Lagos-Badagry Road;

Yes, from Alakija to Iyana Iba;

Ha, home of confusion.

What have we woken to?

Hell suddenly let lose in the cold

Where morning dew dries

In the fire of a billion buzzing bees.

An ocean of fretting fire

Aglow with a hotchpotch

Of a billion burning eyes:

Eyes that blaze through the haze

Of a million hooting elephants

Poised to trample a million prancing monkeys

On a canvas of buzzing bees,

And we, the unfortunate spectators

Cringe to save our souls from the

Collective terror of drunken monsters.

Yet everyone remains where they are.

And there is no where to go.

Elephants, monkeys and bees are trapped.

This is a road that leads to no-where.

The trucks blame the commercial buses,

The commercial buses blame the commercial bikers,

The commercial bikers blame the pedestrians,

The pedestrians blame the road construction contractor,

The road construction contractor blames the government,

The government blames the treasury looters,

The treasury looters blame the system,

The systemblames God's help” delayed.

Yeah, this is Lagos

And Lagos unfortunately is Nigeria.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

The Reconstruction of Lagos-Badagry Carriageway Project was started in 2012 by the Lagos State Government to expand the Lagos end of the road which leads from Lagos through the west coast of Africa all the way to Accra in order to create a metro rail system at the centre. However, the progress was stalled during the immediate past regime and this left the section of the extremely busy commercial road in a state of complete collapse plunging commuters into unimaginable suffering. So many have died on this road, many of them trampled by containers that often fall off trucks. Millions of dare-devil commercial bikers have flooded the place hiking prices as this has now become the preferred mode of transportation. Sometimes you might be tempted to just stay aside and watch the squirming sea of pedestrians, motorcyclists, buses and trucks altogether caught in an unending traffic jam. It may yet seem unbelievable to some that pedestrians could also be caught in a standstill traffic jam. 

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The Rag-And-Bone Man

“Rag-and-bone! Rag-and-bone!”


A man trudges down their street,


Small and bent over and pushing a cart.


He stops right outside their house,


And taps on the window.


“The man is coming and knocking on the window.


Shouting and laughing and tapping at the glass.


Knock, knock, knock, knock.


The bone man’s here,


Standing in the hallway with a bottle of gin.”

You've Never Tasted Desperate

You fools in the media 

and other fools of high society

are so arrogant and ignorant

of what it means to truly be desperate


You don't know shit about America,

America is not first,

your ego is first,


As long as your money bags are full

you do not care what happens to the people

of this country. 


You liars in the media will continue to brainwash 

millions with your bullshit; your racist and sexist

genda is blantantly obvious


You democrats claim to care about African Americans

and other minorities but really you just want their

vote to stay in power and to control the country


You don't give a shit about anyone but your selves. 

Author's Notes/Comments: 

I'm sick of liars who can stare at a tv camera and lie with a straight face and smile at you like a bunch of psychopaths. Fuck these pieces of shit. Don't pay attention to these whores. Republican or democrat. They are all scum. 


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Proper homelessness

Proper homelessness

By jfarrell


As I go about, I see two faces of homelessness;

My local area, Walworth Road…

Man with accordion; 20 metres on, old woman with scarf;

Another twenty metres man with accordion again;

That’s gotta be gangs, right?


Three o’clock in the morning;

Rain, sleet, minus three degrees;

Wrapped in cardboard boxes

In shop doorways;

They gotta be proper homeless, right?


I’ve been homeless a few times;

Slept in doorways, subways, park benches;

Sleeping bag my coat and blanket;

Can’t stay dry, can’t stay warm;

All I possess in one bag.


And I never want to be homeless again, that’s for sure;

If you are homeless, you won’t be reading this, but….

Please stay warm and survive! Things can get better;

Folks reading this… please spare a thought;

And old blanket and a warm cup of tea would be a lifesaver, too.




Author's Notes/Comments: 

i keep hearing this winter will be the coldest for a long while, it's literally gonna be murder on the streets this winter

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The Problem

The Problem

By JFarrell


The problem: War

Why do we have war?

The big boys, the US, Britain and Russia

Sell the guns and tanks to either side in every war


The problem: Unclean drinking water

Why? The wars we enable pollute the land

But, also, we have water-purification tablets;

Why do we not give these away, free

Stop people dying through lack of safe drinking water


The problem: 30 dead in a burned out tower block;

Why? Facts (not opinion): the less fire resistant cladding was used;

Fire services did not have equipment capable of reaching the higher floors

There should start your ‘Public Enquiry’ now.

