Two Poems by Owolusi Lucky


I won't give you my mother's recipes

My mother is a warrior, daily

Conquering spawns of war, their dried 

Fingers breath away from our bones.

I often wonder how phone works, how

So far one can be so close.

How, stays with us when evening dies young.

Or morning is born prematurely.

How my mother by her stove gently mix 

Ingredients with names so complex their history

Is a biography of her mother’s

Mother, and mother, and aunties, and..

Making me wonder how?

Like each one donated a grain into

The joy she brewed in those days, when hope

Was her spoon.

Many things were made in wars that lives after.

But her recipes were lost in their languages.

I try to collect them now, they stayed behind 

My tongue dying by the evening light.

Like wings of birds left in their nests.

Locust beans, and melon, a little fried-

Not too long, 

Other things so cheap they blend with the tongue.

How do we reconcile peace with wars?

If taste of war, was mixed with peaceful

Scent from my mother’s kitchen.

If only I can remember recipes

For such peace, I still won't tell you.

How will I give you this taste of peace?

Without exalting wars that gave birth to it.

The help

Looking through the window, blooms of cultured

Garden undulate like flapping wings merging

With rhythm of wind.

Inside here, everything is sand and air.

In this pool of molten glasses, loneliness 

Weave about her sunflower petaled gown, 

Like ashes on petals, by soot of miner’s lamp.

Newspaper unread glare from neat pile.

 Many hours, her porcelain face told stories

In wetness. In that wetness, we were born.

Sleepy cat by her lap snooze lazily. 

She embraces the mirror incessantly,

Her ironed gown without wrinkle since dawn.

Marble wall reflects golden plates.

Hour hand takes a dive.

The rail vibrates in distance, its last call

For the evening.

Greyness of the world are wretched orphan 

Under their evening light. Silver spoons, champagne,

Candles almost burnt through; greasy dinners cold.

 I fake a cough to awaken them to the hour.

“Shall we then sing a hymn?” She asks him, 

Steering her eyes from her phone screen.

 He nods, his wrinkled fingers, caressing 

Pages of The Blind Watch Maker.

His assurances are smoke he puffs 

Into the air, stinging her nubile face.

Under golden chandeliers.

Air charge with spores of affections, hovering,

Never landing. Hour hand begin climbing.

“Goodnight love”

He cut the dead silence with a faint voice

And tap his cane towards the stairs.

Oh god! give me nightmares, not this again,

 Not these marbles.

Give me bowl of lettuce, with water. 

Not this antique, and mannequin.


Owolusi Lucky is a Nigerian writer. He writes poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. He has published or has work forthcoming in Noctivagant press, Crosscurrent, America Diversity Report, Afrorep, Decolonial Passage, Zoeticpress, Hallowzine, Scars publication, Sweety Cat Press, Macromicrocosm, Dietmilkmag, Collegevilleinstitute, Overtly Lit, and elsewhere. He shares his thoughts on and can be found on Twitter @mighty_scribe


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