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Things I won’t tell you & Other Poems | Omidire Joshua Idowu

Things I won’t tell you

I won’t tell you what it means when you see
yourself walk naked in your dreams. I won’t tell you –
what it is if in the same dream, your
kinky hair knots itself into tangles. I won’t tell you –
the portents of another you standing
in front of you, or –
a tongue ablaze –
or teeth falling out –
in the kingdom of your mouth, even as you
labour to color
a palette that has lost memory of
everything colorful. I won’t tell you –
what happens when your hen won’t
sit on her own eggs. you remind me of my
mother inserting her pinkie in the anus
of our fowl – feeling for egg. you remind me
of me in this same dream, snapping my fingers at
the chicken in my hand, asking her to
release the ball in her anus to the hollow of my waiting palm.
she did but my hand couldn’t halt the world
from rolling off its cliff. and when it fell on
the marble valley, the yolk streamed out –
weeping. my hand broke. no, my heart.
who will show me the art of
mending broken shells? I am the last grain of sand
stuck in the throat of the hour glass. I won’t tell you –
I am the reason we are suspended in a loop. no, my
Country is –
thanks to rulers who in their lexicon are
tons of words they’d never be able to spell –

love is king of them. –
you remind me –
of me sitting inside a troubled bird. It was as though
the whole world was in her belly. And suddenly, she lost her
balance and came crashing into silence. I know I am paying
for the egg in my father’s hand.  said my last prayer
holding my breath and counting all the
way to – 5,4,3,2,1 – 0.

In my father’s tongue…

i broke a word open, and packed all my sorrows
into it. i keep it in the attic because that’s where you store
secrets and pieces of shattered hearts. you only throw your
junks to dogs because –
in my father’s tongue, the world between Dog and Attic is
the hum that gives you re, mi, and; do, do.
the safest refuge is the country of your mouth
where sealed teeth and lips shield you from the poison
fuming in your guts.
i can’t tell where dreams end and
where boundaries begin, because –
in my father’s tongue, Dreams are Boundaries,
the hallowed veils between the worlds
so don’t chide me when i bear the diacritics to the
doorstep of my god asking him to fix my
broken tongue that i may
chase the demons out of my mouth

when i say Suffering when all i ever mean is Mother.
smile is gold in my father’s abode; we dig the mounds in
our compound for the jewels on mother’s face and bosoms
of the departed keeping vigil at the border town of
our Spirit City…
because in our homestead, we don’t throw away our
dead. in my father’s dialect, Bronze and Bondage are
spelt the same –
so let he who covets the freedom of wealth be ready
to bear its chains.
in the orthography of my father’s language, Time and Calabash wear
the same toga of letters;
only the initiate travels the miles to bring meaning
home in the distance between phonation and articulation.
See? No room for mindless words spoken out of
tone. My country is mispronouncing
everything we
fought for. And we are
dying of lost meanings.

when home is cauldron…

thirsty man fills his cartridges
with roses. it takes a blood spring to
quench a morbid thirst. lives fall like withered petals
in the face of shattering shots. that’s how bloodless gods
defend their territories. cartographer is busy drawing
lines across the lands. the stripes course through
the continents of our minds. this is Gaza. that is West Bank. Israel is
somewhere in the mix. lords of misery sit
on edges of tiny doors between the streaks

that run through our days like hot knife
running through innocent butter. and play cards of race, tribe, religion,
and nationalism and wealth. I can’t remember any
of those when hunger summersaults on the pitch of my
tummy. I’m a simple man praying for daily
bread. there is Gaza in my country too. and West Bank. and Syria.
and flames ever rising. and buildings ever crumbling. and children
ever running. and women ever crying. and metal men ever
shooting us fatal love from their
benevolent cannons. I don’t blame my feet hurrying me
across the Sahara; from Agadez to al-Qatron.
you won’t mind when you see feet and skulls
sticking out of the sands; my country too does
not know how to bury its dead. when home is cauldron,
you japa before it melts you.

About The Author: Omidire, Joshua Idowu is a graphic artist, editor, blogger, and digital media expert. His poems have appeared in SpringNG, Literary Horizon: An International Peer-Reviewed English Journal, Footmarks, Our Legacy of Madness, The Sky is our Earth: An thology of 50 young Nigerian Poets. He was the winner of professor Eruvbetine’s poetry prize. He also won Professor Hope Eghagha’s Drama prize. He has been published in Pulse, Ynaija, Praxis, the Journal Nigeria etc.
Joshua Omidire (Facebook), page_adventure (twitter and Instagram)

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Published inPoetry&Musings


  1. Beautifully Written. A rare insight into the precious mind of one who often chooses to be silent or secretive but now in a multiple of three powerful poems, has decided to speak out. Thanks for speaking out.

  2. Imaobong Susommen Imaobong Susommen

    I know Prof will go places well done dearest keep soaring high. I just love the way the poem flows. It’s deep and full of life. Thumbs up Prof. Lots of love

  3. Dooshima Dooshima

    Just wow.
    The imagery is wild! I literally saw “the egg” slip out “the anus”, and how “your heart broke in pieces”. Thank you!

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