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In this poem,
Nothing is carved to prick you
and bleed you of your blood.
But around the hem of this poem,
something is born to prick your soul
& bleed you of anything,
anything dark that eats away
at your mind, making anything
you touch will & break into violence.

Today, a brother’s blood
is used to wet the parched-thirsty
throat of the earth.
Tomorrow, a sister’s body is hacked
to add vitality to the soil.

If a man wants to measure the weight
of his strength, let him do so
but blood is too much a jewel
to be compared a gold & diamond.
Let silence replace this noise,
that each time it goes off,
a brother’s cry is heard.

under the sheets

Let us gather around a table,
Sieve off anything that drips death and carnage.
Hold to our chest dear anything
that illuminates tranquillity
& orderliness
& joy.

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Ayiyi Joel is a teenage budding poet from Nigeria.

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