Poetry

WE HAVE MASTERED THE ART OF SILENCE By Bada Yusuf Amoo

Written by Bada Yusuf Amoo


We have mastered the art of silence;

we have seen your hands shaking like

struggling leper and your eyes burn

like gathering embers of a stammerer.

 

We have mastered the art of silence;

we have seen the whiteness of your piety

with an artistry to make us mute

and appear human under heaven’s heat.

We have mastered the art of silence;

we have read the foolishness of whitemen

that padlocked human lips to make them slaves

and you – a father to Aristotle, full of logic!

 

We have mastered the act of silence;

we have seen you send our fellow citizens into exile

because they refuse to be wise, because greed or politics

but we know it is not really about justice,

 

please, I do not say and cannot say you are unjust. In fact,

you are the coign of politicians that sit in the edge of

the eminence and forget. Only few are born with a spoon

but we have mastered your will – silence!

 

We are the ones who voted Trump

who knows little of our politics and our ways;

like aarti of a conscious holiness, you are eminence grise

of the presidency – the heritage of our liberation.

 

Another citizen has swallowed her own life. The heat is unbearable

and your Ajeles have refused to change their ways. A is grace,

B is luck, C is hard work, D is mercy, E is consideration and

F is their pride. We are what you want us to be.

 

Your pitons at the entrance of our “to be prisons”

killed “As E Dey Hot” that did save the belly of a poor man

and we are left with the expensive mucus at the corridors,

we have mastered the art of silence!

 

Our hands are curled back above our heads

upon the pillow making your decision to increase our taxes,

please, either me or my mother could be another suicide

for that is a hand washing away plenty dreams.

 

Note: Ajele is an administrative system which the Ibadan put in place in the 19th Century Yoruba history, the activities of the Ajele later led to Kiriji war which led to the annexation of Yoruba nation by the British Government in 1904. Ajeles refer to the administrators.

About the author

Bada Yusuf Amoo