Broken Back Men


The streets of London are littered with

Broken back men

Muscles and sharp brains structured to menial jobs

Like the valley of dry bones

Shall these ones rise again

Alas there will be no dead.

New York is littered with the blood of bold men

Eyes which must not gaze at the Policeman

Straight shoulders pulled and bent to the concrete

Can I be me without you being pale

Could we all be gold on the setting sun

On the twilight screen that brings the dead to life.

The majesty of the bronze stallion is now taken away

Saddled by the marauding officer but her bushy tail still sways

She is called great but not in the wilds and plains

Her mouth is muzzled and reigns over her head

Her huffs of hide is cased in iron shoes that cling and clang

Sniffing and keeping the decaying me from smelling.

For herself and yet against herself

They throttle the street and dark alleys of my trespassing desperation

On their trails are the eyes of sunken skulls

In the ghettos of Salamat The Niger Delta and The Bight of Biafra 

Crude and rusted rigs lay clogged in sea of coral reef

Alas there will be no dead.

Must the chains crank on the force of difference

The potentials on which these tectonic plates grind

Their dark clouds of sacrilege now tower like babel

Over the layers of the ozone they grin at their colourless rainbow

With no one language they said not Truth

Their smoke go not to heaven.

The sacrifice of Abel came to heaven

It was like a fragranced moist smoke

Pure like the morning dew

His heart was simple but his blood cried

Of Cain’s New York and Pilate’s London

His gains made on my people’s back.

The streets of London are littered with broken back men

New York is littered with the blood of bold men

Cornrows with deep furrows ploughed on my back

Please can I come back without making you pale

Can we all be gold on the setting sun

On the twilight screen that brings the dead back to life.


Listening and Creative Communications

Leonard Chintua-Chigbu

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