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 &
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.
bad air, bullet holes & grave-beds.
Olumide Manuel is a Nigerian poet & teacher. He expresses his immediate and personal realities in poems and songs.