One Poem by Ismail Yusuf Olumoh
Ismail Yusuf Olumoh is a Nigerian creative writer and teacher, poet, spoken word artiste, graphics designer, content creator, and video editor. He writes from Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria.
This is how I pray
[after Sodiq Oyekanmi & Yahuza AbdulKadir]
each day the sky gown quintuples,
i begin everything with an incantation:
Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar.
& bear witness that He is holy.
tent my hands behind my shoulders
& brazen it to the qibla—
a cipher to God’s alcove.
how do i do that? i damp my skin
& wear another colour of faith
like chameleon—we call it rebirth.
i mutter again, Allahu Akbar.
& nestling my hands on patella—
we call it gratitude. afterward,
i prostrate on seven bones.
speak to God when my forehead
& nose kiss the ground.
that is an easy way to tap grace.
i end everything here with ellipsis;
Peace be upon you…
the lines in my fingers are God’s name,
reincarnate into abacus counting
His grace & benisons.
grace does not stop there.
my hands relish something magical.
i hold this scripture & the bracket
of my mouth unclosed. my tongue
tails a verse “and has turned to you
in forgiveness, so recite what is easy
[for you] of the Qur’an.”
that is another way to tap grace.
Ismail Yusuf Olumoh is a Nigerian creative writer and teacher, poet, spoken word artiste, graphics designer, content creator, and video editor. His works are published and forthcoming in Nantygreens, Feversofthemind, Festivalforpoetry, De-Curated, Synchronized Chaos, Arkorewrites, Williwash, World Planet Anthology, and Al-Mir’aatuh Magazine. He writes from Ilorin, Kwara State. When he is not writing, he enjoys reading and cooking.
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