Sunday, March 08, 2015

Sunday Challegne - Akinwande Oluwole "Wole" Soyinka

Morning had Risen
Morning had risen, now the long drive home
Thinking of the night just ended, futile
Futility, chasing demons away
 Rats crawled on his skin, up and down his legs
Love of country made him brave but what for
Night after night sleep came in small pieces
Awake for hours, solitary thoughts
Reeking damp hole, months were years, days no end
He'd stopped and wretched his gutty green again
Like in the night last night, drinks were too much
Empty his soul, get rid of those monsters
Made him bleed and cry.  And yell, days of old 
War had ended but not over for him
The why of last night.  Liquor was flowing
Loud music to make ones forget their day
It didn't work for him, the rats still crawled

- - - -
 Photos and Poem Copyright, ©  2015 Jimmiehov, All Rights Reserved
 Tonight I'm writing for 
I am also linking with Kerry O'Connor at
The Real Toads, The Tuesday Platform
Soyinka was an activist in the fight against Nigerian tyrannical rule after their independence from Britain. 
In 1967 he was arrested for writings sympathetic to secessionist Biafra and was imprisoned for twenty-two months.
 - We were to read a poem, or more, of his and write what came to mind.  Soyinka's poem, "In the Wee Hours" (link), and "Dedication" (link) were fodder for what I wrote.  Also Wikipedia and Heaven's write-up about Wole Soyinka gave me more insight. 
 - You might wish to read a little his works or more about him from these links.
 - Dr. Leeds is 80 years old and has written and taught for most of his life.  He holds honorary doctorates from Leeds, Harvard, and Princeton.  In 1986 Soyinka was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
 - Another 'Brief Bio' and links to a couple other of his poems are here.

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At Sunday, March 08, 2015 8:05:00 PM, Blogger Grace said...

Sadly for these soldiers, trauma continues that not even the drinks can cure. That ending line gave me the creeps. Thanks for linking up Jim and wishing you happy weekend.

At Sunday, March 08, 2015 9:24:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Night after night sleep came in small pieces ... and the ending.... makes me think of when my son came back from Iraq. I'm so thankful he made it through the anger and hurt to where he is today.

At Sunday, March 08, 2015 11:02:00 PM, Blogger Outlawyer said...

Thanks, Jim--a favorite of yours--if a very sad one--my stepson back from Afghanistan--all very difficult, though he is a strong person. Thanks. k. (Manicddaily)

At Monday, March 09, 2015 12:09:00 AM, Blogger brudberg said...

The rats crawling - what a disturbing pictures.. War is a terrible companion through the night, and numbness from the booze is not the best.

At Monday, March 09, 2015 11:01:00 AM, Blogger Hannah said...

This has an unsettling effect...written well!

At Monday, March 09, 2015 11:56:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a chilling poem. Very well done.

At Tuesday, March 10, 2015 3:08:00 PM, Blogger Kerry O'Connor said...

This is a moving portrait, one that is becoming increasingly familiar as so many men are impelled into combat. This, I think, is my favourite of your poems. It really spoke to me.

At Tuesday, March 10, 2015 4:56:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Beautiful rendering of a dark subject

At Tuesday, March 10, 2015 6:03:00 PM, Blogger C.C. said...

"the rats still crawled"---ooooh, that is such a haunting ending....the kind that just stays with you!

At Tuesday, March 10, 2015 11:43:00 PM, Blogger Susie Clevenger said...

War never ends it seems for those who've seen its horror. A powerful piece written for an unfortunate truth.

At Wednesday, March 11, 2015 9:05:00 AM, Blogger Vandana Sharma said...

Sad truth but we have to face it.

At Monday, March 16, 2015 5:37:00 AM, Blogger audrey` said...

The wrenching effects of wars. Sad!


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