Thursday, December 01, 2005


Forced labor in NIgeria.

I watched them coming toward me, mouth jerking as in worked by wires,
eyes open with beggarliness, arms stretching in violent outreaching,
eye milky drawing on me, killing me with my thoughts.

My country, Nigeria with every scenery to show for her ordeal.
The view of trafficked children working on the streets, children not
yet in their teens, hawking along the busy road, how many have met
their death? How many have been exploited and abused and used?

I read about them in the foreign media, and I wondered why not in my
own country are there publications on the subject? Yet I read on the
BBC web site that Unicef estimates that human trafficking is the
most lucrative trade in West Africa. Why? This discovery will shock
you when you realize the support that human trafficking enjoys at
almost every level of the Nigerian society, and more shocking is the
fact that the trafficked children were rented out with the
collaboration of the victims' own immediate families, Many of the
victims are too young to understand their rights or are illegally
recruited from the north or the poorer village tribes by individuals;
forced to work as hired hands and forced to work against their will,

What does a house help mean? What is the hidden meaning behind the
words, what does "a slave", mean, is there any difference
between the
two, and maybe we are ignorant of these terms but are we really? Are
we really ignorant about our past, is the government blind to the
plight of these children being taken into 'slavery' or when their
immediate parents, aunts and uncles were being tricked into taking a
loan, a loan that may tie them into the bondage of slavery forever
children work in exploitative and/or dangerous conditions.

According to the United Nations census (Unicef ) there are no fewer
that 15 million children working in exploitative labor in Nigeria,
but they are wrong, as an African and a traveling nomad I can paint a
bigger picture of the "21st century slave trade."

I had my first intimate sexual encounter when I was but seven years
old with a house help not yet in her teens. Children not yet in their
teens are forced to learn about sex or to work in the sex industry.

As the writer in me grows, so does the knowledge grow that this
trade will continue and as it continues , it will continue to use new
terms even though it is illegal under international law.
Trafficking is the fastest growing form of slavery in the third world
nation today, yet protection for the victims of this crime is never
Tribal 2004

poetic passage

In the morning when men still longs for their women, I start out at twilight, before all nature awoke, and as the clouds in its blanket of blues hangs over my head I heard a pheasant jazz across the field.

The trees stands out like accusers, the weeds seems to bow as I walk by, the wind have its own voice, applauded by the clapping leaves, I felt the chill from the contact as low branches along the narrow parts merge flesh against nature green

It is what I like about my works, the poetry I write, and of fiction I composed, of our ancestors and of nature, to be first along this ancient path, with my pad and pen, the spirit still lives in my works

And while the shadows stand watching
I seek the sculptured speeches
The dialect of old in terrace work
In time to put it to the proof

“Each section seems to welcome me, drawing on me dictating my thoughts, and I remembered the feeling, like a pioneer, the feeling of possession, my mind telling me, this is mine, all of nature is in me

Moving through the familiar parts, this scenery was my story book, something in its peacefulness calls me inward, the beauty of nature in the scent of our lineage, these things are special to me, like nothing else in my life ever will

This happiness is rampaging through me when ever I set sight on a topic of interest; an ancient tree, a lost artifact, of mud swing and the trill of discovering new things,

In my line of sight nature works with my state of mind, imagine the valley adjacent to my tribe as a slave pit, or the yam tendril entwining a woman to me in my dreams, as of now I thought of Ken and the Ogoni Eight

And suddenly crawling groping grapping, Arms of branches reaching to strangle the words out of me, Nature Unguarded utterance that may lead them to prints keeping watch over my steps, The roaring pathos Shrill loud and trembling, Pictured the bleak interior of a slave passage, Stealing into my heart taking notes of all that I do In poetry form, Seeking reason to deny my fear

The pain communicated through flesh
The clacking of separation
The slithering of movement
The pumping in my ear and vein
And I was fighting as the rope burned into my neck
Searing like fire
And something gave as the areole of the lung inflated
The unheard music in a captive cage

The rope were tight playing the song and were the Ogoni song, the air spoke the words, and was the Ogoni words, thought out words in rain of memory falling down healing hurts over the Ogoni land

The pen groped the pregnant air with blindfold I try to see the flesh left behind on the path as whole selves were briefly recalled with the shock wave of sudden death

Yet the yearning of my hearts beat on the path and old tree stir trying to speak of an Ogoni hanging on its branch, and the selves roared in me, blasting me with these grammars, the cords were still on my throat hanging me with the Sosa boys

