1 POEM By Blessing Omeiza Ojo

A Treasure from an Asian Friend

I never stop wondering why I reside here, 

beneath the string of a circumference, where

some persons hide in the shadow of the equator

whispering death into the ears of a dreaming lad.

I no longer dream: my body could sink – 

too much weight of dead dreams buried in it.

In my chat with an Asian friend this morning,

I said I wanted to leave for a place where I could dream,

a place where dreams could flourish into figs. 

I did not say more than this.

When it is said you do not point to your father’s hut

with a left hand, it means it is a taboo 

to speak ill of your home to a stranger.

Let it be that my father flaunts his flaws to the world.

I am sure my friend has a television in his room,

which he pokes each time he wants to view

the relics of fallen bodies or something else, elsewhere.

What the gusty wind carries does not hang

in the middle of nowhere:

how long before he sees my father in the news,

stripping himself bare before everyone?

My friend responded: dear friend, sing – a’ pore.

By this he meant my worries be soothed with poetry,

or songs of hope and keep a watch over a tiny interstice,

admitting absorption of my dreams into a haven,

where black bodies like me are safe to dream

and safer than in a place termed fructuous land,

yet being black means being monstrous.

Biography

Blessing Omeiza Ojo was born in Omavi, Okehi LGA, Kogi State, Nigeria. In September 2018, his song ‘This Campaign is a Roadshow’ won second runner-up prize of Brigitte Poirson Poetry Contest. In April 2019, he won the 9th Korea/Nigeria Poetry Prize (Ambassador Special Prize) with his poem ‘Arirang.’