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Image by Tony Ahumada via Flickr.

The Shot

each line
on her face is
a story of war,
each crease
tells of battles
fought and lost,
wounds brandished,
hope taken captive.

in her eyes sucked
of tomorrow
are orbs of dimmed light,
its objects
shadowy illusions.

her mouth droops
from the weight of sighs,
from lamentations
and dirges,
from offering desperate prayers,
from the conquering of her pride.

her skin is a map of pain,
every ridge and trough
will lead you down

she sits and stares
intently as i take my shot,
defiance lifting her chin,
setting her mouth
in a thin line.

her eyes speak to me
through the lens of my camera:
i refuse to be broken.

Sadness Is a Crowd

sadness is a crowd:

dressed in ankara,
mismatched shawls wrapped
around its head and shoulders.

it is the touch of a hand
on a body, the flow of
communal pain
through stiff arteries.

hope is an ohm
of resistance, enough to
keep the lights dim.

which with every second,
every beat from a numbed
heart, wears thin and
finally fails.




About the Author:

Ogundare Tope is a Nigerian poet, short story writer and shrink. He has works that have appeared in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly, Kalahari Review, Pilcrow and Dagger, DASH, Intima and TinyTim Literary Review. He also has works published in anthologies of poetry and short stories. Writing, for him, is cathartic.

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2 Responses to “Sadness Is a Crowd | Tope Ogundare | Two Poems” Subscribe

  1. jason 2017/10/03 at 04:09 #

    “her skin is a map of pain…”
    This is so beautiful!

  2. Yemie 2017/10/03 at 09:32 #

    The title ‘Shot’ totally threw me off course. I’d initially thought…’gunshots’ till I happened on the perfect lines ‘through the lens of my camera’.
    This was fantastically conceived and laid out Doc, and those analogies and imageries are superb! ‘Shot’ is got ‘not easily broken’ written and draped over it! At. It. Boy!

    The lines…’Hope is an ohm of resistance, enough to keep the light dim’ is pretty reminiscent of that ‘elusive’ light at the end of the proverbial tunnel which more often times than not isn’t glimpsed by those who are looking to find it; up until they buckle under all of that pressure and cave in to the darkness that’s been threatening to swallow and engulf them. ‘Sadness is a crowd’ paints the picture of despair and melancholy lots of folks grapple with in daily basis.

    Kudos Doc, these two offerings….they grab and smarts! ❤

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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