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Home Alone, Traveller: Poems by Kola Tubosun

Lagos again, December

Speak you must, muse, in taps, raps –
Drum, tat-a, rolls of a furious key.
The tongue to rile a fog of blabbing naps.

As with a lost wing, flap on white winds –
Serrated dots of letters, dice dials of thought
Move the night with mares of omen rinds.

Why do you forget yourself so? Soul-
Journer of a sea of words and flaming fate?
It is I who call. Grant the bearing role.

Speak you must, muse, in raps, taps –
Drum, tat-a, rolls on a furious key.
From this fringe of meagre dream of wraps



It’s just the rustling leaves on the ground – the gentle breeze
that blows. It’s the glow of lights around the evening trees.
It’s not the length of the open street, nor the whistling air, the bend
of the arrows that point north when minds looked west. It’s not the end

of boulders, the open lines on double lane tar. It’s not the skid marks
on roads heading east, not the ears of corn in farms on roadside shacks
It’s the smiles in her joyful eyes, the love the love that I see around.
It’s the warm nudge, a subtle touch of flesh, or a gentle sound.

I felt it tonight, within hopes on the faces I see wherever I look.
Graceful laughs under branches, and falling rain around the brook.
I smell it in the cold night air, brown like the leaves of autumn’s rust
I touch it in hugs of fleece, wondrous wool, fabric mufflers of trust.

It’s in the sound of music, softened in bits of sweet tingling taste.
It’s in the rustling of leaves on the ground – a season of deathly waste.
It’s America tonight, Midwest, in the folds of a gradually freezing host:
I stand with words as shield, the less squelching shawls I know the most.



The heavy hum-dum of numb dumbbells lazing on a dirty rug
does not rise above this state, nor do the electro-carts that tug
in whimpers at his idle mind. There stirs and falls in random beats,
like hearts half-baked in a searing whirlwind of summer heats,
doses of silence, filtered in cold, frittered in the evening eye.
“It will not be tonight when the world ends.” Only a cycle crawls by.

A new man peers across a ledge, pondering time, pondering faces;
and only a thicket of quiet responds, louder than a din of dank spaces.
It bobs, it weaves a yarn of times. It reeks of a kind of cold, sour breath,
of stories told again and again; a non-listening ear. A certain death.
It is silent here now, as memory plays roughly along the helm of choice,
heaving noise: “It will not be tonight when the world ends,” in a low lone voice.



They would smell of rum, maybe wine
Of a pristine dance on brown keys that tapped,
Rasped in echoes across father’s dusty lounge.

They would reek of innocence, shy lines
Of the toddler whose eyes lay only in the silence,
laden trivia of books, and old record sleeves.

They might show relics of a hopeful child lie
Within a bulwark of rage in the silence of night,
Quiet when adults slept with ears apart, dead to the world.

They would try to hide the author’s disgust
for past bustles, home noise and day jobs,
Useless rants that mainly deter than fuel a budding muse.

But it wasn’t written then, and so the past remains
Bilked in bits of old rum in even older flasks, and pains.


(c) Kola Tubosun

Kola Tubosun
Kola Tubosunhttp://www.YorubaName.com
Kọ́lá Túbọ̀sún is the author of the chapbook Attempted Speech & Other Fatherhood Poems. His works span the intersection of literature and linguistics. He can be found on twitter at @kolatubosun, on his blog at KTravula.com, or at YorubaName.com where he’s curating a multimedia dictionary of Yorùbá names.


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