‘So what then do we do when the sea is boiling’ & ‘prayers’ by Ogunkoya Samuel


So what then do we do when the sea is boiling

Or how do words leap off our mouths
Like curses to the new gods for
Making delicate flower gardens become graveyards.
Or a plea of help to the old ones
While we expect them to reply
With a concerted silence
Like ever before.
Still, we prayed,
Till we fled from our burning houses.
We made worship out of war songs
By God, there is never a rhythm to being homeless
What lyrics are there in crying?
But what else can we do when they tell us
Asylums aren’t designed for couples.


every time there is a rain
it reminds you of the night your father drowned
and how he left ten blank pages for you
to write poems
bad poems.
shitty poems.
good poems. but never
love poems.
the sound of your back breaking drowned
in the hum of a road
into a bus filled with mothering women
into the cackles of a baby
into his mother’s thought
it found a home there
becoming a groan & blue prayers to the name of a faceless god.
and the memories of your father & you
is a street too wide for a city to swallow.

Ogunkoya Samuel is a Nigerian physiotherapist. His poems have been published in Kalahari Review, AfricanWriter and Best New African poets anthology 2017. He writes from Lagos.

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