Monthly Archives: December 2012

I KNOW A LAND – a poem by Toluwani Eniola


This poem won the first prize in the “Nigerians Saving Nigerians” poetry contest

I know a land; scattered and battered

Mushroom of sleeping seeds and shrubs  

Finding feet on the league of Western Irokos  
Amidst baleful heats and deluge  
It is the land of my birth, where the pricks of Hosannas on the crest  
Hurt the heavens and brew local alcoholic tears  
I know a land mazed in the yore,  
of the burly junta and the sweetness of war  
Punching hopes to a comma.  
I know a land that forgets the beautiful ashes of war  
The poultry palace that incubates new dreams,  
Dreams nodding to clack and clap.  
I know a land hosting the University of Questions  
We ask who will wash our linen?  
Who will send rain to revive the dying lilies on the plains?  
I know a land going green now  
Springing up from the refuse of hope  
Flexing muscles to the air  
I know a new land embracing new breeds of peace and shield  
And Heads with no personal gait,  
Who will stomp and run  
The back of their feet hitting the back of their swinging heads  
They must arise from the Savannah and the Sahara  
They must shame the blames of the furious past.  
I know a land that will take shape with hands.  
Hands of war, hands of slavery and hands of anger;  
Glossy hands, coarse hands, black hands and moist hands;
Hands of the beggars, hands of farmers, hands of the rich upper class;  
Hands working day and night fashioning the futures  
Hot exhibits, glistening from the forge.