Rising Voices is is a collection of Poems by 130 Young Nigerian Writers compiled by Wole Adedoyin in honour of Prefessor Remi Raji-Oyelade. A must read for everybody.
Who can ever fathom that there is anything fleshy about the within of a coconut,
Not to talk of the exuberant whiteness in that brown dusty yam,
Can you fathom the bitter sweet taste of the bitter leaf?
Or even the thorny part of the rose,
These are facts that confront us more often than not
When we look and judge things with eyes so close
On this side of eternity where things do not appear in their true forms
It is highly recommended we walk circumspectly
If without thought, we recklessly survey a package,
We will definitely go down with the wreckage.
Who are we? Who is a man? What is our true definition?
Face value, speech, and etiquette may just be part of the deception.
What we exist as can only find expression as an imperfect clone
Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.
The shock may not be able to be expressed if people unmasked
So many questions that are better left unasked.
Why would we rather hurl missives of verbal insult?
Not to talk of physical assault,
On those who have dared the consequence to face the light,
And consequently shaming the night,
Unveiling the mask and showing their true colour.
These people should be celebrated with accolades and glamour.
The true hero is he that admits that he is human,
Who naturally is exposed to faults and falls,
However, in this age of ours, admitting to an error,
Is tantamount to facing a ban
For which you can be visited with terror.
When will the time come, when will it come?
When the order of the day will be openness to all and not some
When you will show your nakedness to your brother
And be quite sure you will not hear it from another.
When will that time come, will it ever come?
When all men will be unmasked and transparent,
Without motives thwarted and bent.
We long to see the coconut without the hard bark;
We want to see the yam’s whiteness from afar,
We do not want to confuse the taste of the bitter leaf with another
Then, the best way to judge the book will be by the cover!
Oso, Ibitayo Olamide