Poetry: For What Shall I Say? by Ridwan Adedeji Olanrewaju

For What Shall I Say?

They came in millions of programming
Programming that gave our blabbering tongues words to say
Our stammering tongues coals to lit
Pangs of ink and paper
Home in on our fading shadows.

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In slippery glade, mighty men scattered
Scattered like a river in flood
Flood that sue us for our perilous days
Days thousand of cockroaches ran the fowl like leather ball.

Days, men shot their pupils
Pupils from iris of admiration
Even now, I fell off their blinking lashes
They have others to look at now

My galloping horse has taken the gait of a snail
Even now, I am a leper in father’s house.

What shall I say when they ask?
What excuse will put off their silly sympathies?
Will they by my voice hearken?
Hearken the fallen ones can be raised again.




Born in Iwo, a year after Nigeria’s most recent transition to democracy, Ridwan Adedeji Olanrewaju has grown into a poet, an essayist, a fabric dyeing artist and an aspiring spoken word artiste. His works have been featured on different platforms and a few anthologies. “For What Shall I Say” is one of his few poems featured in an anthology. He is currently studying English Language in Obafemi Awolowo University. When he is not writing, you will find him experimenting colours.


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This poem was first featured in the "Leaves of the Poet Tree" anthology (season two).

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