Poetry

Under the Canopy: Poems by Tolu Akinwole

Image: Thomas Leth-Olsen via Flickr

UNDER THE CANOPY

Come here and let us laugh
The benign laughter of fools
At the race we ran in drooping sacks
Across the flowery lane of powdery dreams,
Now that we sit in the cool shade of this bald palm tree

Come here and let us truly smile
The toothy smile of two blithe onions
And send our teary darts
To the howling eyes of that iroko
Now that we sit in the cool shade of this bald palm tree

Come here and let us cry
The hearty cry of pained mothers
Groping in hazy forests
In search of unopened future
Now that we sit in the cool shade of this bald palm tree

Come here and let us ride
On lithe horses away from this troubled dusk
Come here and let us clasp
The coming morn in warm embrace
And bathe it in cheerful kisses
And cease to sit in the cool shade of this bald palm tree.

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KITCHEN SONG

And suddenly
We were called upon
To dance a fragmentary dance
In the billows of the red flame

Of the sharpened teeth
Of the hallowed men
Of the holy jungle
Of the sun-tanned up
We were called to dance
To heartily dance
To the delightful strain
Of the weeping goje
To the gallant wail
Of the green bugle

A shattering
Blisters

The harem
From the holy jungle
Of the sun-tanned up
Woke us up –
The lazy sleepers we are! –
To present us with
A rich, reddish dish
Of mangled bodies
Of hooded hearts
Of muffled shouts
Of broken dreams…

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QUANDARY

I like it when there’s nothing to write
(When the ink pad itches for the white fellowship
Of my paper and my masculine grip
The manly grip of my withering hand
And I can toothlessly deny it that pleasure
And give myself a good ride on lucky wings)
For then I can cease all my frowns
And frolic round
My dingy room
In happy jest
Of yesterday
And walk around
To write nothing.

I hate it when
I do nothing
But walk around
To write nothing
And frolic round
My dingy room
In happy jest
Of yesterday
(For tomorrow will throw the stones
That will clip the lucky wings
On which I ride my good ride –
To say the truth I don’t like luck! –
Towards the blight of looming whips).

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© Tolu Akinwole
Image: Thomas Leth-Olsen via Flickr

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