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Mental Mosaic: Poems by Denrele Ogunwa


Winter turns my fiery passions grey.
This season’s night falls too soon and
spectral images of you
rise from my dreams like incubi.

As I lay awakened in the darkness
contemplating you,
my insides curdle with
mixtures of love and hate.


Because I say so

I can say
“I love you”
and make it mean less

I can dilute it
make it as potent as
a vodka-shot in a water-litre

I can say
“I love you”
like the punchline
to an old joke or
a furtive smile
to a faceless stranger
on a sunny day

I could say
“I love you”
as a tender revelation
soul searing cries from
beyond emotion

But I say “I love you”
in a million
innocuous ways
to save me from
the painful silences
the certainty in your eyes that
do not
love me.


A Comparison

As useful as
an hour glass
full of pebbles

As pretty as
shattered mirrors, stained glass
washed over with black paint

As desirable as
a life full of pain:

A heart full of love.


Perfect Peace

A night sky
of velvet indigo
with diamond stars
like scattered dew
and a crescent moon
it’s beauty and light
shaded by the haze
of shadowed clouds

they find a certain peace
in being aloof
far removed from you or I

I wish…
I wish I could find that peace
removed from this world
seeing, all, touching all
while not being touched myself

Mysterious and unreachable
at perfect, perfect peace.


Mental Mosaic

Cracks in my mind
filled with cement
coloured slabs
of unyielding thought
of ideas
beautiful but dead
killed by the
sudden jolt out of inertia
(couldn’t take the shock)

Stuck together haphazardly
making a pretty pattern
making no sense
making me smile

The pattern’s getting blurred now
or is it just
the tears in my eyes?

Why do I cry?
Pretty patterns never last;
not forever.
That’s why.


(c) Denrele Ogunwa

Denrele Ogunwa
Denrele Ogunwa
Denrele Ogunwa is a journalist and poet currently residing in England. Her poetry, articles and columns have appeared in newspapers and magazines in Nigeria and England. An aesthete and lover of jazz music, Denrele's muses are passion, darkness and light, not necessarily in that order. Her poems re-echo the theme of escape from night into dawn, a consistent search for doorways that lead out and away from the present into some other place full of promises and new beginnings. She is featured in the German translation of Nigerian poetry selected by Uche Nduka, Junge Nigerianische Lyrik. She has a degree in Political Science.


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