HAADIMU LADHAAT

(A Poem)

— AYEYEMI TAOFEEK (ASWAGAAWY

whereas,

last night / i found the definition of hadimu ladhaat in the setting of the sun / this is an artist that scribbles silence into the voice of man / a farmer that plants end-ness into the living / one who rakes pleasure like fallen leaves in the harmattan / a terror whose arts accelerate fear into man’s feet / so high that we avoid touching the tombstone of another / because / we don’t want to be tagged as the next / to carry the earth holding a tombstone on our body / how we guzzle concoctions of fear from the sight of a shrouded body / we forget our first trip was nothingness to which we shall return //

but then,

last night / a man was choked to death while eating / & this morning / the neighbours are found slicing pepper & ginger into their melon soup / over two hundred souls dissolved into ashes in last night’s plane crash / yet this morning / @ five / the airport’s foyer is filled to the entrance / we wake everyday hoping to return to the uncertain moon / we sleep every night expecting to rise with the unsure sun //

and,

last night / a man was brought home in his new but crushed car / the man died but his wristwatch kept working / i slept wondering how I’ll write death into an alien land / & this morning i open the mas`af / the verse that welcomed me read “Say, “Indeed, the death from which you flee – indeed, it will meet you.”” ( Suratul Jum’a, v. 8)

Footnote:

• Haadimu ladhaat : The Destroyer of Desires (A name given to death)

• Mas’af: Means the Qur’an