Morakinyo Temiloluwa Bolarinwa

Freshman - 536 Points (2/9/1992 / Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria)

Memories From Ituagan - Poem by Morakinyo Temiloluwa Bolarinwa

Waves of the creek splashed at my feet, as I and my compatriots jumped down in eagerness, our journey from the Isle of Snake has started, and we watched the boat man roar his engines away.

Instructed on the dangers of our travel, we dug our boots in the sinking shore sands, and advanced in single file, forward to our unknown, singing and clapping as we veered in the morning light

As I look forward in my premier step, a sight not to behold was all I saw, for though in my books they existed, I had never really been in a shanty.

My First thought provoker were young men wasting away the morning, Unemployed, hopeless and smoking away their sorrows. Cold jitters ran through my spine, as I imagined their predicament to be mine.

For I am but another Nigerian Youth, neglected, unplanned for and about to graduate, and that meant I could have been among those men, tired of chasing the false hope of my country.

Suddenly, I was geared to reality, as a hurrying fishmonger sped through my path, carrying her object of trade and bearing no word of apology, for every second she wastes is a detriment in competition.

Our journey then continued, but I never got distracted by the absence of electric power, or the poorly built houses, or the school children without shoes, or the smell of Environmental neglect. Non of it was to bother me again, for I, like our Leaders, had blocked my ears and closed my eyes, to Nature's silent call in constant agony, to men's wordless supplication, demanding, requesting and begging for easement.

I never got distracted until a compatriot broke the Jinx, he tapped me and geared me to see a weird building. Like the others in the shanty, made of cheap bamboo, beside the path and unmistakable in search, having in front large size pictures of ladies in nudity, reeking of Alcohol, cigarette and other unidentifiable substances, was a medium building, bearing on it a single, common and Anglo based word, 'HOTEL'

My mind went wild with thoughts, what else do they do here other than prostitution, No! Prostitution is the only logical answer. But why won't these girls here prostitute, no employment, no social care and a resounding poverty, what choice do they have when legal survival is made impossible, when they are abandoned and forgotten in their sufferings.
So, who am I to Judge their morality, not after seeing them exist below humanity.

I therefore turned a blind eye, my legs proceeding in a conscious mechanical push. I turned a blind eye, even when we saw an abandoned base of bunkering. I turned a blind eye, I turned a blind eye, I turned a blind eye, knowing that its not their fault, I turned a blind eye, saying 'it is not my business'. I turned a blind eye because, when Legal progress is impossible, Illegal progress is inevitable.

Poet's Notes about The Poem

It should be noted that the Locations, Situations and Circumstances described in the poem, were real, occurred and existed, there is no iota of Fiction in the poem. This poem is a recollection of my experience during the endurance trek from the Citizenship and Leadership Training Centre, Sea School, Apapa, Lagos, with the course batch SS663, a trek which I participated in and completed successfully.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Poem Edited: Wednesday, November 6, 2013

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