Love and Life

Little-Yachtsman

“Little Yachtsman” by Amanda Jackson

He cannot be the love of your life
if what he has is the love of your life,
not the love of you.
He praises you because you have this,
and you can do that,
but those things removed,
he wouldn’t know what to do with you;
you would have no use to him.

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Stages of Life

Arodan Image

Things do not end
because they weren’t meant to be,
but because they were.
Predestined,
planned,
timed,
like a stage play,
to be seen,
to be experienced,
to be felt,
to be learnt from.

As soon as the play is done,
and the end begins,
actors should take front-row seats
and watch their own work-
what they could have done better,
what they should do and not do
in the next play,
as opposed to regretting
that they took part in it
in the first place,
as awkward as it may seem,
as much as it may hurt.

You Make Wings Fly

Freedom

“Freedom” by Tabetha Landt

Wings don’t make you fly;
they’re useless without the mind.
Wings need you to fly.
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JHR

Love: Wings and Legs

Collete Miller.png

Painted by Collete Miller

Love gives you wings, 
but when the wings are abruptly taken away, 
your legs are yanked off too.

Love, after it is withdrawn,
leaves you somewhat paralyzed.

And so,
first,
you have to grow a new pair of legs-
the process hurts like a “modafocka”.

Then you develop an irrational fear of wings,
which is funny,
but also sad.

Grand Illusion

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Love is simply a
chocolate-covered almond-
a grand illusion.

Not One to be Fucked With

I am an ant hill.
I like to let you crush me
so I can laugh last.

H-A-P-P-WHY?

YemayaI was about 9 when my family was visited by armed robbers. I am going to leave a lot of details out, which is unlike me, but some memories never completely fade. The day after was one of the unhappiest and scariest days of my life, naturally, I suppose. 

I didn’t want to go to school, but my parents wanted me and my siblings out of the house, not just because there was too much going on in the neighbourhood, but because only sickness and death could save you from not going to school in my home. Even if someone was fatally ill or they died the day before, as long as it wasn’t you, you were expected to be in school the next day, no compromise. 

I remember that I was matching back to my class that morning- the morning after the attack- singing “WE ARE H-A-P-P-Y” back to class, on top of my lungs.

“We are h-a-p-p-y,
we are h-a-p-p-y,
we know we are,
we are SURE we are [sure? wtf?],
we are h-a-p-p-y,
happy!”

I wasn’t singing it on top of my lungs because I was excited, I was, because I was extremely livid- angry about many things. I wasn’t happy, I didn’t know if the person in front of me or behind me, all of us in matching uniforms, tiny, little juveniles, were happy, but I had to sing it anyway, to avoid being picked on or flogged.

I’m going to leave the name of the school that I was attending at that time out. The whole system itself is messed up; it’s not about one school.

Why would you flog a child for wearing old socks, or pick on a child for not bringing food during the end-of-the-year party? You don’t know the condition that the child is living in, you don’t know the trauma that the child is going through, you don’t know anything. Flogging a child because their school fee has not been paid is even the most fucked-up of all.

Now that you have flogged me- 15 strokes, have I vomited the 15 000 naira for the term? Ehn? You have not only completely embarrassed and abused me, you have injured my self-esteem a little, or a lot. 

I’ll stop here. I cry “ugly”, and I don’t want to shed tears where I am. I just STILL feel sorry for many of the children that I met when I was their age, and the millions that I didn’t get to meet.

As far as education is concerned in Nigeria, many things have to be corrected. Many things. 

I Don’t Make Law-ve

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I don’t want wings
that’ll just look good on me;
I’ll only wear wings
if they let me fly.

I don’t want wings
that’ll just put eyes on me;
I’d rather die twice
than live a lie.

Freedomination

Birdy

“The Heart of a Bird” by Colette Wirz Nauke

In your quest for freedom,
if you must fill your wings with anything,
or decorate your wings,
decorate them with feathers,
not gold.

With gold, other birds will stop by,
and admire your beauty,
and aspire to be like you,
and worship the ground beneath your feet.

The day of the storm will come,
the day of the storm is coming,
and on that day,
with extra feathers,
you will fly very quickly to safety.

The day of the storm will come,
the day of the storm is coming,
and on that day,
with golden, swollen wings,
your worshippers will leave you,
the rain will catch up with you,
and beat you till you can barely breathe.

Birds That Don’t Fly

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Why do certain birds have wings
and do not fly,
and when they do,
they don’t do so very high?

I don’t know.

Why do some animals have mouths
and do not speak,
and when they “do”,
all you get is a tiny, little squeak?

I don’t know.

Why does a woman have a womb
if she does not birth,
if she doesn’t attempt to,
if it’s not attached to her sense of worth?

I don’t know.

All I know, is that some birds do not fly,
because they don’t have to;
they don’t find food in the sky.
Many animals do not talk;
nothing has to be said,
to learn from a hawk. 

And lastly, now firstly, the woman.

Some women do not birth
because it’s not why they are on earth.
It doesn’t come up in their thoughts of romance;
wombman isn’t just child-maker, by any chance.


So, there are several children in the world who are suffering because their mothers are either late, or they were abandoned immediately after birth. That a child has a present mother isn’t even enough proof that they don’t suffer as a result of her horrible parenting approach. Some women gave birth because they were pushed to think that they just had to, and since, deep down, they never wanted to, the end results turned out to be horrible, almost catastrophic.

If you are so concerned about children, if they really mean so much to you, and that’s your motivating factor, why are you pressuring this one woman who doesn’t want to give birth (and not necessarily because she can’t), instead of worrying about the ones that the earth already has, that are dying constantly, due to inadequate care.

There are at least two approaches that people have to seeing a bird that is not flying. They think- well, she’s either in a cage, or she doesn’t know how to. Why don’t we go out of our way to teach her, and if she still doesn’t fly, we throw her in the air anyway, so she can break her leg. Better still, we cage her. Why should a bird just be on her feet, not flapping her wings, not singing, if she’s truly free?

Therefore, sir, ma, to whom this may concern, how can we best support you, so you can aspire to (at least) be sensible in the nearest future?