Guiding Light

Towering scrapers and flashing lights:

Secrets hidden behind blinding lights

Twisted minds and sickening fights,

Hidden away behind all these sights

Hustling all day for bragging rights,

As busy days roll into tossing nights

But if all of this does not seem right

What we really need is a guiding light.

Toyin Taiwo (c) 2015

Nigeria and the Ethnic Bias

I love Nigeria. Her diversity, composition, cultures and spirit. Yes, her spirit. There is a Nigerian spirit – an attitude of tenaciously holding on and pushing forward in the toughest of times and persevering through the most difficult situations. We have learnt how to make ourselves happy whatever the situation and laugh in the face of trouble. I see this all the time, and I am thrilled by it. I am proud to be a Nigerian
But there are some people who do not love Nigeria, and who by default are my enemies. They are my personal enemies who threaten the peace, stability and prosperity of this nation I call my own. Many of them, for selfish gain and personal ambition, destroy and oppress my people – my brothers and sisters. They would rather divide and rule, than unite and prosper. They figure it is easier to divide and scatter, than resolve the issues that have beset us since our birth and beyond our independence as a nation.
Unfortunately, even the oppressed buy the lie that a divided nation would be in their favour. We believe them who tell us that our brothers and sisters on the other side of the Niger or the Benue are the reasons we have not advanced as a nation. They seduce us with lies, bribes, propaganda and false stories about our neighbours, creating enmity even between neighbouring villages and ensuring that we do not see what the real problems are.
As much as it is true that every ethnic group has unique features, which have both up and down sides, it is also true that there are good and bad people in every tribe. Everywhere, there are honest and dishonest people, righteous and wicked people, blatant liars and sincere truth-tellers. It is our responsibility to seek to understand the uniqueness of each person, and treat them according to their character, not according to their tribe. He is a fool who speaks against racism and engenders tribalism. The one is no different from the other.
I am convinced that the first step to true progress and prosperity in Nigeria is unity of the diverse tribes and ethnic groups. This will give birth to an unalloyed sense of patriotism and commitment to the Nigerian cause, which in turn leads to willingness to work with any Nigerian, regardless of their origin, to build this great nation. The earlier we see ourselves primarily as Nigerians, rather than representatives of our tribes, the better for the prosperity of this nation. In unity of diversity, our true individuality finds it truest and most beautiful expression.
My name is Toyin Taiwo, and I am a Nigerian.

Loved

In my lifetime, I have been loved.

I have been loved by men and women of all shapes and sizes,
Ages and stages, features and statures,
Some of who gave their substance while others gave their time.
They paid attention to my nonsense while listening for virtue.
They saw wisdom in foolishness, and perceived gold in miry clay.
They traded their worth for little and assigned value to little me.

Continue reading “Loved”

Where did it go?

Where did it go?

The spark in our eyes

As we went on the rise

Climbing fast to the top

Without time for a stop

The glow on our faces

The warmth of embraces

Our loud-ringing laughter

And never-ending banter

When we just fell in love

And the moon smiled above

The sparkle in your eyes

That could break through ice

Where did it go?

Toyin Taiwo © 2015

Save the Babe!

Save the babe!

The one who never lived

Have her head shorn

Cuddle her in your arms

Pray for her survival – that she’ll live through this storm

Though we know she never lived

She never was born at all

Clothe her, feed her, keep her feet warm, play with her, talk to her

Do everything you can to make her stay alive

Just make sure she does not die

Though she in fact, is not living at all

She is not a foetus, not a still born, has no identity, has no name

She has no form, no nature, no stature, no posture, no future

She has no life except in Utopia

She is the dream that did not come to life

But keep her alive; don’t let her die

Now she’s crying; maybe she needs food

Or maybe she’s pooed

Check her diapers; make sure she’s dry

I’ll buy you two packs of medium-sized Pampers

So change her diapers if you need to

Now she’s quiet, now she’s still

Make sure she’s alive

Check her pulse; feel her temperature

Don’t let her grow cold

Save her if you can

Do everything you can

Save this babe, oh please save this babe of ours!

