Poetry: Patchworky Threnody for Bullet Holes by Olumide Manuel

Olumide Manuel’s “Patchworky Threnody for Bullet Holes” works, through protest poetry and song, to condemn the actions of those who subjugate the Nigerian citizenry by force. Also, with a justified and eloquent pen, Manuel simultaneously uplifts and champions everyday Nigerians, and their efforts at “purging the bad air,” which eerily reminds us of the best of Neruda’s poetry and Picasso’s Guernica.


Patchworky Threnody For Bullet Holes

                                                                                           for the victims of #Lekkimassacre &

                                                                               resulting chaos

from you, the air carved a burning citadel

of blood, smoky arteriotomies for orphans

of blank cartridges.


from you, the last birdsong leaked in tears

washing the name of your god ashore,

sacrosanct   of holy anthems.


from you, a stillborn prayer, a hypograph

of hopes. a missile intrudes your neck

and wisps away your dreams.


from you, gossamered comfort interpones

the tears of your siblings rocking

your sleeping body, proxy for grave-beds.


from you, ossuaries of a freedom fight

walk through the vandalised night

into our hollowed bodies.

into our hollowed we

into our howelcome

into this fire

this grief

this anarchy

this gyration

this anger

into our this ruin

into our hollopurging

into our hollowed bothe

bad air, bullet holes & grave-beds.




Olumide Manuel

Olumide Manuel is a Nigerian poet & teacher. He expresses his immediate and personal realities in poems and songs.  

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