2 Poems from Oladejo Abdullah Feranmi : Mo(u)rning Candles & Highly Damned

(photo from pixabay)

Mo(u)rning candles

And these poems are a museum of me 
no matter how beautiful and ugly 
the prints fit your shoes. I carry my body 
an ocean so you can vast your wing 
about the blueness of my reflection. 
My body is a beach tiding grief 
even if I cough the yellowest sun. No matter 
how hard I burn bright, I can't put off 
these shadows. Or stop making teeth 
off their bones. How do I tell the world 
that y'all going to the same place 
you came from? From dawn to dawn again 
and everything melts into dew.

Highly damned

I hated happening to myself since 
I will have to pay my hands if the result
comes empty-handed. How holy can curl 
sharp on a tongue— how bitter I burnt 
when it broke chain off my voice box. 
I melted into a puddle and waved 
to dawn's peace— how much dust 
you can gather when your body 
is an hourglass 
my heart ticking me there. 
Every breath I take collapses a grain 
through the walls of my chest— I've seen 
enough of the past to call the window a mirror
—A reflection threw into the future 

Biography; Oladejo Abdullah Feranmi is a Veterinary medicine student at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, a submission reader at the sea glass literary magazine, and an editor for the incognito press. Pursuing his enthusiasm for poetry, He has his works published/forthcoming in Gone Lawn, Brave Voices Magazine, and a few more. He tweets from;@oaferanmi

Republished Poetry: How Love Becomes a Silhouette by Ifeoluwa Ayandele

Sunset, Tree, Water, Silhouette
from Pixabay

How Love Becomes a Silhouette

first published in Rhythm n Bones Lit Issue 6: Love

There is the song I dig deep
to break its lyrics: its rhythm

is in early school assembly
drums & watching happy

children running to school.
& sometimes, like loving

a girl who is water, the song
loses its chord, breaking into

a pond of my own teenage years
& how my first girlfriend slips

from memory becoming a true
fountain, gushing out like a proud

sea, drifting into cadence of candor
& how love becomes a silhouette

of song, or perhaps, a question mark
around my lips, asking rhetoric of yore.

Bio from 2019: Ifeoluwa Ayandele has completed his MA in English (Literature) at the University of Lagos, Nigeria. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Verse Daily, Rattle, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Little Stone Journal, Pidgeonholes, Peekingcat Poetry, Mojave He [art] Review, Burning House Press, Neologism Poetry Journal, Kin Poetry Journal, and elsewhere. He lives in Lagos, Nigeria and you can follow him on twitter @IAyandele

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with HEEM, the Writer (Ibrahim B. Ibrahim)

with HEEM, the Writer

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Heem: I first began to write in my early teenage years. I was, however, bundled to science class in 1999 after acing my JSC Exams in high school, driving me of course in my literary endeavors. I’d say writing did not stop for me despite this because it was a core part of everything I found myself doing over the years, but I only found my way back to creative writing in 2019, at 33, when I read and was stunned by Makena Onjerika’s Caine Prize winning story, Fanta Blackcurrant. My earlier influences include Chinua Achebe, James Hadley Chase, T.S. Eliot, Cyprian Ekwensi, and George Orwell.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Heem: My biggest influence today would be my environment. Of course there are a great number of people whose works I find inspiring, but my environment is the singular most influential factor in my writer-life right now. I should also mention though, that the crop of writers and poets emerging from Nigeria at this moment in time are such a powerful force, their influence is truly immense.

Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing? Have any travels away from home influence your work?

Heem: Most of my early childhood was in Ado-Ekiti, but some was also in Ilorin, both in Nigeria. Culturally, this placed me in the middle of Yoruba norms, folk-hood, and by extension, literature. This was not all, however, as many of Nigeria’s other (vast) cultures were also able to find their way in, helping me to have a truly beautiful and diverse literary foundation. Asides to Ghana and the countries along the way there from Nigeria (Benin and Togo), I’m yet to travel away from my immediate surrounding, but that has not stopped me being influenced by cultures worlds away. Literature and other art forms have been my way of spreading my wings and being anywhere and everywhere I want to be without the hinderance of borders or visas. I still have a lifelong dream of traveling the world though, and hopefully that will begin this year.

Q4: What do you consider the most meaningful work that you’ve done creatively so far?

