Philo Malize King – A Friend

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Her wrinkles, signs of my weight

Of how she bore and born me against fate

Though aged by solicitude and the Incubus, the marks still speak

Of an African flower, despite the northern Nigerian harmattan

Age does not steal beauty, though it invades with crinkles


Somniloquying, she once told me the story of the man

The man who left by mid-night like a ghost

When, I, busy, kicking the gate of hell open

The man was a blind man

As deaf as a post

Yet she felt broken


After that cold harmattan morn

She spent her night, only

In the company of her unborn

Often, tears shed down

Steadfast, unlike the man, the man that talked about love at first sight


When finally, came I

Home alone, she cried, called and asked why

So also cried the sad sky

Up and down, lizards and squirrels scuttled and scratched on our aged thatch

Making the tears leak through the patch

Still I came, under a river of blood and water

The heartbreak was chained by the joy of motherhood,

So I thought as I grew to manhood

But lone and alone,

I saw a shadow of the man dancing on her black beautiful nose

She smiled and cried simultaneously in monotone

I, never said a word, never understood

That made her wonders if I was the man, another wormwood


Often I asked her why and who

“I know not what you are talking” she would mew

We spoke of everything but the man

Though I grew into a man, yet could not unweave

But how I should tell her, I would never leave.



Behind the borders of loose skins and bones

Lives the luxury of agony and torment

Beyond the borders of loose skins and bones

Lives the luxury of waste and spent


So tell me,

What is the dividend of war?

The flags, standing absent winners

All, shrunk and shaky

Victors and vanquished,

Left with graves to mourn

And heart, always, will hold a piece, enemies for eternity

Scars on soul and body, bleeding pain and blood

And orphans and widows to fight on



The guns are silent

Soldiers are home

Now coffee makers and gravediggers


Goodbyes persist in their minds

The nights, and sleep with darkness

Home is gone

Now nightmares and sleepless night, here

So tell me,

What is the dividend of war?


Women go home, facing widowhood

Ghosts of lad and dad

Keep weeping at the doors of their hearts

They fight on, they fight on

Even after the cease-fire

So many questions are asked

And tears are never silent



The refugee camps and destitute

Monument of graves and groans

The signing of peace treaties

And scourges of pain treatment

The invention of diseases

And outbreak of epidemic

The rich and generals in their

Exile of comfort and careless

And the poor and sergeant in their

Home of grief and graves

The smoke of burnt houses

And vapour of tears and terror

The wasted years of blood bath

And sweat and swelter

Mortal man,

Is this the dividend of war?

Please tell.

Philo Malize King

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