Poetry by Ibukun Adeeko



Not that you miss the dimensions like a bird, tender, trying

mmmmTo reach the end of the world. They’re and

You’re. Like this. The breadth and the length.  There

mmmmIs a measure that is not in meters but how close

We’re and what of the other we can hold on to as anchor.


mmmmWe begin as we and then us and then not really

Knowing what, waiting to be solved, learning love by proximity

mmmmAnd how lost and fickle. Say fluid. Say the sinuous

Stairs meaning the current is life. Who sits in for a portrait now?

mmmmThe world begins at the bosom of love and defines

Us before it becomes the longing in the room all the voices never

mmmmLeft and the light is a country of the flight bird

Trying to reach the end of a world, the length and the breadth,

mmmmKnowing memory wears what it wears near

To clichés, but never clichéd though in a repetitive winged garb.


Say flight. Say glide. Say the stairs landing span.

mmmmThe world sits on an arc of pressing questions, brewing life;

How far have we gone from each other? Can you reach me now?

mmmmMemories make utility of longing like unintended

Language, dumb burning mementos of once known kiss rising, bones

mmmmWeakened beneath the knees still weakening as

Music sinks in the course of the body in worn out boots like lazy footsteps

mmmmOn distant mountain where wind shapes ballads on leaves.


That’s as though you are out to the field and the world is a home of

mmmmUnending strive, distance having its language,

mmmmWhat you try to hold from the bird on the horizon,

What holds you to a trembling hurtling gear or a sacred tender

mmmmItch? Look again. You are soothing illogical arc and a world

Reshaping—the length and the breath—what have you

mmmmMeasured now; what love isn’t redemption?

Everything you own now are like new eyes, new hands like lifting

mmmmFrom a burner as evergreen wild. Look again.

Like this. Like this. The cameraman says take position here.

mmmmLike this. Like this. Time passes. Say everything

Caught. Say everything uncaught. A flight bird as

mmmmA passing water between lovers, a lifetime

At the opened jaw of a fire.


Adeeko Ibukun is an award-winning Nigerian poet. He was awarded the 2nd Prize in the Sentinel All-Africa Poetry Competition in 2012 and his poem, “A Room with a Drowning Book,” won the 2015 Babishai Niwe African Poetry Prize in Uganda. Ibukun was also a guest at the Lagos International Poetry Festival and Ake Arts and Book Festival in 2015. He lives and writes in Abeokuta, Nigeria.

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