After CHEN CHEN
Resist the devil and he will flee from this poem.
Every panorama starts with a wish.
& I saunter into wishing like a wild tigress.
Say I am sleep-walking into a clean room.
Wide. Painted blue. Empty. Except for a chair.
A table. A bed. & a shelf hoarding ninety four novels.
I long for solitude. Call it plethora of aloneness.
Call it a perennial film of self-habitation.
Call it artistic loneliness.
There is a crusade happening in my head –
Pulpit: dreams. Pew: tongue. Time: infinity. Venue: the outer corridor of every metaphor I create. Guest ministers: Pst. Metaphor, Rev’d Simile, Apst. Paradox and Bishop Irony.
Someday, the answers to the
prayers of the prayers of my mother
will metamorphose into reality.
The wind will get used to my flight.
I’ll signature on the air & blow the elixir of grace into your eyes. Call it glory’s immortality.
Call it faith’s radicality.
You cannot talk with the future but I,
I have taught it whisperings of hope.
Puzzle On a Random Page or The Miracle of Glass
Everything starts with an excuse to exist so
baptize me with the grace to forget death and
I will grant you an entrance into this poem.
Grant me the anointing to escape pain
& I will write holy poems.
I long for hope that lingers. Not the impotent one
that arouses my dream
and never brings ecstasy.
I want hope that holds my dress like I am Jesus and It, the woman with the issue of blood.
what longsuffering dwells here?
That life is hyaline and the world, an amorphous nonsense.
Some days I swallow faith. Other days, I vomit fear.
While trying to solve the arithmetic of suffering,
I am lost in the debris of my body.
I search for grit, for mercy & ask God; when shall my travail end?
& He says, son,
I will make you the fragility of tempered glass
I will make you the fragility of tempered
I will make you the fragility
I will make you
I will make
Joel Oyeleke studies Literature in English at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. He is a widely published poet. Author of THE THEM IN ME (Direwords ’22) & Co-author of LET ME GRIEVE (Arting Arena ’23). Asides been a bibliophile, he loves to teach, travel & dream of summer in Michigan.