Thursday, September 3, 2015

Akinbode Israel writes


The veins of our children,
Lacking blood...dried pipes.
Swimming in dehydrated waters,
Drowning in sweats of shame.

The eyes of our children,
Lids are glued...scary sights seen,
Little eyes have seen rotten bodies,
Why won't they choose to die young.

The robes of our children,
A carpet for hungry termites,
A hide and seek for rats,
Loosing out their skins to nakedness.

Our children's palms,
Older than their minute age,
Is nature wicked?
Or our leaders are broken ladders?

...our children like this?

1 comment:

  1. It is decidedly unusual for a poet to plead for the early death of children (though of course, in context, this is not a heartless poem). Usually the sentiment is more like this one, "To an Athlete Dying Young" by A. E. Housman:

    The time you won your town the race
    We chaired you through the market-place;
    Man and boy stood cheering by,
    And home we brought you shoulder-high.

    Today, the road all runners come,
    Shoulder-high we bring you home,
    And set you at your threshold down,
    Townsman of a stiller town.

    Smart lad, to slip betimes away
    From fields where glory does not stay,
    And early though the laurel grows
    It withers quicker than the rose.

    Eyes the shady night has shut
    Cannot see the record cut,
    And silence sounds no worse than cheers
    After earth has stopped the ears.

    Now you will not swell the rout
    Of lads that wore their honours out,
    Runners whom renown outran
    And the name died before the man.

    So set, before its echoes fade,
    The fleet foot on the sill of shade,
    And hold to the low lintel up
    The still-defended challenge-cup.

    And round that early-laurelled head
    Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead,
    And find unwithered on its curls
    The garland briefer than a girl’s.


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