Orange grape, sweet outside, bitter inside. An idle thin-armed giant; old limping tired giant. A toothless lioness, aged and stiff-jointed lioness whose children are all hungry, Yet it basks in the sun all day sleeping sometimes under tree shades, Snoring and turning on all sides. What is Nigeria to me? A house on fire whose owners are bent On pursuing a useless rat. Nigeria is a human body suffering arthritis, A chronic illness that defies all remedies; The sores on her legs won't go, The house-flies sucking the pus won't go! She keeps hitting the legs on stones, Maggots eat her flesh and chew her bones. She suffers diarrhea and dysentery; Her environment and food are dirty. What is Nigeria to me? A woman lonely and alone. She is the woman whose children left and she heard they've been caught for theft. She covers her face in cloth of shame, Walks the streets looking for who to blame. She is the mother of the pretty girls, Beautiful girls without manners! She goes to the river carrying a pot, The girls stay at home dragging soup pot. What is Nigeria to me? A sharp toothed dog that cannot bite! Nigeria is a halfwit; A senseless chief of his clan that had gone on rabbit hunt and had merely speared but didn't have plan to even get close, or to kill it! What is this I've heard? You who sold your ancestral home for some token reward; What a shame! (You've become a slave in your own house, You who dares a lion, but fears a mouse). Your house where lion eats grasses, Where humans beg ants for eyes! What is Nigeria to me? A white feathered eagle that thinks itself a chick; What a senseless trick! Nigeria is a predator crocodile (Elijah!) Up in the bank of the River Niger, Afraid to venture into it for food; It thinks it's not good for a lizard! Why are you called earthworm by children, when indeed you're a full grown python! Your house where cows are carnivorous And sharks are herbivorous! What is Nigeria to me? A dead woman's corpse that could not hear her child's cry! What sound touches the heart like a child's cry? What music could be sweeter than the laughter of one's children as they fill the air? Nigeria is the evil woman that eats up her own children! Nigeria, whenever your children pass other places they laugh at them as if they bathed in faeces. Nigeria, where farmer's children go to bed hungry and riverine people go to bed thirsty! What is Nigeria to me? A good egg outside, but inside, smelly and rotten, A reminiscent of what had been. Nigeria is a sick doctor, A universal donor renown for curing others' sicknesses but thinks curing herself is useless! Nigeria is the cricket on fire shinning and smiling, not knowing it is dying! She is sitting on a land mine waiting to blow at any given time Yet she brandishes her rotten teeth waving her flag of unity from East to North. Here where we have eyes but cannot see things obvious enough for the blind to see. Like loaf of bread floating Down the river, bloated and smelling, Is it not yet Uhuru? Our thin gods mould us like fufu And swallow us like big lumps, Can't we just purge their big bellies! If we cannot take action, We cannot redeem our nation!
CHIME JUSTICE NDUBUISI (CJN) hails from Udi in Enugu state, Nigeria. He is a humanist and a poetivist. He is the Poetry Editor at African Crayons. Some of his poems have been published in The Muse, a Journal of Creative and Critical writing at the University of Nigeria, The African Eyeball Anthology of Poetry, Rhythms of Truth Poetry Anthology, Songs from Unsung Poets Anthology, Lyriversity, and on his Facebook page. In 2016, his poem ‘An Open Letter to God’ was longlisted in the Babishai Niwe Poetry Prize Award Uganda. ‘To Kill An Angel’ is his first published chapbook. He is @legendaryCJN on Instagram and Twitter.