Spotlighting Pan-African Poetry

Biography

Lineage

Enlarge poem

during draught
days crumble
between hazy resistance
and forgotten legacies

there is a violence in the past
like an old bomb
lusty and hidden
left unattended
breeding surprise

each cell charged
with minute information
carried over
in a web of complexities

brighter than the scope
of the sun’s rays
and more intricate
than the formulas
of advanced physics

we can figure it out
but we cannot grasp
the connection
truly

every cell remodeled
to incidents sustained
multiplying in its own big bang

without witness we change
get born Rearrange adjust
and straddle to cover the distance

between past and reborn
lies a vast lake of unknown memories
floating uncared for

unhook it, reclaim it
and glue it back together
glue it back together
scrapbook of human evolution

there is a violence in the past
it resonates in many octaves
dissolves in skewed overtones
snoozes lazily
like a cat on a fence in the summer heat

content and unassuming
yet ready to jump
at every move made

repulsive wars cling on the inside of skin
oozing pus from ulcerated attempts of resolution

the damage
not undone
seeps deeper
than structures
we could ever name

there is a violence
trapped within
brittle the earth
that binds us
running through our toes
vanishing before its course can be traced

in the vacuum left
the muffled sound distorts

the earth echoes
dim exasperation

there is a violence
in the past
defiance
will make it pass
contriving a halt
here

Olumide Popoola

Featured Poem:

pas[sed]t

Enlarge poem

when over dust
we layer impact
riddle it heavy
with soiled biographies

when over “couldn’t do
the Russian doll thing,
the mould would not wrap
smoothly, it chafed”

let alone how awkwardly
it stuck out on one side
peeling away, just peeling
and then what to do
with the debris?

if we had known how
you must never this or that
would we have kneaded yet another?
break differently in company?

sorries could have been more
frequent, like the calls midday
for any type of great offer
but what if I don’t own

the house I live in?
or the windows that need replacing?
and the sink still drips away upstairs
so used, the mould, it sticks

by now we should’ve been up the ladder
the frog in the glass does it towards sunshine
hitting eventually, you must admit
the ceiling, not the roof

I’m climbing. if so,
are we to meet?

everything would have been quiet
when over, the return solely to reminisce
and sure, here too you could find a violent key
piece it all together so.

I’d pay! and pledge to consumerism
that it belonged to the inner world
like water belongs to
drawing and expelling

when over air
which always stretches infinite
never restarts
we layer impact
hold no longer
nothing is fresher than this

I’m climbing. I am.
I’m climbing. only,
because I ran out of time.

Olumide-Popoola

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (0)
  • Pride (0)
  • Optimism (1)
  • Anger (0)
  • Delight (0)
  • Inspiration (1)
  • Reflection (0)
  • Captivation (0)
  • Peace (0)
  • Amusement (0)
  • Sorrow (0)
  • Vigour (0)
  • Hope (1)
  • Sadness (1)
  • Fear (1)
  • Jubilation (0)

Comments

Your email address will not be published.

Biography

Olumide Popoola is a London-based Nigerian German author, poet, performer and speaker who presents internationally, often collaborating with musicians or other artists. She has published fiction, drama, poetry and essays in magazines, journals, newspapers, memoirs and anthologies since 1988.

The scope of her work concerns critical investigation into the ‘in-between’ of culture, language and public space where a, sometimes uncomfortable, look at complexity is needed.

Olumide holds a BSc in Ayurvedic Medicine and a MA in Creative Writing. She is currently a PhD candidate in Creative Writing at the University of East London for which she is working on a novel that expands on her interest in cross-genre work, and the notion of vernacular or hybrid languages as literary opportunities for social and cultural change.

In 2004 she won the May Ayim Award in the category Poetry in 2004 (the first Black International Literature Award in Germany).

She has received grants, fellowships and residencies from UEL, Djerassi, Künstlerdorf Schöppingen and Hedgebrook, amongst others.

Her novella this is not about sadness is her first book-length work of fiction, published by Unrast Verlag in 2010 through their ‘insurrection notes’ imprint. Her play Also by Mail was published in February 2013 by Witnessed (edition assemblage).

She aims to finish the novel that is her PhD project in 2014/15.

Olumide Popoola

Olumide-Popoola
Olumide-Popoola

Biography

Olumide Popoola is a London-based Nigerian German author, poet, performer and speaker who presents internationally, often collaborating with musicians or other artists. She has published fiction, drama, poetry and essays in magazines, journals, newspapers, memoirs and anthologies since 1988.

The scope of her work concerns critical investigation into the ‘in-between’ of culture, language and public space where a, sometimes uncomfortable, look at complexity is needed.

Olumide holds a BSc in Ayurvedic Medicine and a MA in Creative Writing. She is currently a PhD candidate in Creative Writing at the University of East London for which she is working on a novel that expands on her interest in cross-genre work, and the notion of vernacular or hybrid languages as literary opportunities for social and cultural change.

