Poetry: Blessing Omeiza Ojo

Blessing Omeiza Ojo
Anecdote of Tears

Some of us hold waters in our eyes to show the world
how strength is measured. Know that waters are not tears
except the eyes unlock their sockets, and something unusual drops,
gently caressing our cheek like the hand of a man fondling
his lover's hair. I've ever watched tears doctoring a man
to live longer than he wanted. He had lost his heart to the paws
of death and sworn not to shriek his loss––he wanted
to be a real man, a man of steel frame. I was in him 
the day the fluid in my mother dried up. I see you in this man,
in the future when all you would hear is the musical note
calling you to dance frenzy until friends walk on street bearing
your name as light loads. They'd remember you walking the same
street, they'd seek you. And each time they call your name,
the wind answers. Do not forget I am a man of short memory––
I could forget my birth name, and everything in my home
calling my name in the dark but not how a drop of tears
could write 'swim away' on a forlorn body. 

In Every Grieving Poem I’ve Written, There’s Always Me

My little brother whom I told our mother has travelled to space
and won’t return until there’s light in every dark places of a body,
has grown into a man of questions. I had communicated our mother’s
succumbing to death’s jab–– less grief, less darkness, weightless.
I have the truth he seeks about the realm of silence
where mother owns a castle she never had here––yet deficient.
What you called a shadow is my body filled with grief
finding a seat between light and the earth. This implies
that my mother, in another realm, is a shadow or a ghost
seeking a body to reclaim, something I could touch and believe.
Because I’ve been wearing a coat that’s not mine for too long.
This poem misses my mother. Or is it my mother who misses my poems?
A pellet of hail boasts of heavens as mother–– and this
is a remembrance that I had a mother ––and I have mothers.
I don’t know how this is going to sound in your ears.
On that Sabbath; Remember? –– when I say teach me how to confess
to thy Lord through poetry; I wanted to say all the poems
I’ve written without grieving are not mine. Facsimile:
from the window where I once observed some plagues
accompanying solitude into a gravestone, I watched a gay bird
singing a gray cloud into roses. And I sang too, imagining my body
craving a hold on light to be a pinchpenny lad’s fist clenching
a box of chocolate ––of rare flavour–– in the city of mendicants.
I’ve been fractured from attempting to flee like this gay bird,
away from this grief repurchasing my body. This daunting grief.



Some Broken Souls do not want a Flight with the Night Bird

Of all my depressed poems, one was written in my dream, wherein my mother
was a glowing sun ––a metaphor for rising–– swerving the clouds around me
with her hands. And the heavens saw yet another star on earth, groaning––
a star once fallen, knelt before grief and asked what price is comfort sold.
This day, a prophecy like dawn breaks into fulfilment: and the ship
shall witness tempest–– not wrecked. The way life paddles me, I presume
there’s something written about me, about the path I’m walking, which
I was never told. I know many, at the end of this road, who expect me,
like a gardener picking petals to pick laughter over smile, scars over wounds.
But what life does a beetle on a floating leaf have on the sea if storm rages?
The beetle and I boarded the same boat of life, but I’ve never drown.
Confession: sometimes, I grow weary of stupid struggles.
And when I imagine myself a spider, webless after a brief dangle
on the ceiling, I monologue at the sea. Not a guess say: some of us
are broken yet do not crave a flight with the Night Bird.
Some who holds life’s sleeve asking for the end of a painful journey
shouldn’t be mocked. There must have been some reason, however trivial.
I have more than a century reasons to swim the night with the nightjar weary
of the tucked smile the dying moon gave to her. Do you believe me
when I say that I am the answer to––what matter reaches breaking point
every minute yet unbroken? A boy like an old wine is craving for a new skin. And perfect––how he watches from the acme of grief,
the angels substituting his name into seven alleluias.


Bio: Blessing Omeiza Ojo is a black bard married to an Enchantress. He is the Chairman of Hill-Top Creative Arts Foundation, Abuja. He is a contributor to literary journals with poetry surfacing in The Deadlands, Cọ́n-scìò, Split Lip, Olney, Praxis, Lumiere Review and elsewhere. His literary awards include the 9th Korea-Nigeria Poetry Prize (Ambassador Special Prize), the 2020 Artslounge Literature Teacher of the Year Award, the 2021 Words Rhymes & Rhythm Nigerian Teacher’s Award, and the 2022 Maryam Aliyu Award for Best Teacher (Male). He is presently a creative writing instructor at Jewel Model Secondary School, Abuja, Nigeria.

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