The most difficult job is to define life,
Like a husband to a newly married wife.
You cannot just predict your future,
As the appearance of a passing shower.
Often, It is to you the abode of pleasure,
It also drags you to dungeon of displeasure.
Have you noticed the change in nature?
Have you seen the barometer of temperature?
Nature in seasons has its different task,
Temperature is too in constant flux.
So is life, it never gets stuck,
Just like the human stomach.
It is a loaded ship sailing on the mid sea,
And you are the lonely sailor to see,
Your own struggle in your own eyes,
Even though the sights are very nice.
Tempestuous winds shake your ship,
The blue water of the sea too is deep,
You are alone in between the air and water,
And you will have to sail now better.
They are the true sailors of life,
Who never stop sailing with the beauty of day and night?
Do not stride.
It doesn’t make sense
To be stuck
shifts and rolls.
That you know better,
Might be killing him.
Is only for you,
It blinds their sight.
Don’t promote yourself.
It’s in our nature.
When you die,
Leave no trace.
Is your greatest conceit.
The last bell tolls of the church,
not very far from my home,
echo, roar, the resonances
around the country hears, remind:
it’s time to pray,
but how many people
turn to the creator to be blessed.
It’s midday, it’s almost lunch-time,
but who for a moment will remember
those who can’t feed,
The philanthropy, the charity,
if it exist yet,
few people want to pursue it,
simple souls ready to donate
without expecting love in return,
ready to die for a worthy cause,
without receiving glory and honor.
But what are awards and honors
If you’re a despicable person,
that using the cunning of the fox,
subjugate the lambs
for personal purpose.
Among the ashy doves that flaw,
stand out one snow-white,
that often settles on the bell tower,
It symbolize the utopian, futuristic,
“universal peace”, impossible to achieve.
There’s a need of mutual love
but people die with selfishness, alienation,
It’s evening, the last bell tolls
announce the “Hail Mary”,
I think to the self-abnegation,
I see my mother’s tears,
when she kneel to worship
“The Madonna of the sea”,
sculpted by her son, on the garden wall.
It seems to say:
“Mother! I’ll never leave you,
How can I forget you and live on
you gave me life so many times”.
Madman (Flash Fiction)
Christopher T. Dabrowski
A man was acting like he was mad. Passers-by reacted differently. Some pretended they didn’t see him, others were laughing and pointing fingers at him. Some even poked him aggressively. The man didn’t pay attention to it, at first he cried with emotions, then screamed and a moment later he laughed to tears, to abdominal pain, in a moment he was sad, next merry, scared, embarrassed. They considered him a madman but they did not know! He was extremely sensitive because he had an extraordinary gift. He could watch people’s minds – feel them! It was like amplified, one-way telepathy. He watched what was happening in their heads like a movie. And he experienced it extremely… extremely intensely.
ODE TO THE PALM TREE
Onipede Festus moses
O Arecaceae plant of hot climates!
Your multipurpose endowment,
A blessing to the animates
You’re the tree that cure human diseases-
Asthma, leukorrhea, fever, hemorrhoids;
You wipe them out of man’s menaces
Where do I lay my head?
Your stem, a shelter for man
And fuel for power
The cooks knows your worth in cooking
Of margarine, baking fat, vegetable ghee
Your oil; the source of luscious foods
Our salivating; your cure for hyposeusia
Your kernel our delicacy honours
In solving spiritual problems,
Your presence speaks a million!
Our use of sacred object and offering
Pressing the sap of male inflorescence,
We extracted palm wine-
A cure for fever and vulnerary
Your absence makes man’s habitat filthy
Your presence our healthy habitat
How great the power of your broom fibres!
How will man be healthy?
If your creation is terminated
You’re strong in nutrients and small in fat.
The minerals from you makes man fat
Your deficiency; a problem to humanity.
Your frond serves an honour
When the Messiah rode to Jerusalem
They shouted: “Hosanna to son of David”
Your frond again,
A shelter and clothes to the deity-
Ògún Lákáayé Osìnmolè; Ògún Onírè
Your frond alone,
The materials for craft-
The beauty of our houses
Your frond; a source of àrokó and ààlè-
As West African means of communication
Stops megabytes for making man poorer.
Your decaying leaves; a source of mulch,
And the extracted wax for candles
O wonderful palm tree!
Your roles prove your wonders
As blessed as you are; so you are
Must I ask your creator?
Right from when you are formed
How great are your blessings!
Your entire parts give values to divination
How may man know his life problems?
If not for your magical nut.
Òrúnmílá speaks in metaphysics,
When weariness pushes man to him;
Your seeds; the permutation for solution
You are great tree to behold
You are solution to humanity.
A Hard Lesson
I looked at the mirror and quivered,
The quakes weren’t reflected–
I saw a face of stone:
Carved beautifully, rounded,
Chubby and mature.
An experienced lady,
Solid, dependable, serious, and
Sophisticated to the core.
The little girl in me–
Dishevelled, cried in horror.
Death- a bittersweet mirage
Doting in gray
Dances around the season
Without any clear reason
Nothing can keep it at bay
Death a moment of doom
A veracity, quite excruciating
A recital of eternal kip
A memory to weep
The burning fire
An empty space
The stopped breath
And the blissful dirge
One’s faithful companion
Until the end
Blue All Over!
Kolawole Mathew Ogundipe
Blue paints the entire world!
Moral of just morals shattered,
Impiety gives its reflection
Like the time of Sodom and Gomorrah,
There is lust everywhere,
And as it happened
In the beginning
When God created man
To be the portrait of Him;
But turned contrary by man
That made God depressed then,
Similar to this exists
In abundance nowadays ̶
DIGGERS AND LIGHTERS
Logs, incense, prayers, bodies, flames
the smoke – defiantly rising, its grey heart twisting upwards,
merging with sun’s glow
courage- the men toiling away
day and night, night and day
undocumented, unafraid, undeterred, loyal
who could blossom in ashes and wilted flower beds-
the diggers, the lighters.
digging hard the unyielding ground
twigs, leaves, discarded PPEs, plastics and stones obstruct
too worn by the sheer number of times they raised their spades
their own griefs, hunger and desperation clinging on them
toiling away in sloshing mud and baked earth, all year long,
before their calloused hands healed,
hundred more bodies brought in by the truckloads-
escorted by people in cloaks of white and blue
their faces shielded by masks and glasses
majestic processions, a thing of the past
motionless in their body bags, they knew their loved ones
were not there to shed a tear
the diggers’ sweat running down emaciated face and arms
neglected- like the bodies they help reach the finish line
where the rich, the poor, the powerful, the helpless,
the migrant, the native, the strong, the weak, the blind, the needy
the old, the infirm—the meek and young
or it might even be me or you
all congregate- where desires and dreams die.
The night bus,
reeks of weed and pee,
The bum with the deep
scars, dark eyes
smells of baby powder.
A bag sits on a seat
I think bomb,
He goes for it
pulls out cans of corn
- Reviewed by Sabuj Sarkar (Editor)
- Designed & Published by Akshay Kumar Roy (Editor)