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tradition and modernity
like a mixture
buy and sell
the city offers more
to engage in
more to marvel at

for saints
for sinners
for the active
for the dormant
it has a place
for every one.

©Yusuf Adamu - 28/09/1997

   Stay behind
when all hope is gone
the brain was abused
no research grants
poor pay
no recognition
the mind has decided
preparing to leave for good
then the advert appeared
we applied
we waited
then the letter came
soon we were on our way
we arrived
the training
the computers
the public lecture
the cheques

thank you God
for sparing the like
of these men
academics of excellence
you’ve rekindled our hopes
yes sirs
we shall remain on the campuses

(for ssan) Social Science Academy of Nigeria.
©Yusuf Adamu - 1998

once in the places of our birth
one can only be a saraki or talaka
the class system so well-defined

suddenly the man with red ears arrived
his education he introduced
fear of apostasy discourage the most

his rule becomes widespread
his way of life imposed on all
boko has arrived to change things
for the middle class is born

a new mobility ladder had arrived
through this ladder many have ascended
vertically the social ladder they climbed
from lower-class to middle-class
many have ascended to the upper-class

somany classes now on the tray
lower-lower, lower-middle and lower-upper
middle-lower, midle-midle and middle-upper
upper-lower, upper-middle and upper-upper
boko’s ladder can take you up-up as you try

many from the lower ladder have ascended
to the top level of the ladder and relax

now they looked down in surprise
so many commoners struggling to climb the ladder

is there a space for them at the top?
What about their children, they asked
The status quo must be maintained, they feel
`take away the ladder’ they ordered
today the ladder is up,
away from the commoners reach

there are two ways now,
one for the commoner
the other for the non commoner
peace will be scarce for the privileged few

©Yusuf Adamu - 1999

every body in this world has some worries
but worries are only natural and human
everyone is at least sad at some point
but life is not all time sadness

it should not matter
if someone is happy or making progress
when you are in pain and worries

make yourself a point of reference
do not look up to belittle yourself
look downward to appreciate your position
you are far better, you faired well

make yourself happy do not imprison yourself
because others are happy when you are sad
happiness is what create
sadness is also our creation

your problems are made not to last

©Yusuf Adamu - 30/06/2000

   Image in the mirror
If you look at the mirror
What you see is your image not mine
If I look at the mirror
What I see is my image not yours
If they look at the mirror
What they see is their images not yours or mine
Your image cannot be mine
Neither mine could be yours
Nor theirs ours
Why then must you insist in seeing your image
When I look at the mirror?

©Yusuf Adamu October - 13, 2001

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Yusuf Adamu lectures in the department of Geography, Bayero University Kano, Nigeria. His other publications include Idan So Cuta Ne, Ummul-Khairi, Butterfly & Other Poems, My first book of rhymes, & litters and has being published in many local and International Poetry Anthologies. He is the chairman of the Association of Nigerian Authors Kano State branch and currently a Fulbright Fellow with the School of Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham.

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