Three poems by Kola Tubosun, from his recently published chapbook


A Wait

Is like a knife, slowly cutting
A dead limb of recurring expectations.
Night after night, like an onion,
Hand-made tears run through each opening sleeve.

A wait is like a fire, burning
Cackling wicks on two ends of a candle.
Two (now three) hearts approach the centre,
Slow and melting with the wax of distance.

A wait is air and water, a stretch
Of land beyond where the eyes can see.
It brings with it, in the end, a human bundle
Many months removed from this wetness of earth.

Attempted Speech

Ta-ba-tabatabata –
Sooner or later, the proverb promises,
The stammerer says ‘baba’ or his father’s name.

Slices of thoughts that
Come through in mangled morphemes
Only charm the tears off his mother’s eyes

And the crumbs of bitter kola
Chewed in the excitement of knowing pride
Off his father’s tongue.

Age dances like the rain
On corrugated eaves of desires,
Pouring thoughts into short, formless vats

And the man emerges, as slowly as he can,
Tongue first, approaching language in angry bits
Like a hundred men fighting.

February Love

Love peeps through the screen, many miles away
In rough, rumbled beats of a new toddler’s heart;
Dark, with restless tiny fingers gripping winter’s tray.

Weird happy tingling pokes of a creation complete
Commenced with many yells, and now another start:
New breath into a complex palette and dizzying street.

Ẹniafẹ́, the one we wanted, the stylish, fanciful guest,
And his father’s edge in repose, art in blood of new hues.
His mother’s rock chiseled in the dreams of harvest.

The world will not end. Not now, for the fresh terrain,
And tomorrow nod to better selves and better views.
Here is a new earth, embodied, like a bitty human grain.

He is here, bouncing. He is here, bouncing. He is here.
He is here. He is here, bouncing. He is here, bouncing.

Kola Tubosun is a linguist, teacher and writer, whose professional experience span work as an editor, blogger, translator, and language teacher at different levels of school education. He has worked as a Fulbright foreign language professor at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and as an adult literacy teacher/volunteer at the International Institute in St. Louis, Missouri. He currently teaches English language at Whitesands School, Lagos, Nigeria.