Olabisi Joshua

Biography: He is a prolific writer who has written numerous stories, dramas and poetries. His works had been longlisted in Libretto Chapbook Series, 2020 poetry prize. He resides in Osogbo, Osun State

Olabisi Joshua's Profile

Olabisi Joshua
Saturday 19 November 2022

I Am Done

I am done walking the jungle
Like the pilgrim of the southern
On the pebbles of the river
Under the shadow of the trees
In comfort of the smelling grasses
That drenched with cow-dungs in the scorching sun
I rode the crest of the wave of the pleb,
When cloud overcasted
When nobody would give me a piggyback,
A ragtag boy singing alone,
Splashed the puddles and smashed down the weeds
When I ran like a late school boy.

I am done walking the jungle
With a pet name ‘The King of the Jungle’
Ragged pickaninny in the campus
I was proud of my name since I knew it would soon come to an end

The best time of the jungle was the cold time
When the breeze held me in ransom
With the excitement of the birds
Lowering, curving, and circling the trees
When the dust loomed up
During the sharp time of the year.


Olabisi Joshua
Monday 31 October 2022

The Freedom Gate

The bridge is falling out on us
Far from up high,
The bricks batter our heads;
Whose angel sent to straighten our necks with rods
And corner us to bend low for their lords,
Who jumped over our fences in replica.

The stars are falling from their places
Like spoilt oranges to smoothen our
path with blood at the toll gate,
As the day turns night in curfew,
We shout to live more to our brothers and sisters in threnody.

The cloud is tearing apart in the sky of turmoil;
With the flag we claimed to be our refuge,
That told us we have the brain of our own to heal our land.
While the crickets are chirping on our fences
To fill our ears with lies of the day.

The land is sinking to its depth,
When the soldier-ants engulfed our houses
To rally in our pots of soup;
We light our rags to gain spaces by the smoke of the night
And see-off our friends to the underworld
With the phrase of Patriot.

The old flood is swallowing everyone
Like in the day of Noah;
Our houses are not a safety box,
We run into the streets and sweep by the force of the flood
Into a corrugated iron shell that swallow us forever.

We’re not saddened to pull down the freedom gate
For the name of our friends
Our fathers rebuked us and labelled us ‘arrogant’
when we didn’t endorse their optimism
And forcefully shout, 'enough is enough!'


Olabisi Joshua
Sunday 30 October 2022

My Conversation With A Famous Poet

This weighted aroma of ink;
Sent a word to me on my bed several nights.
Its tears flew on the transcendent book
Where in this world will I find and fix the lines and verses of Shakespeare?
Is it on the dusty board in the societies?
Where smugness is the motto
And dirt coats the norms
Where readers have become the viewers of book covers
And the world has made the ink a pushover
To run-off a genre of their tastes.
I have learnt my lesson from John Milton that the paradise lost can be regained.

What is the ink?
It is the heart that conveys the meaning
And the meanings are the fingers of the ink;
That move on the white paper.
The priceless ink in the world
That holds my heart.
I have presented it to my kinsmen like Harry Potter
But it was rejected
Maybe tomorrow, they will search for its scraps.
Osundare smiled and said, 'it is culture.'


Olabisi Joshua
Friday 28 October 2022

My First Drink

Love, see what you made me do
After I have opened my door for you,
You stole everything from me without a trace;
It seemed I was dreaming when I realized
It was you who made me do this.
Why did you make me a slave of someone?
And a bunch-bag of thought?

Love, see what you made me do
After I have drank up your hot wine
I ran helter-skelter like a canoe
Tossed to and fro
And carried about with every wind
I slept but my heart woke
My love, my dove, my life,
Was the voice of the beloved
Knocking harder like the drops of water
I rose up to open my door, but you’d withdrawn yourself
I opened my windows if I would find you
Instead, I became a wanderer.

Love, see what you turned me to;
I drank more of your wines to stop thinking
My eyes became dull
While my heart was blank
I spoke countless of words
Yet, I couldn’t stop mockery.
I became people's laughter,
That was their only way to help.

Love, if I would tell you a story
The uniqueness of your nature,
When I was intoxicated on my bed,
I was uncomfortable.
It’s then I believed to love is easy
To divorce is like a wound that can never be healed.


Olabisi Joshua
Friday 28 October 2022


At seventeen, I got to use chalk and duster
After served with ink and paper
In the broad days and nights;
I travelled far and wide with new shades
To decorate my hands
With a margin of error.

At twenty-six, I was given a paper
To carry around chalk and duster
To serve my fatherland.
Then, I saw syringe, telescope, theodolite and cardboard
Carrying chalk and duster
After served with ink and paper.
There was no room to dust my duster.
On the streets, my chalk was crystal clear;
For the society, I carry my chalk and duster,
But there was no gift nor congratulatory letter;
All I got in return is scolding and query
From the management and parents.
My name was spelt with fake lips
And empty my hand with handshaking;
If chalk and duster change today,
I’ll be shot out like a bullet of that day
When the gun was longer than the bunny.


