we The Leader and the Led by Niyi Osundare ~ Naija Poets


THE POEM

The Lion stakes his claim
To the leadership of the pack
But the Antelopes remember
The ferocious pounce of his paws
The hyena says the crown is made for him
But the Impalas shudder at his lethal appetite
The Giraffe craves a place in the front
But his eyes are too far from the ground
When the Zebra says it’s his right to lead
The pack points to the duplicity of his stripes
The Elephant trudges into the power tussle
But its colleagues dread his trampling feet
The warthog is too ugly
The rhino too riotous
And the pack thrashes around
Like a snake without a head
“Our need calls for a hybrid of habits”,
Proclaims the Forest Sage,
“A little bit of a Lion
A little bit of a Lamb
Tough like a tiger, compassionate like a doe
Transparent like a river, mysterious like a lake

A leader who knows how to follow
Followers mindful of their right to lead

(c) Niyi Osundare

TheLionstakeshisclaim
Totheleadershipofthepack
ButtheAntelopesremember
Theferociouspounceofhispaws
Thehyenasaysthecrownismadeforhim
ButtheImpalasshudderathislethalappetite
TheGiraffecravesaplaceinthefront
Buthiseyesaretoofarfromtheground
WhentheZebrasaysitshisrighttolead
Thepackpointstotheduplicityofhisstripes
TheElephanttrudgesintothepowertussle
Butitscolleaguesdreadhistramplingfeet
Thewarthogistoougly
Therhinotooriotous
Andthepackthrashesaround
Likeasnakewithoutah

 

SIMILAR POEM:

Ambush by Gbemisola Adeoti is a poem similar to “The Leader and the Led”. Both poets are Nigerians belonging to the Yoruba ethnic.

In a metaphorical manner, Ambush by Gbemisola Adeoti buttressed the prevailing hardship and insecurity in a given community as a result of bad governance; dwellers were left with nothing but helplessness and hopelessness.

The characters in the poem “Ambush” are animals such as giant whale, sabre tooth tiger, etc.


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