Lorry Art Snippets

So, it looks like incorporating regular writing here is more of a challenge than I thought. Actually, writing at all tends to become a challenge once I do too many things at the same time! Anyway, this one’s inspired by a photograph of a ‘mammy wagon’ that I stumbled across on Flickr. Unfortunately, I can’t reproduce it here, all rights reserved. But, I can link to it – and offer you another little snippet I found, which I think is lovely. 

“Your life in Your Hands” is the name on the side
of the bus in the lorry park and I choose it
for that alone. That and the bright yellow lion,
red and green panels. Here I sit
three hours in hot sun while the driver
gathers his passengers. Each seat
must be bargained for, each load arranged
until we’re crammed onto wooden benches…
chickens, babies, baskets of cloth.
When the last of the Fanta drinks and peeled oranges
are finished, we place ourselves in the hands
of the god Ogun, he who protects all things.
cast in iron or metal. The driver raises his hands,
turns the ignition and we fly. Allah Be Praised,
Go With God, God is Good, Never Look Back, Let Them Say.
These are only a few of the vehicles we pass
on each blind curve from here to Ibadan.
This is the life! Palm wine is passed around,
kola nuts broken. We move through the hottest
part of the day, praising all gods of the road,
speaking in parables. Each wagon is
owned by a woman, driven by a man, each name
is an amulet, this is the school of hard knocks.
And we are the ones-who-arrive, who have
truly arrived, bend over and kiss the ground,
Touch the fender soaked with dog’s blood.


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