Equatorial Fortress

Fast approaching
the phalanx of aggregated
consciousness, foretold
fortress of sustained bliss,
wanderer must hasten
to beat night fall.

Each footprint, every
uncalculated step, is an
omnibus of entangled strings
of choices (and non-choices),
labyrinth of strewn
engagements, delicate
melange of fortuitous events.
But onward march remains
non-negotiable. The imagined
is far too titillating.

Wet, green earth must
accord with a wanderer's
choice of being: unfettered
recognition (passport to
unlocking the fortress).
Forlorn thoughts of
alienation dissipate, the
soul creatively fathoms a
fresh path.

The eerie atmosphere of the
legendary Equatorial fortress
is only tempered by the
effacing bamboo clad gate.
Wanderer slowly motion towards
the entrance, and abruptly, an
unfriendly, puncturing, voice
"Who the hell are you?!"

The Town That Eats Its Own

There is a town, behind the
signal mountains, neatly tucked
between the endangered pristine
forests, that eats its own. The
road to this town is enticingly
navigable, it draws travellers of all
sorts, tourists yearn for the scenic
terrain that masks the untold
stories of this town, stories
about the implacable appetite
for its natives.

Welcome to the town that
devours its own but glorifies
its visitors. But beware travellers,
even you, the prescient adventurer,
for the reality you see is framed
by a smudged prism.

Don't only talk to the inhabitants,
listen to their wailing silence.
When you ask for road directions, pay scant
attention to their sing-song, comedic accent, don't be
mesmerised by their legendary warmth.
Their eagerness to show you the treasures of the
land shouldn't fool you either. A lot is encoded.

Immerse yourself in the quest of
decoding the silence, interspersed with pretentious
smiles and lengthy, rambunctious laughters. For it
exposes the lurking, underlying fear.

Dear visitor, follow the silence, for it bears the
unrelenting weight of the war coming. For one day,
when there are no natives to feast on, this town
will turn on itself, and devour its own
soul. Then the war will come, and
recast its being.

About the Author

Babatunde Fagbayibo is a poet and law teacher. He is originally from Nigeria but currently resides in Pretoria, South Africa. His poems, short stories and book reviews have appeared in web and print based anthologies such as Poetry Potion, Pambazuka, Kalahari Review, Red Ogre Review, Aké Review, African Writers, Vox Poetica, Aerodrome, Nigeriatalks Lit Mag, Absolute Africa, Litnet, TWAIL Review, Imbiza Journal for African Writing, Imbizo: International Journal of African Literary and Comparative Studies, and Agbowó. He also writes socio-political and legal commentaries for online blogs and newspapers within and outside the African continent.