Dead-man’s Pass

Dead-man’s Pass

Up in the hills
Where the wind whistles through the trees
There is a tiny pass
Where men have given all they had
To control that which was there before their time

Their ghosts still haunt the rocks and ravens below
Stay still for a moment
See out of the corners of your eyes their fleeting form
Feel their breathes upon your shoulder
Looking for what – it’s difficult to tell

Both slaves and free alike
Rich and poor the same
All perish alike – food for the worms
No forge has yet minted the coin to stay death’s withered hand
For when upon the shoulder it rests
Not even the cords that bind can save a soul

Up in the hills
The patched earth kills the very grass that holds the soil in place
The vultures’ bones are just as white as the bones of the men who fought and bickered and died
I stood still and let the winds carry away my thoughts
Replacing them with the whispers of men long dead
Their desires and aches
Their loves and hates
At Dead-man’s Pass

Folktales and Fables

I think I drew the picture below as a sample many many years ago when I was supposed to illustrate a planned new edition of the book “Folktales and fables” by Currey and Itayemi (not me . That’s Mrs. P. A. Ogundipe nee Itayemi. Most people would know her from the “Practical English” secondary school books and the “Brighter Grammar” primary school books series.)


On the edge

On the edge

Why do I teeter on the edge of fatness
It is the food I eat
Threatening to build a band around my waist
Can I keep the cholesterol at bay
When the sugar, the Suya and the Cola conspire to dissolve my resolve
Lo and behold
I have tried to bend my mouth to my will
But success is as fleeting
As the Coldstone ice*
The niece suggest I tried

Who will save me from my folly
The second musketeer says to try the beer for it is the drink of the gods
But confusion galore abounds
For isn’t it the belly of beer
That prompted the guard at the door
To inquire who the pregnant party was
When a friend and his love
Burst upon the shores of liberty
The land of the brave
Who trust in nothing but God?

The third musketeer of smaller girth
Abhors the beer
Instead supping on stronger fare
Is it 10 or 20 or 30 or 40 percent
Nothing less will do
But the liver has a finite life
And if it dies before I do
It’s as certain as rain and taxes
That I would follow shortly

So shunning the advice of friends and foes
Setting my shoulder to the till
Every breaking dawn
10 minutes running like the hounds of hell were fast on my heels
Drop and give 50 I imagine the drill serge shouting
6KG raised 60 times per hand like the labours of Hercules were fostered on me
It barely keeps the bands at bay
But I shall not be deterred from my singleness of purpose
Even though I teeter on the edge of fatness!


* Suya – peppered roasted beef
* Coldstone ice – icecream from a shop called Coldstone