Hold on to me when you get old
For your youthful days, me you served with vigour
Hold on to me when you get old
For your youthful days, me you served with vigour
We met on the highway of loneliness
So rugged a path that Roughened our pact
Sweats, Frets and sometimes frowns-
Imbued our Smiles, enchant our climes
Her white spread sheets, with the sharp edged sleeve
Bore the pangs of my fist
The grip of my palm
And the agony of my ink..
My book! Oh! My book
Don’t blame me
It was mother’s request to face thee.
Ifoti olooyi (coma inducing slap), Ikoo gbekunmi (knocks that make you swallow mucus), ilu bara (Beating like a thief), Abaraa gbona (hot bang), Eekana e.t.c are all peculiarities of Yoruba mothers. You might be so unlucky to have your mum a specialist in none (as you would have marks in different places), but fortunately, mine was a specialist in all (my marks are in inconspicuous locations); the reason why I have this tale to tell. In fact there was a time she slapped me and I couldn’t see anything for a moment. All I could see was black and white! (The who off light type of slap)
We were told that no love can be compared to one found between mother and child. As a child, I do not totally believe that saying. Sometimes I do wonder; “how can someone that loves me treat me this way?” She gives me food, clothes me and even sings for me, yet she doles on me the severest of punishments. I was confused. The discipline was so much that at a moment I can’t really say who I fear most; Allah or my Mother! (Never mind me for I was still a kid then). It is true the prophet chose the mother three times over the father but to me I would have chosen my pa ten times over.
Here is one of my numerous stories:
She called me one day, “Ashraf!” I said “Yes ma”. “You know I would be travelling to Iseyin today”, a question to which I nodded in affirmation. She continued “So, you must not go and play outside”, “Why”, my mind queried but I dare not show it in my face, for she understands every gesture I make (I don’t know how she got to know that). “Don’t go out”, she reiterated! “I would know if you do”, she completed her instruction.
Such command was easy for me to obey on a normal day, but this very day, I was in an imbroglio. I have to choose between the devil and the red sea. As a football addict, and a good one for that matter, we were to have an interclass match competition of which I was a star key player for my team. Here I am, being handed explicit instructions. What am I to do? Ibadan to Iseyin is nothing less than a four hour drive which makes it easy for me to sneak out and be back without my mother knowing. As sweet as the thought was, sneaking out and my mum coming back home for whatever reason it might be and not meeting me at home scared my lungs out, for it had happened on several occasions but I was saved then because I was obedient. I waited for few hours to be sure she might have boarded her bus and would have been far off the outskirts of Ibadan. Yet I couldn’t go beyond our house’s verandah. I was startled. In the long run, I choose obedience. My reason was simple! If my team lost, we would all share the pains of loosing, but if I sneak out and my mum eventually does her investigation by whatever means she has (that is if she didn’t come back home for any reason) and finds out I erred, I would be the only one to suffer the wrought. Eventually, my team lost to a far lesser team.
Here is my point:
Right now I see myself a man that outrightly disobey Allah without remorse. Although, I now know the wheat from the chaff and the day from the night, but yet with impunity I engage in sin. I felt no restraint like I felt in JSS1 from disobeying my mother. What if my mother sees me was my thought, but now I forget that there is no doubt in Allah being the all seeing. My mother would punish me I reckoned in my heart, yet I remain oblivious of the fact that Allah’s punishment can’t be endured. The same applies to you too as we trample on Allah’s will and command at will while our hearts deceive us by saying Allah would forgive us! Yes he will! But what made you so sure you would live to see the next seconds. My brother! I knew I might not be the only lucky one to have a mother like mine, so as you remember the slaps, knocks and bangs on your backs your mum must have used in pressing your reset button because you make mistakes, so also should the punishment of the grave and hell ring a bell in you whenever you want to err. I hope you hear!
Jollof that needs stew
I really need a bank to lend me a loan and leave me alone
For someone said to me sometimes ago
That real men with real eyes realize real lies
I mean Look!
Look again!This is not a mere pun or word play
Look I Say!
It is as clear as a bright sunny day!
You must Sow a dead soul (seed)
For to your soul a covering to sew
In order to nurture the soul
We go through the doe, not sow (female pig)
For to us it remains a foe
As I look for a way
To survive, thrive and not washed away-
For with success they say would stay-
Determination, Discipline and faith
We propel our outer self
At the expense of who we really are
To it we become deaf
You struggle to do more,
But all to no avail,
It’s just for you to keep the Game on!
Hmmmm….You remain Just an ore
Raping all the dirt around…What a whore
Never become a Jollof
Waiting to be served with some stew
Never regard others thought about what you are
Reckon with your soul
Is it well? Not how far…
For soon you would realize
That you were even never worth the while
A Jollof still calling for Stew……
I saw her!
Those eyes, I mean- popping from the window
That imbued her face
The resplendent aura of her gushing beauty
Don’t ask how I knew
For her charm, so blinding-
Radiates from a lowered gaze
Straight gentle steps
I inferred from afar
All in a flowing Regalia
I wished I could-
Touch and simmer
A thought very lethal
For her veil demands
Respect, Honour and Regard
In my trance
I was caught between scrub and rivulet
Garden and oasis
Water and Shade
Drizzle and dew
For she is meant for a few!
To her husband, a Diva
Her father, a princess
And her kids a queen
A soothing Succour to the-
Pious, pure and willing
And yes! I Saw her!
Her endowments, so revealing
Covered, not wrapped from head to the toe
Oh! I saw her!
As a priceless jewel Allah kept so secure.
From nothing my dear, Remember we came
Do not forget, our end still remains the same
Not all with phallus you see are handsome
‘’She is Pretty’’- that’s a thought that can hold you at ransom
Your substance, your value and integrity should be germane
Nurture it- the bigger the kingdom, the fuller the mane
Don’t sacrifice your Hayaa for a ‘’few likes’’
Because on the Day of Judgment, no one would look twice
Or to you, it’s a problem lowering your gaze,
Go wear a footy, with a beautiful shoe lace
To our cravings we constantly remain subservient
When in reality, our creator’s warning perpetually ambient
Nullity is who we are
Yet futility we do revere
Of all the climes my mind sought
Never, the grave had it brought forth
With days approaching, the end unknown
Bumper seeds of sin I have hugely sown
In its every damned step, another is cloned
Its blissful garden, like forever I roamed
Atid’s scribbles I can’t just atone
Yet my heart, never withered a stone
Deafening whispers of conscience I detest
Amazing glamour, I yell, indeed abound in this ‘’jest’’
Cry me a river,
And I would swim you a fish.
Relay me the prophet’s message
And I would play you its disc.
The truth I know
For the word is bitter
Caution at wind I throw
All I see is the world and its glitter
Withholding arms that to the poor should care
Yes, I’m rich; with smiles and words I am blessed
I whined as a baby and now ready to make someone whine
The pulpit I dare can’t touch; and together with adults dare not wine.
Yet ‘’heed’’ constantly the grave would call
That on me, death would beckon
But as the son of the midnight sun
I giggle- ‘’my day has only just begun’’
What a shame, I forgot that soon I’d be gone!
And the scrolls would be handed as the deal was done.