Naked souls by Adeoti Gbemisola

A carnival of naked souls

Dancing through blooming thorns

Hopping with muffled shrill

On souls of thorns and glass chips

With aging faces in puzzling smiles

Drained of terror



A passerby points attention

To the horror locked in

Lisping lips and clanging teeth

All dancing figures in a pool of spikes



And in procession they turn

Into the forest of cactus

A painful passage along a pin-ful path

Hoping between pricks and tears



Amidst chants and retorts

Charming thunders of stipped soles

Roared through our new acropolis

Where pins with nails

And shattered shells of snails

Pile from rooftop to floor



At the close carnival

We are left with regal strutting

On bare soles

And milk of bleakness

We are left with royal bearing

On thorn-filled cushions

And wild faces behind ageing mask

From thrones of thorns.


Gbemisola Adeoti is the author of the poem, he was a reporter/researcher with ‘The News Magazine, Lagos. Now a senior lecturer in the English Department of obafemi Awolowo university, Ile-Ife, same place where he obtained his B.A and M.A degrees from before getting his doctorate degree in the University of Ibadan. The poem naked souls false under the African poetry and is one of the most used poems in examinations such as JAMB and WAEC for literature students.

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