"peace: within" and "Parable of Two Birds" by Ayòdéjì Israel
i have been stalking
peace for a while.
the bible says
there is no peace for the wicked;
i am not wicked,
i am just a pack of bones,
primed for exploit
in the soft hands of a god;
& my bod,
if heaven cares,
be clutched from the ambit of evil doers.
i have seen a family of six,
trimmed to a better size of three,
in my hometown.
how can you find ease in the story of a man,
clad in a sere kind of shirt,
& tall long trousers,
before dawn, and got out to finally
be lost in the stiff wind
that gulps people everyday?
heaven is to blame,
to have moulded that kind of wind
and rolled it upon us;
clogged in this heavy stream we call
peace is when
you, a gentle you,
born, with a wrinkled heart,
& a crinkled soul,
sup it into your
& hale a vast penance into
your novel heart. but i,
an embryo on earth,
hunts my mind, stares at the sky,
and find peace,
the threshold of my heart.
Parable of Two Birds
the life of a bird is great. but i know of two birds.
friends, well, lovely like two banana trees deeply rooted
by a stream. roots strung together in the shallow streets
on the outskirts of the stream. you can see their flat long
leaves, sitting upon each other like a pan fastened
upon woods with a very long nail. such is life; but
we live like we are fastened with little nails
upon old logs. the life of these birds flourished like
the bananas–green leaves, thick bodies, short white roots
living in loamy soil. here, the birds lived for years, & built
each other's nest with each other's mouth, firm. watched
over their babies together, in their nest. when a day came,
one felt the other was having too much babies–sharp,
witty, walk like paper canoe on walking waters. &
the other, old, with eggs falling off the nest and crack
away like glass bouncing on cemented spot, sets her mind
on fire, mad at the eggs of her friend. gets up one day, goes
into the other's nest when she had flown away, sat
on her eggs–her fat rich eggs, full of energy and vigour–&
again, stands up, spat on the eggs, breaks one with
her long mouth, filled the rest in her stomach, & flown
away. coming tomorrow to whisper into the ears of
her friend: "never mind, life happens, but God
will surely do a better one."
Ayòdéjì Israel is a student at the University of Ibadan, Ibadan. He hails from Abeokuta in Nigeria. He is known for being a poet, writer, a political activist, and many other things. One of his poems is forthcoming on Kreative Diadem Magazine.