grayscale photography of woman s face


by Bayowa Ayomide

If you ask me, I may know why the caged bird cries.

I used to think of deserted water as the loneliest,

then I realized the sun’s the creepiest.

It peeps from the sea’s blanket with its hands within,

looks around, and reptiles far away into the sky, quickly.

The earth is now spiral, like a snake chasing its tail.

I know because time is the only thing moving.

‘i’ is a candle with an invisible wick, burning dots upon itself.

Walls do not send fire upon a matchstick

scrubbing its forehead against their bricks,

because I think I smell the kerosene of

the third world war‘ like ‘Christ is coming soon.

I was hypnotized; my beak does not fit in the cages’ iron.

There are voices hidden in these walls;

I hear cries and giggles that are not my own.

Something, someone, somebody farts in the air;

We, us, our soldiers are fighting unsure wars.

The clink-clank milk squeezing out brown, black tea

is an outbreak hitting my head, skull split, rebellious soldiers?

I know I have sinned.

I know Isolation is idolatry—

worshipping the deity of separateness and loneliness.

I know because the wind is the only thing outdoor to stir the children’s swing.

Source: From the Isolation Issue (September 2020)


BAYOWA AYOMIDE is a Nigerian-Canadian poet, filmmaker, actor, and cinematographer. He transferred from the University of Ibadan to complete his B.A in Theatre and Drama Studies and Creative Writing at the University of Toronto, Canada. He was a long-list of the Nigerian Students Poetry Award 2018, shortlist of the 2018 Eriata Oribabhor’s Poetry Contest, the runner up of the 2020 On-Spot Poetry Writing Contest, a shortlist of 2018 and 2019 Christopher Okigbo Interuniversity Poetry Prize. His works have appeared on Praxis-magazine online, Africanwriter, Afas Review 2018, The Medium- University of Toronto’s Campus Newspaper and BPPC. He is the author of the chapbook, ‘Stream of Tongues, Watercourse of Voices.’ He believes so much in the nightly prophecies of the crickets behind his window.



Join our reading community

Join our reading community

Sign up for our free weekly newsletter and get free access to our library of poems, short stories and essays. 

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

It's worth sharing

Share this post with your friends!