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Paradise of Prisons: Poems by Adebayo Akinloye


the genesis of an undergrowth
an offshoot out of the depth of darkness
the revelation of a nightly firmament
an implosion from the heart of the heavens

metamorphosis of meaning in space

lightning thunderclaps of storm
cumulus of clouds wind of sandstorm
fifth a whistle of hurried breeze
preparing the way for the sixth
a surge of deluge

helpless fragile bloom in the gloom
of an unsparing storm
a violent blow to the right
another to the left
a vicious shove forward
wicked one to the back

in the heat of the scorching storm
the bloom is bowed bent but not broken.



may the iceberg of realities
not shatter the ship of our dreams

may the frigid fingers of time
not tick against our magic moments

may the harsh hands of hunger
not stir our stomachs

may the fiery temptation of mammon
not lead us astray

may the ogling eyes of sex
not entice us into pits of paradise of promiscuity.

may the silent night
not empty us into the hands of hell

may the day dawn
not behind but before us.



my life is a boulevard
i am a piece of broken dreams

my life is a bough
i am a piece of shredded leaves

my life is a road
i am a crossroad of chaos

my life is a space
i am a void of evil thoughts

my life is a waste
i am a face of an unwanted child

my life is a test
i am a failure

my life is a root
i am a debris of broken dreams

my life is a shoot
i am rising against interred nightmares



glimpses of foggy feelings
outlined in rough texture of darkness
cataclysmic sadness enshrouded
in sunken sockets
of eerie eyes in broken skull

my fears are my self

immortal thoughts bargaining an end
adult eyes immobiled



palatial places
mansions of men of wealth
laced with lush lawns and overwhelming walls
heading the way of high heavens

cocooned in silence of death
a paradise in prison
a prison in paradise
peopled by very important persons

their fabulous flowers forbid our faces
from seeing beyond that floundering
fantastic façade…

still we know
they bury their joy from envy
and their misery from mockery.
by painted devil
dilating pupils picturing a final closure
deathly sight of holes of hidden hearts



there’s a rhythm to your love
the gathering cumulus strutting
to the clubhouse of enchantment
there’s a rhythm to your love
that thoughtful tongue that tunes in words
in light showers
that comely chill that clouds our multiverse
there’s a rhythm to your love
that sun that rises that shines
not in negation not in protest
a conflagrating contradiction
it is not

there’s a rhythm to your love
that irradiating fusion
that passion that pacifies our panicky persons
there’s a rhythm to your love
that you and only you can create
that creation of passion without deflection

there’s a rhythm to your love
that began and shows no beginning
that has not ended and shows an ending
that impels us beyond our leaning
there’s a rhythm to your love
the striking flashing frightening lightning
and the thunder that tongued in mellifluous voice
a love song compiled and produced in heaven.

my fears are my self
unshared soul divided by self
self-shut self-hidden self-sold
in dungeon of nothingness
in cold blood of sudden cessation



…and you leapt
into the gaze of my popped out pupils
the eyeballs following you out of their sockets
in that rapturous jump
the leap in the floating fragile air
that wafer-thin air that stood between us
the aperture of my dilating widened eyes
catching in still-motion your effervescence
long dead in mournful wakeful moments
stilled not buried by death’s infamous claws

…and you leapt
amidst that sandstorm of shock
the cataclysmic clouds of crippledness
in that change
in that chain which became loose
in that slave who became free
those who had kept vigil while you
slumbered in wakefulness
those who had watched you with hopeless hopefulness
those who had taunted you as the changeling
that proves false the potency of the medicine-man
beheld that leap in open-teeth amazement

…and you leapt
capturing each move with my unblinking eyes
as you said with those enfeebled limbs
with those dying eyes warning me
till you breathe your last
never again would you leave my arms
you leapt into my agitated waiting arms
that sepulchral flesh i stretched before you

…and you leapt
out of an uncertain silence
into a certain cocoon of conclusiveness.



beneath the shadowy firmament
under the gloomy gaze of the globule sun
with rays like carelessly splattered water colours
on a delicate canvas
under a crooked tree with lacerated
bark begging for healing
having crown of leaves breathing their last
with roots contending with the stem
you sat sharing synthetic sentiments
i love you i love you
you are jagun
i am abeni

watching the gamboling gazelles
and the birds in flashy flight formation
and the woodpecker whining against the unyielding tree
i played with your tangled hair wondering when last
you had a cut
you laughed at my ignorance
and stroked my cheek in arrogance
telling me it was dreadlocks you were wearing
and you touched the cheek again
even more tenderly with your steely hand
my eyes shone as if stardust was poured in them
you are jagun
i am abeni

your eyes were looking impatient
and your body shaking like one high on hemp
your voice became deep and unheard
as you drew closer and closer still
i remained unmoved like one hemlocked
i looked into your eyes and shook my head
you are jagun
i am abeni
if you loved me you would wait
we can drink delight of this ecstasy when the time is ripe
you shook your head with your neck about falling out
you grabbed me and with a breath of fire
oozing out of your nose you said
it must be now
you are jagun
i am abeni
who decides for who?

Poems (c) Adebayo Akinloye

Image by Ngo Minh Tuan from Pixabay

Adebayo Akinloye
Adebayo Akinloye
Studied Mass Communication at The Polytechnic, Ibadan. Graduated in 2002. Served in Lokoja, Kogi State. Have strong bias for poetry and creative writing. Co-authored an anthology [with Gbenga Ogundare]: GENESIS. Have other collections waiting to be published. I strongly believe in love, in sacrifice. They say it takes some madness to be a poet; I have some measure of craze!

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