In these times of austerity it was not cost-efficient

To use the slightly more expensive cladding

Or ensure our fire services were properly equipped


Profit before people is today’s world

Profit is the be all and end all;

Profit and wealth are not the only important things.

People are important, more important.

Think on this, you rich, wealthy people…


Apartheid had to adapt to the fact of there being more black people than white people, or face revolution.


There are far more poor people - people with nothing, people with little, “hard-working, honest families” - than there are rich people.


Vive le Revolution :-)



Author's Notes/Comments: 

vive le Revolution :-)

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East Hastings Street


A strangers eyes and mine meet 

This man is visibly tired, cold and weak 

It looks as though for days he's had nothing to eat.

There are no shoes upon his feet.

I wonder if he has a place to sleep. 

Tucked away in a dark corner on a cardboard box is where he takes a seat. 

Somewhere along the way he got in too deep.

Now his home is East Hastings Street 


What events led up to where he is now 

What caused him to wear a permanent frown

Is it speed, crack or down? 

That has his hands and feet bound 

Were his parents never around? 

When he got lost did he choose not to be found

What if his thoughts were profound 

But society let his mind drown 

Because he comes from a different background 


It's hard for me to truly empathize 

I don't know the story behind his tired eyes 

Was it the world that cut him short 

Or was the ball always in his court? 


I wonder what runs through his mind 

What kind of man is he inside? 

What would he change if he could press rewind

Would he do it better the second time? 

Or was he destined to be a product of humanity's most heinous crime 

To do nothing, is to let them die. 

I asked myself why? 

But then I to just walked on by  





Author's Notes/Comments: 

My mother inspired me to write this poem. She used to be one of the many  men and women that wonder East Hasting street in downtown Vancouver. She had a fairly normal life before she made a long list of bad decisions which resulted in her alienating herself from her entire family and eventually ending up homeless. Now everytime I see someone diwntown without a home I can't help but wonder if they to had a family and a place to call home at one point in their life. It also outlines something we all do on a daily basis, we are aware of unjust situations, we acknowledge them, and think about how awful they are but we just continue on with our lives. We tell ourselves it's the thought that counts so we can sleep easy at night, but if you stand by and witness sin and do nothing about it you are wirse than the person committing the wrong doing. The only way to deal with bad men is when good men stand up for what is right.

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Terrace Motel

Cheap carpet, caked with years of grime,

thrown across the cement floor like a shop rag,
stretched to the stained walls stacked high

with ordinary and torn boxes—resembling a mini

storage. Outside these walls, the police investigate yet

another stabbing. (Some movies are based on reality).

The old hood is across the street – which supposedly

separated old from new.


My mother, brother, two sisters and I slept, ate

and fought in that cube for more than three years.

The lights didn’t always work. The plumbing leaked

and the single door lock did not always lock. Harry never
spent money to have things fixed properly—It was the only
place Social Security and Welfare paid for. We slept

because we were tired and ate because we were hungry.


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January 5th


I slowly fill my tea cup


Watching the hot water thrash the little tea bag back and forth


The way storms toss shingles and trash cans


The way waterfalls await nations that once laid claim to calm rivers


Are we debris caught in society?


Are we as hopeless as homes lying under hurricanes?


Why can we measure wind temperature destruction body counts bullets fired bombs dropped civilians displaced but can't calculate the casualties in our subconscious


If we could see the suffering that vengeance brings


Could it divert us from disaster?


Greed's hot noxious breath is on the back of my neck


I walk through septic tanks of humanity overflowing with sorrow and filth


Hidden side effects of the selfish


Can't someone wake us from this collective Holocaust nightmare?


Some witch doctor from a more peaceful dimension?


I want to bottle your smile and your laugh so it can cure our hellishness


It can cure the coldest heart in its most biblical plague


It reminds me why I can never give up


Because at the end of this swimming pool of corpses


There might be a face like that


To tell me this horrible struggle has all been worth it

Maybe this is why we are here

Not because we're terrible and have arrived to do terrible things

But that we know we can change

That there are things worth fighting for

Worth giving to

And if we keep going

The world could be as amazing as you




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Platinum Wig

What's in my head is under your skin.

Slipping it on like a coat,

wiggling its finger tips into yours.

A king crab rubbed in sun tan oil.

His platinum wig shining the same as the crushed velvet in front of him and his flaking, blue beach chair.

A middle aged, sun spotted lawn.

My dry hands paint a crippled panther onto your face.

Scuttling in my mary janes.

The smell of you shoves my fingers down my throat.

My broken education dragged across my wrists.

I may not know all of the presidents,

but I know a bargain when I see one. 

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