By Osho Olaìítan Jeremiah
YEMOJA (THE SEA GODDESS)
i form the mouth of this poem with the milk that drips from the breasts of Olúweri — a mother writhes at the cries of her infant.
i, a boy, become a snail, drooling into the skins of my mothers as i bore a hole in my palms when the sun weeps its mother's death and sculpt the skulls of the portrait of water. (i pray Samuel Adeyemi doesn't feed me with the meat of a dog).
exercise 1: with the poem above, prove this equation to be balanced;
a kola nut + the head of a doll × the scales that fall from your eyes ÷ the different names you call grief = no tapping in the head of a fish.
a boy that sucks his mother's breast and throws a bucket of slaps into his father's face is a bastard. if Fèyí too, continues to punch the walls of salt i mould round Obàtálá's name, she becomes a bastard too — a goat that runs without a chaser & a slice of yam slicing its throat into my father's palms. i promise my father, Adébáyò, to keep these words i cut from the apples where he dines, nurture it, let my chest marry the soil and kiss a bucket of clay, run like a snake-bitten man back to Obàtálá & wear a name around its neck.
exercise 2A: hold the poem above with your teeth & run hands in hands with your male lover, to your mother, as an orange,
tell her to subtract your flesh from your bones, bath you in the gourd of palm wine the first time, you run like a mad man.
2B: tell her how to rub kola nuts on your bruised cheeks and draw the Ìgbìn drum like an artist.
Obàtálá is the greatest of all gods in the Yorùba myths. He is the second in command to Olódùmarè (Almighty God).
And according to myths, he created everything on earth, including humans, and has power over them.
Yemoja, on the other hand, is the greatest sea goddess. She protects anyone who seeks her, and that is why the poet said, "no tapping in the head of a fish."
Osho Olaìítan Jeremiah is a young Nigerian poet, teacher, and student blending his words into pieces of writing from the beautiful city of Abeokuta, Ogun state. He is an undergraduate student at Lagos State University. He has poems published/forthcoming in Litround, Naijahotstars, Madswirl, Communicator's league, arts lounge, and elsewhere.
When he's not writing poems, he's drafting lesson plans, cycling, or walking side by side with a twin sister.