A Pill Please: A Poetic Charge
A pill for the pain. The ache I feel deep in my poor heart. My eye has seen…my ears full. Of these obscenities. These infirmities of scenes from the horrendous news reports of the madmen residing in the palaces. They are not aliens, UFOs or phantoms. They laugh when tickled, bleed when hurt and for heaven’s sake they die. I don’t refer to the Avalanche or the landslide, the sinkholes, earthquakes or the tsunami. Yet I refer to the human disasters I have to face day-by-day. Of the terrorism, senseless violence, greedy policies, tribal wars, religious crisis, outright theft, lip service and institutionalized crime.
Night after night in my dreams they appear before me. Masked men garbed in assorted expensive attires, as they bleed their tribesmen of the fruits of their blood and sweat dispossessing the citizens. They transform demagogues… they make us tear ourselves apart over the most tenuous issues while the most little important things are left undone.
From rooftops of temples to marketplaces they howl ’em empty promises of better life in our faces like unearthly creatures.
They vow to protect us with the last ounce of their blood. Yet in a bit, they cloth their selves like Bedouins to blow up to smithereens all of our lives’ worth.
Today they are in the market and the prayer houses. Where else would they be tomorrow? I wonder.
There’s a vision of hovering dystopia in the land more devious than Gomorrah…
A Pill Please: A Poetic Charge II
The country dailies are a cornucopia of eye-popping, ear-buzzing scandals. “How can I escape from all of these debasements?” I wondered.
One day I went down to the end of town, to the most cavernous part as dark as the troubles that bring us to this part.
Our powerful medicine man better known as ‘baba’ gave me a healing portion. The medicine had worn the semblance of super-secret charm. He said ‘it will cure all your troubles.’ and then I went my way.
It was unbelievably potent at first. So effective I began functioning like an ancient alarm clock. Numb to my bland daily routine like a zombie, ready for the day. But was I really ready?
I still saw the faces of these demons everywhere I turned – On television; in the radio; on the street; at prayer houses; at school; at play and even the labor camp I call work. They taunted me ’til I went from anxious to suicidal.
‘Funny I thought you had the secret weapon?’ One demon said. So, I resolved to even more pills -larger, more colorful pills until I began living like a crazy psycho. Like a real druggie. Upped the pills till I was sure these demons really left.
But how foolish I was? These demons were somehow cloaked behind the shadows of urban life. The yesteryear-troubles in the land had morphed by a genetic manipulation into more defiant ones.
I knew they had won when my travails took a sordid twist. My life soon cut short and ‘blank’ …’nothing’…’blank nothingness’
Suddenly, I awoke in an infirmary like a casualty of the battlefield of living life – as in my country. I was told I had died from poisoning. It must have been those pills ‘baba’ had given me. Maybe I had taken too much of the soothing pills, I can’t really tell.
I had been living like these mindless machines I am now cuffed to. The machines, constantly lamenting in a language I never quite understand. Yet they live in spite of the kicks and swirling dust that trouble them daily. They would labor like subdued slaves working on an unyielding life’s plantation. They might even die unrewarded for all their labor.
For the first time, it hit me suddenly with the bang of a stray bullet. “For how long will I live like this?” Pills in the morning. Pills in the twilight. Soothing colored pills from headache to ones that make me socially acceptable. To a world that rarely cares.
I considered these things for the first time. I know I may never be able to escape from these demons – as pervasive as they are.
I am learning to sleep on my own these days without the need for my ‘life-saving’ pills. Learning to live every day with a bold awareness. ‘Deliberate living’ some call it. After all, it’s what makes us human.
Finding ways to overcome life obstacles from cradle to grave. Living – Without pills.
PS: The pills are not literal medicine. They are anything that gives you instant escape from food, drugs, religious activities, social media, internet, gambling etc.
Poem by ‘Dedoyin Shobo
Facebook: @shobo mayowa
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