Ahmadu Bello Way at 9pm

Ahmadu Bello Way at 9pm

“Kakuri United!” bawls

the stony faced conductor

bottling a day’s worth

of fatigue;

preparing the way,

for the looming surge

of tired humans,

anxious to get home

to a meal, a bath and

a much deserved sleep.


“Barnawa Narayi!”

The oral orifice of

a young teenage conductor

explodes this phrase

not imploringly

but aggressively.


This familiar phrase heard in a din

of clamour and clatter

sets a hundred or so toes leaping

towards a common front;

their owners with a mutual aim-

To fight the battle of entry

against each other.


No more respect for elders,

as the young put courtesy aside,

shoving the old and weak to the side.

No more pride and graceful catwalks;

the struggling swarm can make no room for this.

Shouts, swear words, unconscious jabs

rule the day-like night,

determining the eventual commuters

to sit in the skeletal, so called bus

that dared not crawl the streets

of oyinbo’s land.


The rickety, skeletal, so called bus

is now on its way

with nineteen pairs of human buttocks

packed within its metallic walls

designed ab ovo

to seat ten.

12 thoughts on “Ahmadu Bello Way at 9pm” by chemokopi (@chemokopi)

  1. Interesting snapshot of urban life, Chemo. Which city is this?

  2. @Tola: Thanks. The setting is Kaduna City. ‘Barnawa Narayi’ and ‘Kakuri United’ are transit routes within the city.
    @Eletrika: Thanks. Those are two simple words poets like to hear. lol

  3. Nice poem, I guess.

  4. I know ab initio but not ab ovo.

    I found instances of what I call verbiage, over use of words and unnecessary repetition. Like so-called bus, this was repeated within lines of each other. Also rickety skeletal…bla bla, can be condensed as rickety skeleton.

    All in all, a good snapshot of the picture you tried to paint. Well done.

  5. @Whitman: Thanks a lot for your constructive views. I have noted your suggestions and would consider them.

    * ‘ab ovo’ is a synonym of ‘ab initio’ but it is not commonly used.

  6. @chemokopi
    my reading of your wonderful pieces remain indelible in my heart……..

    1. @innoalifa: You are too kind!

      1. Thanks!!!!!!!!!!
        @chemokopi & @topazo could check out my poem at http://www.naijastories.com/2014/06/like-romeo-juliet/ and make your criticisms, good or bad……….

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