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Last Updated: 03/10/2005
Poems for Peace
Olumide Olaniyan



In the hot sun

By the side of the road

The incubus over-powered us

Tore off our flesh

Leaked our blood with snake-like tongue

Like dying stones, we screamed voicelessly

With shrill laughter, the incubus crushed our souls

We crumbled to the soil

Decomposing alive,

Lost the ability to think

Searched for the elusive death

But the incubus returned

Wrapped itself around our living remains 

Carefully ate our outer flesh

For if we die, he dies

The incubus was one of us

His mother lived down the road

He metamorphosed after the mandate he stole

Our fauna and flora became his bequest

Foreigners he brought bought our land and labour

Demeaned our daughters, enslaved our sons

Strong men, he turned to fauns

To guard him from our mouthed curses

Election time is here again

Rivaling incubuses lurk round the ballot box

They appear human again

Promising schools for our brood

Swearing to pay labourers wages

But it is another deja vu.




With cutlasses, hoes and other weapons,

We tore up its face

Dug out its intestines

Drained out its black blood

These are liquid energies for our machineries

Not satisfied with its degradation

We ate up the greens leaves

With which it hid itself from the sun

We tramped on it day and night

Oblivious of its agony

As we marched, drove and skied

To everywhere and nowhere

In our daily search for happiness

It fought back this morning

Quaking from its placidity

Buried us beneath our homes

Which were standing on its face

Shook the seas and the wilderness

Killing many thousands

Showing us its strengths

Which are stronger than our weaponry

While it is ready to serve us

(For we are doomed without it)

We have to tread with caution

Avoiding it depletion

For if we kill the earth

We kill ourselves.




Before we were literate

When development was a stranger to our land

The happiness of one another was our goal

Communality was our ethos

In unity we conquered seas

And mountains and wildernesses

The inalienability of our rights was undocumented

Yet, they were not violated

We were a united humanity

In our endless search for civilisation

We developed science and letter

Men then subjected the women

Whites then enslaved the blacks

North then sat on the south

The old then bullied the young

Able-bodied then oppressed the disabled

The canny then subjugated the meek

We struggled to rule others

Sacrificing liberty for power

Keeping bullets in barns of grains

Fighting two wars in one century

Killing some for their beliefs and religions

Enslaving others for their colour and location

Today, we have outlawed barbarism

The blacks have been emancipated

Women are conquering patriarchy

The rest are accusing the north

Freedom is returning into our midst

We are becoming human again



He was born human

With blood and placenta

Frail, helpless with tearless cry

With no knowledge of what is here

Nor with memory of what was there

But he has come into despair

His destruction commences at birth

With the structuring of his being

He is nurtured to be wild

And taught to break the vessel of milk

So he thinks of insidious attainments,

Letting blood for dominance and possession

He grows up to become a brute

Working with his head,

And never his heart

Proclaiming to be strong

When he is weak

Enforcing leadership,

Where he ought to follow

With his inside overwhelmed from without

The grave awaits him at his prime

But he vomits his venoms into his kind

Maintaining a self-bondage and her woes

This is the journey that created the road

The thoroughfare to mankind.

Olumide Olaniyan is a masters candidate in Gender Studies at the University for Peace. He can be contacted at