A Portrait in Grandma’s Living Room and other poems| Atoyebi Oluwafemi Akinlawon

A Testament of Death

When the ember loses its prime to the pride of ashes 

Or 

When the moisture loses its traces to the conspiracy of rain

Do not mock the existence of the transient era, 

do not scoff, do not ridicule the lots of a withering creature…

.

When a tiller dies; 

when the son of a cultivator elopes with whirlwind; 

when a farmer sleeps in the ridge 

made with his intimate deity, 

do not mock, do not mourn the privilege carcass 

that lived on a borrowed pulse without the knowledge 

of its expiration. 

It’s noble to seek the breeding earth 

Of its loss; of the regret of its dresser 

before his eventual journey of no return…

.

When a poet dies, 

do not mock the muse; do not mock his manuscripts;

do not burn his diary of love with the smoke of derision;

Do not dismiss his sonnet, epic, Ballard and pun into 

the valley of moth. A poet is best celebrated 

when you search, consult and enquire from his lines 

the regret of his pen painting the truth…

.

When I die, do not mock my withered limb;

Do not mourn the precious memories left

I would only rest when you check my voices, 

search between my stanzas, my breath and find 

The places where I paused the truth; 

Seek where my tongue is seized when to justice the truth beckons…

.

Of what use is a life lived with reservation for truth?

.

.
…Of a Dismal Day

Once, I asked the colour

Of the thing above my skull

And I heard a bold voice saying

‘A cloud full of virtue and lacking

In vices’

Though, I have no eyes but my skin

Tells the hit of its droplets, its emission. 

Though,

I see no-thing but my veneer groans

At the hit of its heat. All I could do 

Is to embrace the fate of an iron status

Rotting away till its imminent death. 

But, 

in my thought, I gave hope a chance

Scavenging feed for worms from the

willing hands with hidden wishes. 

And, today, 

I was told it’s not yet dawn 

so, I must not set out else, the traveling

Night will board me away to the dreadful

Morning. 

How well can I mourn a fading

Flame before the breeze of evil?

.
.

A Portrait in Grandma’s Living Room

I

Who could ever predict 

The marriage of odds:

The son of modernity 

And the princess of antiquity?

 

I was the unsaid prophecy 

When I entered into her house

After two decades. The two eyes 

Of mine were never different.

What seems strange in me 

Is the flirting pulse for the moribund…

.

And, I could not sleep that night

For the passion that met in our eyes

Unknown to me, she too had traded

Sleep for the sudden visitor…

Without wasting time, I took the

Princess to her mother:

“Grandma please betroth her to me”

I said in a suitor’s baritone voice

“What do you like in her; do you 

think she can really meet your 

penchant eyes for modernity?”

She answered like a jilted in-law…

.

II

” You have to vow that she will not 

be hauled into the trash nor be

turned to an object of disdain” grandma gave 

her releasing clause.

And I signed the oath of love with kisses.

That was how I became the groom of a

relegated artifact who the trending maidens 

look with piety. Unknown to them 

Ever since our conjugal, I live in love and rest 

in peace with my Pearl for no fear of exorbitant 

ornaments to meet the need for a virtuous look …

.

III

.

Through her eyes, I can see my coming queens…

Through her dimples, I can see my charming prince…

No one can ever write this image except Mona Lisa!

.
.

of a peck…

Life,

how long will it last

Your flirtatious touch

On my elated brow?

.

Wildly

I grew in the wood of thirst

There I see a flea 

Pecking a fleeting nectar

.

In hurry,

A little sip

In haste, 

a temperate oozing

For a quick return

Clip

Not my wing yet

the yam’s tendril will soon wither!…

.

Biography of the Poet

Atoyebi Oluwafemi Akinlawon is a graduate of English and international studies from Osun state University of Osogbo, Nigeria. He equally bagged his M.A English(Literature) at University of Ibadan, Nigeria. As a poet, he won Adats Science and Arts Academy poetry competition in the month of March 2020. He works on part time base with Centre for Performing Arts and Film Studies in Education Osogbo. He lives in Osogbo with his wife and son.  

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