A Pot of Beans

I have a friend
As cool as
Snow-capped mountain peaks
And just as tall…
However, he doesn’t think
The sweetest part of the pot
Is right at the bottom.
* * * *
“It’s beauty in the struggle, Nigga…
(Beauty, beauty…)”
J. Cole in Love Yourz
* * * *
Another friend
Who lost a finger
In fireworks
Saying suicide is a no-no,
He’s simply not ready (to die).
The two statements were unrelated.
* * * *
Life is rumoured to be a lot of things
Yet Life is what you make of it.
Life is a woman. Mother. Sister. Wife.
Life is a woman, with breasts like watermelons
Or apples or pears or pancakes or lemons…
And the sway of her buttocks enthralls…
Buttocks the size of… We never would agree on it.
Her skin brown, black, green, yellow, white…
Life is a rainbow, a bridge for unicorns.
Life is a man. Virile. Scum. Good-for-nothing.
Life is a man. The husband who beats.
The husband who heals. Father. Brother.
Life has many aspects. Many masks. Many faces.
The face you make holding your newborn.
The face you make holding a stillborn.
If you’d always known the outcome
Would you have let it come to term?
Life is a bitch. Life is a beach.
Filled with the infinite sands of time
Build castles. Watch them crumble or stand.
As the waves come crashing on the shore.
Life is a theatre. Sterile and antiseptic.
Life is a theatre. Of War. Of Dreams.
And we all are actors on this grand stage.
Some laugh. Some cry. All fall in love.
Is there someone in the audience watching us?
Judging our performances? Good. Bad.
Life is a traffic jam. Slow. Stationary.
Feels like there’s someone in your way
And there’s always someone ahead of you.
Life is a stream. Paddle your own canoe.
Life is but a dream. Unbelievably true.
Some have food but cannot eat.
Some have food but tire of eating.
Some can eat but have no food.
Life is imperfection cloaked in enigma.
I dunno what it means. Do you?
Life is the Cross of Cavalry. The sin of man.
Life is a spontaneous evolution from nonlife.
Life? There is no life. We do not exist.
What is life to you? To me, life…
Life is a Pot of Beans.

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Beastiful

With my closing eyes… I see?
With my beating heart… I feel?
With my thinking mind… I be?
With my living soul… I’m free.
Free to be. To feel. To see
To be a kaleidoscope reflecting light
Off the shards of my broken dreams
Reflecting hope unfettered from
The harshness of reality. Free.
To hold in my eyes those shards
So each time you look for my soul
You would first see The Window,
Comprising a million shards,
Held together by my Antidepressants
Giving it the appearance of stained glass.
The only beauty you’ll see in it
Is the reflection of yours.
Behind it is nothing, as my soul
Is guilefully hidden beneath
And I don’t know how to describe it:
The beauty in my soul nor of it.

Mirror Mirror Memory

Each memory holds fragments of truth
Sometimes the slivers fit snugly enough
They form a mirror into our pasts
Though a mirror once broken, never is the same
Ware the images be not exaggerated in size
Every memory is unique and peculiar
Like a fingerprint of time and perspective
Of course there is a feel to each sliver
A texture, a colour, a brittleness…
Like the fragrance of a mother’s hug
Your face in her bosom is a future’s promise
She coos, she soothes her baby’s cries
The world is all right for the moment…
Like words of milk and honey
‘fore the violent tooketh it by force
Each stroke violating the puissance of purity
Blood, blood, why is there so much blood…
Like a lover’s last embrace, holding hands,
Imposing on your world sanity and peace,
Head on your chest, whispers of nothing,
Content, your lover’s eyes close as if asleep…

And in that feel lies the edge, razor sharp
Sometimes the slivers cut deep enough
Tears come to your eyes like lost friends
The pain becomes more than just memory
It cuts and you hurt, and you flee confrontation
It cuts and you hurt, but all scars fade, fade
It cuts and you lust, a terrible hunger awakens
Each cut rich and poignant with flavour…
Of the mother’s hug becoming a smothering
And the draft from her swift departure
Dries her tears off your confused face
There can be no understanding
The hasty receding steps of your fleeing home…
Of your body broken by violent needs
A monument of defiance, defiled but standing
Each scar a memento, a history unto itself
You never bent, you were broken over and over
Then you heal the healing of time, crooked but true…
Of the thought of your lover’s next embrace
Desire burns hotly, it is fire in your veins
And you are slave, and you are master
Your hands attempt to recreate your lover’s magic
Seek those arms and find oblivion, home.

