Where does a true poet not find poems? In the dust-caked library shelves or in the pain of an ailment? Hameedah Aruwa proves again that there is poetry everywhere as she harvests two striking poems from unsuspecting “places”. Sit back and relish her art.

– Editorial Team


When the dalliance between
Soulmates is severed,
The ensuing melancholia that hovers
In the skies, is dense,
Like thick fumes exiting
Rusty vehicles-

The mere sight of Emery town’s library,
Where I found you, desolate,
In placid ambience-
Compels my body to ache
And my eyes to tear up, as
Vivid memories of you
Troop in, unhampered.

I still recall
That secluded area in
The hall-
Where you always stationed-
With your protective cover,
Drawn over your glamorous, yet
Wrinkled skin;
Shielding your frail figure,
From the shrewd eyes
Of this universe.

You walked me through
Tough times and
Onerous waves of
Your words held
Such elegance and
Your healing heart, was where
I reckoned, with solace.

My soul was shred to pieces,
On seeing your peppy pages
Torn out,
And your shield (cover) ripped apart.

I had named you Grace.
Albeit, you were just a book;
To me, you meant much more.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD); a Lung/long War

My friend tells us what being
in love is like. She tells it, wholeheartedly-
every word fills the depths of her ecstasy
& streams of awe traverse the veins of her audience.
All of them, but me.
I cannot relate.
I only know what fighting for survival feels like.

When I talk about it,
this thing. This fire that devours
my being. The millstone that kneads my chest-
rolling & stretching it like plasticine.
“it’ll go away, be patient.”
The words reel off their tongues,
The way water slides off glass…
The magnitude of this burden is

only fathomable by me.
& the harder I try to evade this chasm,
the deeper it engulfs me-
I struggle to breathe & fatigue is a name I’m associated with.
I wish to lie in cold waters.
Their arms provide me anchors. Anchors
that might break my fall. Might.

Because the fall is almost inevitable, don’t you see?
& my body’s garments
are shreds of weightless papers.
I’m not oblivious to the crimes it commits, this thief!
The stolen joys; unflinching ruthlessness & greed.
Encaging me in a tiny room, with walls carved from strands

of my flesh,
I have been blessed with a pair of constricting lungs
& an incompetent trachea.
Now even sleep is a strenuous task.
One that consistently gulps down my meagre stalls of strength.
I feel it. Its rough hands grappling my neck.

Claws, eroding my skin. It strangles the soul
but gives it breathing time.
Then goes at it- again & again.
Squeezing & squeezing. & Oh,
do I fight!
For relief. For freedom.
For air-
& this air only grows thicker.
& my lungs only continue to wane.

I race to the waters for safety.
But the skin I wear is porous-
So I fall. Fast.

Contributor’s Bio

HAMEEDAH ARUWA is a literary aficionado, a sprouting writer from Nigeria. She writes poetry and prose. She participated in the Prof. Jimoh Talent Hunt, where she emerged the best prose writer in December, 2019. She cherishes the beauty of poetry & looks forward to sharing more of her works.