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Counting Down in Fortitude | Taofeek Ayeyemi

Counting Down in Fortitude | Taofeek Ayeyemi

Taofeek Ayeyemi Agbowo Art African Literary Art

10. Here at the riverbank I watch as the egret picks another fish –
it too has come in search of earthworms to pick

9. This is how hope hands me over to my fear
Can we not pick rose flowers without being thorned?

8. Every step we take reechoes the sound of harmattan leaves
as if to say a temple bell calls for emergency

7. Memories: This morning, I rehearsed the way a body shrieks
when tightened in between logs held by the chains of slavery

6. Slavery is no more but the chains were melted into the
bangles and wristwatches we wear today

5. Honey and milk abandoned at the swelling of
black gold, and like the torn walls of the Greenhouse,
hunger spills over our land like a tired rain

4. A man carrying a fatigued hope confined the body of his brother;
Ransomed, the abductor and the abducted smiled to their bankers

3. This is how flowers
sprout daily on our

2. headlines in red blossoms. red dews.
red eyes hoping to behold their gone souls.

& red hearts in fantasy of seeing bodies
that collected bullet into dust & ashes.

1. I stare into the sky for a true messiah to descend.
For our countrymen have showed us in act and

0. omission that not everybody on the cross are messiahs.


TTaofeek Ayeyemi Agbowo Art African Literary Art aofeek Ayeyemi fondly called Aswagaawy is a Nigerian lawyer and writer. His works are featured in The Quills, Kalahari Review, Nthanda Review, Tuck Magazine, Cicada’s Cry, Akitsu Quarterly, Modern Haiku, Frogpond, Cattails, Seashores and elsewhere. He won the 2018 PoeticWednesday Poetry Contest, First Runner-up 2016 Christopher Okigbo Poetry Prize and Honorable Mention Prize in the 1st Morioka International Haiku Contest, 2019 among others. You can find him on Facebook here and he tweets @Aswagaawy


Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán from Pexels

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