Tell me I will be alright, my wrecking mind
needs to be fed with some soup of validation now.
The bloodbath like raindrops, please persuade me into believing will
cease soon. Tell me protest fields will halt to morph into abattoirs every time
we demand for a sunny life, for the right to inhale and exhale, every night we want
to resurrect strangled justice from its grave. Assure me please, that my brother will
return unscathed from where he went to air his deprived voice, please and please
sweet-talk me into a new realm where I can perceive the fragrance of freedom
even from a thousand miles, paint my questioning mind with the hue of affirmation
that my unmatched mother’s soul will not be catapulted to the shore of afterlife for
frowning at inequity. Men and women of this anguish-strewing land, justice-mourning
settlement, unveil to my yearning eyes: the time, day, week, month and year,
when we will have bliss as neighbors, when we will wine and dine
without dread knocking on the doors of our hearts, when our minds
will truly certify this land, home. Tell me now,
now, now or forever be a graveyard.
Death of Another Night
The sunshine cocks have crown again, signalling the death of another night
that will never grace the streets of the sky again in this era, the radios have
risen with a shriek to their daily ritual of feeding your ears with worms, loading
the cart of our frail minds with tons of grief, narrating tales too sore for a boy
my age– stories of dirty uncles brewing nectars out of their unripe nieces’ thighs
when eyes were shut like doors, of blood claiming a northern street, of statesmen
turned python swallowing a nation’s vault of golds in a stretch. The radios in
the neighborhood have christened me– coward and so– their owners.
I tremble at the perch of radios’ baritone at dawn on the twig of my ears
like a bird staring at its death two feet away. Elegies and bloodstained news
are no oceanic views to awake to, neither are they sunshine to grace your dawn.
I Want to Live Where II:
religion doesn’t breed walls
and enormity amidst inhabitants.
skin pigmentation is not a
yardstick of being, of value,
of bliss, of essence, of wit,
of impact, of sanity and sanctity.
compassion— a river of goodwill
flows with rage across the city,
for compassion no matter how little is pivotal
in keeping this moribund world breathing.
natives wake up every morning
with winsome smile on their faces,
highly inebriated on the wine of motivation
to dream beyond the clouds, not with sigh,
not with hiss, nor a face laden with
remorse, you know every night here,
we pray to God to make dawn
to our souls an unattainable feat.
Abdulmueed Balogun is a Nigerian poet & and undergrad at the University of Ibadan. He is a 2021 HUES Foundation Scholar and a poetry editor at The Global Youth Review. He was longlisted for the 2021 Ebarcce Prize, a finalist for the 2021 Wingless Dreamer Book of Black Poetry Contest, and won the 2021 Annual Kreative Diadem Poetry Contest. His works are forthcoming in Avalon Literary Review, The Night Heron Barks Review, ROOM, Watershed Review, Bowery Gothic, Subnivean Magazine, Jmww Journal, Active Muse and elsewhere. His writiting is anthologized in: Fevers of Mind (Poets of 2020), Words for the Earth, 2021 Cathalbui Poetry Competition Selected Entries and elsewhere. He tweets from https://twitter.com/AbdmueedA and can be found on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/balogun_abdmueed/