Poems

Poetry

Sickle Cell Is the New Tribe 

Written By: Jeremy T. Karn for bijoux  you’ve heard about flowers thatgrow in the dirt.   there are flowers with thorns that grow in thebones & some that grow in your aunt’sbackyard garden     every morning as you fix yourbones in your body & dress for the…

Poetry

The Phantom’s Refrain 

Written By: Samuel Adeyemi A boy walks into a bar,swings the door openlike he is the wind’s first child.But a boy has no mother.The world commits another absurd adoption.A boy is another loose string on the cello,another wrong piano note,whose sound is swallowed in the…

Poetry

A Thing Too Stressed 

Written By: Precious Uwen when we started loving it was like we got new clothes. and we’d never stain it. But we wore our love repeatedly for days without changing it. We wore our love with the same pattern, with the same style. The same…

Poetry

The Songbirds Sing, My Ears Hear a Dirge 

Written By: Adejuwon Gbalajobi You’re heavy upon me heart, sorrow.You’re a ravenous beast inside of me.A thousand Psalms I’ve sung to silence you,my throat burns with prayers to still your madness– still you ravish me. How do I wheel myself into joy when it is…

Poetry

BARE 

Written By: Oluwafemi Babasola Baby, I’ll walk this bridgeto you,even if all my feet feelis a thread strong as thespider’s web. Baby, I’ll fly to you,even if it means divingfrom this cliff withuntested wings. I’ll lift these layers of skinsthat cover me.I’ll unveil these masks…

Poetry

My Crush is a Black Hole 

Written By: Naphtali Festus Adda 1:13 am.i think of Prudence. how she flashes her teeth. how she weaves words like a basket. her beauty. her baritone voice – my phone rings, it’s another message from Quora digest, it reads; what is a black hole? //…

Poetry

To My Next Abuser 

Written By: John Chizoba Vincent When next you come stretchingyourself into a different nameless river,I beg to connect to your tide and waves,do not force me to spread my legsagain like those that came before youdid; I have not seen my period afterMallam Musa’ prayers…

Poetry

I am a chalice 

Written By: Maxwell Opia-Enwemuche I am a chalice full of sweet wine & my wine is for my priest, a priest I will yield my body & soul. Do not desire me for pleasure; look beyond my enticing hour-glass body & embrace my conscious cerebral…

Poetry

Meditation on Writing 

Written by: Pamilerin Jacob I fail miserablyat my most beloved habit. Suddenly, a stone is a stone. A cloud is a cloud. &the water in my cup possesses no ancient history. Not a symbol. Nota metaphor. The mornings are stripped clean of magic: birds, no…

Poetry

1967 

Written By: Samuel Junior Irusota (In Memory of Victims of War) Here: parents go to bed with no hope Of seeing their children in the morning Here, everywhere you go, all you see  is a basket of Bones__ Here, children are left homeless & defenseless…

Poetry

of rejection letters 

Written by: Olaewe D Opeyemi i must admit, i do not know too much about letters — any kind of letters except for the ones i was forced to write in school, the one WAEC asked us to write, the ones i wrote in farewell…

Poetry

Will You Still Be Family? 

By Joshua Tom A minor chord and then an arpeggio like a blonde on balé a question danced on my broken heart. When the melody goes to bed and there’s no strum or click, when our world goes silent will you still be Family? Oh!…

Poetry

Jide Badmus: CAESURA 

Sleep is sanctuary—man’s trouble is seduced,stripped of its ferociousness.Here I am safefrom nagging worriesuntil the alarm shrills.The sun wakes me with a kisswhere he’d bruised me yesterday.Life is turned on, again—I won’t go down on my knees today. Photo Credits: Pexels Jide Badmus is an…

Poetry

Gabriel Dkings: Slavery 

Once we were slavesSold to the tragedy of lifeBeaten by the rain of sorrowSailed on the boat of difficultyLost in the forest of fearFound in the middle of confusion Where frustration became our new names Our minds were chained with liesSo we sang songs with…

Poetry

Gideon Emmanuel: Cobwebs 

How do our lives dangle in the scale of fate, Scared of a balanced end in the trap of death How does our conscience lay ambush to our trust And our mistakes like preys, lay When shall our thoughts be free from lust And our…

Poetry

Naphtali Festus Adda: insomnia 

the night is here again, my body is perfumed with a cologne of thoughts, of grief, & of grief still – the rain of the eyelashes is falling lightly  lightly on my cheeks it’s 10:39 PM already & my brother – a sleepy-snorer is calling…

Poetry

HOW WE SPELL HOME 

There’s a heap of charcoaling lyrics at the fireplace.  My father said it is the remains of a burning song, The one which caught fire in a boy’s mouth, When he stood on the assembly ground And sang our national anthem. These days, mom sits…

Poetry

The Editor’s ‘No’ or Nod 

Last night, the editor looked through a pile of poems, where mine hid, with a smear of mama’s anointing oil, wrapped in the first prayer I mumbled after my last rejection. (Is there even a thing as last rejection? Is rejection not a long endless…

Poetry

A POET’S SOLILOQUY 

“When tears are in your eyes, It’s time to look inside, Your heart will find another way” –Enya Are poems not the pallbearers of a poet’s dead dreams & hopes? I am awed by the way they donate their shoulders to bear the pain Of…

Poetry

THIS IS HOW I MADE MY WINGS 

With sunken eyes in tired sockets, a girl ran after her father’s sigh; seized it, slit its throat, hid the blood-stained knife in a lawn of solitude & became the dream her father had on the night of her conception. She remembers her mother’s words,…

Poetry

AN ECHO OF SILENCE 

Because we do not preserve memories from decay By immersing them in vessels filled with formalin, I tried to remember you today- your smell, your kiss The beats and lyrics of the songs you said your heart Sang for me, but I can’t remember any….

