Saturday, 24 March 2012


The moon shines bright outside my window
It dances on the ocean
And comes increasingly into view with every passing moment
It does not hide
It is not shy
It walks out bold unashamed
As though daring the world to find fault in its apparent perfection

I want to be like that moon
I want to walk with my head held high
Not in pride but with certitude
Certitude that to the best of my ability
I have lived as I should
I have loved as I should
And knowing that when it was hardest
I walked away when it was the only right thing to do

I want to; I know I can
But I keep telling myself I have tried
Deceiving myself into believing trying and doing are somehow on the same plane
But I live in fear of being found out
I sit and wait knowing I’ll soon be caught out
I come alive in the shadows
All the while knowing I am truly dead
We exist only in hiding
Yet still pretending our souls are being fed

I want what I do behind closed doors not to fear the light of day
I want to live right on purpose
No matter how hard that makes my day
I want the me you see to really be me
I want to shine bright
Walk bold

Just like that moon.

©2009 TolulolaAgbelusi

Thursday, 15 March 2012


It was never hard to see your charm and the beauty innate within you

It was sun kissed people of all ages, hue and size beaming life and boasting culture
It was big fat women dancing bare feet moving buttocks at the speed of light
It was big outdoor parties where the women cooked and laughed for hours and my mother always told me it was the sweat dripping into the pounded yam that made it taste better
It was days spent on beaches watching Atlantic waves big enough to carry me away
It was swimming in warm springs where hot met cold and the beauty of life was there but inexplicable
It was boarding school days with Yoruba, Hausa and Ibo laughing at our similarities and shaking heads at our differences
It was time spent with family when there was always family and there was always time

It was never hard for my young mind to see your charm and what I didn’t see they taught me
They taught me of oil wells running deep in the Niger Delta
 Enough so we would not have to beg borrow or steal
They taught me of gas reserves, of coal, lead, limestone, tin and gold
They taught me of mining possibilities that could eradicate poverties atrocities
They taught me about fertile lands and how we were once the world’s largest exporter of groundnuts, coconuts, cocoa, palm oil, yams, citrus, and sugar cane
They taught me of a country with over 250 ethnic groups, 4000 dialects and at least 520 living languages, now isn’t that wealth
They taught me of a tropical paradise with rain forests, savannah grasslands, mangrove swamps, waterfalls, rivers, beaches, rocks and wonders that would make an atheist thank/see God
They taught me of a nation rich with people, customs, endless natural resources
And hearts like the sun which keep shining even when monsoon rains fall

If I knew nothing else I knew we were blessed
So how is it
That these days I only see your beauty as one looking through rose tinted glasses
What we exported we import
What we have in abundance we lack
After so many rulers whose only leadership qualities entailed
Leading us to the mouth of the abyss
where we now hang tilting dangerously
Threatening to fall and never return
I can’t see you

What was, has now been looted by corruption, greed and mismanagement
Using your sons and daughters as foot soldiers
Where they should have built they have broken down everything but their castles
Flourishing in stolen prosperity mansions
Enjoying the sight of their brothers begging for crumbs
They handed in their souls for states
And stakes in the stock market
Trading blood for oil
Our futures for private jets
Our education for material wealth stored in hard to reach places
And having debased us
They exchanged
Food for subservience
Money for votes
Jobs for silence
And morals for status

So these days when I picture you, I see you clearly but teary eyed
Emaciated from all those who constantly take and give nothing back
Violated by your own children coming to power just to rape you
And then mutilate you enough so they still get to leave with a little piece of you

I think of you
I’m picturing fish filled waters now emptied from oil spills too many too count
And unjust executions of the Ken Saro Wiwa’s and  the Dele Giwa’s who made their voices count

I think of you
And extra judicial killings come to mind
Like the Odi Massacre in 1999
A whole town burnt to the ground
With 2500 civilians losing their lives
At the hands of police
Doing everything but protect or serve

I think of the absence of accountability
And I think of greed
And a people crippled by poverty
Allowing themselves to be used by those who pretend to have their best interests at heart
Whilst simply inflicting terror
In the name of God
In the name of ethnicity
In the name of justice

Where is justice
When we fail to prosecute those who have sucked the nation dry
Of its hope, its promise its bank accounts
Where is justice
When Boko Haram bombs persistently and the government does nothing?
Where is justice
When the majority live on a dollar a day
And the presidential food budget for a year is one billion naira
Where is justice
When instead of fixing roads, the president’s priority is naming a district after himself
Where is justice when clearly our lives have no value unless they can be bartered like currency?

My country
Land of my birth
I think of you
And water falls from my eyes like waterfalls in Cross River State
But these don’t fall pretty

Struggling to see through the tears
I lift my rose tinted glasses
Trying to spot hope on the horizon
Hoping to see people possessed with that Gani Fawehinmi spirit
That stood uncompromisingly for justice
And undiluted democracy
Instead of just fools demonstrating crazy

Occasionally I see hope
I see her jump
Like January 2012 mass protests
When the people said you may kill me
But I will not be silenced

I keep watching
I watch in hope
And I hope in time
Corruption will be ostracised
Potential will be realised
And my country will again awaken to all its beauty that lies within.

