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fancy firmament filled with fantasies / of its graceful gait

and sweet soothing scent / warm breeze of wild figment

 

 

 
The Poet's Pen

                By Niyi Juliad

 

its restless ball-point

deftly roves as it rolls

itchy at the joint,

like a cheetah it prowls

 

the ravenous predator

hunts for hidden pictures –

victims of a tireless creator

goaded by the poet’s gestures

 

re-charged from the inkwell

it paints the mystery’s face

with a touch of spell

along its creative space

 

come, let’s unveil the secret

invented by the poet’s pen

the mind needs be discreet

unlocking the cryptic gen

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But I, Even I . . .

 

                        By Niyi Juliad

 

The strappy sandal

Breeds burning blisters

 

The gold ring

Gives gnawing twist

 

The glossy bracelet

Forces wriggly retreat

 

The nice necklet

Mocks the hangman’s noose

 

The dainty anklet

Bites like a manacle

 

The glittery girdle

Causes gripping gripe

 

And the colourful cap

Clamps with a bruising clasp

 

But I, even I,

Choose none of these

And I save my peace.

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Eyes Upon the Road

 

                        By Niyi Juliad

 

Having lain down this long

on the creaky couch

of defeated dreams

promise of slow-paced goodwill

keeps the soul alive

for endless uneasy moments

 

then eyes are laid

on the pathway of promise –

the same ever-coming promise

the heart set upon the road

and eager senses await every piece

of the crawling whole

 

fancy firmament filled with fantasies

of its graceful gait

and sweet soothing scent

 

warm breeze of wild figment

wraps its arms on the frozen spirit

melting the ice of reality

 

room-corner images projected

through the earth-inclined head

fill up a mighty lake

 

a bowl of scanty contents

is the weightless pride

of even the housetop view

 

many figures forever held

in lingering expectation

set the eyes, yes, upon the road.

*   *   *   *   *

 

Ailing Mammoth  

 

                          By Niyi Juliad

 

Cyclopean and comfortably cradled

he inhabits the trigger-point

of the black African space

 

He is a dying god

of ill-used fortunes

that brew self-induced sad pass

 

Self-appointed Big Brother

lives up to the true name

in actions daring and words grandiose

 

His swarms of swarthy scions

like sand of the sea

defy definite determination

 

The generous princely prince

of the black clan

sees not own foe in the self

 

Itchy hands oft-repeatedly dipped

into the cesspools of earth's secretion

depleted for love of loveless strangers

 

Foreign depositories heighten in time

serviced from un-returnable returns

from the earth’s crude favour

 

Fires of civil acrimony doused

in neighbours’ far-away lands, while

home-grown gall festers like septicaemia

 

The foxy men-in-cracy

conspire in cunning collusion, and

shoot the Behemoth in the foot

 

From the drugged slugs he bleeds

and trudges in tottering gait

totally depleted, totally ailing

 

Unwilling clinicians lack willing tools

clinically unclean, un-sterilized

for the styptic performance

 

Foreign loaners feast on dripping blood

“squeeze the fool more,” they urge

stranglehold heavy like cumber

 

The going songs are tear-jerkers

and the skies gather darkening clouds

who will stop the lachrymal heavens?

Except the One above the clouds  

Niyi Juliad lives in Lagos, Nigeria. Born to a mother who used to be an oral traditional poetry performer, like her father whose gift in oral traditional poetry was well-known among his contemporaries.

Some of his works have been published in some literary magazines and national newspapers. Some have recently been accepted for publication in the annual literary magazine of Poetry International, San Diego State University.

He is currently working on a novel and a book on poetry.

posted 19 December 2005 

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*   *   *   *   *

Greenback Planet: How the Dollar Conquered

the World and Threatened Civilization as We Know It

By H. W. Brands

In Greenback Planet, acclaimed historian H. W. Brands charts the dollar's astonishing rise to become the world's principal currency. Telling the story with the verve of a novelist, he recounts key episodes in U.S. monetary history, from the Civil War debate over fiat money (greenbacks) to the recent worldwide financial crisis. Brands explores the dollar's changing relations to gold and silver and to other currencies and cogently explains how America's economic might made the dollar the fundamental standard of value in world finance. He vividly describes the 1869 Black Friday attempt to corner the gold market, banker J. P. Morgan's bailout of the U.S. treasury, the creation of the Federal Reserve, and President Franklin Roosevelt's handling of the bank panic of 1933. Brands shows how lessons learned (and not learned) in the Great Depression have influenced subsequent U.S. monetary policy, and how the dollar's dominance helped transform economies in countries ranging from Germany and Japan after World War II to Russia and China today. He concludes with a sobering dissection of the 2008 world financial debacle, which exposed the power--and the enormous risks--of the dollar's worldwide reign.  The Economy

*   *   *   *   *

Salvage the Bones

A Novel by Jesmyn Ward

On one level, Salvage the Bones is a simple story about a poor black family that’s about to be trashed by one of the most deadly hurricanes in U.S. history. What makes the novel so powerful, though, is the way Ward winds private passions with that menace gathering force out in the Gulf of Mexico. Without a hint of pretension, in the simple lives of these poor people living among chickens and abandoned cars, she evokes the tenacious love and desperation of classical tragedy. The force that pushes back against Katrina’s inexorable winds is the voice of Ward’s narrator, a 14-year-old girl named Esch, the only daughter among four siblings. Precocious, passionate and sensitive, she speaks almost entirely in phrases soaked in her family’s raw land. Everything here is gritty, loamy and alive, as though the very soil were animated. Her brother’s “blood smells like wet hot earth after summer rain. . . . His scalp looks like fresh turned dirt.” Her father’s hands “are like gravel,” while her own hand “slides through his grip like a wet fish,” and a handsome boy’s “muscles jabbered like chickens.” Admittedly, Ward can push so hard on this simile-obsessed style that her paragraphs risk sounding like a compost heap, but this isn’t usually just metaphor for metaphor’s sake. She conveys something fundamental about Esch’s fluid state of mind: her figurative sense of the world in which all things correspond and connect. She and her brothers live in a ramshackle house steeped in grief since their mother died giving birth to her last child. . . . What remains, what’s salvaged, is something indomitable in these tough siblings, the strength of their love, the permanence of their devotion.—WashingtonPost

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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Negro Digest / Black World

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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update 21 March 2012

 

 

 

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Related files: Osundare's Universe of Burdens    The Poet's Pen & Other Poems   Niyi Osundare At 60  Transitional Writings on Africa