In my pad the eight lifted each other up in prints that wordlessly wail as soul that rose out of flesh went over the shell-shocked oil well

Tangled in prison clothing In my poems you will hear an Ogoni cry as the ripped flesh exposes the desperation with the same Rotten English

From nature I listened to the music and I write about it, scene my mind knew note by note the words more our came back to me black hands feet and faces Igbo, Hausa, Edo and all ethnic grammar with the pulse and softness of it

Like a blade of grass bending to the wind, along the field my pen responded to the fury in my mind my writing were not mine, I was the Ogoni, the Ogoni and all minority were all me, and the spirit lives

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Red Bird

Red bird piping from the wood…
eye agape
passers by stare
locked in arms
I cross your view
A lonely poet and a kindred poor.

Monday, September 12, 2005


The dancers perfect their art
And the scars tells the story
That is the instinct of the society
With over a hundred ethnic race
The trouble with such bypass
Found also with the cloth tradition
And the cultural association with the marks
Is that the man is methodologically living
Through the past history of “papa”
A common feature found in the observation
There is the inheritance of fierceness
And we all witness the division of a nation
Linked with the same theory we have studied

Sunday, August 14, 2005

suffering in plain sight

The shames I see accept a mother’s breast
a child I hold tried to squeeze an ounce of milk
and a taste of my own fear falling on my lip
the anguished act of torment swelled up tears

because it is my uselessness that provided legal justification
because it was the shame that attracted the press
like the hordes of flies feasting on a dying child
on us the scenes… the focus of a staged representing

I laugh to think of it, I laugh to think of you
To think of what the brotherhood in America could think
Huddled in typical nigger fashion the roots to deride
Looking at the Sudanese suffering in plain sight
I too could have thanked God for the slave merchants

Friday, August 05, 2005

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Child Again

Child Again
I watch children playing in the mud
Making castles out of clay
I wished their creative hands upon me too
Creating my thought into play
Me in form of clay
Me into a shape
My dream in all it fold
Happily ever after
Like children happy play.

Omosun Nurudeen Sylvester
Copyright ©2005 Omosun Nurudeen Sylvester

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Tribal Poet -Urdeen Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 04, 2005

How I write

The Sun News Online | How I write Read the 'How I write' article in the Sun News Online.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Ebony lips

Roosters crowed somewhere in the barnyards
Ebony lips patted in a smile answered their call
Nothing moves but the portraits on my consciousness'
Creeping close till it merges into one
Moving like Siamese engaging in sex,
pictured a woman voice in my head
Buzz and yammer they snicker tempting me
Take me! The voices said" take me!
Take the true black woman,

as my arts magnifies her belly budge
My pen thrusting at me their brown midriff
as the rhythmic swaying hips
Tempted me into an erotic faith.

as I write to encircle her hot behind
the fullness of her breast bumped my arms
Controlling my thoughts
To react to the kinsman scorn
Who said my color was erotic filth.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

The Cracked and crazy

The cracked and crazy chain smokers
Haunts the demands for my attention
The tempters rites enabling an escape
As something in me creates a gang
Till the anger needing outlet
Accepts the curtains falling
Streets hawking, working, talking
The gossip kind of habitual jokes
Beggars, touts and hawkers screams
Gaining my respect and admiration
Something in them
My childhood identified with
Something about the courage and strength
The shit that stinks like mine
Hawking commodity or body, working or in plea
With a beggars chant of triumph

Saturday, June 18, 2005

sauced like a moan

Breading badly, stammer, no words
Imagine the aphid on a plant sap
Adlibs all the loosened points
I will make the deed slow
Every phrase unhurried
Sauced like a moan…
The vowel grinding a e i o u
Answers the knock at the door
Pie, pleasure, the sudden thing
Leisure, fruits, an alter of swamps
Man, mum, all endearment terms
Likened to known juice and butter
to shack the corn of it clothes
with the workmanship sculpted
The arrays of your pleasure point
The impressive display and collection
In the chalkboard `cunt-esy' of tongues
Dialect of meaning only I can assemble
I like the base-equal size to a bib
Thinking about charting your geography
Tongue cropping, teeth plotting the site plan
Uh! All my life is aerial bound
I feel the stomach getting jelly
With the agitation of unhurried hands
I feel the full endowed roundness
Unaccustomed to my hungry gaze
Could I bore through that brackish bowl?
Ceremony through the ritual of space
Could I chisel through the channels?
Through milk mashed creams and ethics
Can I go into the Cray spot now?
Can I take the cheese of the trap?
Pod the cocoa of its pleasure juice
Uh! Or can I put the cassava back
Into the alluvia of her soil
I could, but… No not now
I am committed to the slimy cleft
Not the crevice behind the brown hair
like an animal related to untangle
Expelling fertilizers without contact
Something of bliss than civic
Savoring the gift of my after play
Uh! I believe i can harvest you right

