Academic journal article Cross / Cultures

On My Birthday

Academic journal article Cross / Cultures

On My Birthday

Article excerpt

On my birthday I see ghosts of colleagues

once strutting Marxist peacocks

out everywhere to create a spectacle

of their plumes, a proletarian costume

still living but dead from the turncoat shame

after suffering the massive stroke of charlatans

who had brandished firebrands at every march

and carried the standard for credulous folks

but soon diverted and fell into the cash-covered

ambush to be stifled silent by the weight of greed.

Unmentionable names nobody wants to hear, no

parent allows children access to their stale rhetoric;

vultures that hover over every corridor of power,

nobody sees them without spitting in revulsion.

These living dead are already buried deeper

than the true dead that are remembered;

they won't ever be ancestors of anybody

but forever remain outcasts of humanity

those scholars arguing in defense of AaBa Cha,

the half-literate butcher of Abuja;

those griots kissing Ogiso's fungoid feet

and stoking fires of torture in Aso Rock;

those experts who for knockout pay prepared

racks to silence freedom fighters in their midst;

those guards who broke into overflowing coffers

and ruined forever the republic's fortune of oil;

those doctors who volunteered their services

of lethal injection to please a mass murderer -

they are living but condemned to holes

in which they lie buried in infamy.

On my birthday, let me flee further

from the bacchanalia of Asaba,

let me not stop at the debauchery of Abuja

that makes mockery of fifty years of adulthood;

let me not be a heart-beat away from executives,

ritual masters who turn democracy into witchcraft;

let me remain the vagabond walking my way

singing in the streets of love and friendship

and let me be friends with those who shun

the wayward fraternity of the living dead. …

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