• The Corona Verses: Nigerian Poets React To COVID-19
  • Editor’s note: The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the world to its knees and millions around the world cannot comprehend what is going on at the moment. Though it is not the first time that the world has been crippled by a pandemic, however, this virus has left the world more vulnerable than it has ever been; and there are many who can no longer see a light at the end of the tunnel. In times past, when the world came to such a devastation, poets would take it upon themselves to make sense of the situation, to give clear expression of mixed feelings, and to put things in a different light than it would have ordinarily been seen. Bearing this in mind, we reached out to poets and asked them to come with words for the recreation of the earth; we reached out to poets to painstakingly forge poems that will not only reveal feelings and put emotions in measure; but to knit verbs that would bring us closer to vital truths. We reached out to poets both established and fledgling, with a hope that their metaphors will help us reinvent the wheel; with faith that their gift of language will bring us healing and help us find closure. We reached  out believing that their lines will aid us in coming to terms with the importance of even the unconscious materials which we encounter in lockdown, in quarantine, while social distancing and in isolation. It is our desire that everyone who comes in contact with these poems will find in them, potent energies with which they can press on in this rather depressing time. While you enjoy this poems, we hope that they inspire you never to give up, we hope that they remind you that you are not alone at this moment; we believe that together, this common foe will be defeated.  ____________________________________________________________________________________ A leap year & her potentate (by Dami Ajayi) But who would have thought Virus, not man. No sceptre or mace, No frisson of blond hair Tousled in ensuing helicopter blade whirls. Virus, named for envelope Global North deserves a gift from the East, Carried in spores, spur of the moment, A sneeze in the mid-clouds & what is given cannot be taken back. Now Europe sits wonky, situation room of the world. To think that Rome could be crippled again with viral load & an African sun will scorch viral particles even in churches. The tall world order of ironies that makes TFL unnerving, I douse myself in hand sanitizer gel & replace a frisky smile with that black nod & open sesame. Dami Ajayi is the author of two poetry collections, most recently, A Woman’s Body is a Country. _________________________________________________________________________________ The Corona Verses: A Poem (by Tolu Daniel)   I. Lover: The last time I saw her was a day before the lockdown, Time froze under that bridge where we held hands; That music from her touch – still singing – in my blood. So, go tell it to the virus: “Many lockdowns can not quench love.” II. Rebel: The last time I passed my bus-stop was two months ago, Our “Ruler”- says we must stay at home; But there is no home- without food in the kitchen, And my stomach tells me that rules were made to be broken. Abeg, make una remind dat virus: “Hunger is deadlier, so it’s not you we are scared of!” III. Caregiver: The last time the politicians visited was never; they are lab-rats for the foriegners! But all cages abroad are now closed, we will treat them, in facilities they didn’t build. Please, quietly help us thank the virus, At least now they’ll pay us more, attention! IV. Magician: The last time was a boom when Ebola came, business never remained the same! The gullibility of the common man- O what a bottomless gold-mine! What shall we say of the virus? “Hmmm, yes! Ritual-taxes! To pacify ancestors!” V. Common man: The last time we were fooled was a lifetime ago; We are born again now, our múmù don dey do! Where’s that guy who desperately wanted to free the sheeple? Well, the sheeple in lockdown are hungry, still awaiting his donations. Let us hence pay tithes unto the virus: “Thank you, for making us realize that our runaway-daddy never truly loved us!” VI. Jester: The next time we are tagged as lazy youths, We will remind them of who made Savage trend on Twitter; Our “active elders” want us to smile while we suffer, But we are crazier than they think; we will suffer, make jests and laugh hard! About the virus? Say no more, On social media we’ve already said more than enough. VII. Innocent: Aunty says next week we shouldn’t come to school, Mummy, is the Corona starting on Monday? And why does aunty want to teach us from your phone? aren’t we meant to be on holidays? I don’t know what to say to that Vai-worse, Daddy, what’s the meaning of “Vai-worse”? VIII. Preacher: The next time reality takes the place of religion, the world will still theorize it as conspiracy. So we’ve learnt, that he who goes against the flow must anticipate the wrath of the ocean; Yet, we say nothing else unto this virus, except “Be gone and cast into the sea!” IX. Hero: Next time, we will be proactive! Closed airports will be the first thing! And it won’t matter if it’s the President’s kid, Our nation means more than my next-kin! Honestly, there’s nothing to say to the virus, but to our negligence and unpreparedness. X. Dreamer: Whichever time we awaken from this nightmare, please brew us some coffee in abundance – that we may spend sleepless nights in the refinery of our day-dreams. And whatever we say or don’t say to the virus, May it not leave us bereft of our visions! @tolu_neodaniel ©2020, May Tolu NeoDaniel works as an admin staff member of The Light House Believers Network (TLHBN).  On the side, he’s working on launching a think-tank for policy analysts & public administrators, while also developing a career in transmedia storytelling & script-writing for Science-fiction/fantasy projects. When he escapes work activities, he cools off by writing poetry and Rap music. @Tolu_NeoDaniel @Neodaniel_GNUM ____________________________________________________________________________________ Hold me (by Samuel Ugbechie) When death comes it comes small, silent, viral, thin like a cry, but in this night, in cold slithering out of a can of shut buildings, I call you all day, to touch your glance, to smell your lonely pulse. I call you with eyes closed like a corked gourd, too scared to see your wet face flung to the screen of the phone. I call to cry, because weeping is tart and tasty. Here, in the room, your breath spreads and stutters like a tide, and I fear you’re about to drown like all the souls that keep drowning, grannies pulling heaven down too close, too soon. Uncles and aunties kissing sharp edges of eternity. Why does life ring so thick and sink so quick? What part of my lungs is bed to one of the tiniest visitors ever known? Mail me a breath, love. Send me a parceled sigh. Sing me the words sealed in those long, lean, vigilant lungs. I dance still good, I waltz still well. In the night, crash the moon, fuse the million stars as fire and flame the body of the frozen world. What we have is thick with spittle and taut with love, and as floods run like songs down our roads, forcing out, tonight, this stench of global fever, I cling like scars to your skin, the wound stitched and woven by time, words gonging soft like mercy, distance shrinking back into the posture shot in its finest gown.
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  • 19 Jun '20 - 06:21am
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  • Comments (12)
  • usifoh on 19 Jun '20 - 06:37am
    naija will not kill person
    1
  • mpabia on 19 Jun '20 - 02:09pm
    same story all the time 😂😞🤪
    1
  • dezzygold on 19 Jun '20 - 11:00am
    what is you people problem
    0
  • dezzygold on 19 Jun '20 - 11:01am
    pls go and sit down somewhere
    0
  • dezzygold on 19 Jun '20 - 11:01am
    nothing musa no go see for gat
    0
  • arotomena on 19 Jun '20 - 11:16am
    Covid-19 wahala
    0
  • emmaunel on 19 Jun '20 - 11:27am
    Corona we no get die nah
    0
  • elodivine on 20 Jun '20 - 03:48pm
    Corona we don see Wetin pass you
    0
  • unegbuemeka12 on 21 Jun '20 - 10:22am
    Omo no be small thing for here ooo
    0
  • cheedyjo on 22 Jun '20 - 08:25am
    Thanks for the information afronews
    0
  • cheedyjo on 22 Jun '20 - 08:25am
    Thanks for the information afronews
    0
  • wiseman11 on 22 Jun '20 - 02:38pm
    Corona Virus is not a death sentence
    0
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