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Osieka Osinimu Alao | Anatomy of Elegy

Anatomy of Elegy

in mid-air a swinging scythe splinters a red bird

into smithereens of soulless songs coagulated

into powdery grey splattered on the fluffy forehead

of the sky. the unchristened arc; to fly is to be chary

of sharp things springing from earth’s belly.

is this not the chorus of every contemplation?

the greenery in earth’s veins is gutter of ghosts:

every root, rattled into murk remedies,

resurges with four hundred and forty hertz

of ache. we do not pray to be broken but

what are our bones without fractured oboes?

what are fractured oboes without lush larynxes

layered into dispositions of apocalyptic homecomings?

in mid-sermon, through a dale of wayfarers,

a clarinet runs an errand of death, the world

whisked into hypnotic melodies, a headset,

a watch weary of time, and feet fast-forwarding

to terminuses tainted by tongues of the tasteless.

Poem: Osieka Osinimu Alao
Image: 8926 from Pixabay

Osieka Osinimu Alao
Osieka Osinimu Alao
Osieka Osinimu Alao is a Nigerian writer, poet, editor and academic. He holds an MA in Creative Writing from Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge. He was shortlisted for the ANA-OSUN-OAU Prize for Poetry 2015, longlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2019, longlisted for PIN’s PWPC 2022, shortlisted for the Albert Jungers Poetry Prize 2022, First Prize Winner BPPC Soro Soke Edition 2022, and a winner in the Creators of Justice Literary Award 2022. His works are featured in Rigorous, International Human Rights Art Festival, Lumiere Review, Of Poetic Yellow Trumpets, Poetry Column NND, Synchronized Chaos, and elsewhere. He is @OOAlao on Twitter & Instagram.


  1. To fly is to be chary of the sharp things springing from earths belly ……….
    cautiously pampering my part through the journey of greenery existence.

  2. To call this poem ‘rich with metaphors’ will be an intolerably unforgivable understatement. The crisp and bigger-than-life use of imaginary is beyond simply just superb. This piece is something to lie on your back facing the blue sky on your couch, and while you stylistically and calmly sip on your tea, to reflect and contemplate about.

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