable soup.
Pretty beads dancing on swinging hips,
African princesses in Yoruba land
Responding to the drum's challenge.

*previously published in Other Voices Poetry - Vol. 7


As shy as the night
With black veils across her face,
And dreams when I sleep.

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