by Afolayan Adebiyi


In an open market place,

All eyes open, glaring, stared eyes,

There naked we danced,

All our failings, we exposed,

Up forsake,

For pittance though,

We put up our values,

We sought to entertain,

But scorned our values

In an open market place,

Where vultures scowled,

We raped our virgins,

We tramped on our morals,

Our psyche with mud,

We poked our conscience not,

All voices of wisdom drained,

Low and heard no more.

Disdain, vanity now ruled.

The Shrines, sacred grooves, all violated,

The Chief Priest wandered off drunkenly,

Priests haphazardly abandoned the shrine

All wander after the mundane

There we dance naked, In the open market.

Naked still, yet no qualm

Turn in the drummers,

Chorus, followed, yet no songs

We condemn ‘em all,

The uniformed percussionists,

Generally, we loathed the very uniforms,

The jackboots’ symbols of oppression

We suspect pilfering of takings,

We can’t talk, just dance

We sing, low, loud

In an open market place,

Here we laid out our pains;

Pangs of shame, we share

Tambourines, cymbals, gongs,

All making cacophony of sounds,

We yearned for someone to speak to us,

More of speeches,

Few town criers picked little interest,

Yet, they say little

We cry for more with our voices,

Few voices re-echoed back,

Many were lost!

Yet we trudged on,

Then sound and sight era unfolded,

Wonderful new innovation, we clapped

Still, we dance in open market naked,

Frustration grows,

We changed drummers,

Dance, yes we must dance,

Entered another drummer,

Drummers high on ethanol,

Trumpeters added more fervour,

With feverish drumming, we lost control,

Our dignity, our pride, up in the air,

Not even clothing to cover our shame,

We celebrate our dirtiness,

We advertise our dark side,

We flaunt our ugly nature,

We rape our collective psyche,

Not now in the open market,

Not now with the drummers,

Neither with the trumpets,

Nor tambourines, or percussions,

Now it’s the season,

Season of celebrations of naked madness.


Afolayan Adebiyi writes from Lagos, Nigeria.

Feferity (c) 2019


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