3 Poems by Ayomide Oriolowo


A letter from my dairy

What sound does the space between two words make // as I breathe you in and you become sand in my throat / a mist lounging in my lungs // a voice that holds the mouth hostage // my nose soaks up your musk / wet / like leaves dripping of the morning dew

You make me happy // dancing like the sand to raindrops / unfolding before your force // a storm /is how the earth holds hands with the sky / how light splits into rays that slice the eyes // until blindness is worn like make-up.

There were days I’d walk out of my house

And a bird would drop on my feet / broken by the wind / a dream with crushed legs limping / crawling / to find courage in the arms of a broken god

Some times our thoughts become burdens too heavy the back bends into funnels hoping to find others to pour into // it’s the Genesis of therapy / how the lips curl into a bow / losing targets // how the mind becomes a house /without doors / burning //

A day does not go by that I do not think about you // … // how I became a stranger to self / writing letters to a dream flying into the sun.

Dear self,

You’ve learnt to lock yourself up in fear

To trace the fibres of memory

And cut your hands on the way

To cage a river in your mind

And let out only a few drops • it’s easy to talk

When no one’s listening • easy to pray • when the

gods are asleep • when you know the basket can

never contain the fluid • when you know your agonies • are seeds eaten by birds •

It is how we learnt to live • to open our palms before • the wall • to know • that while we might not see • we are seen • not hear • but heard •• the mist of religion •• we held poetry • a goblet holding dead flowers to the sun •  hoping for the light that tears through shadows • shadows that hold our legs and bind our mouths • tying our hands to that wall • and singing a melody with our sorrows •

And then there’s silence • not the one without words but without voices • as our eyes become streams of salt • flowing to the corners of the mouth as it curls its laps • say a word to the sky • say Amen.

My Shadow sings me to sleep

every night a soothing darkness breathes in

as silence births peace in the midst of atoms learning to stand still

In between ceasing vibrations and a city sleeping;

my shadow hugs me, at night,

tells me stories,

that make the light jealous.

The night has a way of undressing the mind,
/making petals dance in dark air/
We learn to listen…when there’s no one to talk to

 Discover-y is

 how the light learns

 to steal from the dark

 how our voices turn papers

 as we stain the night

 preaching to walls that swallow

 thousand words.

We’ve learnt to unfold our worries in sighs [teach our hearts silence by holding our world a hostage to breathing]the art of falling, /swaying/
to the silence of sound.

Ayomide Oriolowo (Wes) is a poet from a little town in Osun state. He started writing about a year and half ago and has explored topics varying from religion, depression, happiness and motivations. He is a columnist and editor of a school magazine. His works have appeared on African Writer and his social media platforms. Reach him via Instagram: @ayo_soars and Twitter: @ayo_soars

Lake Adedamola is a poet, writer, and editor with Nantygreens, who's worked with several other literary blogs including Brittle Paper. He has, since 2018, served in various capacities on the Lagos International Poetry Festival, LIPFest, team.

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