Heem: This would be my yet-to-be-published collection of short stories which examined varying experiences of Africans in Africa and elsewhere across centuries. It explores different forms of storytelling, including the letter, diary entry, story within a story, and prose poetry. It is titled Dear Descendant(s) and was longlisted for the 2020 Dzanc Diverse Voices Prize. Many of the stories therein have been published in reputable journals, with some winning literary prizes.



Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be writer/poet?


My literary journey has not been a straightforward one, and so I have had these moments more times than one. The first was in early childhood, indulging in all the many books on my parents’ shelves and others that I found in school or exchanged with friends. I would also lay on mats at night with my grandmother to count the stars while she fed me stories after stories that helped to broaden my imagination. I always wondered about the authors and poets whose works I was reading and was so sure I wanted to be like them when I grew up. 

The most recent was when I walked away from a ten-year career in media and entertainment, specifically from the position of general manager at a foremost record label in Nigeria because of how much my creativity was being stifled. I just knew that reality wasn’t for me and I had to be able to express myself as freely and as meaningfully as I’m doing now.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Heem: There are so many, but if I’m to pick the most fulfilling, it will have to be spending time with my beautiful family, reading or executing ideas.

Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects that you’d like to promote?

Heem: Hopefully my manuscripts find publishers soon so I can have something major to promote.

Q8: What is a favorite line/stanza from a poem of yours or others?

Heem: I wish I could pick one line from a poem or song. One song that has huge significance for me though is ‘I Can’ by the rapper Nas. It was released at a time when I was in that juvenile delinquency stage, prone to all sorts of influences, but it came packed with so much positivity, real life facts, and reassurances for the future, especially coming from the genre of rap which otherwise was more popular for its angst and i-don’t-give-a-f**k attitude, and from a rapper who was one of my all-time favorites. The entire song is that one line for me.

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?


I know this is asking for the who, but I’ll have to answer with both the who and the what. With who, I’ve been lucky to meet a lot of amazing creatives who have been kind enough to help in a way or the other, but the most consistent has been Temitayo Olofinlua, a Nigerian writer and editor. It actually didn’t start all rosy between us, but that’s a story for another day. The story today is that she eventually became more convinced and more assured about my work and she’s been a pillar of support in more ways than one since then. 

The what has been my amazing writing group, put together by Joshua Kepreotis, a writer and friend from Kythira in Greece. The group has all these amazing writers from different corners of the world, all with varying perspectives that come together to form something truly beautiful. This group has helped my writing grow in more ways than I can enumerate.

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Timothy Ojo

with Timothy Ojo

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Timothy: I started writing poetry 2016. Before then, I had this love for writing any other thing. It was a passion I cannot really pinpoint where it came from. I read a lot of John Grisham, Niyi Osundare, Wole Soyinka, John Yeats and a host of others.
But for my poetry, African writers like Gbenga Adesina, Gbenga Adeoba, really intrigue me with their brilliant works.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Timothy: Ah. My biggest influence in my writing today is Ocean Vuong. His style is electric! The diction is soothing. The way he weaves words and how he climaxes, whoosh! He is a brilliant poet.

Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing/art? Have any travels away from home influenced work/describe?

Timothy: I grew up in Lagos, Nigeria. Lagos is a confluence city; a place where you meet every kind of person, every kind of ideologies, every kind of idiosyncrasies. It is hell and a haven; a incontrovertible sandwich of ugliness and beauty.

Q4: What do you consider the most meaningful work you’ve done creatively so far?

Timothy: Well, I think before I put my craft out there, I take my time. I like to think all of my works are meaningful. I still relive some of them. This is because every work I ever put out came from a place of meditation in solitude. I do cherish them. In other words, to me, all are meaningful.

Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

Timothy: Haha. Thing is, I knew I wanted to write poems after reading works of some writers and the flair with which they write always fascinated me. I wanted that, and I read a lot of them, then
naturally I reacted to my longing, by writing.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Timothy: I love to sing. A lot. I also watch soccer. I read too.

Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects you’d like to promote?

Timothy: https://t.co/wh0HfYEdFZ?amp=1 from the Hellebore Press Boy, Black, Man is the title of the poem

Q8: What is a favorite line from a poem of yours or others?


“you must take the shape of a running brook & dissolve everything that appears to make you a
slave in a regimented caste system”– Boy, Black, Man (Hellebore Press).

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

Timothy: Well, no one in particular. However, I get inspired by writers. Not just my favourites. There are amazing writers out there churning out incredible work. These guys inspire me to write.