Ololade Akinlabi Ige
is a young Nigerian poet, a graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU). He was a nominee for Nigeria Writers Award 2017 and was shortlisted for Albert Jungan poetry prize same year. He won the 2018 Ken Egba Poetry prize organized by Poet in Nigeria (PIN). His works have featured in Muse for world peace anthology, 84 delicious bottles of wine for Wole Soyinka, Word Rhymes and Rhythm (WRR) anthology, Sabr Literary Magazine, Wreath for a Wayfarer, Songs of peace anthology among others.
this poem is a helm sailing memory back home.
a bird flaps it wings back to its nest, shrieking.
there is no memoir without a blemish. that is to say
a body is a depository of grief and elation.
i opened the window and the evening breeze
dashed me life again. life is blue. life is green.
as a toddler, i sow my dreams in arid land
and prayed for rain at summer. what a dream!
my father fed me with some broken hopes
and i drank from my mother’s oceans of faith.
my friends and i wore apparel of ardor
and fluttered like bird in front of fragmented speculum.
in the evening when we visited the sea
we wondered how men drown, how names
faded away into wind. we naked our souls
& called god by his sobriquet. we were four,
we became three & forgot the name of one
that drowned in sea.
tomorrow i will sprawl my dreams
beside my mother’s grave, beside the sea
that swallowed my friend’s name & call
god by his antonomasia.