Three poems
Poetry (4/6)

Three poems

Ticking Bomb

A poem by Blessing Nwodo called Ticking Time bomb

Mama, you think that tiptoeing around a ticking bomb will stop it from exploding/that your holy water and holy book will transfer some holiness to a tainted temple/that bending and twisting yourself into shapes will straighten out the cooked nature of your husband.

Mama, you think that I am a a fool for not choosing the doormat path/For choosing to stand rigid, unshaken where you compromise you/think that wrapping your arms dusted with talcum powder around me/will shield me from the harshness of this spinning ball called home. 

Mama, I feel your pain clawing its way out of your chest/I feel your hands lined with the script of your experience/I know you want my own lines to be free of your ordeal/Well, sometimes I think you do.
An illustration by Greta Riondato of two people with dark brown skin embracing in a tangle of green and bright orange gemstone bedclothes
“Twisting yourself” by Greta Riondato (charcoal and digital media)

Does your pain bother you?

A poem called "Does your pain bother you?" by Blessing Nwodo. The lines are scattered in three to five word clumps across the page.

Then turn your pain into gold/melt it down in the hottest of furnaces/beat it with a hammer, shape your pain/place it on the anvil/liquified, red hot pain/pick up th eburning gold with your bare hands/it charred the skin off your bones as usual?/how else will you being smelting your pain? cool it down in ice cold water/wear it around your neck/flaunt your pain/sashay around iwth it/bare your pain/let it serve its purpose/release your pain/keep it in a jewelry box/hang it on a mannequin/admire your pain/have you earned every right to/harness your pain/strap a saddle on it/wrap the reins around your arm/spur on your pain/ride, as a thousand others give chase/weaponize your pain/melt it down into armour/shield your heart and thighs/use your pain/let it work for you/let it slave, sweat, shiver/embrace your pain
An illustration by Greta Riondato. An abstract, circular image. In the middle is a small circle of blue and white like a bright sky. Surrounding this is a wash of grey and pink with black digital line drawings that look like buildings.
“Soul Meltdown” by Greta Riondato, (pen brush and digital media)

Soul Meltdown

A poem by Blessing Nwodo. 

Let the world implode/rend it on days when the evil writhing inside man breaks free, scarring the /skies/shred into it when oxygen is replaced with burning/mists of grief, pain, hatred and truculence/let the world collapse/inside itself/let it be sucked into its very own core/wrung/till the remaining lump is formless, lifeless/Mortals turned inside out/Lines drawn in the nexus of roads/Paths becoming spines of tomes/Monstrositites on either side of streets/collapsing in shame/Heaving at the nerve of their inhabitants till their/tops touch compressed and melded, choking the life from space/the final chapter, like a book closing.

(sweeping and cutting through this poem is a smooth zigzag shape in which these words are written: "But in a spiral the end is another kind of beginning")
Filed Under: Poetry & Prose

Poetry by

Blessing O. Nwodo is an MFA candidate at the University of Guelph, and an Editor of Held Magazine. She is a 2021 African Writers Awards Finalist, and her work has been funded by Lambda and the Ontario Arts Council.

Illustrations by

Greta Riondato is an Italian multimedia visual artist, sculptor, designer and mother of two. Born and raised in the Veneto region of North Italy, Greta has been immersed in the world of art her entire life.

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