“IN THE KERNEL OF SERVICE” WRITTEN BY RICHARD INYA – FINALIST, TONY TOKUNBO FERNANDEZ POETRY COMPETITION 2018

IN THE KERNEL OF SERVICE

 

  • Richard Inya

 

An armed revolution

Rages against quietness

In the belly of starving retirees

Their intestines are trapped snakes
Struggling to break loose
Ever seen they that chew silence
And swallow air?

Pity is a bucketful of a minute silence
Harvested from the bosom of caretakers
Waiting to cast oration on graveyards

Promises sway despair

Vain promises are faecal stuffs

From the anus of bloated talks
This path is not far from mass murder
Another has just fallen whose statue
will never make it into the square

 

II

 

At the tail of service

Is a houseful of ghosts

Echoes and questions

 

Should I go or should I stay?

What if tomorrow doesn’t come

Or hunger lifts me away like a hawk?

 

Fifty something is allergic to jokes on age

Trepidation begets rejuvenation

In the enclave of browning records

Manipulation hands out extra years

To faces ripe to vacate the facade of duty

 

Retirement songs echo the sounds of war with self

The sphere of service is a mountain village

Every swift leap or brisk walk awaits accounting

When age meets with the year of reckoning

 

 

III

 

Giant hawks prey on pension funds

Hawks are rock-hearted caretakers

Nay, lions watching over aged sheep

 

Out in the cold the old queue

The lot of veterans exalts beggars

And sets the feet of the fledgling

On the path of wanton thievery

 

The piteous lot of pensioners

Is the offence of tribesmen

The offence of tribesmen isn’t offensive

Tongues and tribal marks settle scores

 

Wellbeing of the aged is the Holy Grail

The search for this is endless

Arthritis accompanies spent legs

On their way to another round of verification

There shall be more and more roll calls

Until more names fly with the hawks

INYA

 

Richard Inya is a Nigerian poet and short story writer. His works have been adopted for use in over eight states in Nigeria. Apart from his literay engagements, he works at Federal University Ndufu-Alike Ikwo, Ebonyi State. He is the Vice Chairman, Ebonyi State Branch of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA). He writes and

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