Call the doctor! Where’s the nurse?

We’ll pay you one million naira

It’s everything we’ve got

Just be sure to save this babe of ours

Please don’t let her die!

Now we’re waiting; now we’re hoping

Hoping it’s a dream. Or an illusion

From which we’ll awake

To find that this babe, this precious babe of ours

Did not die after all

Though we know she never has lived

But we keep living in the hope

That one day she finally will live

Toyin Taiwo © 2015

The Unusual Poem

Let us write a poem, you and I

One that adheres to no rules

That behaves like no other poem

You have ever come across

It will trace the path that we walk

And tell the stories of our lives

To generations yet unborn

This poem of ours will not be read

Only its story will be told

It will become the stuff of myths:

The poem that never was read,

That never could be read

That even re-wrote itself

It will change its form

Every time we meet to write

It will never have a form

It will never have a name:

Only its story will be told

Toyin Taiwo © 2015

I Am

I am a poem, of untold origin

I am a cat, of nine lives

I am a fire, of raging passion

I am a city, of mixed multitudes

I am a farm, of bountiful produce

I am a river, of many journeys

Carrying the story of several lands and peoples

 

I am the wind, of unknown destination

I am the word, of a king in power

I am the winter, of cold and darkness

I am the wealth, of men in honour

I am the face, of a lovely damsel

I am the shoulder, of a man of strength

Bearing his burdens in due time and season

 

I am your God, of invisible presence

I am your image, of exact features

I am your friend, of unswerving devotion

I am your future, of unknown nature

I am your thoughts, of shifting focus

I am your past, of memorial presence

Holding the power to live in your present

Toyin Taiwo © 2012

You are Mine

You are my poem, a thousand words spinning meaning without reason, reason without meaning

You are my prayer, a desire stronger than the longing of Jabez, deeper than the groans of Shiloh

You are my passion, a fire burning in the inner recesses of the heart, consuming anything in its path

 

You are my Father, source from which I sprang, laying the foundation for all that I will become

You are my mirror, revealer of the truth, refuting every lie and deception about my identity

You are my hero, conqueror of the universe, traversing the lengths and breadths of your territory

 

You are my dream, reminding me of moments gone by, calling me to another life and existence

You are my hope, sustaining my desire to live and love, defying the reaches of logic and reason

You are my love, fulfilling the deepest needs of my heart, satisfying my highest expectations in life

 

You are my past, shadows of darkness stalking the brightness of day, never to catch up with the light

You are my future, linings of silver bordering glorious days of hope, forever a vision in the night

You are my present, thunders of trouble and whispers of peace, ever dwelling within my sight

 

You are my friend, sharing my pain and sorrow, joy and pleasure, standing as a partner for life

You are my foe, hunting my soul and seeking my loss, rejoicing to find me in the midst of strife

You are my neighbour, lending a hand in time of need, supporting a brother when trouble was rife

 

Whatever you are, whoever you may be, always remember – you are mine

Toyin Taiwo © 2012

A Race Against Time

A blast from the past! I didn’t do too badly. I hope you enjoy reading this. Please feel free to provide feedback. Thank you!

Chronicles of a Journeyman

Slowly he trudged, his journey lay ahead

Bleakly he looked, hoping to see the end

Armory at hand, his frail soul to defend

Pains around his body, aching in his head

His fragile soul was famished, looking for a sign

All his strength focused, on finishing the journey

He had nothing left; he’d spent all of his money

But he had this resolve: to see the finish line

Along came a traveler, a fellow journeyman

He too seemed exhausted, tired to the bone

They began to discuss, both talking in a drone

Our friend did not inquire, about the strange man

They traveled on together, sharing their pain and sorrow

But time soon revealed, the person of the stranger

For soon he condescended, to eating from a manger

And then put off his journey, until an unknown morrow

He put our friend in danger, a state of real confusion

For…

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