“the valley between” & “why do we love the familiar road?” | Damilola Omotoyinbo

the valley between

whatever is holding the sun
has loosened its grip:
this blazing ball dangling over our 
heads scourge us to our marrows—
heaven weeps; the droplet
is not rain, but misery.
the sky holds a timer,
foretelling a storm. i gathered
my pain into words & 
christened it poetry, like 
writing your worries by the sea— 
awaiting the billows to erase them into
oblivion. tomorrow, i will wear a caftan
of bliss, & sit to taste air.
my tongue desire the taste of freedom.
daily, we fall by the seduction of the night,
& slumber, forgetting tomorrow
is another day to be human.
i have not been to heaven
or hell but i know what it is like
to dwell in the valley between;
ghost-silence, when you cry to the 
universe for aid,
your knock tumbling back as echoes.

why do we love the familiar road? 

this tale is of a fugitive who 
at birth was given a bracelet 
of fear woven into a labyrinth. 
my body is no longer home
but a catalogue of misgivings.
i am a voyager with a backpack 
of questions, hunting for clarity in 
a cluttered heart. in bits, reality 
disappears like woods in the jaw 
of termites. i feel dislodged, like a 
sleepwalker, or a pendulum swinging 
in space. how do you breathe without 
huffing fears that define you? how do 
you rewind time to gather fragments 
of yourself? i am searching for the
unknown, the priest named it god. 
he said there are answers that can 
unsettle life’s equilibrium. tell me, 
why do we love the familiar road?


Damilola Omotoyinbo

Damilola Omotoyinbo believes in the power of the pen and the positive difference it can make in our world. She has work/interview published at Afritondo, Kalahari Review, Konya Shamsrumi, Praxis, Hack writers, The Nigerian Tribune Newspaper, nantygreens, and elsewhere. Damilola is an Alumni of the Transcendence Poetry Master-class founded by Aremu Adebisi, a fellow of the Ebedi International Writers’ Residency and a mentee of the SprinNG Writing Fellowship. She is Damilola Omotoyinbo on Facebook & Instagram, she blogs at damilolaomotoyinbo.wordpress.com

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