By: Bamijoko Favour


trees shed their leaves,

a poignant reminder of time’s lonely passage;

what was,

is no more.



the patter of tiny feet transfigures

into the body of a pulsing teenage girl playing hula hoop on a street in Gaza,

noon benediction calls, and she dashes towards the shrieking muezzin

she crouches beneath the crescent & the star –

head wrapped in scarves,

tasbih in hands,

litany on tongue –

and she prays for the sky’s opening to a deluge.

& the firmaments give way…


a deluge of fire & searing titanium

floating dust;falling stones; flaming mats –

and AllahAkbar dies on the lips of the petitioner

supplicating lips burn to silence.


flowers; wreaths; catafalque; and…

the petitioner’s prayers rouses answers –a deluge of water, of salty water–flood faces of relatives.



the sun emerges faintly,on another market mrn

the geriatric thoroughfare leading

to the market rouses itself to life, slowly

like a boy reluctant to waking.

hurrying feet. murmurs. crying traders,

haranguing women. hawking girls. hiding boys.

quarreling men. scented spices. spilled grains.

discoloured herbs. trampled pepper.

brown flies. green lizards. middledaychaos.

the bustling spectacle gilded by the midday sun.


wilting sun presages the market’s closure.

dissolution, dispersion, desolation;

and the market cloaks itself in silence, welcoming sniffing hounds, petulant gnomes,

malevolent genies, disincarnate apparitions and disembodied stillborn –

an underworld army all indulging on trampled masses of hides, staleblood,and dark matters.

while growing darkness falls curtain on the graceless spectacle.



this is about sprouting buds and falling leaves,

about patters of tiny feet and bodies falling – or burning – into silence,

about epileptic marketplaces

rising to life,and fading into unholy stillness.

and of rising and falling tides.

yet, in all the ephemerality,

upon every dawn, there shall

linger still the eternal preacher,

metallic gong on hand,

the crucifix on the other,

ambling endlessly through t

he ruins of time

with lips of salvation.


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