ON CHIBOK- a poem by Dami Ajayi- Poet of d Week 080914


Shekau is Jay-Z
Singing I’ve got girls, girls,
Girls, girls.
Pointed rifles and aides flanking him

A Neanderthal in turban
Brazen and psychotic,
He holds the world to ransom
Call it terrorism

He kills in the name of a God
Leaving this god neither anonymous,
Nor blameless.

Bombs burst open
In market places, churches, parks, mosques
With seething effervescence

We condemn his gore and guts
Whilst our impotent imperialists masturbate
In clandestine spaces

The nation grows amok
Anomie twinkling persistent blips

The nation has been sabotaged
And they wave a flag of indifference,
Then a flag of denial, then a flag
Of amnesty, a flag of deliberation
In the face of carnage

Bombs, new land mines
Detonated by strapped suicide bombers
They die by diffusion and hope to fuck
Virgins in heavenly suites.

They shout God is great.
But we already know. Man’s wickedness is greater
And God does not speak for man’s wickedness
When He called us after his image.

God is no a poet; he does not fancy imagery,
He would have said: Man, look into a mirror
What you see is God.

Gory images spread across newspapers.
Everyday a new death. Not famine or
Malaria, not automobile mishap or Filaria
Not old age, the good death or dying,
Not even cancer, the new worm or
Diabetes, death from being too sugary--
It is suicide motivated multiple homicides

Just happy go lucky bombers who
Blast their god vehicle in a frenzied
Rant about God’s greatness.

Yes, man’s wickedness is greater. Look into
Craters and see blood flowing,
Tributaries connecting Buni Yadi to Izghe to Gamburu
Coalescing within the confines of
Lugard’s eternal mistake.


Then there was Chibok.

Chibok was inevitable, like death itself.
Chibok of yellowy dust, bucolic and sleepy
Like an octogenarian’s afternoon.

Chibok happened upon Chibok
And the town’s name became its tragedy.

Insurgents razed the town
Stirring and stoking it with petrol
And vitriol.

They made away with 234 virgins
234 lives, and
At the very least, 234 dreams.

The world was silent when they were taken
It was denied, their kidnap was first amnestic,
And  remembered in slow bursts.

Who says hashtags can’t fan revolutions?
Catch a fire my friend.
But who keeps the vigil lamp burning?

Who keeps the dreams drumming?
Who sits as sentry at the fish-mouth
Of Sambisa?

Who keeps the memory fresh by
Watering planted placards at Falomo?


This poem carries every name,
Every face, every trace of tear, every
Ounce of fear that these girls suffered

They have been scarred for life
This memory may not decay

How will they remember themselves by,
In the span of days, an innocent virgin
Becomes known by a prodding terrorist

His member, his stiff ramrod
Jabbing into her with the persistent unease
And the frenzy of a house owner locked outside.

He squeals his seeds into her,
Cuddles smearing her bruised sensitive side,
This rape is dual, of mother and daughter,
Country and citizen.

Bring Back Our Girls fired up
By hashtags, social media props
That don’t give; social media activism
Is struggle at its laziest, pundits sip tea
And medicate retweets.

Retweet won’t bring back our girls,
Neither will hashtags, our voices have
Reverberated all over the world and that
Is enough for pushing luck.

Whilst soldiers shuffle in their boots,
Dancing the feeble dance of the infirm
On the skirts of Sambisa.

Inertia is a new dance.
Inertia is a new trance
Inertia is a new prance
Inertia will not bring our girls back.

Dami Ajayi is medical doctor who moonlights as a writer. He is the co-publisher of Saraba Magazine and her fiction editor. He is also the author of acclaimed poetry pamphlet, Daybreak and the soon-to-be published Clinical Blues which was shortlisted for the Melitta Hume Prize in 2012 but has managed to elude print till date. His work (poems, podcasts, short stories, essays, reviews) have enjoyed international acclaim. He runs an active blog, www.mrajayi.wordpress.com


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