Count them luckyWho have them within
Who feel no needTo follow prophets
To distant islandsOr remote beaches
Where salvation is assuredAnd paradise promised.
Count them luckyWho know the opening
Of gates within, whoSeated as they are
Remain beside altarsWhere blue and greenSing arias.
In them, Night,With a thousand yellow lights,Braids its hair,
And rinses its bodyWith dark watersFrom village wells.
Abayomi Animashaun is a Nigerian émigré who came to the United States in the mid-1990s. He holds an MFA from the International Writing Program at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and a PhD from the University of Kansas. His poems have appeared in several print and online journals, including Diode, The Cortland Review, Versedaily, African American Review, Passages North, Ruminate Magazine, and The Adirondack Review. His poems have also been included in Begin Again: 150 Kansas Poems and We Have Crossed Many Rivers: New Poetry from Africa. A recipient of the Hudson Prize and a grant from the International Center for Writing and Translation, Abayo is the author of two poetry collections, Sailing for Ithaca and The Giving of Pears, and editor of two anthologies, Walking the Tightrope: Poetry and Prose by LGBTQ Writers from Africa and Others Will Enter the Gates: Immigrant Poets on Poetry, Influences, and Writing in America. He teaches writing and literature at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, and lives in Green Bay, Wisconsin, with his wife and two children.
BMP Celebrates National Poetry Month
If “love calls us to the things of this world,” then poetry too can call us to think about challenging questions, difficult situations, and social justice, implicating and engaging the reader with the world we live in, in the hope that this engagement is a step toward wrestling with our better selves.