Literary Yard

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‘Mystery’ and other poems by Joseph Hope

By: Joseph Hope


The mystery of living takes a

Sharp jab at our wits

Loosly we hang all our lifes, trying to

Learn how to live

And at the end, like in the

Beginning we still don’t have a clue

A clue to whatsoever: who/how/when

Began or ended at any point

In time or why. Just like us

Nobody knows us. Save for something

Hidden in figures and


How many is one?

The big mystery shreds down into further mysteries.

There is this light as bright as the dark,

A voice as loud as silence,

 That everyone tries to see & hear.

And we wake up every morning tossing,

Wandering where we’ve been—

Which planet or which realm

Had welcomed us while we sleep?

Or the difference between dream and hallucinations?

Which is true and false?

What they both means?

And the new day?

Just another thing waiting for us

To expire into.

Closer and farther.

The unknown

           Blows like air on our body—too vivid and unseen

And we laugh and play fireworks

                                    To cover up the sky with colours

 we can’t catch with our hands.

Too tired to begin at what seems like the beginning if there is a beginning.

Damn it, we tell ourselves— we know enough

Enough to go by

Enough of the unknown

All we have known about the unknown is this —

It’s fast

It’s sure

It’s unknown.



Sorrow strikes like an adder,

 and smears

Her scent over everything. Bones start to decay

                                                                                    Into dust.

Sorrow walks down the street in a faded

Coat. In a limousine waving to the crowd: smaller crowd of sorrows

Holding a postcard for the bigger sorrow to see his fate

Sorrow walks on stage in a celebrity gown. Posing for the

Bite of the shuttle and                                  the kiss of the light on her caked

Skin. Everyone is trying to touch the helm of gament of sorrow

Sorrow walks-in  / in a white suit / placed his gloved  hands on a

 Paralyzed body. “I have a cure for that sorrow”  — he raised a white tablet with a big

“S” inscribed on it.

 Don’t bother about swallowing, my nurses will push it down your  throat

Sorrow comes with a solution to sorrow. She can tell our grieves by

Smell and taste. A sin-eater with unconfessed sins.

Sorrow comes with                         a solution to sorrow



I called at your place

 on the

7th of November

In your famous blue rain coat

Because it was raining: every heart was drenched.

Your son said you ain’t home, that you are gone

I didn’t ask where,

i suppose you had gone to the tower

—the tower of songs.

I asked if you had left any message for me

They said yeah!

—A ply-wood violen and

 a monkey

I collected your gifts and exclaimed “this can’t be me”

And as I walked away,I saw

 “Joan of arc” in her wedding dress: flameciously beautiful

—never knew fire could be this beautiful

I gave her my letters                I hope she delivers them to you

Are you well Cohen?

Do you still remember that little boy named


That got you everything you needed to cross your red sea of sorrow?

Do you still wear your favorite mask?

Have you avenged yourself of that beautiful crime?

—Twenty seven Angels tied you up!                     

So and so I had wrote in the letters

I hope you will be a “ladies man”  and read them.

Last night I was speaking with the monkey—ah! he has got a golden voice

He asked if I could play him the


 like his master does

I said I would try—i tried

He taught me some strange keys—some of your secret recipe

And i played them for one

 Mrs “Heather”—she turned white from joy

She said she knew those chords—

she said she knew a man—A jewish Canadian that love to play them out in the snow


The rapture moment

How boring:  the wait—yet breath taking. How unreal

The room becomes: walls disappearing. That moment

When all we wanted, so wanted is a perfect thought,

Or a line that will define the moment, and shield

Us from our favorite fears, wrapped

 deep in a mess too deep

 for shovels or spades to tip. It’s like a journey

Around the world in your room—every other place is non-existent

Or yet to be discovered by

Whoever discovered us in the first place. The ground

 Shifts beneath us &

we see how deep &

 narrow hell can be &

 how connected &

How pure and Noble thoughts evolves from those

And we fall helmentless into the needle eye like

Window open only for a time as long

As a moment.


The lines that I offered

“Dear”— Hold it dear to your heart: these lines—they hold my

Blood, my soul and anything

Any man

Can ever offer to someone he loves. Inside lays a secret inside a wind like bag

holding a black soil

holding a seed

holding a rose stick I had plucked from Eden: now

You know why we lost the garden—it wasn’t a fruit

                                                                            it’s was a flower

 Guard it jealously

Inside is a banquet

Of goodly mysteries. I put the items

On the table for you to have a buffet

of pure ecstacy & thrill.

Only and only

The dead and unborn,

Can come close in explaining

How holy and Divine.

Guard it jealously.

Inside I built a chapel—a sanctuary

For your heart to run into when

The world outside becomes toxic

And too inhumane for a darling.

There is this bridge I built with golden petals. Follow the tunnel right under

The bridge to escape if the needs arises.

I’m the light standing at the other end.

Guard it jealously

Inside is a cave with a golden entrance. Inside the cave the tallest tree, don’t

Look for fruits: they only bear words. I planted all

I had & will ever say. That’s the spot I planted my heart

So tread carefully

Inside i hid a map to a place,

Where no man had been. On the map there’s this thing that

looks like a stone—it’s no stone, it’s a man’s soul,

Buried body deep

Inside a promise, he cannot

And will never break

Guard it jealously— jealously in love


Joseph Hope  is from Enugu state in Nigeria, an aspiring writer. Few of his  works has appeared in Nthanda magazine, SprinngNG, Spillwords, Ariel chart, Literary yard, forthcoming at Best New African Poets 2019 Anthology, Eskimopi & more. Professionally he’s a chemist,studying “Applied Chemistry” in the prestigious  institution of USMANU DANFODIO University Sokoto.A lover of poetry.

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