Poems by Ahmadu Usman Ode

haikus of hope
Just before death dies:
I wish to visit the sky
and ask her to cry.

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If death will soon die-
I shall tell it to the moon
how the stars will dim.

Death should die tonight.
For she amplifies our tears,
Swinging with her songs.

But; before death dies:
Let mirage sink in mire
and let love profess.

The taciturn of
this dying death quails and quakes
in loops of bent hope.

So before death dies;
Can injustice wear remorse
as its attire?



a poem for southern Kaduna

Don’t wear me the shoes of Kafanchan
until you show me the flag of love that hoists
in this land that urinated in her shrine.

A land of men who dried their conscience
and watch hatred and killing moist
In this land that urinated in her shrine.

A land of those that chew their patience
and uphold evil emblem of those that foist
in this land where nothing means anything.

I rose at the birth of dawn;
But if today be the day I rest in death,
Tell them I died because I bare my name.

I never wished to melt the walls
of your tears; but I was told that
the moon too will soon scorch.

I live in a land where her inhabitants
wear the scorching anger of the sun.

Why must you use ‘ me-sunan-ka?’
To detect your swords meal?
What’s the joy in making a scepter a hilt?

You laugh,
She dies.
Your deeds,
They cry.
You kill,
They mourn.

But, always do remember.
Kafanchan is my home;
Even before the books that blinded our rationalism hoisted.

These books that steals and stills our oneness,
Locks and lurks our joy,
and open deep-heaven of envy and betrayal.

Why must I not use guns to joist my life
When even ‘dun-Allah’ seems void?

Its been long I sowed this seed yams:
When will the time of harvest come
So running nose of expectation can dry-up?

Kafanchan is my home,
Kafanchan Was my home and still my home

Please, pray for my homes liberty.


• Me-sunan-ka : Hausa word for ‘ what is your name?

• Dun-Allah: Hausa word for ‘Please’ or ‘because of God’

© Odu Ode {Ahmadu Usman Ode}

This poem is written to complement a duet written last year with a
Ugandan friend ‘Poetess Akello Charlotte’ which was titled “Death will
die”. But this one “Before death dies” was written bearing in mind the
injustice and hatred which has swallowed the day….

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