MEMORIES by Abdulmueed Balogun

MEMORIES by Abdulmueed Balogun

collection of old instant photos with trips

MEMORIES

by Abdulmueed Balogun

A young man walks through 

a hunted street and his phobia 

resurrected from its tomb 

 

Yet he walks, but with his eyes closed, 

conjuring and using his mother’s pristine smile as a jab

to knock predatory thoughts off balance 

 

He shuts his ears, 

to preempt eerie voices from 

creeping into his heart through its windows

 

by receding and whirring 

from the chambers of his heart, 

 

fear-snaring lullabies that

breathed through his mother’s voice

 

A young man managed to walk

through his fears, 

 

in the absence of his mother, 

may her soul in bliss rest

but with the presence of her memories. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Abdulmueed Balogun is a Nigerian Poet and an undergraduate at the University of Ibadan. He is a 2021 HUES Foundation Scholar and a Poetry Editor at The Global Youth Review. He won Honorable Mention in the 2021 Whispering Cresent Poetry Prize, was the runner-up in the Reform Naija Writing Contest- “FREEWILL” in November 2020, longlisted for the 2021 Ebarcee-Prize and shortlisted for the Brigitte Poirson Poetry Contest (BBPC) February/March 2021. He’s a recipient of the 2021 SpringNg writing fellowship. His poems have been published/are forthcoming in Avalon Literary Review, JMWW Journal, Ligeia Magazine, Subnivean Magazine, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, The Incandescent Review, The Remnant Archive and elsewhere. He tweets from AbdmueedA

LIFE IS A PROPER FRACTION by Damilola Omotoyinbo

LIFE IS A PROPER FRACTION by Damilola Omotoyinbo

green wooden chair on white surface

LIFE IS A PROPER FRACTION 

by Damilola Omotoyinbo

i am neck-deep in a quagmire, my mind is a 

gallery holding the dire portraits of my life

 

on my flesh, pain has made scars and 

incisions that even time cannot heal

 

here my shadow keeps opening doors i 

have shut, my mind keeps playing a saudade

 

call my body a home ransacked by storm, abode

of a stranger birthed on the christening of death

 

i have tried to live under broken roofs, build 

my shelter in the heart of a homeless man 

 

i have tried to fold into myself, make

home out of the cleft of my mouth 

 

i took a trip from pain but was trailed by 

pain and its companion, grief 

 

is pain not the after-taste of pleasure 

when life itself is fighting to strike a balance 

 

a little dose of pain and a pint of happiness, life

is a  proper fraction, but i try to tweak the figures

 

today, i am the woman building a home 

with scars and stories, call me the seer 

 

tomorrow, i will build another 

with songs and the wings of butterflies

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Damilola Omotoyinbo believes in the power of the pen and the positive difference it can make in our world. She has work/interview published at Afritondo, Kalahari Review, Konya Shamsrumi, Praxis, Hack writers, The Nigerian Tribune News Paper and elsewhere. Damilola is a fellow of the Ebedi International Writers’ Residency. 

She is Damilola Omotoyinbo on Facebook & Instagram, she blogs at damilolaomotoyinbo.wordpress.com.

THIS THING CALLED DEATH by Blessing Anaso

THIS THING CALLED DEATH by Blessing Anaso

dried leaves on a concrete pavement

THIS THING CALLED DEATH

by Blessing Anaso

I was twelve when I first saw it,

Cells fat and pink, the colour of cancer,

I saw its fingers in Ma’s falling hair and in her brave smile.

Like the sharp scent of disinfectant—angry and relentless.

 

I smelled death on Pa’s clothes,

In his anti-depression pills and on his thinning hair.

Later, I smelled it in Pa’s study, hanging from the ceiling,

Fists clenched in rigor mortis—blind and bloated.

 

I heard it in Bebe’s blood pressure,

In the rheumatic pop of her aged knees,

I heard it in the tired sigh of a year too many,

It came in her sleep—ripe but sudden.

 

This thing called death, I feel it now,

In my husband’s tight grip and midnight sobs,

I see it in my left breast and in my daughter’s uncertain eyes,

I smell it in the rustle of hospital sheets,

And taste it in my bloody vomit.

 

Small but enough

Like the soft hiss at the end of a kiss.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Blessing Anaso is a student and creative writer living in Nigeria, occasionally known to dabble in dark poetry.

Her work ‘Halima’ was selected for the AU_CIEFFA’s girl-child education campaign, published on their website.

Her poem ‘The Demons You Name’ also placed fourth place in the Kito Diaries ‘#QueerLivesMatter’ competition.

She writes short stories in her spare time.

