Words inflamed

I want to write again from the heart
to sing the songs within
ignore the calls and walls that hem in our dances
entranced, withdraw into my soul
and with words inflamed by visions
tell of what is there
I will not chase praise, approval
no longer slave to the tide,
I want to turn around and ride it
I want to tell of the roaring in my ears,
the wonders I see through the veil
to rise up with the mountains
and greet the moon
drink down the rain
and embrace the many seconds
of this word-drenched existence


a world women inhabit


Agbeni Market, Ibadan, Image courtesy of digitaljournal.com

love literature defies the terror
roving beyond closed doors
in here, she is protected
sentence by sentence
alone among many
(do they know?)
they are sisters in word-whispers
illicit but spared
they breathe life into a world
forbidden, sin-ridden,
unveiling secret truths unspoken

shadows beguile her face
downturned, glow-lit
she smiles
only inside

stories bound by secrets
strapped, wrapped
stacked roadside in table-heaps
traded and spread between foodstuffs
yams, tomatoes, Milo
this resistance, bought and sold,
outpaces the oily, gun-fed noise
of the times


Title taken from a line in this article about the northern Nigerian women who overcome the oppression and atrocities surrounding them by writing what have become extremely popular romance stories. 

Words to Hold On

The happiest times are fleeting;
memories slipping between fingers
as I try to grasp
this second
and the next
as I try to slow Time
to feel
to make it real.

Two years of dreaming these streets,
people, sounds, perfumes,
have brought me back here
and now I know how it will go
once more I strain to hold on
with words carefully chosen
Literary Voodoo
to help me
capture this place in my soul
so I may bring it with me.

I carry it wherever I go.