On nights thick with the dark of depression

I flip through old biology notes


So much science has to say about

Light, darkness & adaptation

Where all these are metaphors

For good, evil & all that’s between


& my hands find the chapter

On sight & sensory organs

Let me paraphrase:


“On settled in the dark

The iris, like your heart, contracts

& your pupils dilate

To swallow in the dark


You soon find sight in the dark

& in it, you revel


& rebel?


So much so that when the light bulb goes on

You curse; as the light fries your visual purple

You rebel; you shut your eyes

You hate the polychromatic colours”


You are partially blind

You don’t want this light-light

You want the dark-light




Perhaps if beauty is relative

Light is, too?

You tell me.




we watched him enter into himself

like a snail


his body sturdy, yet patterned beautifully

in spirals


we didn’t see that his smiles got straighter

they did get straighter


a war was going on in those confines

like water boiling angrily in a teakettle


& when the kettle, I mean, his body, hissed

we didn’t hear too. or we did hear


but you see, we thought he was blowing a tune –

a sweet soulful tune


we hailed his skill. the beauty with which he carved



music that was a product of deep introspection

we thought this way, you know


we didn’t know then that introspection could be

a metaphor for lonely souls craving asylums within



territorial. that’s what the bodies of men are.


so when he rolled into his body

his body tossed him out like vomit…


so he was left hanging between his innards

& an outside that never listens


he was left hanging








from a tree


the tune he was playing was his dirge.




hung on my yellow painted wall is a clock

erasing with its tick-tock singing hands

all the wounds painted on the canvas of my mind

look how time

in its clockwise dance

navigates from dry to rainy season

giving rise to blooming flowers


About the Poet

Abdulbasit Yusuff writes from Abuja, Nigeria. When he is not talking about football or re-watching the action scenes of blockbuster movies, he writes short poems and sleep. Some of his works have been published on Tuck Magazine, Kalahari Review and “Spark of Hope: an anthology of poems for saving lives”.