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2 poems by
Olutayo Osunsan
> bio

Kampala Road

The potholed street tied and died
With black skins, patches of brown
And sprinkles of white and yellow spots
Staring at windows and buildings as tourists.

The gleaming sunrays flickered like
Microscopic pen-knives darting for heads-
Bald and hairy alike.

The strangers put on hats since
They were new to the sun’s coming
And were also trying to prevent the Marabous
From spitting on their heads.

Street kids sing "Umpayo kikumi"* in their rags
As their eyes drift with the drowsy crowd
In search of a careless pedestrian.

The golden air saturated with raging dust
As colloids of blinding exhaust fumes
Glide up into buildings to dance in bellies
And create stomach upsets before lunch.

Noisy and polluting cars grumbled
In and out ‘One Way’ drives
While policemen pondered.

*Means, "give me One hundred (Ugandan) Shillings"

Village Sun

The sun rises like a burden
On the shoulders of the youth
And it blazes like fire
On the thatch roofs of our huts.

It scribbles wrinkles on the walls
And it frightens the young ladies
That they will one day realize
The textures on the cracking huts.

The young men know the lashes
Of the heat strokes on their backs,
While digging for yam tubas
Carved as yam peels do under the sun.

Like an endless burden the sun
Rises day after day after
And the twilight moon is all
That is left to gape for:

When elders gather and drum stories
Into young ears with rhythmic sighs and moral gestures.

Around the fire they seat as the old sprinkle
Hot ashes of legends that they strive to become.


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