Spears / Throat & Grief, The Walks of Death on Bodies of Water
(for my grandmother, Ojuolape)
/Inna Lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un/
death keeps plucking the beloved, in miraculous ways
many times/ i begin to watch the union of my heart and the wind/marrying my skin into the withers in the lips of a candle/
songs of menace do the miracles of age in a girl’s skin like my grandmother becoming a metaphor for things that
time swallows into wrinkles/ the streets of her body forming the scars
that lie behind her tongues + arrows in her left eye + hook in her ribs + the horizontal falls of liquid biting the blackness
of her scalp into bleeding memories or my father that carries bullets in his chest the way mother shook her heart
into my tender palms/ Ojuolape bears her legs into the wind of today/ today dies & she dies too/ tracing her ways to where God houses himself/
Here Is My Farewell–Mother, Hold and Do Not Break for Me
(After Shitta Faruq Adémóla)
At your teens, you began to wonder the way God journeyed you to this city. You were just an upper basic class child when you learnt this logistics & it became an assignment to form the mouth of a poem with illustrations.
You still remember the way your father floated in his pool of blood, with the bullets that blew resilience off his shoulders & his skin feeding the street.
sympathizers deafened the neighborhood with wails & blew a prayer to his eyes.
These prayers, to you, are a bird with bombs tied to its neck/ a lecture on how a boy without a father strips himself.
Today is baptism, tomorrow is baptism, your body levitates without a redemption
You found the next street guy performing ablution within your mother’s chest & send a thrust into your sister’s laps. Here is a gun preaching storm to its bullet, you worshipped its silence
And this was the genesis of shame
Your lover asked, how do we define a cracked wall and subtract you to form a meaning?
And you began to thug yourself into incantations and music, to libate her ears
My grief, here is a song
The poems you scraped from Shitta Faruq do not define your type of rag and she told you goodbye,
Goodbye— this is the way to your father’s house;
marry a thick rope to your neck and kick the stool
The next day, you opened your mother’s palms into a dried flower and said, mother, hold it, here is my evanescence.
A Classroom of Grief
“What miracles do we sieve from the peels of cherry that make the tongue sour with the scars a boy wears
and his grief becomes a general subject?”
When his father died, mother melted an offering of candles in her mouth like a menorah; call this silence a wax. He is a wood for bridging his father’s back and his mother’s face.
The prayers you blow flies to his chest as a bullet
“If home is where death takes his father to, why then does it make the house unfit for his body?”
It is the duty of death to shame his people with white teeth, this way;
Why does his uncle’s parables wind home, as a feeling, out of his lungs in a language that pays homage to his father?
“Define the homage”
Homage— the songs of an earthworm after it is washed with choking salts
He remembers, the day his father was buried into the earth like roots, his sister becomes a cheap food to street dogs & his brother, a vehicle with no destination
Fire swept his skin & metamorphose into ashes.
Identify the wails of the sympathizers as a cherry
Scars — skin
We give his ash onto ashes, & soil onto soil
Osho Oláìítán Jeremiah is a young Nigerian poet, teacher and student from the beautiful city of Abeokuta, Ogun state. He is an undergraduate of Lagos State University. He has poems published/forthcoming in Litround, Naijahotstars, Madswirl, Communicator’s league, arts lounge, mywovenpoetry, Kalahari review, SprinNG and elsewhere.
When he’s not writing poems, he’s found drafting lesson plans, cycling, playing DLS or in the company if a twin sister.
He’s on Facebook and Instagram as Osho Olaìítán Jeremiah.