The flinty Minstrel by Ehindola Peter



Like in the butchers’ parlor

In the abattoirs’ keep

On their walls hanged

    Carcasses from carnage, drooping.

 On their walls of gallant embroidery

  Are chalk outline of ghost faces peeled and


 With a greet of devotion in THEIR



Raids like detestable lightening through

     The city

  With all the houses of brick edifice cast aloof?

  Not to Heavenly God is such desecration

   Whose lone hecatomb at Golgotha***


They be the flame

   Fuelled by logs of social decadence

 The night ravages what the day spares-

    Pallid children draped from head

 Black garb sheltering their naked


 On my telescreen seated unwept

  In the sandy ways

    Guarded by Faceless frame darker than ogiri oko**

  There to strike their bosom and breast

         And cry and lamentation.

Adulation of transgression in wailing prayers

        Not to Aphrodite*

{The flinty singer and HER tribute}

  Be kind, heavenly golden child!

No institution responsive

   No opulent brings bread

Their fruit sets teeth on edge

   They taste sour and burst throat into

      Unquenchable thirsting

A hundred moons have passed

And groaning mothers adorn in sackcloth;

     Bathed in Ashes cannot bear-

 Stricken by melancholic grief

 Their mother, their nation


Like a wild fire the scourge through the

   Nation crossroad or the confluence

  will sweep past

    Your wooden barricade of hypocrisy

 Through your unguarded treachery the

   Blistering flame of your device

 There will be no dawn for the burning night

  No sea will appease this bowbellied

    No shield for this two edged sword

   (….again, the flinty minstrel)

Be kind, God’s Heavenly child!

  Till we send the vulture plummeting

 Into the vast sea-room of the Niger

    Or into the waves that coast westward

      Of Benue-

*** a place of burial (of Christ)

** extended title of a yoruba Deity called Esu

* the goddess of love and beauty (Greek myth)

Creative works (literature, art and culture) emerging from Nigeria.

Share Your Thoughts