Literary Yard

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Poem: Treasures and Taints from a Splatterring Gutter

By: Basit Olatunji

splattering gutter

Although my words may carry the buccal venom
of an angry witch and the fire of a possessed wizard
they sometimes too, ooze a cooling breeze
and sheath the sword of a bullying Capulet
in the face of a spiteful Montague
I may spit and spout like a doomed witch
that has eaten a forbidden bark of *obo
but my words know the silhouettes
of bad people in a thick darkness
I may reel and rant like a careless chatterbox
my words can see the lurking evils
thinly covered in the stomachs of man
My words are like dogs’ inner eyes
that can see another world in thin air
So when I bark, I bark because I see things
things that itch my tongue and prick my mouth
that even in my sleep some words upset my belly
like a volcano in the rumbling belly of the earth
that even in my sleep some words move my mouth
like a trembling leaf at the mercy of a majestic apparition
*a tree popular among the Yoruba people of Nigeria whose bark is forbidden for witches to eat from


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