911 | A Poem by Segun Adekoya


The whole world was dazed and doped today
Though Jihadists jumped out of jealousy for joy.
Hit by two full suicide-driven hijacked planes,
The twin towers of the World Trade Centre
Caught fire, rocked, rumbled and tumbled into rubble.
Three thousand souls fled through their broken bodies.
Hardened by fear of death by steel-melting fire,
Some jumped, like fish out of singeing sea,
To sleep in a bed with a shroud-sheet;
Not cowards but desperadoes daring death dread itself
For a slender slice of a silver life.
Some grabbed their hand-sets and sang a swan-song,
Some said hurriedly their last love-life avowals,
Some prayed and steeled themselves for the Apocalypse;
Though the dread end was not down yet,
Darkness descended on all and, after, debris dust,
The earth was drenched with Doomsday drivel.
Verily, the explosions parodied Jah's Judgement prophecies,
The towering infernos held the promise of hell.

Rattled by lead in his den, the lion leapt
And ran and raged and roared raucously;
The forest caught the funk and cowered for fright,
Little game shuddered in their gaunt shelters
Wondering if they were safe from head-hunters’ raids.
Tall trees trembled and bowed their big brows.
Shrubs shook and shed their homage dues,
Feathered birds withdrew from the sky for bloodless birds
Whose flight slighted the flow of even butterflies.
Office files, too, flew and floated like confetti,
A billion bills littered the licked atmosphere
On the day hoodlums took a joystick for a toy;
The city skyline lost its loveliness and shine
To a cold cloud of ashes, rising and reeling,
Wreathed in thick palls of gloom, smoke and sorrow.
Streets turned streams of burning blood and minced meat.

The Big Apple was badly bruised this morning
Two rude thorns tore through its fresh golden flesh
And poured potent poison in its pith
Causing the star fruit to taste bitter and sour
As rapists in quick succession feasted on it.
They shat in the centre of the gardener's shed
And read rather rapidly the red of his eye.
New Yorkers had their fill of horrors and wonders,
America fed from a can of stone abd scorpion
Her tech power was tried by poor worms.
Her high heart was hurt by hungry hornets,
The headquarters of finance controllers was decapitated,
The elephant limped, his fat foot needle-riddled
The wrists of the Capital beast were wrenched by terrorists,
They bled, begging surgeons to stitch and staunch them.
The crown of the aviation industry cracked, stocks
Fell and jobs joined the crash and vanished
For passengers feared to board the birds and fly,
The President of prime mortals wore an indigo cloak.

Laden with hidden envy, emboldened by holy hatred,
Mean men blew a huge hole in the Pentagon.
Like their Lord who sent them Osama bin Laden
A cussed tiger too high for his rocky rider,
A monkey that outapes his foxy master
That falls foul of the nest-feathering lore of con fowls
And tries to trap all cocks and hens in corn laws,
They had a cause, but its course was coarse.
The peace they preached plummeted with the plunge,
The rider and the horse groaned in the ditch,
The gulf, the unappeasable gulf, gulped up all.
The rest is grief, mourning and tearing tears,
A smouldering rage rooting for an outlet,
The church cat in quest of the desert rat,
Light kissing the mouth of a dark tunnel
Only to lose the fight for love to might
The baulks all birth rites to write its sole right
To all possessions since the inception of sin.
This odd number is awesome, it wakes all
To hear its hell bell toll before its fall.

— Segun Adekoya

Segun Adekoya: Guinea Bites and Sahel Blues (2004), Kraftgriots.


9/11 is an abbreviation for September 11, 2001 when terrorists attacked the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Washington DC, and a field in Pennsylvania in their suicidal planes, killing thousands of people.

The poem, 911, recollects this tragic incidence laying to bare its effect on everyone involved — the direct casualties, aviators, world economy, and retaliatory anti-terrorism campaign that would last more than a decade.


The attacks credited to Al-Qaeda Network and its forerunner, Bin Laden, hit the world in a way no one would have imagined.

Through dexterous use of words, Segun Adekoya describes the incidence, gives a humanistic view, reflects on the tussle between Bin Laden and the American government, and provides insight into the many people that died as a result and several others crippled by resulting financial austerity.

While 9/11 will continue to be remembered in the murky annals of history, Segun Adekoya ensures its freshness and vividness through a layer of beautiful language use whenever the event is referenced to.

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