My Greatest Escape 

There are pastels and acrylics,
Water colours and oils.
For every empty canvas,
An opportunity to vibrantly portray emotional torment at its extremes.
Every stain, a physical representation of the internalised screams.
While each slope symbolises instability,
And varying shades of a single colour attempts to depict the blurred line between nightmares and reality.
It must be amazing being able to express yourself through art.

There are plasticines and all things mouldable,
Exquisite flower vases and cups only designed for use at the breakfast table.
Explain to me once more, pardon my repetition,
The joys of watching life germinate from skillfully molded products of your depression.
Or the irony of one rehydrating themselves with ceramic vessels designed through waterlogged eyes,
And dry patchy skin, the body acting out of dehydration.
It must be amazing being able to express yourself through pottery.

There are strings and drums,
Woodwinds and your lungs.
Melodies with beautiful relentless symphony,
Multiple instruments all together in harmonious synchrony.
Even with the voice of an angel, it’s the lyrics that cut the deepest,
The vibrations in the air, they tell a story.
Although sopranos may not always indicate suicidal thoughts of drowning in the middle of the sea,
And contralto may not necessarily voice out your lowest moments,
It must be amazing being able to express yourself through music.

But what do I know
Despite being surrounded by all this talent
Poetry remains my greatest escape.

A.

All You Had To Do Was Love Me. 

I heard people talk
Down the hallways, on the sidewalk.
The whispers got louder, I heard them too.
It shouldn’t have mattered how much it hurt you
Because it hurt me a thousand times more.
If only you asked me just once, it would have been something you knew.
All you had to do was choose me over mere rumours.

While voices soared and a deep feeling of resentment set in,
I chose to lend a deaf ear to carnal words, chose not to feel.
Believed that I saw you and your intentions buried underneath all that tough skin.
Until the wounds made cuts so deep, it took forever to heal.
And attitudes were altered, only revealing the once hidden monster.
All you had to do was see who I was even in the midst of anger.

In these last moments,
I can’t help but dwell on nothing but my defeat.
It’s been years of battling with bottled up anger.
Staring out the window because I only feel at peace once I let my mind wander.
Filtering through memories; both good and bad, heartbreaking and romantic.
This can’t be right, things were supposed to get better.
Like many others, our bittersweet love story would always be tragic
Because all you had to do was love me.

A.

I Need You. 

It’s Wednesday night and I need you
Not in the way that husbands need their wives
Or in the way that a pilot needs his air crew
I need you to make sure I stay alive. 

While you lay your lips on mine
After a few glasses of chocolate flavoured wine
I need you to look deep into my eyes
Only to make sure my soul isn’t anticipating the day that it dies. 

In between taking off my shirt
And sliding my draws to the side underneath my mini skirt
I need you to check for self harm scars
Only to lecture me on the pain others would go through trying to write my memoirs. 

After we’re both weak from breathtaking trembles
And you lay next to this body that was once a temple
I need you to move away if I ever try to hold on to you like I was holding on to life
Only to reiterate that just like me, you will never need me like a husband needs his wife. 

I need you like I need to get over my situation
But most of all,
I need you to make sure I survive
That I don’t reach for a knife
Or threaten to take my own life
I. Need. You.

A.

I’m Sorry. 

I’m sorry for the nights that you lay,
Awake for hours on end with your mind restless.
Soaked in perspiration, feeling uncomfortable in your wetness,
I’m sorry that I walked away.

I’m sorry for the lies, I know it sounds cliché,
But it’s not you it’s me, I had no true insight.
I let hate burn so bright, it didn’t take much to ignite,
I’m sorry that I couldn’t meet you halfway.

I’m sorry for the feelings I failed to portray,
Truth is, your name was engraved on my heart like an untreatable plaque.
In a world full of straight lines, I’ve never been the kind to slack,
I’m sorry that I watched my feet while they ran astray.

A.

Answer Me. 

Can a bird fly without its wings?
Or can a kangaroo hop without its feet?
When a duck loses its beak, be watchful of the nonsense it brings.
Like you’d expect a guard dog without its senses to always result in defeat.

