A Nigerian Poet Encapsulates the Turmoil of the World in his poetry Collection: Sometimes I Wish It Could Always Be Day

Reviewer: Creative Bird

Poetry has always been lauded for the brevity of language and the ability to capture events, emotions and other muses in flowery words be it with metaphors that strikes through like lightning or imagery that thrills our imagination and helps us to see the seventh wonder through stanzas and verses.

Deji Ajibade’s debut collection of poems, “Sometimes I Wish It Could Always Be Day” is a timely collection that addresses the current happenings in our society today.

The first poem to analyse in this collection is “Even in War, There is Hierarchy”:

Every man was equal until bombs began to

make homes

desolate.

Our cities were overtaken, and places where

we once made memories became mountains

of rubble.

We left home behind to find refuge in foreign lands.

But, at the border, skin colors were grouped into hierarchies:

Whites first, Blacks maybe…

The recent Russia-Ukraine War is a testament to the hierarchy of war and how some animals are deemed to be more equal than others. Using George Orwell’s animal farm as a case study. The world was inundated with issues at the borders where foreign students attempting to leave the country said they experienced racist treatment by Ukrainian security forces and border officials. Wars have also shown that places where we once made memories have become desolate places, whether in the home or in our communities. Many people in Nigeria have been displaced from their ancestral lands and communities by rampaging herdsmen and terrorists.

Deji Ajibade is a Nigerian Poet whose home country has been besieged with a calamitous internal war waged by bandits and terrorists against the Nigerian state and its people. The attack on the Abuja-Kaduna train where people were killed, and others abducted, and on the Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo State, comes to mind and the next poem “The Baptism” captures the agony of these events:

another bomb baptizes

a sea of bodies, transforming their

smiles to cries rising as incense

to the god of terrorism. say that a bomb

licks treasures. ashes flowed at the

day’s wake, but before then, one of

the treasures, before being forced to

walk death’s lane, tweeted for help,

The stanzas depict the sorrow and agonies of the victims of these barbaric events and how life’s dark clouds can transform our: smiles to cries rising as incense /to the god of terrorism.  

In these torrid times, only a second separates the living from the dead and the sea of sorrow that has become the offspring of terrorism and evil in the World today.

And the last stanza in the poem titled “Grief”:

self-destruction has never thrived when there’s closure: no,

the shadow of death lurks in dark places and

strikes in lonely corners,

and yet, grief is hardly ever painted on the face.

This gives credence to my earlier allusion about the shadow of death lurking in dark places when evil strikes, whether it be terrorists ransacking a community, abducting people on the highway, or causing mayhem on the rail tracks. Whether it be though poetry or prose, these evil events and occurrences are documented by Poets and storytellers of the Ilk of Deji Ajibade who cannot keep quiet in the face of calamity that has been tearing the World apart today.

In closing, I’d encourage the advanced countries to come clean and reduce their double standards towards the underdeveloped nations and offer support when necessary, which will help invalidate the truth that stares us in the face that hierarchies exist, whether in war or peacetime.

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