For The Lives That Failed by George Victor



Let us cry into the dusk, while watching our stinking selves
Stand unstirred beneath the feet of hills in ìdànrè
To find partial answers, to the hunger singing restless hymns
In our heat-burnt heads
While semi-famished worms bite deep into our grey shadows.

We’ll go, tongue-tied, into the evil forests of Àkùré
And hunt after bushbabies and their mysterious mats
But do not break the mats, lest the yoke of Adígbónronkú be on us
We’ll burn their abodes instead
So that the ashes might sting our intestines
And kill us before the approach of dawn
Into the impenetrable walls of odi-ikeji.

Read the tales on the envious eyes of our male progenies,
And make their manhood rise
That nobody remembers what immaturity looks like.
Let them trudge the deep way up
Into the short skirts of their own sisters,
And bear abominable children
Who’ll roam the streets to tell tales of the repeated lives that faded
To become nutrients in the grotesque talons of hungry vultures.

Hear, hear this my poem
For Kádàrá has metamorphosed into unfathomable myriads of kodoro
And Ile-ife is now welled up with our poignant memories
Tell the one who wishes to listen, that I am the chunks of thick smoke
That blanketed dawn
I was with them that cried for expanded horizons
Hear, hear this my poem
And listen to the sounds of thunder in its verses
– I am fate, the one who died for unnumbered sins.

ìdànrè- A town surrounded by hills in Ondo sate
Àkùré- Capital of Ondo state
Adígbónronkú- A person who’s believed to be hard-hearted in the Yoruba mythology
odi-ikeji- The other side
Kádàrá- Fate
kodoro- doom


George O. Victor is  a poet, freelancer. He is presently an English studies student at Adekunle Ajasin University.

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

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