Abortion -The Shadow


THE SHADOW

They will not be terminated.
The memories of angels you left exterminated,
The slimy beans-shaped mass you called with every thrust inside
You, you cried but did not call as you ride.
The smooth soft skin you will not kiss goodnight,
The bundle of joy you will never engage in a fight
You will have no innocent eyes to look into,
Teeny feet to watch take a first step in a tiny shoe
Red hurting finger to soothe with a kiss.
You will never worry for the milk tooth loss.

I have heard in the childish babble of every child the silent cry of my
slaughtered children.
I have strangled, squelched
The squeeze in my chest at the sight of bulging tummies walking herein.
I have murmured “ducky”, if I transgressed, trespassed, if I snatched
Your violin
And your life from the future concert you planned,
If I stole from your fingers the feel of the texture of a teddy bear,
Your scary first day with the short lady in the warm day care,
Your first cry for milk, your first kiss and heartbreaks, your troubles,
pains, your bound to a mate,
The feel of breathe fading as you straight.
If I squashed your under-developed body
Trust, I meant no hurt to befall you with my cowardice.
Why should I lament my lack of strength twice?
Since you are dead, gone or rather no more
You could have been stronger, for
In this world is a cold war. So adieu
Oh, how do I put it? To the life you never knew
But you came, lived secured and left
Only you never felt on your face the cold breeze, calm,
The feel of ice cream on your little palm.

Trust me, I loved you before I felt you all
I was a part of you even though I did not know you well, I loved you
I loved you all.

GLOSSARY – The Lion and the Jewel

If you have read Lion and the jewel by Wole Soyinka – the Nobel laureate from Nigeria, you would be familiar with these terms. This list poem is to her tribute. I hope Prof. Soyinka wouldn’t mind my reducing this great character to a verse.

Odan tree – a place to hide and watch your prey and competitor – 1

Village Center – a place for village idiocy – 1

Window – a space to poke your head and make silly noise at a mad man’s object of admiration – 1

Window – a perfect place to get your head whacked

Village belle – synonym for village bimbo – 1

Pail of Water – something to shamelessly seize from a maiden’s head if you like to get a little wet and a quick way to get rid of your neck if you hate it – 1

Buzzling Noise – noise to be made at a pompous teacher’s conquest – 1

English Suit – attire to be worn in a backward village if you like the name “mad man” – 1

Tennis shoe – perfect footwear for a madman – 1

Breast – a word an educated illiterate cannot say – 2

Beads Counting – a career to pursue if you get a lot of stupid men blabbing at you – 8

Kiss – unclean licking of lips, strange unhealthy mouthing to practice on a village belle – 9

Stranger – a drunken adventurous foreigner stupid enough to fall at the sight of a naked unsuspecting model- 10

The Book – a mini god with the super powers to instil over-rated pride in a maiden’s empty brain – 10

Village latrine – place to place an ugly old man’s picture in a magazine – 11

Motor car – a one foot devils own horse, a sensible option for the dusty road – 14

Wheels – a part to give young maidens to play in order to pinch their behind – 14

Camera – a one eyed box capable of getting you a splash in the presence of a naked village belle.

Weapon – decorations for a barbaric war lord’s mud house wall – 26

Machine – an invention of a local goldsmith used for the seduction of a young maiden – 26, 50

Magazine– Pages of paper made to make a local champion – 49-51

Pillow – place to hide a weapon of seduction – 49

Stamp – weapon of seduction – 50

Bed – platform to corner a young naïve maiden – 51

Oil lamps – appears from deserted stalls at the end of a market day – 64

Names of Characters:

Baroka – Crafty Rogue, Master of Self-Indulgence,Bale, Lion of Ilujinle, Fox of The Undergrowth, Living God Among Men, Devil Among Women, Lion, Greedy Dog, Insatiable Camel of A Foolish Doting Race, Die-Hard Rogue, Voluptuous Beast, Savage Thing, Degenerate.

Sidi – Bush Girl, Village Maiden Head, The Village Goddess, Ruth, Racheal, Ester, Bathesheba, Jewel of Ilujinle, Unfledged Birdling.

Sadiku – Old Hag, Faithful Lizard, Unformed Creature, Withered Face.

Lakunle: School Master, Mad Man of Ilujinle, Fool, Book Worm, Akowe, Man of Knowledge, Book-Man, School-Man, Scarecrow, School Teacher.

MY DATE WITH AN AHUSA (NIGERIAN WALNUT)

        

Nigerian Walnut

               My date was an ahusa (Nigerian walnut), black as the seed of Ishin on the outside but white as efun (chalk) on the inside. He was Nigerian alright; in picture but in reality, he was as British as they come. It was a nice day; he spoke, laughed and bounced around like a basketball in the hands of a happy teenage boy. I galloped behind saying as little as I could and eyeing the entrance of every London Underground Station we passed, wishing he would change his mind and relent from his unrealistic resolve not to take any transportation. He was so British in his manners, attitude and speech that I started to feel too Nigerian and he was fast to classify my attitude and mannerism as too Nigerian. so I decided I wanted to be cool; I wanted to be as non-Nigerian as possible. I wanted to prove that I had integrated myself into the culture of the British people so I shut my Nigerian mouth, said little, and laughed when he made jokes about everything Nigerian. The air was silent; I could hear my thoughts above the noise of traffic as we walked passed Victoria Station. I wanted to make conversations; I desperately wanted to be a great company, so I asked “What Nigerian foods do you like?”