©2012 TolulolaAgbelusi 


Is this the future?
Age 13 –convicted of Robbery he said
We used to be friends
Then his girl became my girl
And he started acting funny
Called me a prick
I didn’t get why he was so angry
But I know no one disrespects me
So to pay him back, I decided, I’ll rob him.

I can still see the milk in this boy’s face
As he recounted exploits that made my head race
I remember the look on his mother‘s face
When speaking of his victim, he said he shouldn’t get upset over a gyal, there are bare girls everywhere,
I can have whoever I want; it’s JUST a girl innit

Flanked by his mother on one side and his sister on the other
This little boy convinced of his manhood
Could not fathom the disrespect in treating their femininity as a commodity
He demanded respect in the same breath as he abused it
Failing to see that his concept of it was a falsehood
And BESIDES, to properly arrive at manhood
You had to allow room for childhood
But can I blame him,
When clearly someone reneged on fatherhood

Is this our future?
Age 14 – convicted of Assault
He called me an Irish ginger cunt
And I can’t take kindly to insults or people disrespecting me
So I set him on fire
No I don’t find that dire
I have no problems with anger
It provoked much laughter
He got what he deserved
Messing with a gangster

I was meant to ask probing questions
Speak words of wisdom
Provoke targeted self searching
But momentarily dumbfounded and sitting silently I wondered
When did a good punch up become outdated?
Setting someone alight or stabbing them up become highly rated
And any opportunity for common sense become frustrated
By egos too big for the bodies that they weigh down

Maybe it’s the age creeping up on me
Or maybe it just is what it is
But when I consider the exploits of this generation
Wonder dumbfounds me into hopelessness
As I ponder what aspect of apparent stupidity
Beguiles with such intensity
That they are converted to a religion
That promises only jail or death.

I ponder with every passing breath
Till Perspective breaks into my thoughts to remind me
This is the plague of humanity
Always in pursuit of an exaggerated sense of importance
We chase celebrity
Trying to be or be with the mighty
The young come in tow with errant individuality
Acting tough but betraying delicate sensitivity
Watching and copying as we devoid respect of its mutuality
Chasing misplaced goals with myopic intensity
Seeking contentment through the lenses of a world that never has enough
We make a mockery of our freedom
As though calling God’s bluff

So is it really a surprise
This proclivity for criminality
When looking all around
Our standards denote nothing but futility

If this is not to be our future
Then there must be a re-education
That takes foundation in you and me
Spreading its roots till it gains proliferation
In the youth of our generation
Infecting humanity with the disease of true liberation
So that understanding our equality
We strive for true community
so looking at the next generation
There won’t be a question
It will be just be statement
Affirmed with pride

©Tolulola Agbelusi 2012

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Open Letter to an EX

 Open letter to an ex
I hate you and I love you
He read those words in my motions
Without my lips ever parting a slit
I hate you
And I love you
Words epitomising the paradox we became

Baby, friend, stranger, foe
However you come to me; just come
Can we talk?

I am sorry for the first time I made you feel like a blemish I would always regret
I thought I meant it
But maybe I shouldn’t have said it

I am sorry for every time I did it again
I guess I just didn’t know what regret meant
And all I felt was resentment
That you approached me unavailable
And my available fickle heart found you heaven sent

Like a moonless night sky glimmers in the reflection of freshly fallen snow
Life became so much brighter when you became the weather
It wasn’t cliché like you complete me
But your wholeness complementing mine
We came together
And for the most part became better reflections of each other

Basking in the pastures of true mutual admiration
My shoulders stood taller
And I wanted to be better
As though striving to be worthy of such affection
That saw through me and still loved me
That frustrated me and yet ignited me
That brought clarity and somehow still confounded me

Somehow I loved the things I hated about you
And I hated that
But even more than that
I hated every single time that you expected me to understand the illogical
Every single time you withheld basic information – it made me feel I was disposable
Every time you acted like you couldn’t understand why your context was a problem I couldn’t handle
I hated that
And I thought regret was my only way to resile from that
But I was wrong
I can’t regret you

The hating days went by like a British summer
But the sweet memories stayed
They still linger
Like the tears that dripped down my face just at the touch of your hands on mine
During our first post us encounter
Your impact on my heart was one of power
Your lips to mine were like perfect
Your intellect to mine was like parallel
Our chemistry in my history remains matchless
And though you were not the one
You did show me what love is
And thus gave me the road map to find who he is
So how can I regret you?
I was just ashamed of my weakness

Baby, friend, stranger, foe
However you come
Please listen
I am sorry
I’m sorry for the times I made you feel like a blemish I would always regret
I didn’t mean it
And it’s your love I will never forget

©2012 TolulolaAgbelusi

Friday, 2 March 2012


I could never really accept love in your words
They were always too shallow, too restrained, too confusing

But somehow
In the palm of your hands
 Mine found strength
In your tears
 I found sincerity words wouldn’t capture
In your embrace
Dessert land became home
And rolling on the floor like kids in laughter,
Rest found me
And my heart no longer could deny you.

©2012 TolulolaAgbelusi