Sunday, June 12, 2005

I dream of micheal jackson

I heard the man scream -
the wordings shaping his mouth,
I stare trying to see his voice -
Vague attempt to seize something from the void
with words and words and words inaudible,
.....Yet hearing answers already shaped in my mind,
snatching the words out of Dreams,
beating upon my deafness
-----And suddenly the…
The silent ebbs.
I realize that the image in the portrait was gone,
the portrait was gone,
shadows were creeping around me,
till it fill every where with itself, I thought peace could come,

but a noise
intruded, alien and eerie drawing me within it fold,

I found myself,
in a grave yard familiar to me,
were many head stones had no names,
in front of me there was a nearly dug grave,

I tried to look away but I
could not, I was being drawn to look at it
as if my legs had a will of it own,

rushing me drawing me demanding my attention

......and lying within the grave was a man,
-face expressionless, mouth half
open, he was strongly built,
----there was an odd odor, not strong but
remained in my nostril the smell of the family grapes, grapes? ---

Suddenly a chunk from my past rushed at me, for a moment I was too
stunned, I thought my heart had forgotten to breathe, it was I but I
looked like Michael Jackson with bleached face;
a black man from outer space-
And at the head stone… The name jumped right at me like Tyson's right
fist in the middle of my tummy
Seems I could hear the stone the field shouting it,
I saw a shovel leaning on it edge, I picked it up, grabbed the handle
and swung it at the statute with such force that I moved with it and
saw myself the second time butt down first before I knew I was down,
but I stood up, the weed I was and continue to swing it again and
again, harder and harder as I could, I can feel the force of each
blow jarring through me, rattling my teeth, the shovel glinting out
sparks began to fly as the handle gave way, I continue till at least
as all human my energy ebbed way, leaving me deflated, for the
longest time I stood there all alone in the world, I had no
appointment , no one waiting for me or worried were I was, standing
there with fierce tears running down my face, I look at the grave
stone still intact the name still there as if polished anew, looking
at me in big bold letters `nigger" cut into the stone forall time a part of me the real heritage of slaves
( you can't change your color)

what my write-up does ( warning)

In my studies… there is no such moment like soberness,the churchy ideas cannot help you, because they are part of the corporate community the words could not offer it, only the self will, you will only find here the lust for initiation, into the spirit realm, The ritual of listening and could make you the true son.
Let me explain-In the past, when a child is old enough for initiation, he is taken to the forest were the chief priest lives, (a special and feared place set apart for such a purpose), it could be the first time the child was there, and there could be things, such as the totems of worships, things the child has been taught to revere, these things will be there with him, things that brought the native instinct to its sharpest lines, the fear and hunger for being, And then there is the initiation of blood, as each of the participant mingle their blood with the gourd of worship,Here the child leant the art of our lineage,the myth handed down from generation to generation, songs and stories that embodied the value of its possession,The assurance of the invincible and non verbal, help us to see the genuine face of the dark man...that is what my study does-initiate you from its beginning till the final chapter

Saturday, June 11, 2005

i am omosun .. 2

Imagining the scenes surrounding the name, is like a painters act, like poetry… once you get the ingredient down you work on them, you can change the word but never the spiritThe study though imbued with religion themes expresses my own personal faith and opinions about my lineage, the fascination of the unknown that has been a part of my life ever since I learned the meaning on my name, "omosun"My name gave me a hold to what the world has lost, a possession that could make me a god, the "omosun" that is true to the juju deity, I claimed it because I alone have it to share, with the spirit possessions still intact, as I try to recapture its power through my poetry.Believe me, the incarnations could work on me as I write, till I am no longer who I thought I was, and the spiritual values in its institution will no longer be confined to the shrine…it will creep over the globe through the work of my handsMy name could give me the power to persuade, because the voice is in me, the thunder of the son

i am omosun

in my studies I could visit the juju ceremonies, memories the acts and then find the words for the poetry, Reading the edited works is like reading poetry for the first time, the collection rekindle the image of innocence as the victim of circumstances branded on us by the foreign culture Perceived in the eyes of a young Nigerian poet here we see the great re-birth from a son whose circle has been ancestralTry to explore the theme in the topics, try to read through the lines and see the words that has intrigued poets and writers all over the centuries, Read the totems of worship, the fact in the story with the words used to describe them and ask yourself how they fit into the lineage

