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Read Time:2 Minute, 48 Second


It’s funny how the world could not

 Hold anything perfect

And we keep forcing the future

 Into our hands—

Stitching our arms with loom bands

 Made of ancient pain—

Their colours not the same

 That tells a lot about our sins.

It’s funny how the world becomes

 The land of the dead

Yet the breeze keeps telling us

 How alive we are,

Even though our veins run water—

 Hearts beating backwards

And minds crisscrossed

 In a lame-end unorthodox.


We outwore our hands on to putting strings

On this small, fragile—half-broken—, inaudible violin

Called “hope”—

Our feet laid into nothingness

As we walk across the skin

Of the universe.

We sing the songs sung by our ancestors,

Our chaotic voices pieced together—

Whirling and whirling around the corners

Of the sea, we stand ashore.

This world cannot fit—furl—

Into a poem.

We—the people of wroth—

Share a piece of breath among ourselves,

For this world cannot

Burn the fury of our lungs.

Fear and dubiety, like a pack of wild dogs,

Hunt us out of our haven—

Running toward us with receding


Thine eyes filled with emptiness;

Look through mine and see the void—

Same as yours and theirs,

For I can see the sound in your mind,

And can hear the stillness

Of your soul.

UNORTHODOX by Najeeb Yusuf Ubandiya

What brings to me, muse tonight?

This night—birthed of a darkling owl—

Speaks of silence:

Piercing through the unweighted, grey sky.

I could bid you farewell a hundred times of life,


Do not take one of those into your belly—

Do not let one reach the tip of your throat.

If you find me ripped out of my body—

Torn out of flesh and bones and grey blood;

Take a piece of me to the museum, where my ancestors were put forth

And bury the rest of me deep down your skin and hair.


Meanwhile a family of four—of a single

Mother—works hand-in-hand to plant

The seed of false hope in their skin.

“The world…” says the smallest child

“…looks like a rotten, unbroken egg

In the nest of a dying bird—

Its shape’s like a raindrop, and reeks

Of father’s memory.”

They run into hiding places when it gets

Dark— run down the skin of the earth,

Leaving their footprints of grief pattern


A child whose father once told “you were made

Of tulip’s skin” —was left with hot ashes

 On her tongue—

Walks upon her mother’s shadow.

“The world is beautiful and brutal”;

 All the wild greenness


The soil, sharpen, cut

The roads and paths and ravines

Off their feet—

“The world is beautiful but misunderstood”;

The third child vocalises his pain—

 Although the world

Is not an element of his symphonic poem


“The world is twisted in our palms/fingers”

 Says the mother:

“So we can sweep our lives off

 The lame-end unorthodox”

About the author

Najeeb Yusuf Ubandiya is a poet from Niger, Nigeria—who finds peace and freedom in writing poetry. He’s written a hundred poems, but “UNORTHODOX” is his first poem to have appeared in a publication.

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Writer, editor and reader. A student of mathematics and physics, Twitter troll, Facebook comedian and human.

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