As much as we are made of billions of cells
Our memories become us.
If I could peel back the layers of your skin
And reveal the soul beneath
It’ll be firmly nestled in a niche of memory.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

“Each memory is a mirror. A mirror into a time past. Each memory holds a fragment of truth. A measure of emotion.

Like the fragrance of mother’s hug. Taking you to a place where the world was once right.

Or the embrace of a lovers arms after a night of passion.

But the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. In the end, memories are all we have left. A mirror mirror on the wall.”

This fragment of beauty was written by Simisola Aremo.

Bird’s-Eye View

Birds roosting on the Cross leave guano on
The pulpits, The Star and Crescent lose their
Shine. Hatchlings emerge to The Last Supper
Hear only silence from the minarets.
Mothers out to catch bookworms
Come back with
Silver in their beaks each with the sweet smell
Of decay but rumoured to taste like the
Heaven trapped in the pages they had been.

(Flip-Flap. Flip-flap)

Light streaking through the windows reveal dust
Motes tracing patterns: steps hidden in steps
Hidden in steps, Giddy on the musk of
Decay: the effervescence of despair,
Desolation, Apostasy. On the
Walls, the calligraphy become the scrawl
Of madness. The sparks become explosions.
A self-immolation of the willing,
The unwilling and some witnesses.
As I grow, flexing my wings, I wonder…
Where is The Father? Where is the bleeding
God? Where is the faith of five pillars? Where
Are the devout? What is the world become?
You who has no love for your neighbour yet
Covets his wife? Do you think your blood is
Worth more than the scholar’s ink to proclaim
Education Haram?

(Flip Flap, Flip Flap)

I ride on air currents, I soar through clouds.
I am become Icarus with wax wings
I am become Apollo, vehicle,
Not god. The search without while ignoring
The canker within. I am become the
Phoenix rising and the phoenix dying.
In the throes of my final rest, question:
Is it monotheistic for one God
To have three parts or is it agnostic
To believe one God cannot? Can they not
All be Sons of God and Virgin Mothers?
Can they not all be Sahaabiyaat and
Sahaba? Can they not all be what they
Appear to be? God’s Image. Human Beings.

The Man Who Lost The Rose

Burning papers into ashes, what a season
How they fly high from the ground up
There is yet another fountain
Flowing over, as the night falls
Keep dreaming away
* * *
He wanders this desert wasteland
Footprints ephemeral in the settling dust
The rose is forgotten in his hands
As he falls in love with the memory of her.
Oh, she must have smelled like
The opening of heaven’s door
Even as he tried to remember, and failed.
Oh, each thorn, dripping with
Her venomous wit, must have
Stolen his breath or stilled his heart.
Each petal caressed, brushed with
A fingertip, must have been the soft of
Caterpillars feeding on leaves and of
Butterfly wings kissing the breeze.
He stops his traipsing, choosing
Instead to be lost in the labyrinth
Of memories both imagined and real.
* * *
If you hold on to that past
Don’t you lock yourself inside
Nothing has been done before
It’s the most virgin dress you could possibly wear
Mess it up
Time is up
* * *
With the setting sun, dust settles
And everything looks like the landscape:
Brown and bleak, dead and desolate.
He stirs to life grasping at fleeting dreams;
The taste of love with peculiar flavours,
A bed of memories strewn with rose petals,
The heady aroma of her nearness,
Of holding her in a lover’s embrace.
Waking, he stumbles after an ignis fatuus,
A ghostly phosphorescence fading into
Neverness to discover he is once again
Lost, as he always has been yet this time
He feels there is hope only to discover
Her absence knowing one cannot misplace love.
Even though he is lost, he finds that
He’d forgotten what it felt like
Being lonely. His steps falter
And he wonders if he can carry on…
* * *
Hold your memory for a moment, with a blind hand
Write some stories for tomorrow
From the bottle of amnesia
Find instructions, to salvation
To oblivion supreme
* * *
He wanders this desert wasteland dazed
And deprived of the drive that living
Demands. He becomes an automaton,
His mind separate from his body, His soul
The black of abyss. Her fragrance lingers
In the air, and he sees a resemblance of her
In Everything. The rising dawn reminding him
Of the blush of summer in her hues
But the sun never could match her
In glory.
He never saw beneath her veil, although
He saw the true depth of her beauty when
He spied her unguarded soul. Where else
Could true beauty reside? In the fog of
Loneliness enshrouding him, a steady
Warmth suffuses him, spreading outward
Like the dawn itself. Be it from the
Knowing that he had loved and been loved
Or that he had temporarily had something
Unpurchasable, something exclusively his,
He never could tell but it burnt the fog away.
His mind soon finds his body, his soul
Finds a light, Feet find their rhythm
And he finds himself.
* * *
Don’t be tempted to look back
It has all happened before
Someday miraculous spread
Will forgive every cowardly thing that you’ve done
That I’ve done
Dust it off
(That you’ve done
That we’ve done)
The Dø “Dust It Off”

