BOYS TOO WERE RAPED
This city knows how to weigh down one's pride it swallows our lives before we learn how to smile so, pain is the first and last thing a boy wears. Say, smiles aren't suitable for masculine visages Perhaps this fallacy is just a silent murderer. In tonight's verse, my pen dedicates it's tears to a thousand boys who saw their first orgasm almost at the point of death as they wailed at the top of their voices, trying to flee from the randiness of an opposite gender. The first time my eyes saw a girl's nakedness was at sixteen, when my body became an altar for a forceful ritual of iniquity by a girl; one who was twice the size of my entire body. My story leaves many drops of water in my eyes yet I dare not to share it with anyone cause a story like this is expected never from me, I am only seen as a culprit but not a victim so I fold my hurtful tales into the depths of my soul and let them stay forever, but out of the audience cause such a memoir is a humiliation to my kind.
SUBDUED TONGUES ON THE BENUE BRIDGE
The River Benue is a basin of holy water Floating with blessings to be sprinkled on those Who are worthy of it. On its bridge we hold hands With tongues subdued to silence. We see stars glowing along with the sun And we wonder if it is day or night. Hmmm... Our wits are confiscated By elusiveness. Why do we now see butterflies Beyond the orbit and at the same time, Willows growing on the body of a river? We see witches consulting gods on the holy altars Of churches yet pastors abandoned the sacred scripture, Seeking witch hazel from shrines. The stream where parents poured intercessions For the redemption of their sons and daughters Now dries up, before those prayers reach the feet of God We now look into our thoughts, wistful. If time had known, we could have annihilated This hour before its birth In order not to face this plight_ now flung to our faces.
TALES CAUGHT IN MOTHER’S BREATH
As I stared into my mother's eyes, Her eyes weren't the same— The sparkles of her visage Were sponged off by depression And I had no clue as she was clouded in its hues. I wandered my eyes around her lips As she bitterly voiced uncultured words Into my ears; words whose contents were deeper Than my mind, yet Mother had to spit them on me To quench one out of the thousand burning flakes In her heart. Time passed by, and Mother was done With her series of hurtful tales, Piercing deeply into my heart But of what use are they to me? For I Know not what she meant, They only woke the prematurity in me. Listen as I say, That woman is my only comforter. As she wallows in pain, where should I seek solace? Alas! Father is there, healthy and strong But I bet you, he is as good as dead! For he wears a cloak of debts And labour on barren soil. Each day, he buries his head In my endless demands but unable to strike out any. I sighed, casting a look at the dining, where a tiny piece Of roasted yam lay as it surrendered itself, ready to be Munched by a family of ten. Then, I bowed my head in Shame, drizzling teardrops to the spirits of Heaven.
CROSSING THE BORDER
(for victims of the 2023 Sudanese War) We're victims of this hostile town whose rivers float with father's blood. Our feet trek not on dust but on the remains of mother's body where we hold misery like a sacrament for our souls. Here, our songs are drunk verses of elegies & wails from a thousand mouths accompanied by gunshots as instrumentals thus; grief saturates our hearts, drawing the pictures of brethren whose whereabouts we know not yet their traces we fail to find as we're trapped amid buzzing bullets who seek the harvest of our lives while we map our routes to the border with hope for escape. Into the skies, we trace our eyes but lo! The heavens are too far from us & all we see is the portrait of dark smoke with a parade of vultures feasting happily on the carcasses of lost lovers. Verily, we're a bunch of grieving souls, dispersed on the surface of a bleeding land Oh! Dearest future, save our trembling fate that as we flee across the border may our footprints be not erased so we one day shall find our way back home when at last, this disastrous era is over.
We wear our smiles at dawn but take them off at dusk. Memories rise and fall— such is life, like a rose plant, reflecting in the portrait of beauty yet on its stem are sharp thorns that pricks you back to reality, after you had become a drunkard of its beauty. Nature gifts us with life, and sends death, a messenger who fails not to deliver waiting patiently for the right time to strike and strip off the precious gift from our hold. Sorrow falls like drops of rain, each bearing the names of gone relations whose memories are captivated within the hearts of our tales lengthier than The Euphrates. When eternity summons our souls, in haste, we must assemble, we roam on the crust of the earth today and lie inside its belly tomorrow: To dust, we all must return.
Daniel Aôndona, known as “The Newborn Poet,” is a young Nigerian writer originating from Benue State and based in Abuja, Nigeria. He is a versatile poet, storyteller, and book reviewer, with his works featured in literary publications such as Brittle Paper, Synchronized Chaos Family, Spillwords Magazine, Arts Lounge, and World Voices Magazine. You can connect with him on Twitter (X) via @aondonadaniel30 and reach out to him via email at aondonadaniel30(at)gmail.com.