Saturday, June 04, 2005

The wooded comb..part 1 (short story )

In the early morning before nature wakes, that interval before the owl hoot and a cuckoo alarm, when men still longs for their women, we start out at twilight

The clouds in its blanket of blues hangs over our head, a red glow shows were the sun was hidden, and as we walk we can hear the lone some howl of a dog across the field.

The unending ritual, the endless rows of Quakers marching to the plots, young maidens strolling to the stream or the men to factory, stumbling into one another testing the mist,

In the familiar early morning scent and breeze, I could hear curses and snatches of conversation, the science of tongues at its best along the village wood

The trees stands out like accuses, the weeds seems to bow as we walk by, the wind have its own voice, applauded by the clapping leaves, I feel the chill from the contact of the cold air and low branches along the narrow parts, the flesh against nature green

There were fewer of us in today expenditure; for security reasons we walked in a group, ever since we heard about the missing individuals in the Okija forest,

There is a woman near me, the perfect figure of a working nomad outlines in the morning mist, she is wearing a patchwork of a gown, that did not conceal her small breast

I look at the dozen plaits fanning out on her head, the afro-style decorated by cowries, and I imagined my hands on them…kneading

There is someone behind me, he seems to want to walk in front of me, and trying to block the view I am having of the maiden hips in sway for me, but I am a weed too, blocking every opening in the narrow lane,

We have finally made it into the wood, the area at the edge of the hills; I took my machete of its sling and went through the tall grass, making a part through the new working site

Something is moving on the bush to the left, murmurs from the group lead to hurried footfalls, and the instant a pheasant screeched most were in panic

A snake I suppose, but I am certain there are worse dangers in such parts; the stories of lost kinsmen along this area are no joke.

I saw a ten-foot-long black mamba the instance the others shrunk back. I cut off its head the exact moment it strikes; I cut the writhing body into sections. The action were born into me, the instinct on a nomad, the knowingness that man is above all animals

The sun is rising as we finally made it to the farmland, the maiden and children went along the moat to the stream, and we the men went uphill,

Monday, May 16, 2005

The Hen Accusation

The Hen Accusation-

Like a talent the hen puffed up its feathers
Accusing me of religious blasphemy
Made me think of my culture
My loitering unwept as I weep
Born only to live worshiping foreign
Coed through life unsatisfying trail
I bequeath myself to reason about a god
As the ewe raise forth a threatening horn
Lately I seem to be thinking of me
A very well known what I mean
The dirt loitering with barbaric treason
Summed up a prayer in such recognitions

Sylvester Omosun
Copyright ©2005 Sylvester Omosun

Sunday, May 01, 2005

in a book, in a valley

I think that the more years that pass, the more years I wondered about my roots. There were times I was ashamed of my kinsmen because they still practices the juju culture, I saw so many faults in them. The many faults I have studied at school.

But now knowing me, the tears unshed…I now realize how stupid I was. The birth of a culture Pilgrim settled in a desert land And the valley shed its feathers Foreign names adopted the hills By men with clothes like butterflies Houses came as tall as trees Pressed together like cobs of grain And everyone who have a tongue to speak Blend the collision of two civilities
The nature of incest in a society like ours is misunderstood,

almost all adults has had at one time or the other intimate sexual thought about the body of children,

and some can go as far to satisfy his or her wants when given the chance

Like hundreds of house helps and hawkers in the local scene,

the slims were abrupt when they come,
so were the hurried hands,
raped and trafficked sustained by nothing,

