2 POEMS By Tukur Ridwan

love as a collateral damage

just after a woman found love

in a man after her prayers— a frontline

soldier     strong enough to shoulder 

her lifetime cravings

               war took him away 

for the unrequited love of a country—

a home devoid of roofing 

caring so little about the survival 

of the common man

whose consent is sought

               on a grocery bag—

imported from another country 

that once upon a time fed

    on their plantations—

grown by slaves

           of posterity 

and the back of prosperity is turned

          on our future—

compromised by our fathers 

             to whom we are bastards—

overseen by history with the 

magnifying glass of memories

of our grandfathers who fought

the wars in khakis and agbadas

just after she found love again

      in the nuptial knot 

of two tribes

         the unrequited love 

for a country borrowed him 

        without a collateral of hope 

war carried him away

        on his shoulders 

without bringing

him back on a dance of victory   

her love life 

was  a collateral damage 

for her fatherland 

could a country not be worse 

than  a deadbeat dad?

instructions to the heavy soul

you are not always a vacuum 

of silence or echoing vanity—

maybe sometimes only—

but you should not incarcerate

your whole life in one limb

only— I once broke my bones

trying to contain the weights

in my head, then I learnt— 

you are not to be a scale for the 

tonnes of your mountains of gloom— 

in their caves are your silence

in your silence are the storms

in your storm is a lightening

of recreation. I would loose myself

in layers, in a book of blank pages

or in the warm body of my lover

like a swimming pool— either way

I would pour myself into a cup

of bliss— the taste of her coffee

at mornings. I would overflow 

the weight of my burdens because

I know I could always live

for every dream, I would wake

to live above all suffocations

I have found many ways to breathe

who dare restricts water behind

it’s shore without seeing a reclamation

encroaching his neighborhood?

the resilience of earth is not

for the boastfulness of asteroids

Biography

Tukur writes from a coastal axis in Lagos Island. His poems have appeared in Poemify Magazine, EBOquills, Rising Phoenix, Libretto, Nigiga Review, BBPC Anthology, The Quills and elsewhere. He won the Brigitte Piorson Monthly Poetry Contest (March 2018) and shortlisted in few others. He explores the vastness and transcience of existence.