i know men who die for a living
men who heal through injury &
find joy by wading through sorrow.
i know of an empty room echoing with laughter
& of the immense sorrow of flightless birds.
i know of the alchemy of happiness
a formula to turn my grey melancholy to gold.
i know of men who die for a living
men who found god by sinking to hell
men who became immortals by dying forever.
Legacy Of The Lost Son
every time i close my eyes, i see fire
my ears are filled with battle cries
& the smell of burning bodies fill my nose.
i am a leaf touring a whirlwind
my origin is forgotten. i know only
this desolate battlefield. home is a memory
too faint to remember. folktales, from the past
falling from grandmother’s wrinkled lips
telling tales of brave men long gone
& their exploits. of Akani, the hunter who fought tigers
with his bare hands. of Adariogun, the general
who destroyed armies with a strand of his daughter’s hair
of Akinlabi, my father, and how he fought
to preserve his lineage—he died on a Thursday
they say he was an Akudaya, that he was never truly
alive. so i am the son of a dead man
& my spirit is incomplete—a colorless moiety.
so on this alien battlefield called Life, i am not afraid
for the only thing to fear here is death
but i am forever beyond his grip. my lineage
will end with me—the irony! i am a seed planted
in a forest of thorns. growing will be a waste
of time. my history will remember me.
i am a tale falling from the wrinkled lips
of an elder at the fireplace. i am Babatunde
the one who fought a war with one weapon—
the absence of self. as my soul drifts into the ether
i hope it finally finds it’s way back home…
About the Author
Oluwatomiwa Ajeigbe is a writer and poet. When he’s not lost in visions from the Muse, he can be found proving mathematical theorems. He was in the twenty-man shortlist of the EOPP 2019. His poems have been featured in a number of anthologies and online journals. He lives in Lagos.