PORTRAIT OF A NAIRA NOTE AS A CANVAS
& Meffy said cash, and it went scarceth.
(The Book of Shuffering, 20:23)
I woke up one morning to find Sardauna’s turban turn crimson
— like our minted blood on suffering’s canvas.
In this nightmare,
Zik is a greenish blue statesman, scribbled on fraying paper—
our palms are too cracked to handle.
& the highest shade of grey
that couldn’t paint breakfast
was draped in devilish blue
we ran four -forty for.
So, I paint my own shade of the nightmare.
I stroke the ajami bar to read Babu Kuɗi
And swish black paint over Sardauna’s back
For the pyramids are a shadow of a once greenish myth
And only sacred cows graze on the national ca(sh)ke.
I flip the canvas over. I dab minted suffering// bank queues// POS charges// acrylic deadlines// on Meffy’s signature.
I trekked. I trekked. I trekked.
I stretched my cracked hands to Iya Alakara‘s purse
& froze at the frying shock in her eyes
on beholding my bloodied canvas.
PORTRAIT OF REPENTANCE AS A SUITOR
this is the story of how piety wooed yar iska;
that lest she surrendered her poetry to the praise of ar-rahman,
They were the braying of asses and songs of the marketplace
Songs her waistbeads lent rhythm to on sinful nights
now piety had his way, mar’atus saaliha was born;
gone was the din of the marketplace in her soul.
an-nasheed became to her, a companion on starry nights
each verse a beautiful arrow striking at its appointed time;
just like tahajjud
MEMORIES, OR HOW WE SCAVENGE FOR THEM
how does a boy exhume a box of butterflies underneath a grave of tainted memories?
does he crack it open with a rusty metaphor/ breathe in the familiar spice of assorted nightmares/ watch his longing for things unsaid flutter between past & present
or does he:
just. draw. lines. on. its. dust- sequined epigraph. like. the. zigzag. seams. of. an. unfinished. poem?
Poems © Amuda Abbas Oluwadamilola