“None” he said laughing into my face. “You see our food was created to satisfy the need to survive and do it quickly. Slaves needed food but not much time can be given for that process so the foods were heavy to provide great energy, swallowed to maximize time.”

I bit my tongue and nodded my head. Oh lord, I thought, let this day be over before it has started. He licked his lips and I knew the lesson was not over

“Which foreign country have you seen serving Nigerian foods. That shows you how unpleasant they are.”

“Most people love Jollof rice,” I said. “My American friend loved Eba and Egusi when they tasted it.”

“They were just being polite and they probably went to spit it out after you left.”

At this point, I knew he was a hopeless case. He is one of those Nigerian British born babies who are not actually Nigerian and I am a Nigerian baby who would always think in some ways like a Nigerian. Ok, maybe most ways, apart from the notion of a woman being inferior to a man.  For instance, I am a Nigerian and my idea of a date is movies and pop corn or an evening in Nandos or any other fancy restaurant where they serve spicy chicken. Of course, you will be paying.

I am down for some new things like picnic in the park and a walk through in the British Museum where we would discuss the variety of ancient and modern objects and coins, and how it reflects the Zoroastrian traditions in other religions. So that I can prove to you that, I am not just a beauty without brain (yeah beauty; monkey no fine but him mama like am). I wish every strand of my hair were coated with the knowledge of history so that I can dazzle you with my counter argument but I am afraid they are not. My heart is sold to poetry and writing but I could not discuss it with him for fear he would laugh and say “that is so Nigerian”

I got home and looked into the mirror but I could not find me. I was lost; something was missing. In a desperate attempt to find it, I immersed myself in the world of Nigerian film on YouTube. I called my friends back home and spoke freely in my Nigerian English. Slowly I began to feel that tingle of familiarity, my tongue started to relax and I felt Nigerian again.

I promised myself, Never again would a date make me lose me. I am Nigerian and if that is too much for any British born Nigerian specie to handle then ja kuro, make I carry go with my life.

Earthen

Image

I flow out of hands as soft as silk
to soothe your weary needs.
Handle me with care, you maiden
lest I spit my content for these cold
leering lads to feed on.

I break easy so lease me not
to your carefree neighbour
who lives on coconut
and has a foul odour.

GOING THE LONG HAUL – 10 SECRETS TO A GREAT LONG DISTANCE RELATIONSHIP.


“Absence makes the heart grow fonder,” is a well-known phrase with it earliest form in the Roman poet Sextus Propertius’s words “Always toward absent lovers love’s tide stronger flows.” Does it really? Does the tide of love flow stronger with the absence of a lover or does it simply dry up? If you ask me, I will say it goes both ways. The tide would dry up if you do nothing to sustain it. On the other hand, if you know the secrets to defeating the distance, you may be in for a very strong tide of love in your Long Distant Relationship (LDR).

Here are ten secrets to keeping the tide of love stronger in a LDR:

Communication – Communication is important to every relationship but it is the key secret to achieving a great LDR. The distance has robbed you of the physical intimacy of touch and sight, so, you need to make up for this in your communication. Communicate with all the technology available – laptop, Ipad, mobile phone… Use everything available to your generation: Skype, Whatspp, Facebook, Facetime, Instagram, Emails, Postal services … Do not under estimate the power of a traditional love letter in the mail either. Your partner would want to hear your voice, see your face, look at your pictures, read your text and this is only possible if you use a combination of all these hardwares, softwares and applications.

I would prescribe a minimum of a phone call a day and a supplement of other forms of communication. Note that this prescription has a side effect, you may fall into the state of mind where communication becomes an obligation and your calls become a signing in procedure. My remedy would be to communicate as your heart feels, the chances are that, if you are in love, you will want to communicate every second of the day.

Do things together – Love grows with shared memories and distance should not stop you from having shared experiences. Rent the same film and watch it at the same time even if you are on a different time zone find a suitable meeting point. Same film on the screen, two identical bowls of pop corn, Skype on – video call in progress and it is a date. Cook the same food, eat at the same time. Wear the same cloth, colour, jewellery and other stuffs. Play the same game if you can. This does not mean you should become identical twins; it simply gives you more experiences to talk about when you next meet. It provides you with shared memories and reduces the loneliness that goes with LDR.

