To a Little Boy from Lagos│Ibrahim Williams│Poem


For Lagosians in recess

POETRY walks on the streets in Lagos. It is in the incredible dynamic of life which enacts, like some incandescent power, the moment of each living hour: it is in the sense by which, living in this city, a poet glimpses a whole new form of life, and an alternative way in which to experience it fully. – Obi Nwakanma

To the little boy from Lagos
What of drama do you have to tell?

He is born into the belly of bustles,
or fuss, or whatever you wish to call it.
His mornings are a shower of calls:
of righteous songs from the minarets, of truck drivers blasting their horns,
of urging conductors, of angry shouts on bathroom queues,
of husbands beating their wives, of silent prayers
to God, to grant our daily bread.

To the little boy from Lagos
What of frolic do you have to tell?

He has tasted the paradise of ewa agoyin – a treat of a thousand bliss.
He has chased after the frost of waves at the mouth of its many beaches.
He has count the number of stars that there are
And tossed in his mind, a wish to be one.
He has seen the beast and the madness;
Of how Fela smoked the city raw.
When the city was the stage of countless brawl
the boy was there, he saw it all.

To the little boy from Lagos
What of hustle do you have to tell?

He has seen men and women strive to make mountains out of pebbles
rivers out of droplets, and success out of dreams.
He has watched grown men crushed at the feet of despair
And again watched them rise up like a phoenix to the air.
He has seen everything of living on the run.

Yet, now the city crawls on all fours
how do you tell this little boy from Lagos
that the dawn will wake, and a fresh day will break?
How do you tell the little boy from Lagos
that in time, the rumble shall return?

Ibrahim Williams is a Nigerian writer, poet, essayist, and satirist. He is a postgraduate student of the English language at the University of Lagos. When not writing, reading, or thinking, he is in the habit of playing football and discussing politics. You can reach him on Twitter/Instagram @ibn_williams7/ @ibn_williams

Lake Adedamola is a poet, writer, and editor with Nantygreens, who's worked with several other literary blogs including Brittle Paper. He has, since 2018, served in various capacities on the Lagos International Poetry Festival, LIPFest, team.

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