A Donkey Rides a Dragon: A Love Story

Snake dances on the branches of an apple tree
With an eye for a fruit, red like prey’s blood
And offers it To the Three Blind Mice
As her gift for Saint Valentine’s Day!
Elephant indulges in her kinky fetish
Allowing a million ants march in formation
In the folds of her ancient skin, nipping at her wrinkles
As she trumpets away with delight.
The Lion is not the king of the jungle
Preferring the lush Savannah grasses
Where, hidden, he stares lustily
At the rumps of gazelles and antelopes.
The Tortoise takes every step gingerly
As if in remembrance of his bone-crunching fall
From the birds’ banquet in the heavens
That broke his lovely shell
Lying prone on his serpentine form
Each scale warm like dying embers
Her hooves caressing her brilliant reflection
A donkey rides a dragon.

My Reluctance to Write

Hello Blog, and you who reads this, Hello.
I have a question for you. Yes, both of
You: Friend, Blog. What do we call Poetry?
Would you call a poem an abstract thing or…
(Apparently, I lied. I have more than
Just one question) …or would you call a poem
Concrete? Can you define Poetry with
Absolutes or do we dwell in a world
Of relatives? Do you say Poetry
Is Poetic? What does that even mean?
* * * * *
I see a boy on his knees, battered and
Bruised by men who should have protected the
Boy from battery and bruises. Kneeling,
The Boy struggles to breathe, I imagine.
He stares at one of those men, refusing
To acknowledge their values and accepting
What could possibly be the end. His end.
Somehow, the Boy becomes more than the Boy.
He swells with pride and defiance against
Wrongdoing. He becomes incorrigible.
He is the beating heart of justice held
With an iron grip in the withered fist
Of corruption and evil, still he beats.
His swollen eyes hold not a glimmer of
Hope, I wonder if he sees at all… In
Those same eyes I see a glow akin to
Both dawn and dusk, a birthing and a death.
Already, there are candles lit, in his
Name and his memory. The silence of
The night broke easier than his nose and
The only sentinels witnessing the
Shattering were the dead Street Lights standing
As blind heralds and a teeming audience
Of Dilapidated Buildings. Cop lights
Zoom off into the distance when, at last,
A body hits the floor, released, set free.
* * * *
I’ll leave you to draw your conclusions but
Tell me, does that count as poetry? Does
It seem poetic? Rouse you to feeling?
If it does not? Why then do I write or
Claim to have that divine grace that makes men
Poets? Why then should I write? Why bother?
If it does, do you feel the glory of
The moment? Do you feel as I felt when
I watched the motion picture and I thought:
Poetry! Somebody? Poetry Please!
* * * *
I was moments away from asking How
exactly do I capture your essence
In words. How do I tell them what I’ve lost.
Because lost as I am, where do I begin?
You are The Veiled Rose and I, the only
One to have had and lost you. You were dops
Of rain and I was a thirsty man. Then
You became a stream and I was scared of
Drowning. Scared of losing myself in you.
Now I am lost in my losing you. I
Am thirsty again. I have become the
Despoiler of Innocence, Corruption
Manifest. I was less than you deserved.
* * * *
I have lost my muse. She did not leave me,
I let her go. Now, the world is less bright,
The colours dull. I have been gathering
Momentum in my descent into a
World of greys. How can art survive without
Colour? How can poetry exist without
Emotions? How can I write without you?