Olabisi Joshua
Wednesday 26 October 2022

My Mother

In whom I spent my old days and nights,
Who rocked me in my cradle;
And fed my pretty mouth with a spoon,
Did weep while I should weep.
How much will I pay
For the pain you’ve taken for me?

Who worked that jumper to keep me warm;
Treated me with diffidence and respect,
Her healthy arms always be my stay,
And always admired my prudent face that filled with laughter.
How much will I pay
For the pains you’ve taken for me?

Who tired me with apology for being tiresome,
And asked twenty questions and never waited for an answer.
My timidity struck her at the first sight;
When she taught me to expect something extraordinary.
How much will I pay
For the pains you’ve taken for me?

I find such a pleasure
In obeying her commands,
That I take care to observe;
Shall soon come to bless me.
How much will I pay
For the pains you’ve taken for me?

I vow, I thought so;
Never, as among queens and princesses
In her age; to be explicit,
I’ve kept very little company
In pretty smooth dialogues with her.
How much will I pay
For the pains you’ve taken for me?


Olabisi Joshua
Wednesday 26 October 2022

My Child

Oh! My child, don’t hate him
Though you may never see him
But something tells me you may yet see him.
Wait a minute,
He was handsome
If he’s still handsome;
I was young and cute when he married me
He was the foreman in a forge company
We lived together happily
Till I suddenly became blind;
He ran away when I didn’t move
I’ve not heard from him ever since
I’m sure, he’ll come back again.


Olabisi Joshua
Wednesday 26 October 2022

My Lost Rib

My lost rib, slumber to my eyes
Between life and death,
Rest to my soul in an aisle of fire and water;
Hang like rubicons of honour on my neck;
Paint my lips with long in the tooth kisses
That fell in with your virgin lips
Like a toy in the shape of a barrel that emits sounds of laughter.

My lost rib, take your feet off from the mud
And step on the bland soil that shield with honour
You’ve been tossed to and fro by the glittering scenes of the lavishers.
Drop the anchor of sell-out for consort;
To all intents and purposes,
Your love has taken me by the storm
When it’s all over in a flash;
I can view your heart in black and white;
Not until you loose your long Johns.


Olabisi Joshua
Tuesday 25 October 2022


Lamarin, you have eaten the eye of the earth
A betrayal shall perish in the soil
You have eaten the bait
And whoever does what no man had done before shall see unusual thing.

Ha- ha, he shouldn’t be you!
Lamarin, you have broken the tie
You know Esu does not eat black kernel- oil,
Does dog eat kolanut
Have you forgotten that one must not use bitter- kola sticks to make fire?
Or use its leaves to preserve pap,
That Orisa- oke will get angry with the person.

You have given me a bitter-sweet memory...
He who killed vulture clocked not a year
He who killed hornbill clocked not a month
Lamarin, you’ve struck the honey-nest
You have called Esu an ugly man
If your Sango is drying up Araba and Iroko
It not my big tree;
Lamarin, you have deepened your fingers into my mouth
And I must bite you.


Olabisi Joshua
Tuesday 25 October 2022

A Ride For My Dead



I have some dead with me

In the abattoir near the mountains

Where they dried their bones and flesh

For gold and silver of the Midianites;

Maybe someday, I will carry their memories

To the table where the state is ruined,


Perhaps today, I found them without footwear;

Running on the streets to retreat to the tree 

Where their names are tagged;

In cold and winter, they felt all alone.


I have called the pen-riders to pick up my fight 

When I am dead in the pot of soil.

Will they ride their pens on the potholed roads that linked us together?

When gold is smiling on their tables

Will they strike the wall with their pen-axes when they are locked up?

I have my dead with me everywhere I go

To break the story of the gods. 


Olabisi Joshua
Tuesday 25 October 2022

We Are Born Free

Stop challenging Africa 

Wherever you go we are

We have slept on many oceans without a cover

We have lived in peril on the sea

We have died and buried without a tomb

To remind our children our days 

And to celebrate us like heroes,

Stop challenging Africa 

We’re born free.


Olabisi Joshua
Tuesday 25 October 2022


We are on the verge of pain

Since we had followed our greed

To the corner of their mouths

Where lies live

With the coloured papers our fathers were sold

To the anthills of the savanna.

Under the sun, we spread their names on the walls

To convince our brothers and sisters

With the sweet words of their mouths.

Under the rain, we danced to their music

When the trumpeters called out our mothers

To the villages’ square

To sweep the market places with their voices and feet.

We are on the verge of pain

When we saw what they bit

Was more than what they could chew

To oil the forests

And grease the walls.

We have gone around the bend

Because they had turned our faces to the night sun.


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