MELODY OF ANARCHY by Ajani Samuel

MELODY OF ANARCHY by Ajani Samuel

Soldiers on queue ready to board an airplane with a glistening sunset in the horizon

MELODY OF ANARCHY

by Ajani Samuel

Shortlist (Top Seven) of the 2020 Kreative Diadem Annual Creative Writing Contest (Poetry Category)

Our land is Atacama desert for

The past two weeks

Yesterday, I met my brother praying

For rain under our stairs

So last night, it rained.

It rained bullets and gunpowder

On a swarm of youths who wore

The national anthem on their lips.

 

Death robed in the green of military men

It sat with a long fork in a toll

In the throats, lungs

And bowels of men and women who drew

Peace on their jaws.

 

My dinner was served on a plate of

Bloodbathed national flag

So I ate my tears with a sandwich of

Carnage on mat last night.

Thanks to God, Satan woke me

And others with the

Melody of guns at 5:30 am.

 

News at 10 is a song of the dead

Our Government is crashing cymbals

Of anarchy on the streets

The sun refused to glitter today

Perhaps it went to petition our

President to address the nation.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ajani Samuel Victor is a creative writer, (performance) poet and political enthusiast. He was a Semi-finalist at the 2020 Jack Grapes Poetry Prize and was shortlisted for the 2020 Kreative Diadem Annual Writing contest. He is a writer at the Invincible Quill Magazine, his works are/forthcoming on FeralLit Journal, Ethelzine, Eboquills Mag, MadnessMuse Press, Praxis mag, The Hellebore lit mag, FEED litmag and everywhere else. Say hi to him on Twitter @solvic16

IN THE NAME OF TRANSCENDENTALS by Ibe Obasiota Ben

IN THE NAME OF TRANSCENDENTALS by Ibe Obasiota Ben

black woman with a sad face

IN THE NAME OF TRANSCENDENTALS

by Amarachi Iwuafor

In the Name of Transcendentals – Second Runner-up of the 2020 Kreative Diadem Annual Creative Writing Contest (Poetry Category)

in faith i write that this poem is not a hangman

even though there are too many lifeless bodies here

even though this poem is a body in timeless regress–

fluid. formless. fragile.

 

i am still trying to understand metaphors 

just like i am still trying to understand my mother and her God–

hot and cold. mist and wine.

just like i am still searching for spaces 

where grief is not the aftermath of ghost

not the aftermath of war 

not the aftermath of home placed in fire

to negotiate the weight of tragedy.

 

all my life i have been searching the water

for things lost in the shoulder plate of home & grief. 

i do not know how to explain that loss is not the noun

it is the holocaust becoming fluid enough to shift form.

black woman with a sad face

every poem about grief is a dark room.

i have seen silhouettes bounce off walls at the reflection of light 

yet neither light nor miracle is panacea for grief.

i do not know at what point grief rankshifts into growth

but i know how much grief feels like passing through the water 

yet only a thing made hallowed can truly pass through water.

i know dead men who come alive in dreams

that is to say i want to believe 

death is really a form of transcendence

which is perhaps what it means to relive.

 

poems made of grief are the hardest to hold.

it’s easy to scream into the water

& pretend that you do not hear your own voice

& pretend also that silence is not a form of mockery. 

 

in war i write that this body has no agency to accept more grief

that is to say this body at another

prick will come apart like a balloon or a broken home.

i am several miles away from home

& the only relic i have is a whitening portrait of my father

falling away like an incomplete painting. 

home is this painting. a metaphor for the origin of passing.

do not try to disable metaphors like these

because the ground of the metaphor is hidden in grief and pain.

Photo Credit: Photo by Lucxama Sylvain from Pexels

SHE STARED BACK AT US WITH HER EYES CLOSED by Amarachi Iwuafor

SHE STARED BACK AT US WITH HER EYES CLOSED by Amarachi Iwuafor

burnt matchsticks

SHE STARED BACK AT US WITH HER EYES CLOSED

by Amarachi Iwuafor

She Stared Back at Us with Her Eyes Closed – First Runner-up of the 2020 Kreative Diadem Annual Creative Writing Contest (Poetry Category)

When death walked in, it took in its arms 

         one person, 

walking past the tunnels where light had 

         never touched.

Then it left two footprints. One, grief. The

         other, memories. I’ve felt pain, 

but grief is twice the weight of pain. Our 

palms have been stained by the colors 

         of it.

I touch the walls of my memories, 

        trying to remember 

the last time we held hands. I search for her 

        in photographs

burnt matchsticks

that once held the whole shape of her.

I heard she had wished to stay longer?

        How often we grope for life 

when we are close to death.

        But most times, the life 

we live is never ours, neither our choice.

         At night,

when the world is dark, fears burn into 

        the walls of my room, 

and in my room there are nightmares.

I keep dreaming into the places we 

        first met. 

I am lost most of the night.

But as time moves like waters across the 

        shore

I build solace in these words:

People don’t die, they only lose their 

       bodies.

Photo Credit: Photo by Maksim Goncharenok from Pexels

Pin It on Pinterest