Crank shrapnels


I found this song in the middle of

dark places and piercing catchwords,

formaldehyde air and an unplaced Requiem

that wears a rhythm that resemble me

 so much –


This song was sang in a distant place

where gloom was chiefly in a communal fest

and it feels just like here -home


How starkness is a flower that blooms in

every sphere of the world and how children never

become free of their childhood memories and never

mend from the little broken things they condescend into

as they blossom into adulthood to become sad poets,

and suicide bombers /militants /killers.


The new telegraph reeled out this morning;


” let us close schools and send

 Our children to war – Yemeni Minister “


Picture young boys lying inhumed

in the earth. and dreams lying in craters

– unclaimed, unlived, dead -just like their

owners. Or youths carving their mouths into

a request to kids from Maryland to fill a

bank teller. Or grieving mothers searching for

the carcasses of their sons.


I found this poem waiting to be

hanged on a guava tree.



Fighting wars


The last time I saw her

She was in that red kimono



                     Her head buried in the

                     grey balaclava like a cumulus Cloud

                     herself retroflexing a Fez.


Staffed loofah and daffodils ,

She bore a collanded palette

an artist’s cry.


                       a perforated Fleur-de-lis and

                       a caricature of everything rotten

                       and burnt


pestled things in a contracted

boloche -withered rosemary

and damp upholsteries.


                         Leaving home for pastures

                         Incognito and rainbow of feelings



I imagine her again whistle

and walk past the church after

the turning –


                         On a December evening.

                         Memory overlapping into a sweeping wind

                         and her face a castrated history



she pawned a furtive ambivalence

shared in between an undetermined War

A revolt// choice// little things // abyssal


                          I don’t know if she has found peace

                          Or certitude or other things she sought

                          But women like her subsist in swamps

                          and can be found scarcely – darkly defiant.



About wars.


In wars,

we never find the

missing body parts.

we only count the

stars on the bodies

of the dead. and perform

ablution with their bloods


and pick the remains of

our father’s broken



voices around fire resonates.

in anguish and pain. our wind

pipes get stuffed with cries of

  eli eli lama saba thani


we let their half-burnt body

     or drilled body

        or smashed heads

  form a shape

on our minds.


then we paint a street

on our memory lanes.

             then we stretch a corner

and there we dump their images

and struggles and dreams.

and sometimes we visit them there.



About the Poet

Oluwapelumi Francis Salako lives and writes from Ogbomoso, western Nigeria. His poems has appeared or are forthcoming in kalaharireview, WS Africa, dwarts, tuck magazine and Elsewhere. He is the pioneer of #wakaabout, a street photography project dedicated to the daily struggle of the common people