Again, We Shall Meet

We would meet at Hill of Ibadan again,
It is the promise we all make
At the line of departure, but
Who knows, which is true,

And who would hold firm
To purpose when survival
Becomes a war field and hope
Becomes a colored unicorn?

Every one of us keep to running
And let be of their promises,
It has been a long time on the road, the hair
Is greying, the heart grows wild flowers

Now and then, foreign woman is calling
You to her arms, your body full of wants
But it was never the reason you are here
In the first place, you have seen the flowers

Blossom, orchard of apples, you lived
Half of your life in the train, trying,
Trying to please your shifts, you know
You must forget the meeting place

And live to meet up with self before others,
No one tells you; surviving is harder
than living, and keeping promise of such;
Is a factor of how much you were able to keep your life.

When my brother promised to see me soon,
I wish for him to be able to see himself through,
Then I know we would surely see, not the train station
Reminding me of old relatives who could not

Find their ways out and him. And the sight of sea
Telling the tales of the ones whose tongues
Become an exilic gangrene, their dogs running
Beyond them, their guardian donkeys died

on the road. They turn birds of goodwill
and wishes. Hoping becomes their early morning
devotion, they could not promise further,
as it breaks when you could not fulfill promises

you made to yourself. Last night I stopped
promising myself the sight of another sunrise,
if by chance my poem says of a better place and
nice book; forgive my ignorance; they are

infatuations I could never live without.
Tomorrow, we would meet again…. again

a ghazal that never gets to bear the name of its author

the autumn speaks more of the harmony songs of birds, at Saskatchewan the winter eats up the moths of colors, it is what makes poets off us, the discovery of sounds at the inductions of poem, the uncovering of new dictions, I say it is miracle how poets do not get drowned in the trench of inquisition, how war are being fought and won in a minstrel’s scroll, how love gives hibiscus, snatch rose and stumps moan; it is unwise to be a poet’s foe, if one could not love any. In a long dream, I want my poem to speak the sea and listen the desert; do not tread the path of chaos, do not be like them, hundreds bounded by a unique loss, few living as misers; enslaved by memories of doom; déjà vu they could not stop, some seized by horrifying scenes of borders; existence between nothingness of camps and elegy of home. The music of exile has no chorus, breaks between the clefs, moment of silence for losses to be counted and ritual of grief to be observed, and interrogations at immigration cubicles, newly found artist; singing a ghazal that never gets to bear the name of its author.

Metaphors of Everything that Comes to Mind

Warning: the first stanza of each sub are metaphors of blandness.


Few of my mates now make it through the smoky room of louds.

I say I have a township of colleagues; half gave up their sanity, quarter are waiting for God's invasion,

Few gave up their nights and leisure, they asked for Zenith, there they are, as for me I am learning to give up half of my night and leisure, and ask for God's help for my insufficiencies and the apogee.


In a bus a man sings in a language I don't understand. To say I barely understand is a way of covering up for my ignorance.

I say we all have a song, where we all banish the satani and call governments owls, we all have a song for the road, another invocation that we return home like the hand-buccal journey, a way of telling our stories of survival to the road.


Metaphor is whatever you call it.

I say metaphor is a heaven the bombed stars go, garage of lies, for the surrealists, it is an ocean of salt they would never exhaust. I say mount it close to truth, it is not always a butterfly in your throat, moths are underrated in this part of the world, our fathers were moths thrown into the catacombs of the sea, the sea made butterflies off them.


In a garden a bat fell off a tree, turns everyone into gazelle, I don't know what they were fleeing from.

I say they failed to see the beauty in spoilt things, broken dinghies were once dinghies, they should never be left out in the ocean photography. If we all have to flee no one would bury their drowned uncles, no one would look the Egyptian mummies in the eyes, no one would read a surreal novel, or listen to the tales of death to praise the autumn in all of it.


At Agege Train Station, a man called this country our failed home.

I say what is this country if not a field of nightingale taking us into a question room, a white boy asking me where are you from? Why do you smell like burnt orchard, beard of dust and cracked soles? I say this country did not only fail us, it sold us into a market of abundant chaos.

FASASI ABDULROSHEED OLADIPUPO is a Nigerian poet, the author of a micro-chapbook "Sidratul Muntaha" (Ghost City Press, 2022), the recipient of The Storyteller Grant, and a nominee for Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net and Best New Poet. His work has been published or forthcoming at: Poetry South, Oakland Arts Review, Carolina Muse, ROOM, Potomac Review, Jet Fuel Review, Miracle Monocle, The Citron Review, Santa Ana River Review, Ambit Magazine, Southern Humanities Review, Oxford Review of Books, Olongo Africa, Stand Magazine, Louisiana Literature, GASHER Journal, and elsewhere.