If you don’t know much else about me, you should know I am a Christian, an engineering graduate, and I love to write poetry.
So I have been thinking of ways to tell some stories, and I decided to tell a bit of story in verse. This one is titled “Origins”, a piece I have recently worked on – an attempt to explore a few of the places that have influenced my life the most, and in what way.
It is essentially, an experiment in poetry and story-telling. I hope you enjoy it. Please feel free to share your thoughts afterwards. Cheers!
My life is a story of places;
The places I come from, the places I’ve been to,
And the places I am headed to.
You see, I come from many places
From the tiny crag in the rock
Where strong men are made in the silence
From the lazy town by the way
Where the curious are formed every day
From the busy streets of the city
Where dreams are built up and broken down
And tears are mixed with sweat
As rain beats down on toilers and hustlers.
I come from Sagamu,
Old trading post linking Lagos to the hinterland
Where limestone deposits abound underground
And bags of cement complement baskets of kolanut
On their way out of the old and ancient town.
I come from Eleja, before the swamp beyond Ajegunle
Where little boys rolled tyres in walled compounds,
Fought sharp-mouthed little girls for bragging rights
And played ball with young men for a place at the table
Of men. We read big and little books alike,
Recited poems and memorized multiplication tables
In hope of finding our place in this world.
I come from Ayegbami,
Where there was space enough for the brave
And those who had foresight built houses
Among the trees, as population ever expanded and
The boundaries of our civilization was daily stretched.
I come from Ikenne,
Where eager boys and girls found their way to school
In the hope of learning a thing or two
And perhaps a chance to become someone great in life.
Pushed by friends and family, inspired by several stories
We trudged daily to assemble at the school set on a hill
Till one day we all fanned out to pursue our dreams.
I come from Sokoto, where friendly rivalry was nurtured
From Abuja, where teenagers morphed into young men
From Lagos, where destiny began to unfold before my eyes
And friends became family as foundations were laid
For a new set of families just about to emerge
From Abakaliki, where dust and dryness birthed greatness
And men were formed by Divine hands from miry clay.
I come from Port-Harcourt and a thousand more places,
From every place where my life gained definition
And memorials were laid as a reminder for the future.
Memories swathed in unfading music
Line the path everywhere I come from.
Even now, I hear the sounds of every city, every place,
Every road, every room or street corner
Humming and buzzing as my life echoes emphatically
The sound of every place from where I come.
Toyin Taiwo © 2016