What good is a great eagle with poor visuals?
What importance is a hummingbird with weak vocals?
Like trees without flowers fail to attract,
And relationships without affection tend to fall apart.

How was I supposed to stay in love with you?
How exactly was I supposed to make it through?
When you destroyed the one thing that I hoped will stay in tact,
When you destroyed my heart?

A.

I Write Poetry. 

I lie in bed and write poetry all day
It’s a secret, don’t tell anyone, don’t let word stray.
Sometimes it’s my reality and other times, it’s my deepest fears
But I can’t confess to my forbidden lover really existing or ever wanting to drown in my own bucket of tears.
Please don’t ask me what’s true and what’s fake,
I may curl up and fall apart in my own dismay, until my eyes begin to ache.

I stand in the shower and create lyrical poetry
That’s how I get through 10 minutes trapped in that tiny tiled dungeon –
The only way I can express my fears openly.
I try to look for similarities between the water engulfing my frail physical frame,
And the fear that overcame me the last time I called out his name.
Please don’t ask what happens when I forget parts of the poetry I created in that moment,
I may end up trembling with fear and never get the courage to put words on paper again.

I lie back in bed and attend to my half written works of art all night long
There are so many incomplete pieces, so many incomplete songs.
The type I can’t sing out loud,
It’s my own creation, shouldn’t I be proud?
My mind harbours chunks of incomplete prose,
Multiple unfinished thoughts.
Please don’t ask me why I can’t finish those,
I may end up with a heart beating fast and my stomach all tied up in knots.

A.

Will You Remember?

Will you remember the smile across her face in the midst of adversities?
The curve of her lips,
Not half as wide as the curve on those hips.
The sad wrinkles at the corners of those eyes,
How special it must have felt knowing only you knew that these were all lies.
Will you recall those memorable maladroit movements when she tried to dance?
Like this was a competition, like the world was her prize?

Will you remember every arched back and rolled back eyes?
Those interactions that only required gasps and quivers
Inner jokes which started with one but ended with two fingers.
Moments where she was so overwhelmed, all she could do was stutter
Will you search through foul memories?
Like it were a fantasy, like it were fiction?

Will you remember to laugh at every turn and every corner?
The illusion that in your next lives you were going to be New Yorkers.
While thinking about the story behind every spot and every hideout
Will you promise to laugh like things were normal, like things were safe
Like an adventure wasn’t what this was all about?

Will you remember me?

A.

PSA: November.

Hey lovies!

Can you believe it’s November already? Because I can’t. Time really flies when you’re living your best life haha.

A few years ago, my mum popped out a beautiful girl who was destined for greatness and I bet she thanks God everyday for choosing her to conceive such a gem. If you haven’t figured it by now, I am that gem. I would assume you all know my birthday seeing as I come up with an outstanding birthday post each November. At this point I’m asking myself what the actual purpose of this post is too. Read on…

November is always a reflective month for me because I believe personal growth is crucial in unlocking your full potential. It is only through reflecting that I can evaluate my growth curve in the past year and then decide on areas in which I’d like to improve on. To be honest, I continuously assess my character, thoughts and actions with each passing day but it’s a lot deeper closer to my birthday.

Usually I only look back a year however, this year’s completely different. My growth curve between 2016 and 2017 definitely has a steeper gradient than all of my other growth curves combined and like McDonald’s, I’m loving it. I’m a whole new person with a completely different outlook on life. It’s almost like I don’t know the person I was before 2017.

As a way of reflecting this month (and also allowing myself to be lazy by not writing new posts), I’m going to be posting 7 poems over the next few weeks. These are really special poems to me because they were featured on Metrolife234.com, a Nigerian online magazine. Also because I wrote them during trying times and at a point where happiness was an unfamiliar entity. It is so amazing to look back at the pieces I wrote three years ago and be proud of the art I created when my circumstances didn’t encourage creativity. Am I allowed to call myself talented? 🤔

That’s all for now!
I hope you enjoy the rest of November. If anyone needs me, I’d be on my bed cringing at the situations where I allowed irrelevant people feel relevant.

A.