Dayọ̀ Ayílárá is a lawyer, business consultant, cartoonist, graphics designer and calligrapher. He writes from Abuja, Nigeria. His poetry focuses on nature, the beauty in pain, hope, love, and loss.

The Butterfly Life Circle

(For Justina Babade)

I remember the day (on this road called life)

when Ìdin met Làbàlábá taking its flight from a coloured leaf,

Ìdin (not knowing itself) would then say:

“jọ̀wọ́ ọ̀rẹ́,

in what school did you learn to fly?

what artist did paint your now coloured wings?”

Làbàlábá (mouth-opened from unpleasant surprise) replied:

“Ìdin, the day you know who you really are,

that day is your school; and in that school will be your artist.”

A Quiet Chapel

When i am in me 

i enter into a quiet chapel

and sit under the filtered lamp of heaven

worshipping through the crystal windows 

with the congregation of darkness 

i spread my rain-spiked skin for drying

as i watch the bird singing 

there is a memory that wriggles

painful waters from the wool of the eyes

such as lives in a woman’s voice 

such as drips in a lady’s laughter

though time and distance have shut them from this place

the pounded yam of decades past

still steams like burning coal

till her name becomes a sacred supplication on my face

then i think of everything – yes, everything is just fine;

every star has its space

every smile has a face

every rogue has his own days

and every memory, its warm place

when i am in me.

Contributor’s Bio

Dayọ̀ Ayílárá is a lawyer, business consultant, cartoonist, graphics designer, and calligrapher. He is a continuing student of nature, tradition, history, and Elédùmarè. Law is his lawfully wedded wife, art and poetry are his mistresses. He writes from a small box in Abuja, Nigeria.

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