By Elisha Oluyemi
in moments of darkness, i give mind to a withered flower
and wonder why it was hidden away from
the joy of spring:
the season approaches, the greens are full of longing, but thirst is a box of chocolates.
why did a man pluck a marigold and stash it in a pot?
i see the bleak of night,
how it descends upon us like the sudden rain.
does God bare their teeth and gobble up the innocence of a kid,
or they only snatch up reality like a thick duvet and drape it over him--
is this God's way of making reality dawn on him?
is this their way of enlightening this dust instead of steering him towards the forbidden tree?
i have seen the biggest wonder:
how the darkness of the womb doesn't restrain the blind baby from coming into our world.
the mother growls; the baby finds its path—the blind walking without a stick.
God's creations—full of contrasting conjunctions. all the buts and yets and howevers, broken sentences--
and in Yoruba, shades of but are called ṣugbọn, metaphors for bad luck,
blatant echoes of darkness.
But I've just realised:
in this poem, not all buts lead us down the abyss.
no light at the end of the tunnel, but the beacon may appear when you reach the end… the night is a tunnel—until golden rays line the skies.
Elisha Oluyemi won the 2022 Lagos-HCAF Writing Contest (Prose) and came 1st runner-up in both the Shuzia 2021 Short Story Contest (2nd Ed.) and the 2022 Flash Fiction Contest. In addition, he co-edited the PROFWIC Crime Fiction Anthology, Vol 1.
Elisha has his writing published/forthcoming in journals, including Mystery Tribune, Brittle Paper, Entropy, The Hooghly Review, Iris Youth Mag, Hotpot Mag, African Writer, Salamander Ink, Erato, Neurological, Kalahari, Nymphs, Shallow Tales Review, Sledgehammer, Arts Lounge, and elsewhere. He writes in the psychological and literary genres.
1/2/2023 07:49:03 pm
This poem speaks directly to me. Yemi, your mind must be a beautiful place.
4/2/2023 09:33:54 pm
Your words are kind. Thank you so much for leaving your thoughts, Chimezie.🥰
2/2/2023 12:18:17 am
아름답게 빛나는 말들~^
2/2/2023 12:10:01 pm
혜비야! 읽어서 코멘트까지 좀 놓아서 고마워라🥰
6/2/2023 02:46:03 pm
There are many ups and down in life, many life interrupting events that make us ask questions. We seek inexistent answers to many questions about life.
7/2/2023 03:48:22 pm
This is beautiful.
Alhassan Musa Maibasira
11/2/2023 08:48:58 am
The Rhetorics were amazing! I love questions like that. And in the end they were all answered by the same poet.
Peter Rangmak Dajang
11/2/2023 07:52:24 pm
Very beautiful piece. Keep it up.
11/2/2023 09:12:09 pm
How have it come to be this. Men are so strong, even their word is strength. I must say through the dark womb I came into the dark world and yet beautifully I live. Mr. Elisha you have a beautiful diction in expressing your circumference and how still you survive, beautiful. Not all the marker of misfortune 'but' leads down the abyss. In the negativity of man, it realizer is made positive for a good cause.
11/2/2023 09:55:47 pm
I had to read it for the second time. The second time, slowly trying to connect each word and lines to the one that was before it. Though I fully understand the situation painted, I can't help but think and feel how this piece corresponds with my life and thoughts
12/2/2023 07:24:50 pm
"A boy plucks despair and shows it to God" is a cathartic piece exploring the throes of existence and the bleakness of reality.
Aharanwa Blessing Chidinma
13/2/2023 04:22:52 am
Elijah is good with creating Beautiful mental pictures.
13/2/2023 08:47:00 am
This is a moving and thought-provoking piece of writing that touches on universal themes of life, death, and renewal. It is full of vivid imagery and thought-provoking questions, inviting the reader to consider their perspectives on the world.
Abubakar Maimuna Esther
13/2/2023 10:47:22 pm
I must say, the comments have all given a wonderful interpretation of this work. Kudos to Elisha Oluyemi! I see he writes in hangul too! 안녕👋🏿
18/2/2023 04:38:13 am
“in this poem, not all buts lead us down the abyss.”
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