There Has Never Been A Mantra For This

without myself

i swim to the horizon

in search of misty, grey-blue safety,

to listen to gut-voices.


Questions arise.

How to handle softly –

still handle smoothly?

Endure my body’s noise?

Withstand the self-shouting-ragin’,



non-collective of bone-muscle, energy and emotion?


In the many of life’s aftermaths,

i encounter, internalised ponds of splitting from oneself

dealing-leaning (amidst a site uninhabitable)

as it prickles into stretching backspace and

a hip opener

where the danger, the past,

gushes through openings forced in the dark.


i fear the dive into the dark.


Over seasons,

the violence of before

becomes violence of my inside(s)

with my uninhabitable body containing too many stale voices;

contaminating heart-blood

– they made my body a host.


Outsider anger streams and mingles with my own.

Fractured into many knots, now surfacing unshakable.


More knots when i want unfazed waters,

non-threatening and non-radical;

just the same collective story of inherited trauma tides.

i refuse to commodify the autobiographic but


i want to move;


to both carry and pass through.

To not reject tales but scribble-deepen

the hot-blooded gut-voices,

that usually rip-flash into a knot

pulling inwards, downwards,

searing-shouting outwards…

Gut away.

Get away!


In 1987, i screamed out into the world.

One lung collapsed, skin yellowed by organ failure,

fitting in one palm of a paternal hand.

Instantaneously, i.


i grow, i quieten,

i begin collecting.


Much later, there is a grip onto bedsheets.

Gritting teeth, clenched jaw,

a loss of time and order.

Memory as flashes.

i begin living with a permanently interrupted thread,

with markings of trespassers.

Alien entry leaving shame in its wake.


There has never been a mantra for this.

For recovery from this.

Only eternal attempts to ground through pain

– buoyant elation is too risky.

i choose to itch-etch my words as they grate

down pavements and silence social gatherings. 


My body; an elastic, fantastic, fantasist, takes the long way round to munch numbness.




Dig the pen in.

Let ink run.

Let it un-parch feelings so that one day,

i still cannot tell you how it feels.

Within and without is all


but (with sci-fi premonition)

i radiate my pieces outwards.


They have healed,

warmed under acceptance of each fragment.


Mountains at midnight;

spines forgotten in the mist,

goddesses on their backs.

All is thick.

Ancient and renewed.

A sigh




(* ‘pele’ a sympathetic ‘I’m sorry’ in yoruba. My uncle uses it in rare moments of empathy.)

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