I found this song in the middle of
dark places and piercing catchwords,
formaldehyde air and an unplaced Requiem
that wears a rhythm that resemble me
so much –
This song was sang in a distant place
where gloom was chiefly in a communal fest
and it feels just like here -home
How starkness is a flower that blooms in
every sphere of the world and how children never
become free of their childhood memories and never
mend from the little broken things they condescend into
as they blossom into adulthood to become sad poets,
and suicide bombers /militants /killers.
The new telegraph reeled out this morning;
” let us close schools and send
Our children to war – Yemeni Minister “
Picture young boys lying inhumed
in the earth. and dreams lying in craters
– unclaimed, unlived, dead -just like their
owners. Or youths carving their mouths into
a request to kids from Maryland to fill a
bank teller. Or grieving mothers searching for
the carcasses of their sons.
I found this poem waiting to be
hanged on a guava tree.
The last time I saw her
She was in that red kimono
Her head buried in the
grey balaclava like a cumulus Cloud
herself retroflexing a Fez.
Staffed loofah and daffodils ,
She bore a collanded palette
an artist’s cry.
a perforated Fleur-de-lis and
a caricature of everything rotten
pestled things in a contracted
boloche -withered rosemary
and damp upholsteries.
Leaving home for pastures
Incognito and rainbow of feelings
I imagine her again whistle
and walk past the church after
the turning –
On a December evening.
Memory overlapping into a sweeping wind
and her face a castrated history
she pawned a furtive ambivalence
shared in between an undetermined War
A revolt// choice// little things // abyssal
I don’t know if she has found peace
Or certitude or other things she sought
But women like her subsist in swamps
and can be found scarcely – darkly defiant.
we never find the
missing body parts.
we only count the
stars on the bodies
of the dead. and perform
ablution with their bloods
and pick the remains of
our father’s broken
voices around fire resonates.
in anguish and pain. our wind
pipes get stuffed with cries of
eli eli lama saba thani
we let their half-burnt body
or drilled body
or smashed heads
form a shape
on our minds.
then we paint a street
on our memory lanes.
then we stretch a corner
and there we dump their images
and struggles and dreams.
and sometimes we visit them there.
About the Poet
Oluwapelumi Francis Salako lives and writes from Ogbomoso, western Nigeria. His poems has appeared or are forthcoming in kalaharireview, WS Africa, dwarts, tuck magazine and Elsewhere. He is the pioneer of #wakaabout, a street photography project dedicated to the daily struggle of the common people