THIS IS LAGOS

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THIS IS LAGOS

THIS IS LAGOS

This is Lagos-
a welcoming address to all dignities
an old sermon preached by three wisemen
no praises or pleasantries at the entrance gate
Come and face your death or life warrant
in a no man’s land but everyone’s home
The walls of the streets are filled to its brim
the good, the bad, the ugly, and the wild
Yoga girls parading in a lost emotions
Skimpy skirt Lucifers ruining many men
Yahoo boys fan smiling coals into money
Spinners spin the spindle of the morning
Spreading on their wings are skyscrapers,
Oceans greeting in a pleasant radiation…
In her bosom are cruel hustlers borrowing the
Earful clamour of the day.
“No sweat, no sweet” every toddler sings
Traffic holds down to ransome the hurrying legs of
yellow and black buses whose courage is like shield

This is Lagos-
the flag of Nigeria
Where floating slums swallow innocent eyes
Carbonated air blares out the lungs to rot
the streets are strict and tough-
A ghetto filled environment taking away the
innocence of girls and boys of tomorrow
clapping hands of generators trumpeting all over-
Agberos wagging their lips in every corner…
“Owo mi da! Ori e ti daru! Funmi lowo joor!”

This is Lagos-
A mad woman feeding many selfish children;
children of malnutrition
Patients of hunger and wants
Hospitals have no remedy to them all
The future of children unborn charged with the fierce
urgency of thunder of agony…
Million voices of shouting churches and mosques
yet, evil harvests more souls daily
Lagos is killing us, yet, we remain cushioned with hopes and dreams
We are drenched and smashed by suffering,
Bodies tasted own blood and sweat
Eyes tasted own tears and sorrow
but they are not too far from dawning
Lagos is killing me! Lagos is killing me!
but the retribution never break our wings
Is there a flesh of new and old meaning
to this gloomy joyful lagos story?
We have never been more to her than hustling,
bustling and breaking her soul into pieces
When the old cold night arrives-
Birds sleep no more, men hunt and haunt more,
Cars horns rumpled on cracking voices
She keeps vigil all night against her wish because
she has to keep her children from their needs.

This is Lagos-
a no man’s land, everyone’s land-
Come make your bread or make your death
Roses are not grown here…
You who has seen not Lagos, follow my swinging ink
who refuses to hide and speak; for Lagos lives
in your bravity tabled at
the coasting ocean in the west.

©John Chizoba Vincent

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