My mind’s a battle ground
Shapeless forms, wordless sound
Tumbling and rolling in a violent dance
Inflicting injury while I hide quivering in the corner -
Eyes shut, ears plugged, mouth closed.

The atmosphere is evil
My body reacts paralysed to the numbing fumes of my demon’s devilish scent
“How did I get to this point?”
Where I don’t know where up or down is
Straight or around is
I live confused about what true reality is.

Is there not a further reality beyond the apparent?
Conjured up and fed to us unquestioned?
Media mind-control insistently affirms a hetero-normative patriarchal capitalist system with a complexion hierarchy.
What lies behind the curtain of the wizard of Oz?
Who is this wizard?

The fan blows…
The curtain’s skirt skips.
My hands race to cover my eyes but it is too late -
The picture is taken.
It displays on the screen of my mind, torturing me.

The brainwashing started a long time ago...
When slavery was a god-given entitlement and the Israelites were the chosen ones.
The earth was still flat,
Heaven was beyond the sky
And man was at the centre of the universe.
When being a gluttonous child was punishable by stoning death
And all brides were virgins.
Including Mary.

This time,
When the sun circled the earth and people with bi-polar were possessed with demons.
When the church ruled the world and murdered millions for not being Christ-like.

When the Portuguese at the Gold Coast caged negroid vaginal bodies that monthly bled atop rotting, stinking, sister corpses,
While on the floor right above them, church services held
Hands wielding holy bibles that read, “Slaves, be obedient to your masters.”
Bibles we exchanged for our ancestors, and our ancestry.

Now we worship this very bible
That was used to de-humanise and enslave us
Padlock our lips and kill our sensibilities.
The shackles that hold the mind that cannot decipher the ridiculousness of the ‘learned’ black man adorning a blonde wig is steel.

Steel can be bent, it can be broken.

It is hard to see people I care about subscribe to fantastic fairy tales of ultimate justice dooming people to hell or leading others to heaven.
Don’t get me wrong – I do believe in hell, and sometimes in heaven.

I believe in the fiery pits,
Where a hungry boy burns for eternity for stealing one moi-moi
Because that pit is here.
Right here in the two-churches-per-street Lagos.
And the burning victim’s horrified face remains plastered in my mind for eternity.
This is hell!

And heaven?
That only happens when you’re in love.
When your feet float far above the ground
And there is hope in everything.
I believe in heaven…sometimes.

'DOLAPO OGUNWALE has performed alongside Grammy nominated Maimuna Youssef of the United States, toured with world renowned Beautiful Nubia and most recently returned from the picturesque city of Cape Town on a special invitation to perform by the Prestine University of Cape Town, South Africa. She has graced audiences with her provocative poetry and powerful delivery in other countries like USA, Austria, India, UK and Ghana, and will not be stopping soon. Her written work can be read in the anthology On Broken Wings: An Anthology of Best Contemporary Nigerian Poetry.  She is currently collating a poetry collection and recording a studio album. Follow her on twitter @DolapoOgunwale, and her Facebook Page: Dolapo.


  1. Beautiful poem

  2. Wow! Dolapo, this is so Great. You melted hearts here, missionaries in guise for slavery, now we have been carried away with the erosion from their rain of deceit. We shall obey our masters because is in the Bible... Good one Sis. I need to see you in Camera

  3. And even love itself is a farce...like everything else! What a sweet poem.

  4. Great job Dolapo. I love this part of the poem "And heaven?
    That only happens when you’re in love". It's a true piece

  5. Rahima Nworgu likes this..... absolutely!!!!

  6. I love the way you climaxed this piece.
    Also, I just felt like the spices of the poem started cooking from the line 'the brainwashing started a long time ago. . .'

    And indeed 'Is there a further reality beyond the apparent?'
    Of course, there is, for we can't always eat what we are fed!

  7. when words are enslaved to for a beauty like this, we should understand who the word weaver is.

    This is excellent.

    Adelaja ridwan


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