THIS CITY SHAN’T BE MY CAULDRON!(a poem by Olajuwon Joseph Olumide)

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- For Iyesi Ota. Circa 2017.

In this cauldron of a teeming city, 
We have seen infantile masquerades 
Who ought to prance home in scholastic shoes 
Walk, barefooted, the muddy path bereft of coated tar
(lest I forget, schools here are rest rooms for goons) 
And we've heard of men hiding in the nocturnal cloak
Of ominous howling sounds to prey on innocent flesh 
In this cauldron, the future of young souls 
Running into manhood are mortgaged 
For futility in a bet 9ja shop
How to be a record breaker is becoming lord of the bar 
Or a smoke master, hell boy, right from age 12
In this cauldron, poverty litters the land
With many a cluster of churches 
And gossips are the lyrics of the choir
It's alien to chant a Melody of revolution 
In this cauldron, Ramadan is a period
When motels and bars turn a grave yard 
Electricity has long been on exile here
The dark supremacy of witches is ever
Fighting the sick transformer!
For the weapons of warfare
Are not by spanners, hand gloves 
And what have you, Mr. elect-elect? 
You don't want to be next on their list
Like a relegated craftsman on a disabled bed
Whose house mother once pointed me 
The agile one once worked on rooftops 
Today knows him a bed-wetter!
His limbs are long years dinner for the aged mothers
They who carve baldness on vulture's skull.
You need to feel the boiling retardations here,
To know why a poet screams, 
This city shan't be my cauldron!


OLAJUWON, JOSEPH OLUMIDE, a teacher of English language, Literature & History, is an award-winning author of three books. His latest classical mystery fiction, INDISPENSABLE ALLIES is up for purchase on Amazon stores. When he is not writing, he sings soul music. He is Olajuwon Joseph Olumide on Facebook and @souljoecreatives on Instagram.

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