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Dyspnoea for Happiness

By Tobun Pelumi

TW: Military violence and war themes

think of this poem as a boy hijacked

by the pollution looming the air

– gathering his breath into a waste bin,

as a body mutilated by the pain hosting

a space at the crevice of the heart, echoing

angst through pathways of fenestrated vessels.

think of this boy as a sanctuary

of nothingness punctuated by grief

oozing red on tv screens:

of the ungodly massacre of heaven's

sheep at a cathedral by terrorists

during mass, at Owo, Nigeria,

of the Russian-Ukraine war

making the world a cauldron of red

with confetti of bullets showering the sky.

then think of all these as a grieving boy

whose joy has been measured by doom,

hoping to bloom into a chrysanthemum of felicity.


About the author:

Tobun Pelumi, pen-named Voice of an elect, is 3/4 of Next Generational Poets. He's a phone photographer, an award winning poet & emerging writer from Lagos, Nigeria. His works are/forthcoming in Arts Lounge, Nymphs Magazine, BANSI Demi-gods Anthology, and elsewhere. He was a joint winner of PIN June 2021 poetry challenge, he was a shortlist in BKPW contest of December 2021 edition, he bagged third place in Shamokwale Poetry Contest, he also made top 20 in BPPC April/May 2022. He’s on Twitter and Instagram @pelumitobun.

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