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Boy & Song | Olumide Manuel

The Boy Called God

The boy called God walked among thorns,

had his rags as wings, and the winds as ash

There’s a transposing where he merged into

my dream as a folklore wounded with rhymes

The boy called God groomed a lily from the wounds 

mooring on his tongue, it ate a decaying aurora there,

and there it blossomed, mortally.

The boy called God painted himself into winds

& colourful phoenixes, an athame of obsidian flame

locked his wrist in a tango of silk & monsoons.

The potash at the edges of his name          has a name 

itself          the lily knew it          the lily called it       

it answered with moths.          So if this crude joy 

opening up in his belly withers, it will not matter

The calyxes in his dimples trapped enough sunshine 

to outlast the night, to power two miracles at both ends

of the dream— I, as a wounded boy walking into fire,

and I, as a lily-boy walking out of ashes.

James Blunt Screaming In My Head At The Protest Ground & I’m Grinning Too Hard For A Song That Ends With Sighs

Endless echo of prime afternoon.

This heat: byworks.

The smell of roasted cashew nuts

rise out of the back of her hands.

Her hairs

hurl mountain lions with wild wings.

whip the winds. whip my breaths.

Bloody me. sweaty me. [she chirrs

& I quench my last anxiety

i run my tongue along the metal song,

questioning de syntaxy of magnets]

For one, God knew, and she doesn’t.

She shouts the solidarity. her teeth

hold the glitters of ice mountains

When we shook hands            i felt

this confluence of energies.

It was warm. her hand in mine

makes sense of the sunshine craze.

This glow. this flow. 

see the way we alloy together

like a divine pair.

If this were another lifeform

she’d be the quiet that welcomes

my hurricane

The copple of a rock of a flood.


Olumide Manuel’s poetry has been featured on or forthcoming in Frontier Poetry, Feral Poetry, Club Plum Literary Journal, Sublunary Review, Twyckenham Notes, Gigantic Sequins, Grand Little Things and so on. He tweets @Olu_midemanuel