Rabid filling stations literally littered across leaky cross roads like a pandemic of broken Hausa songs, spewing from every roadside stalk interwoven with sprawling beggars with torn faces masked with grief like a stained-glass window with no sunspots, no shine, no spirit.

Across my window-pane are aborted Almajiri boys with erstwhile flowery souls, seeking their stolen stars, reaching for immaculate conception, to be born again, to be born with golden fingers, to be reborn as the beautiful ones. A teary lad breaks a chant and his tiny brothers sink deep into the drowsy rhythm like frantic choristers without bass, no beat just muted howls. How I wish, like a mango fruit, I could reach out for those callow tears streaking down his amber sun-baked cheeks like fleeing slaves across a cornfield, soil them in my palms like a sculptor and mix the same with clay to raise him a family from dust, then breathe the breath of life as the creator in Eden. But how can I give life to bodies that never left, never lived, never loved? How do you call forth the dead that never died? How I wish I could spin those dashing tears to threads and stitch him a garment of many colours for a fatherly warmth and tenderness.

So, I sit still like an orange sun against sunbreak and do nothing but offer wishes to starving unwashed children. Their song is half-mellowed, when they all grab their stare by the handle, swing it steadily and aimlessly point it at my poker face, unscathed, unscarred. With as little faith as a maiden looking up to her mistress, they wave their last Kumbaya for some restless naira against their hopeful soul.

The rains burst wide, stitching the ever green across the rising horizon, stretching the springy horizon again like chewing gum over his greenly bride and rebounds their union with a golden sun for a ring as newlyweds in December. Glory to the rains, the wind here is an inferno of red sand and so she seeks safety in the heartbeats of corrugated mud houses, tries camouflage for a treaty, but how can a ghostly hut with mud for skin, pay you homage? Pour you libation o wind? These days your kindred are bloated out as vile elements, the villagers say you come power-drunk with the rains, rising unbridled, unbending over the barren hills and blackened rocks like a tsunami does to a beach house. Only the rubble of wreckage left behind soothes the dust of your footprints, so today naked you came, naked you shall go. A rumbling wanderer with no dreams, ridden at most on the humps of Fulani cows threshing corn on a sparely field, and the binds of electric extensions like alien spacecrafts from mars, furrowed in unison on the back of broken earth, like gallant infantry in battle.

The roads are steep and steering, so I sleep undone in the blazing saddles of midday heat against a rouge lady passenger. I always felt the north is a tough nut to crack, but how do you crack a nut with pearls immured, with pearl stone scattered like grains of wheat across the vast vegetations. And so, I wonder by my thrust, between a fruitful tourist picture-land and my unattended August visit. Will Bauchi stay untrampled? Will Bauchi like nectar petals hold the last of her touring ancient pearls? Before this last fall, before miners perch her silenced screams to a barren heap of rubble, before her unborn seedlings see the light.












Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash