THE CRADLE II (ISSUE 8)
THE STAINS ON OUR CLOTHES | Adaeze M. Nwadike
The stains on our clothes can talk
They tell of our mothers who we buried on board
And of our fathers whose corpse remained bones
Before we got off shore
The stains on our clothes speak
They speak of inter-continental dust
That has stolen into the fibers of our robes
Leaving us in doubt on the real color of our clothes
The stains on our daughters are monthly flows
That received no care
Because our women preferred to please strangers
Who smiled as they gazed at blood
The stains on mother’s blouse
Are left by constant tears
Till they bleached her blouse
Tears that washed her
When her sons forgot the trail that led home
The stains on our clothes scream of struggles that may never end
They are like ink on plane sheet
Echoing our past before we talk
And our clothes are the webs of a careful spider
Trapping our stories in nets of cotton and silk
Echoing them to anyone who cares
And these stains refuse to wash off
No matter how hard we scrub
Adaeze M. Nwadike writes from Nsukka where she is completing a B.Ed/Eng. She was shortlisted in the 2016 Nigerian Students Poetry Prize. She was also in the BN Poetry long list in 2015, and was 3rd prize in poetry for the muse journal in the same year. She is currently working on a collection of poems.
BETRAYAL | Ayangbenro Michael Ayobami
staring into the eyes of what breaks your heart
is a tragic lesson for your saddened eyes.
first, it was your skin:
being born into the right place at the wrong time
fighting survival’s war in your mother’s skin &
trying to wander in your father’s skin
like a skin disease.
second, it was your tongue peeling itself
like the chords in poem
he promised another lady your haven,
after series of meetings you’ve had,
and suffering like Jezebel.
the other, is seeing the bond go weak like hydrogen’s,
they promised each other before your world
for better for worse, for now for eternity,
the framework of the society is deceit,
like stooling eyes in Sambisa
plastered by Judases
some boys are fighting molestation
they can’t live with the soul they defiled,
the body is a cynosure for war
a girl is not known by virginity again
in places like borno, kano, anambra
and other places
but by offerings of offspring
These destinies are playgrounds for betrayals,
like daffodils, they look the garden in the eyes
and recite prayers in silence,
good or bad
for a seed that’s already sown.
A land grows into another silence
like recession &
it comes out panting in bones
Ayangbenro Michael Ayobami is a Nigerian writer and a Mathematical Sciences student of the Federal University of Technology Akure, Ondo state. Together with poetry, he is a bass player and a spoken word artist. He has his works on Kalahari Review among others.
THE BEAUTIFUL ONES | Martins Tomisin Olusola
Roused in the heart of night
I sit and stare
boiling in the rhythm of thought
on this road,
beauty flies by and by
pain flies by and by
hope dashed against stones
story meshed upon stories.
they pop up like a raven
that fed Elijah meat and bread
feeding the myriad of people with wad.
Under the gaze of sun,
the throngs aligned on a longish axis
as if money is doled out
to assuage the flared-up sac
there, mopping their perspiring brows
some pressed in bladder,
some pressed in the sac
to give ears to the callings
of the hawkers spicy, relished rice.
When the day piggybacks its tasty honey,
they fed fat till they ran out of money
the world is there at their feet
yet, they are sit-tight patriot.
Skinny beggars of dough
lackey to their school-pundit, Judas Iscariot.
Those who placed them
on the golden throne-seat
are now confined to a wheelchair
waiting, on and on
and painting the street light for gyration.
The crabby cries:
“where are the beautiful ones
are they yet to be fructified
are they still nipping at their
mother’s nourishing coconut buttermilk
or probably still contemplating
on their caravan to the world?”
the beautiful ones are here
who play sweet smart in politics
who put on the diamond-morning,
who paint the sky green and white
like Nigeria’s flag
that does not give arms to the rustling wind?
He is one who surrenders to the fear of his Maker.
Martins Tomisin Olusola is a student of Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State where he has earned awards and recognition for his literary prowess. Some of his poems have been published in numerous literary journals, magazines, and anthologies. He loves painting colourful rainbow-of-thoughts on paper.