Subscribe to Newsletter
Monthly Newsletter: Join more than 3,000 African literature enthusiasts!
Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our "Guide to African Novels."

screen-shot-2016-10-02-at-6-26-10-am-e1475407614817

“…beauty exudes from the lips of your hills.

Bare earth is a living brown: trees, seeds,

shrubs & greenery on your dusty chest.”

***

 

Iseyin I

I

You’re the tale of contrasting colours;
your sky is blue and your fields green,
whites are of cows and cassava flakes.

II

I can hear song birds
in my mind’s ear—
see the remains of rusted zincs—
spill from Ibadan—
on roofs of buildings planted
in the belly
of your undulating valley.

III

You wear the radiant smile of nature,
beauty exudes from the lips of your hills.
Bare earth is a living brown: trees, seeds,
shrubs & greenery on your dusty chest,
are always alive.

IV

The drowning sun is
a sign of contentment.
My soul, spirit & body—
for now- are at peace, here.

 

Iseyin II

1

You’re the horizon
that is seldom gazed at,
graced only by a few visitors;
men of valor.

Your hills and mounds
are breath-taking views
witnessed, only
by a courageous few.

2

Your cave is like home
there warmth of embrace float—
gives active life to the near-dead
& frozen hearts.

Your fragrance though
is, a reminder to all and sundry
that, all roads, especially this road—
that lead to and away from you;
away from your core
filled with litters of repercussion.

4

I await dawn and not the rise of sun
with as much apprehension
as the fallen trees, it will come soon.

5

Like souls of men
I do not belong to, or with you
I am only identified with you—
through time.
Like a lost soul in an empty body.
In you, I found a lost part of me.

 

On October 2, we published Enter Naija: The Book of Places, an anthology of writing–non-fiction, poetry, memoir, fiction, commentary–photography and digital art about places in Nigeria created to mark Nigeria’s 56th Independence anniversary. The project, with a delicious Introduction by Ikhide R. Ikheloa, was edited by Otosirieze Obi-Young and features 35 contributors. We are republishing a few highlights from the anthology, and here is our third: two poems titled “Iseyin I” and “Iseyin II,” Olanrewaju Tajudeen’s edible painting of Iseyin, a city in Oyo State.

**************

About the Author:

Olanrewaju Tajudeen is a poet. Because we burn daily and nightly like candles that illuminate, our waxes are the words left behind, even if the light becomes dimmed after our passing, and he, Olanrewaju, would want to leave enough wax behind. He writes in from Ibadan.

Tags: , , ,

Otosirieze is deputy editor of Brittle Paper. He is a judge for the 2018/19 Gerald Kraak Prize and the 2019 Miles Morland Writing Scholarships. He is an editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective, which has published volumes including We Are Flowers (2017) and The Inward Gaze (2018). He is the curator of the Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness, including Enter Naija: The Book of Places (2016), which explores cities, and Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (2017), which explores professions. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, is working on a novel, and is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He combined English and History at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is completing a postgraduate degree in African Studies, and taught English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Welcome to Brittle Paper, your go-to site for African writing and literary culture. We bring you all the latest news and juicy updates on publications, authors, events, prizes, and lifestyle. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@brittlepaper) and sign up for our "I love African Literature" newsletter.

Monthly Newsletter!

Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our
"Guide to African Novels."

Archives

In Her Debut Memoir, Bassey Ikpi Deepens Our Understanding of Mental Health by Sharing Her Own Journey

bassey ikpi - graph image - david asumah

In 2004, while on tour with Def Poetry Jam, the Nigerian poet and spoken word artist Bassey Ikpi was diagnosed […]

Wo̩lé S̩óyinká’s Forthcoming Book, His 50th at Age 85, Looks at the Aesthetics, Traditions, & Histories of African Art

wole soyinka - beyond aesthetics

Fresh from celebrations for his 85th birthday days ago, Wo̩lé S̩óyinká has a new book coming. An expansion of his […]

Royal African Society: The UK Home Office Visa Service Discriminating Against Africans

Royal African Society - UK visa (2)

The following is a press release by the Royal African Society.  Home Office Visa Service Discriminating Against Africans “Home Office […]

The Auditory Art of Storytelling in A Small Silence | Reviews by Ainehi

jumoke verissimo a small silence (1)

  A Small Silence is the debut novel by Nigerian poet Jumoke Verissimo. The story is sad, funny, and inspiring […]

Event | The Sixth Praxis Hangout, Focusing on Mental Health, Is Coming to Kano

Praxis_Hangout_Event_Details

Praxis Hangout, a literary event hosted by the Nigeria-based Praxis Magazine Online, is coming to Kano. Organised in collaboration with […]

Wo̩lé S̩óyinká Turns 85, Birthday Wishes Pour In

wole soyinka - 85th birthday

Professor Wo̩lé S̩óyinká turned 85 years old two days ago. Tributes and wishes have been pouring in from around the […]

Thanks for signing up!

Never miss out on new posts. Subscribe to a digest, too:

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.