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Stammered Farewell: Poems by Zino Asalor


(For Bola’s Sister)

we wrote, we read
we ripped pages, we wrote again
but our eyes have met the last page
of a poem book, watching
the evanescent glow of a sun
that ought never to set
face-to-pen we sit under the glint of a window sill
that holds the history of your smile
words cannot be written
on the last page of blessed memory
our tears may stain them



Wings of wishes do not always flutter
To the sheltering embrace
Of blue skies
Not all flights descend that flew
Some are clamped by jagged jaws of desire
Giant wheels spinning undisturbed
We stare – waiting with regret
I thought of this as you chattered about hair
This season’s dresses and snakeskin bags
Many boots trudged down this path before
But I too want to follow
Wandering after Darwin
Hundreds of millions of years, is it?
Is that for how long the hand
of our Sun chased the Moon’s grey skirt?
Hundreds of millions of years
I glance at you
Mumbling something now about nail polish



Distant dreams running
Fever of eels writhing within
Shake this wrapper in wind
Release sunken splinters
Pluck me out
Feed me lashes
In this Devotion of drums
Rhythmic hearts run in unison
We are together
Lone voice tears into song
Peeling skins
Lifting limbs
We are free
Of Devotion
And wet clothes draping shoulders
We are free
Whispers spear through thoughts
Killing the old
We are free
Opium sails through the raging seas
I ease out, take it off
I lift it up, let it drop
I am free.



In the beginning there was nothing
God gave the world me
storming yelping
He served food and brought books
I ate, some pages became tissue paper
when thirst came
God again appeared for the rescue
with water and wine
And I grew restless for what I had not been given
“Lord, I have eaten, I have drank
I have been drunk, though now I am not
What other pleasures shall
take this time and
in what joy shall I douse these days?”
And God replied. “Woman”
So I walked into the pharmacy
saw my first one
I took a dose and fed an addiction
My Lord!
My God! Sir, it is about the woman
Sir, she asks of things, Lord
she asks of things no man can give
She demands I feel emotions
and some are not even real
I cannot live with her
yet, I cannot leave
Help me Lord
The Lord came, took a look at me
flung the final gift of creation
take it, create what you will
paint away your pain
After all it is how you came to be
You are my poetry.



(For Peter Scarter)

Could be some hinge bolts fell free
Off doors strapping the wind talons in her place
Something naked about the paleness of the moment
Some shift in the balance of scales
And we became leaking balloons buzzing
Through the sky of sanity
Sucked out the forest of lungs
In one giant breath
Shoved deep into my throat
For a moment life left me
Life left me stammering
A stam-mer-ing farewell
I raise my hand against the storm
Thundering out your name
Wherever it is you have gone
Time is nothing but pelts of rain
On the umbrella of our camaraderie
Do you hear me?
Into worlds of walls and winds I cast my wish
What would I not trade today?
Anything! To play four-cut
Like we used to – behind staff club
I may let you win even
I am serious


(C) Zino Asalor

Zino Asalor
Zino Asalor
Zino Asalor studied Computer Science at the University of Benin and has gone on to become a Network Engineer as well as an Entrepreneur. No matter where he runs, the shadow of words, both written and spoken, is never far. He is currently working on his first collection of poetry, The Diary That Became Man and other poems. Also in view is his novel, Tell Me Something.


  1. i like ‘give us a king…’ best. i think that one ought to be performed. think on it, my friend. thanks for sharing your words with us!

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