For the Foreign Friend Who Asked Me Why Africans Write Sad Poems – A Poem by Idowu Odeyemi

For the Foreign Friend Who Asked Me Why Africans Write Sad Poems

in your country, flowers bloom
& oasis have no bullets sitting on its ground

& when earth’s globe voyage
from east to west, blackbirds sing,

with their invigorating voice, choruses of dawn
as they sit on the branches of the tree by your father’s backyard

without fear of their sulking eyes
watching a field turn into a bloodied sky

adrenaline to write about dogs
metaphorize the rollercoaster,

grief a flower wilting, the body
a train waiting for the passing of time

how many birds could sing
in Giedam without a lump in their throats?

who will hike Dikwa mountains for fun,
or are they only abode when home turned to dust?

do flowers bloom when the water
that quenches its thirst is red?

who watches the sunset
when grenade consumes their mother?

who listens to the hiss of vultures
beaking the eyes of their fathers?

how does one write a happy poem
when chrysanthemums and hyacinths grows
in my mother’s backyard?

Idowu Odeyemi is 21-years-old M.A candidate, poet, and essayist. His poem Love Only Kills a Poor Boy won the 2019 Merak Magazine (Liverpool) Annual Literary Recognition Award. He was shortlisted for the 2018 Nigerian Students Poetry Prize and ChristopherOkigbo Poetry Prize. His works have appeared or forthcoming on Brittlepaper, Perhappened magazine, Blue Marble Review, Serotininpoetry, Door is a Jar, Punocracy, Constellate Magazine, among many others. He works for Perhappened magazine and Chestnut review as a Reader. Tweets: @OdeyemiIdowu2

Banner Art: Faces in a Field, Digital Art by Robert Frede Kenter (c) 2021. Twitter: @frede_kenter

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