In 2004 she won the May Ayim Award in the category Poetry in 2004 (the first Black International Literature Award in Germany).

She has received grants, fellowships and residencies from UEL, Djerassi, Künstlerdorf Schöppingen and Hedgebrook, amongst others.

Her novella this is not about sadness is her first book-length work of fiction, published by Unrast Verlag in 2010 through their ‘insurrection notes’ imprint. Her play Also by Mail was published in February 2013 by Witnessed (edition assemblage).

She aims to finish the novel that is her PhD project in 2014/15.

Lineage

Enlarge poem

during draught
days crumble
between hazy resistance
and forgotten legacies

there is a violence in the past
like an old bomb
lusty and hidden
left unattended
breeding surprise

each cell charged
with minute information
carried over
in a web of complexities

brighter than the scope
of the sun’s rays
and more intricate
than the formulas
of advanced physics

we can figure it out
but we cannot grasp
the connection
truly

every cell remodeled
to incidents sustained
multiplying in its own big bang

without witness we change
get born Rearrange adjust
and straddle to cover the distance

between past and reborn
lies a vast lake of unknown memories
floating uncared for

unhook it, reclaim it
and glue it back together
glue it back together
scrapbook of human evolution

there is a violence in the past
it resonates in many octaves
dissolves in skewed overtones
snoozes lazily
like a cat on a fence in the summer heat

content and unassuming
yet ready to jump
at every move made

repulsive wars cling on the inside of skin
oozing pus from ulcerated attempts of resolution

the damage
not undone
seeps deeper
than structures
we could ever name

there is a violence
trapped within
brittle the earth
that binds us
running through our toes
vanishing before its course can be traced

in the vacuum left
the muffled sound distorts

the earth echoes
dim exasperation

there is a violence
in the past
defiance
will make it pass
contriving a halt
here

Featured Poem:

pas[sed]t

Enlarge poem

when over dust
we layer impact
riddle it heavy
with soiled biographies

when over “couldn’t do
the Russian doll thing,
the mould would not wrap
smoothly, it chafed”

let alone how awkwardly
it stuck out on one side
peeling away, just peeling
and then what to do
with the debris?

if we had known how
you must never this or that
would we have kneaded yet another?
break differently in company?

sorries could have been more
frequent, like the calls midday
for any type of great offer
but what if I don’t own

the house I live in?
or the windows that need replacing?
and the sink still drips away upstairs
so used, the mould, it sticks

by now we should’ve been up the ladder
the frog in the glass does it towards sunshine
hitting eventually, you must admit
the ceiling, not the roof

I’m climbing. if so,
are we to meet?

everything would have been quiet
when over, the return solely to reminisce
and sure, here too you could find a violent key
piece it all together so.

I’d pay! and pledge to consumerism
that it belonged to the inner world
like water belongs to
drawing and expelling

when over air
which always stretches infinite
never restarts
we layer impact
hold no longer
nothing is fresher than this

I’m climbing. I am.
I’m climbing. only,
because I ran out of time.

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (0)
  • Pride (0)
  • Optimism (1)
  • Anger (0)
  • Delight (0)
  • Inspiration (1)
  • Reflection (0)
  • Captivation (0)
  • Peace (0)
  • Amusement (0)
  • Sorrow (0)
  • Vigour (0)
  • Hope (1)
  • Sadness (1)
  • Fear (1)
  • Jubilation (0)

Lineage

Enlarge poem

during draught
days crumble
between hazy resistance
and forgotten legacies

there is a violence in the past
like an old bomb
lusty and hidden
left unattended
breeding surprise

each cell charged
with minute information
carried over
in a web of complexities

brighter than the scope
of the sun’s rays
and more intricate
than the formulas
of advanced physics

we can figure it out
but we cannot grasp
the connection
truly

every cell remodeled
to incidents sustained
multiplying in its own big bang

without witness we change
get born Rearrange adjust
and straddle to cover the distance

between past and reborn
lies a vast lake of unknown memories
floating uncared for

unhook it, reclaim it
and glue it back together
glue it back together
scrapbook of human evolution

there is a violence in the past
it resonates in many octaves
dissolves in skewed overtones
snoozes lazily
like a cat on a fence in the summer heat

content and unassuming
yet ready to jump
at every move made

repulsive wars cling on the inside of skin
oozing pus from ulcerated attempts of resolution

the damage
not undone
seeps deeper
than structures
we could ever name

there is a violence
trapped within
brittle the earth
that binds us
running through our toes
vanishing before its course can be traced

in the vacuum left
the muffled sound distorts

the earth echoes
dim exasperation

there is a violence
in the past
defiance
will make it pass
contriving a halt
here

Comments

Your email address will not be published.