Poetry

THE NEW DEATH MANUAL 

Pain is like alcohol. I do not know how many shots gets you tipsy, But the first time life served me shots of pain, I staggered home, entered into a poem & passed out. At dawn, mother dispelled the hangover with these words: “Daughter, pain…

Poetry

AN ARTIFACT OF A GROIN WAR 

Ekoja’s body was a haunted house. Haunted: by a glowing darkness; by a cocktail of voices fading into silence; by footsteps echoing a numbing pain. [You’ll never know that scars are ghosts until your deepest wounds die but you still hear their voices in your…

Poetry

STICKY NOTES 

We read the sticky notes on her wall today, “What separation technique is used To separate pain from life?” “How does a fish who lost its gills survive? Does it befriend the tides or surrender to The fangs of the waters?” “As a man releases…

Poetry

Musings, Monologues & Madness 

I we do not know how many calabashes of fermented incantations the gods must drink to get drunk, but we know that wisdom is not something the gods give in exchange for kola nuts! sometimes he melts it into verses & allows it to drip…

Poetry

The Sun That Would Not Rise In The East 

The day Akanji hosted death, the crown exhaled in relieve as it watched a hundred and one brittle-hearted fellows adorned with mournful grins, troop to his festive funeral They said: “He’s dead! The man who defaced the wall of humanity with his uncommon shade of…

Poetry

All The Madness Around Here 

Whether or not Charly Boy was born with a placard in his hand, I know not, But his words: “Our mumu don do” must not be left to burn in the fireplace of sentiments Because medicine for many of the ailments that plague our society,…

Poetry

How A Man Enters Into His Head 

These two things marvel me: how a man enters into his head with the map he inherited from his father, walks the winding paths, until he is lost! & how a man hides from death by standing behind his breath, covering the nakedness of his…

Poetry

Voyages of Deserts & Forests 

The night is cold, old & grey, but my thoughts would not let it die. A tear trickles down my cheeks to water the stands of joy, withering in my heart. See, if life is a desert, every man carries his own oases in his…

Poetry

Even Death Has Regrets 

Stuck in the throat of the wind is a song, a dirge for Golgotha; where Mary’s eyes, like this poem became drip lines; Peter wished he did a cardiac arrest for the crow that just died in the beak of a cock; Judas was haunted…

Poetry

To woo a man 

Who said a woman must sit still like a statue or sculptured image under the tree of love and wait till the wind of fate blows down bat-eaten fruits into her outstretched hands? Who said a woman cannot stand upon her feet like a human…

Poetry

Shrines 

Today, a cold sinner will find warmth by sitting around the fire in a pastor’s mouth. but this sinner knows not that communion is a purgative which causes constipation, so he’d eat one piece of bread, and his tongue longs for another, then a drop…

Poetry

Blind and Helpless Figures 

This morning, Just like my blind neighbor, Musa and his son Yussuf A blind me placed my hand on the shoulder of my muse And away wandered, walking within a world of words Ai salam ley ku Put a coin here and Allah will smile…

Poetry

One of you 

Do not ask me again Why I hop from tree to tree like a monkey It is because I am in a frantic search For healing herbs for my bedridden country And just as the thunder’s applause welcomes the rain And the torch of lightening…

Poetry

Tell Papa 

Ujunwa, have they told papa that I am a story wrapped in a parcel, Held in place by a colorful ribbon of tears? Did papa believe them when they told him, That I am the ashes of burnt dreams, Waiting to be whisked away by…

Poetry

A Letter to Dawn 

As soon as mama weaned me
Papa stood by the corners of my mouth
With a gourd, full of wisdom
And told me; “Drink, my child, drink!
For life is a journey through a desert
Where there are no oases.”

Poetry

Come Watch Me Dance Naked 

Jaachi, I am the tree which died in the seedlings you refused to tend. I am a memory you cannot drown in a keg of palm-wine, for like a feather, I will float upon the rivers of your thoughts till you recall and regret the night when you abandoned a broken flute at the village square, for I am that flute and wholeness found me in the hands of a drummer boy who lost his drumsticks.

Poetry

Bonfire 

God is like that favorite red dress she got on her tenth birthday. she loves it so much but it no longer fits. Her father never stopped saying she was a poem he wrote in her mother’s body & forgot its lines. So when he…

Poetry

BRITTLE 

my father’s voice is a dark hole. when I was six, I fell into it, tasted his liquid darkness and I became a light- too bright for the prying eyes of dawn. In my sojourn, I have climbed seven mountains of tears and crossed ten…

Poetry

Derivatives of Silence 

. a lady is holding god’s obituary- she painted it on a canvas of pain with the crayons of his silence she is saying; “i’m not an artist but i watched god die in the tears of a little boy, who was born with a…

Poetry

Solitude 

On the shelf of solitude, silence is a book, with black & white pages, telling stories which died on their way to the village square; like that of Enem Ogodoo, the one who spent a lifetime, oiling a flute which would play the first note…

Poetry

The door creaked again, last night 

like the night before, i crawled under our bed, from where i watched them; cut my brother’s arms, smash my father’s testicles, plant iron seeds in mama’s thighs & left me a glass of fresh milk. — that night, death was with me & he…

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