Niyi Osudare (Not My Business)

They picked Akanni up one morning
Beat him soft like clay
And stuffed him down the belly
Of a waiting jeep.

What business of mine is it
So long they don’t take the yam
From my savouring mouth?

They came one night
Booted the whole house awake
And dragged Danladi out,
Then off to a lengthy absence.

What business of mine is it
So long they don’t take the yam
From my savouring mouth?

Chinwe went to work one day
Only to find her job was gone:
No query, no warning, no probe -
Just one neat sack for a stainless record.

What business of mine is it
So long they don’t take the yam
From my savouring mouth?

And then one evening
As I sat down to eat my yam
A knock on the door froze my hungry hand.

The jeep was waiting on my bewildered lawn
Waiting, waiting in its usual silence.

by African Poems

Comments (3)

No better or worse then the massive attack the author had on similar poetry written in our shallow and unpoetic times in his book Does Poetry Matter? . The typed form is as those poems that exists as words on a page rather than sounds in the mouth and ear. This poem is no better or worse than its contemporaries. I was expecting the poet to carry his own staff, and present a modern work in the stance of Virgil.
This is a fine poem, well-crafted and well-written. I enjoy the cadence, the flow and the topic. It conveys very clear imagery, and I can easily envision the California hills, also having lived among them.
Dana talks about life that is surrounded by death. A uninhabitable field that looks as if there is no life holds an abundance of life. The eye can be very deceiving when we do not look close enough.