Kaduna is not too far from Niger,
knobby trees and rotund reefs bind them.
Kaduna is not far from Abuja at all,
a beauteous shuttle on vitreous miles.
But the road to Jos is an ancient path,
traceable to the throne,
which God planned to craft
but Devil resolved to mar:
God being a connoisseur, Devil a Philistine.
O Jos you hail!
Your bubbly breeze reached me
warbling some delectable croon
that from secluded woods tooted through.
I hoped those wonders would never end,
of mighty waves that soughed from trees
where cantabile slurs of infrasonic rhythms
reeled with travelogue bliss from the sylvan slough,
where despair slipped and penchant regained
and all hopes revived and jeered to a common goal.
It was an inlet to the crypt of temperate trees
that span and span in circuitous twists
and intricately ran, deep to a dank glebe
sentineled by gallant soldiers that posed,
with armoured arms rimmed with riffles, deterrent to the soul.
My soul pestered with some stealthy interrogations
as to where the car was wheeling us:
the hub of war where souls had caved into martial pasts
and some vipers ferocious had preyed
on modest souls for some specious causes.
But caution tutored my fissured mind and cessation made.
It was like all these had been a bogus hoax
and no war had ever marched its cactus boot on the temperate Jos that the rocks flanked by.
Ogling from the screen, my eyes flashed on the cumulus flailing the lily lids of the sky.
No sight of scorching sun but radiant orb blared in the mist,
no repulsive grope of heat but zephyr from the knolls,
no rambunctious honks in peeving snarl-ups,
no bumps, no ruts, no crass invectives from the conductors’ lips.
What should we say of a lake skirted by ferns and straws?
What should we say of some peasant sheds floating on the segueing stream?
What should we say of some faraway plateaus with diadems of smokes
where meteors dearly wait bearing chilblains for the chilled, chapped skins?
From those plateaus coiffured with mistletoe
some daemons had jerked to stir the venom of the wicked ones
against the humble indigenes of the state.
But God with His thundery hand had always slapped the Devil to a deigning fall.
I mourned the blood that the griffin had sucked,
for Devil beheld thy Destiny and forged his own model of Fate.
Can light and dark abide?
From Kassa to Barkin Ladi, silence engulfed the relics of erstwhile wars
divulged by the debris of charred buildings pitched against the newly built.
And I saw the rocks of manifestos on which by the influence of pallid paint:
“Dariye for the Second Term.”
We rode into the circus of Jos
where humans haggled with cosmopolitan tongues.
But the weather remained clement still
and the rain never bragged before it filtered through the sieve of the sky.
And we were never drenched anyway,
for Jos rained with compassion.
Written by: Olayiwola Olarewaju Metamofosis
Edited by: Kukogho Iruesiri Samson