ARTEMIS by Seun Lari-Williams

ARTEMIS by Seun Lari-Williams

shallow focus photography of brown globe

Artemis

by Seun Lari-Williams

The world has stopped for you.

It holds its breath in fear of you.

Centuries-old traditions abandoned overnight

like they were nothing —

for you.

Terrorism, trade wars —

put away in boxes

for the one who truly unites.

Hear your name on the lips of babies.

Hear the silence on the streets.

Their schools are empty; their cemeteries, full;

Holy grounds, deserted for you.

Airplanes, hung away like clothes;

Homes turned into prisons for you.

 

All walls lie flat at your feet.

The prize is won, Great Queen.

Your lessons have been learned and

etched on their hearts.

Rest now, Artemis,

Please rest.

Stretch your wings and fly back to your

sweet, feathered nest.

And let the world breathe

again.

Source: From the Isolation Issue (September 2020)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

SEUN LARI-WILLIAMS was born in Lagos on 28th April 1987. He is a lawyer, poet, and flutist. His first anthology – Garri for Breakfast, was longlisted for the 2017 NLNG Nigeria Prize for Literature. His poem, ‘A Little Violence’, won the second prize in the 2019 Guardian Newspaper Poetry Competition. He is married to his best friend, Feyi and they reside in Munich, Germany where he is a DAAD Scholar for a masters’ degree in intellectual property law.

ENDING AS A CHAOS OF TRUE BEGINNING by Oyindamola Shoola

ENDING AS A CHAOS OF TRUE BEGINNING by Oyindamola Shoola

time

Ending As a Chaos of True Beginning

by Oyindamola Shoola

Times when my eyes tear into dawn; 

when I negotiate between being awake and being alive, 

or I moan gratitude, and it feels like 1000 pins pricking my tongue 

or another poorly written poem I am trying to patch here and there,

with purpose + God + hallelujahs. 

 

Where was life when I wanted to live,

and where was living when I needed to feel alive?

 

Life and living hiccup in my mind.

Every day has a bad habit of living in me without permission, 

and today beats my heart into an attempt of healing. Healing begins with 

a remembrance service, two lovers – day and night, 

kissing a shadow of insomnia and mourning the loss of time 

in me. Life continues, but existence doesn’t. 

 

And if you asked, I made some effort. I tried 

to show up for today, but I forgot myself at home. 

I am at home. I am home. Yet. I can’t remember myself enough.

I run through my thoughts but never start the

journey or arrive like drowning into something empty,

like I want to move forward, but time is standing still,

waiting for me to catch up.

 

I am trusting that this night will run out of darkness to offer my soul.

I am baptizing myself in the lack of muse, of life, in the emptiness

of desiring a renewal that words can’t birth.

 

I feel powerless, unable to tame time with words 

and touch the face of God with the language of my spirit.

 

I am undoing myself and re-doing each breath;

maybe everything will make sense that way and take me back to life,

or perhaps, what seems to be the end is just a chaos of a true beginning,

and God will say, Let there be light – and I will arrive, 

and you too will be delivered.

Source: From the Isolation Issue (September 2020)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

OYINDAMOLA SHOOLA is a writer, author, and CEO of SprinNG – a non-profit dedicated to Nigerian writers. She is also a graduate of New York University. You can reach her via her blog: www.shoolaoyin.com.

A PORTAL OF CRISIS by Chukwu Emmanuel

A PORTAL OF CRISIS by Chukwu Emmanuel

white paper on a vintage typewriter

A portal of crisis

by Chukwu Emmanuel

In the news, the incident of death rises geometrically.

I know because something is lost when you search for it.

I peep inside my father’s house & his sadness fills my body to the brim.

It is the incident that tightens the air in our bodies. This silence is porous

Enough to fold us into halves & while we watch our parents talk

About the wound in the world stretching into bodies, My sister and I

Move behind the wall to unravel the hymn in our mouths. I sit behind

My sister wondering what shape her body is turning into. We look ourselves

Over until the yellow bullets of chickenpox show themselves. In our room

With no blinds, we sit on the lip of our doctor’s instructions, we sit like

We are lost to the world. & this isolation is singular with what eats us beneath.

I keep our difference apart. I have seen death many times but never of a sister

Who stands before the mirror watching her body respond to stimuli.

& in the wake of light, when I watch mine too, it is never same as hers.

Some things rise after being silent & this was how everything became clearer

After her recovery. I am only infected with whatever sickness someone gives me.

Every day, my body sheds colors of these memories & I understand my father’s fear

As this whole rib of silence holding him. I understand the joy to give my parents

Enough children. But what manner of child breathes happiness as air in his bed of affliction?

Source: From the Isolation Issue (September 2020)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

CHUKWU EMMANUEL is a Nigerian. He is a medical student with the spirit of writing in his blood. His works have been shortlisted for Kalahari Review Igby Prize for Nonfiction in 2019 and in 2018 for both Prose and poetry categories for Benue Literary Festival. His works has been published by or are forthcoming in Praxis’s magazine, Africanwriter magazine, Libretto magazine and numerous blogs. He’s currently working on a collection of a collection of stories documenting medical life. 

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