the innocent and dependent children accepted it


i watched the swing

as the strong arms worked the earth,

at the blade going through the tall grass,

trimming branches and cutting weeds

i wish to tell the her about her gift,

the sensation and arches breaking me apart,

things i felt when ever i pictured her toil,

and the passion of feeling her eyes on mine under the scotching sun

i wish to talk about the local maiden fit to the bone,

defined with chest beat full of milk,

the narrative intend to sketch the outline

as the perfomance ply the part of hope whose exeption alway climax such a day

e-book of tribalpoetry


As I lie in bed and consider the mystery to me that is my life

I am surprised that I am here,

I have taken to looking at myself,

talk or that I am talking at all,

without hearing my own voice

it strikes me at odd moments that in the midst of this misfortune

life continues and exciting too

Saturday, April 23, 2005

myth mystic means

There have been many account attributed to the myth of mystic parables, some has been explained by scholars who studied them, but others has never been. In my native town, for example things that happened in the past is still happening today, one of the most intriguing and unusual revelation occurred in 2004, by the other side of the country; within the armpit of the beautiful hill surrounding the pastoral realm of the still water, here we learned of the many rituals held out to us by the tentacles of outstretched corpses, the sightings brought talk of spirit and ghost, facts that cant be explained by logical means…it is the revelation I am trying to capture in my poetry. One of my poems the “frontiers of fear” published in weekly trust newspaper last year perfectly surmises it.


My studies of the tribal ceremonies remind me of the unity of personality I had as a child, the radiance in play is something I am trying to get back with the poetry I write- “ The stench of poverty bestowed on me urges me inroad to seek it feel but the anger stopped the voice in me the fury rapping me of my speech Words through the grinding hinge of a door echoeing the footpath in the memory tends to doubt the sincerity of the study as a collection of image that rekindles pity

ritual space

The interest I have with the woman ritual space, is linked with a bond I have with a name, the creativity and sins the branded me worthy to be born the “son’, The women who needed to live with their own value and belief system, and raise their children free as they were raised, to be in their own world and not give a damn of what the new age thought of them, such as we witnessed in ritual ceremonies in most African tribes

The Words and Serpent

“The words and serpent creeps
In the pleasure nest of hell
Graphing the outlines that clips the beaded waist

And the oracle chants and prays
As the rapped women screams
And the freedman cried out blood as the pen-pleasure bottom soften

As the bile aims at me the pulse beats to the drum
And in shame I felt me stir with lust

Falling deep in the ritual space”

Withholding the Truth

Withholding the truth left us for weak
Against the hassles that shackled our voices
Just what I held against the missionary
Stressing Christ submission to humiliations
Conditioning my race to accept their chains-
Said I wasn't the only 'race' of `slaves'
Talk about `Joseph' being sold
More so by his own `white'
Quote a chapter of `timothy' at me
Cast its doubt in the chaos of your mind
Something to do with `massa' over `slaves'
And bid the chain clang out shut
Through the window of doubt
Against the greatest sham of all ages
Of land which hold no echoes of other land
And all the crops we raised with a breaking back
Where the wheat, corn and cotton grow
Beyond the `Mississippi' river
Were the nigger hustlers
Was just having a temporary custody of you
Coz you were just under the prote...

Monday, April 18, 2005



Tribal Poetry
and words of life

Dealt with past
dealt with strife

Open doors,
unlock hearts

Welcome hands
brilliant arts.

Welcome to the new world. It has it's roots in the old world.

Nourishment comes from the sun.

Lucky we have more than one."

-Scott Lindsley

Sunday, April 17, 2005

A Moment in Silence

A moment in silence

Blind to all thought
Protected by its own silence
as though by a shield-
you shook your head

Shrugged and waved
Your arms to encompass
everything around us-

There was no sigh of interruption
Though my world was as silent as ever-
I watched you as your finger work
And thought how fat your hands were

Through the silence
Didn’t know there’d be words in deed-
Suddenly one word I never thought
I could hear
a silence i never though could voice
creeps into my consciousness
in a world were I now'see voices'...

Arms and fingers run
Forming simple shapes
Like branches on a live breathing tree
So lively that they seems to chatter
Like small impatient tongues
with a will to speak...

I was always afraid
To tell you with movement
Or even words about the silence
I was born with but feared
Knowing I have not been
as others were
I have not seen
as others saw
I remember
the need
created you withthe silence

I summoned you from
the desire
placed a trench
on the floor of my loneliness
deep as the wound in Jesus palm

Worrying you couldn’t come
Shaping word, wording my life
to taste for once

Just once the words upon your lips

alone in the quiet
I'd read you lips by moonlight
the redness and all
or by the light in my heart
its every shape..

as I look at you
I think of this -

think of how it feels
to love someone

someone beyond...

my quite little lonely world.
and knowing it is true
I have everything to fear
and the words -
I could not say..

nailed on my cross