A Monument of Smiles / Ayoola Goodness

they say to dream is safe. it is there we can laugh

without fear—and tonight the lions steal our sleep

and harvest our dreams—unfair. we sit. on fear.

somehow we tuck happiness into torn places

beneath this skin. places scourged by the scepter of

snakes we clad in the silk of

sons. this happiness is light. threads.

and somewhere the night is not too sure of us. of tomorrow.

we do not trust to open our eyes and find mother

still watering our wreck withered-ness and

wilderness in tears and blood. morning is

death. a new war. mother is mockery in the music of the mocking bird.

this is a-den. we draw close to light

at the tail of torture. happiness

is light. but this happiness is lite. the road

to the fun is a footpath to fiends furnace and fire. this

happiness. is lite.

i still don’t know how

in death and desolation we find the reason

to smile. we look at the graves of our burnt

mothers. bodies bent into mourning. yet we smile

maybe the grave is the answer. a rouse of peace. maybe

the grave is not after all a strange place where we could hang

souls sole and smile. a rest in peace.

i am afraid we are repetitions for powers. and this tale shall

repeat itself. and i am not afraid. if we burn

tonight. we burn.

a monument of smiles.

Goodness Olanrewaju Ayoola is a poet and teacher of English . His poetry has appeared in poetry journals and anthologies. Few of his poems have garnered awards and translated into Assemese. He is currently an International Director of  the World Union of Poets and was one of the judges for the 2016 Green Authors Prize (GAP) sponsored by  Words Rhymes and Rhythms. He is the author of ‘Meditations’, a collection of poems. He has an NCE in English and Yoruba languages and a B.A (ed) in English.

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