Plan joint experience – if our experiences shapes who we are then you want to make sure you have similar experiences with your partner. This would ensure you don’t grow into entirely different people with no common ground. You and your partner would have different friends and go out with different people. You will both meet and relate with different characters. These people would shape your ideas and influence your growth. You have little or no control on who your partner relates with but you can learn about these people through your partner’s eyes and vice versa.

If you are going for a carnival with your friends, advice your partner to go for a similar carnival with his/her friends. If your partner is having a party in his/her apartment, have one in yours. The planning, execution and evaluation of these events would keep you closer.

Sentimental gifts– there are reasons why we put up pictures in our houses; explore this sentimental human nature to the fullest to keep your relationship strong. If married people can leave love notes under the pillow, in packed lunches, on the fridge and in all other odd places, you can do the same and much more to keep the fire of your love burning while you are apart. These gifts do not need to be expensive; they just need to have sentimental values and history. They should be things that would make your partner think of you and smile. Collect things that make you think of your partner, if you explain why you want it, I am sure they will be willing to part with it. You can frame the ticket to the movies you saw while you were together and send it off to your partner. These give gifts remind your partner of your existence. Gifts of customized mugs, identical jewellery, pictures are a few examples.

Trust – Trust is the bases of all relationship and if you are in a long distance relationship, you need an over dose of this liquid substance called trust. Maybe not liquid but you get the point. You cannot let your mind wonder to the possibility of your partner’s unfaithfulness. The truth is that if he/she were a cheater, he/she would cheat whether he/she lives under your nose or not. Remember that your partner also has the same anxiety has you do and if they can trust you so can you. LDR is not for over jealous beings, if you are, you are in for an emotional roller coaster and it is not pretty. You need to be faithful if you are not; you will always suspect your partner of doing the same even when they are not. Fulfil your part of the bargain and trust that your partner is doing the same; he/she also has to trust you.

Flirt – Flirt, flirt and flirt and when you are done flirting, flirt some more. Make your partner ache for you; it increases the need for days to fly by until your next meeting. You want your partner thinking back to your last conversation with a smile and a thousand butterflies flying in secret places in their body. ( If you know what I mean.) For some it relieves the sexual tension of not having sexual contact with their partner, for others it satisfies a secret fantasy.

If you have not gone down the pre-marital sex route, nothing stops you from flirting over the phone, just be sure you are not promising what you would not be able to deliver on your meet up days. If you have scaled the fence of chastity, do not settle for involuntary celibacy because of distance; opt for telephone sex if it works for you. Just be clear on how far you want to go with the online sexual contact. There has been issues of pictures falling into the wrong hands so if you foresee an embarrassing moment, don’t do it.

Avoid Arguments– Every relationship has moment of arguments but avoid them like a plague when you are in a long distance relationship. Learn from lawyers, they take two different sides, argue their case and reach a settlement. Let each party present his/her case in a logical manner and you both reach a logical conclusion. Compromising and understanding is the key. You cannot afford to argue or keep malice because it would eat at you and put a deep gap in your relationship. You are allowed to disagree, you are individuals and I’ll be surprise if you don’t disagree but do not let your disagreement turn into argument. This is because arguments fast turn into bitter fights and communication technologies have a reputation for cutting you out at those points of argument.

Keep journal – Keeping a journal or on-line dairy gives both parties an opportunity to be a part of each other’s life. We all have insecurities, doubts and uncertainties which are on the highest within LDRs. This is because you don’t know what is going on with your partner and you have to take their word for it. Sometimes there is not enough time to relate the events of the day when you phone or text or Skype, an online journal gives you a wider view about the daily life of your partner. The pattern of the journal also gives you a big insight into your partner’s personality and helps you predict their reaction to certain issues thereby avoiding unnecessary fights and arguments. The consistency in your individual journal post helps in building trust, which is a critical secret to a great LDR.

Hope – Hope is a great thing. You need to give each other something to hope for in terms of visits. Do not ever end a visit without setting the date for the next one. (I believe you know that life is worth living when there is something to look forward to). A set visit date breaks up your LDR into mini segment of absence and makes the separation easier to bear. It is also easier and more exciting to have a date to plan towards and hope for. This does not mean you cannot do the surprise “I miss you and just wanted to pop in” visits, it only means if all the surprise visits fail, this set date is sure to stand. It is important to fight tooth and nail to make sure you make good on your set visit days. Saying goodbye at the end of a visit is a lot easier when you already have another to look forward to.

Check and balances – Constantly check the health of your relationship. You cannot afford to let Long Distant Relationship have a sore throat or flu because by the time you get to speak with your partner again, the sore throat would have graduated to a collapsed lung. Deal with issues eating away at you there and then. Ask your partner if you are cool and check within you that there is nothing bugging you about the relationship. Make sure you regularly discuss your plans for the future. This is to ensure that you are still on the same page with your partner. It is amazing how people’s value and priority change with miles.

Long Distant Relationship does work but you would have to do the extra work to make it work. Use the above secrets to breathe life into your Long Distant Relationship and watch it blossom into the beautiful flower you desire and deserve.