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“Case closed” by Funmi Gaji

“Case closed” by Funmi Gaji


Case Closed

Lines of Poetry,
The rhythm of breath that reaches out and
loops across messy chapters,
Floundering webs with nonsensical jingles
Tickling and irking the heart
Summed up thus:
Case closed.

There are no bells,
The curtain is merely ripped apart,
Where the melody stops…
It is the interruption of an orchestra by
A garrulous and ill-tutored choir-master

The performance is summed up thus: “case closed,”
No appeal,
No counter-motions:
Case closed.

De-Deification of Gods

Gourds sitting atop towers topple,
Fall to rubbly demise,
Gods share their fate.
Gods sit on high and the winds of time erode their cassocks.

I’ve seen immortals de-deified
Seen rockets pierce deepest mysteries
Rob gods their cloaks of darkness.

Cupid and Mars draw the bow,
Stiffen in mid-assault;
Mortal man has strayed and trampled
One Mount Olympus too many

Statue Kings

The halo weighs heavy on the saint’s head,
He squints as he dazzles
Dazzled, he dazzles;
Light-blinded, he is caught in limbo.

Imprisoned on the throne,
The deity holds unending court.
Moses dares not lower his hands,
He dares not slumber.

Blessed to live forever,
Condemned to stay awake
– The blood-drinker’s eyes are bloodshot.

He reigns forever – the statue
King – they bow to he who holds
Out the shackled hands forever


Roses sprouting and withering,
Unseen yolks of poetry, unseen,
Songs begun and uncompleted,
Re-echoing in faraway lands
The painter’s hands linger and shed paint,
The muses hover and would not descend…
Love is conceived and stuck at Laaroye’s crossroads,
Even the gatekeepers grow weary
As the march outwards
Cease not
and we try to tempt the ones who refuse to be born.

And the Earth Failed Okete

One day,
Sango’s growl came behind the clouds,

Yemoja did not reach out to bear
The river-child, the
River-child stumbled…
Okete spoke and the earth did not yield…

Isaac went up in flames on the pyre
And not a ram peeked out to take the
Burden of sacrifice off
the shoulders of the ancient pair.

The sky loses her stars,
The star-gazer squints and squints,
The eyes that stare at the crystals are bleary.

Funmi Gaji was born in January, 1991 in Lagos, Nigeria. She attended the Lagos State University and the University of Ibadan where she bagged a first and Master’s degree in Literature-in-English respectively. Gaji, an avid reader, loves to examine and challenge norms in her writings. She writes poetry, fiction and non-fiction. Three of her poems appear in ANA Review 2015. In her writings, she draws on the symbolism inherent in African mythology which may be harnessed towards interrogating contemporary African realities. On a larger scale, she has especial interest in mythopoeia as may be deployed in engaging contemporary realities and fashioning new truths. She has written a number of essays, short stories and poems. Her plans are to become an astute academic with meaningful contributions to the articulation and scholarship on African creative expression.

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