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A Thousand Origami: Poems by Emuobome Jemikalajah



I am a worn-out piece of paper.
For many a hand has formed
From this little piece, a thousand shapes.
I do not want for folded edges,
For in some places, I tear.
My lines of frailty sit well
With the next form I assume;
A testament to my malleability.
For I am like paper in the hands
Of a child practicing origami.



For all sad and beautiful we were born.
Cast on the earth like seeds of corn
We sprout only for a season
To wither mostly without reason
On this altar of time we are slain.
Why were we born to die again?

For all sad and beautiful we strive.
For vanities we pray “do not deprive!”
Yearning for beauty that dies,
Searching for love that lies.
True friendship, a thing unknown.
How are we loved and left alone?

For all sad and beautiful we win.
Garlands and laurels we pin
On this frailty that is man;
With three score and ten of span
Heading where his fathers have lain.
Why do we rise only to fall again?



Beauty sat magnificent on a mount
That is your rosy cheeks
Beauty you wore like a garland around your neck,
Majestic like Leonardo’s masterpiece.
Your eyes belittle the stars, shining forth
Like emeralds in lucid waters.
Your smile cause the sun to hide in shame,
And makes young Adams gasp for breath.
Your lips are cupid’s bow;
Shooting arrows through men’s hearts.

So say, daughter of eve!
Have you your satisfaction yet?
Have not your ego been fed
By hungry orbs that turn and stare?
Or by commotion in market places?

O comely daughter of eve!
Do take heed, be not conceited.
For roses in bloom today do wither tomorrow.
For beauty is a gift ephemeral,
As time on age’s wings
Takes beauty away.



Emuobome Jemikalajah
Emuobome Jemikalajah
Emuobome Jemikalajah is an up-and-coming poet. He has lived in Warri and Ibadan. His poems have been published in Phases: Poetry of People Chap book, and Wind of Change anthology. He is also an avid lover of art.

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