Beauty is Simple, Beauty is You

Beauty is simple, beauty is you

    Beauty is the milky smile slaying

    Between your heavenly red lips

    Treating my ears to rhythms of wisdom

    Every time they part for audible whispers

    Of images of the future to come, or

    Even when they hold mine. 

    Beauty is you

    Beauty is your svelte fingers cradling my ears

    On return from a tickling run through my hair

    To lay on my chest in one slick movement

    That confirms me both priest and habitue

    Of your Chapel of graceful endearment

    Receiving love dispensed without measure. 

    Beauty is your sweet soul

    Treating me to elevated reason at night

    Sparring with figures: bonds, treasury bills, 

    Regulatory code and the intrigue of Ponzis

    In weighted words of awe and compassion 

    That tickle my senses enough to want more

    For you, for me and our smart kids to come. 

    The world maybe has many words for beauty

    Brandished as stressed catwalk at pageantry

    But everytime I behold your graceful walk

    I am reminded that beauty is simple

    Beauty is you holding my hands to your waist

    Urging me to sleep and live a little

    Jut before my mind hurries to its next labour.

    (c) Tobi Adebowale, 2017.


    Flash Fiction: Erased

    Your father was stubborn. And because you were strong-willed too, you refused to wear the vest of shock she gave you.

    Its sight pinched you, drove pins into your skin till they grazed your aorta. You feared they would shred the muscles of your heart but you would not give up.

    You told her. Again and again. She would smile. And walk. Away into the starry night. Hope for you was the setting sun, it had to rise in the morning. But for company at night, you drained your data on Instagram.

    Nostalgia led your bytes to her page and you drowned in the forgetfulness that characterised it. Her hearty smile and your restrained cheer in a red shirt were gone, the one with your pimpled nose too. Vaporised!

    You went to Twitter and checked her bio. It was there you realised the sun would rise at dawn but not with hope for your shredded heart.

    The word ‘Lover’ was gone, space occupied its place, your subtle reference. You were now a vile history, an unholy anecdote, cleansed, and erased.

    What If I Don’t Miss You


    Credit: Jagbir Singh Randhawa

    I once got into a conversation with a friend about what it really means to miss someone else. It’s common to casually tell friends and family we have not seen in a while that we miss them, sometimes as a perfunctory response to their own declaration. We get busy with chasing our dreams and making ends meet that we rarely feel any vacuum created by people’s absence but when eventually meet and we say we miss them, what do we really miss: their voice, touch, mannerisms, actions or what exactly? Continue reading

    Shorts and Skirts

    When we met

    I wore shorts

    And you pinafore

    But did it matter?


    We walked and talked

    We prayed and played

    Yet we were teens

    And it did not matter.


    We shared your cakes

    And chewed my flakes

    We shared all cheerfully

    And it never did matter.


    We cared less about wears

    But when you switched to skirts

    And I was still in shorts

    I guess wears began to matter.


    Into your new skirt

    Went your feelings and shirt

    Tucked in and asphyxiated

    And yes it did matter!


    Now no longer bound by rules

    Your shirts are out

    You are through, and back

    But what does it matter?



    I am @tobisammyjay on Twitter.

    Heart of Graffiti

    These streets have been quite, sane; clear 
    And wordless testaments of conformism 
    But this week I choose to light the wick 
    Peeping out of the cold wax of defiance 
    Thoughts of you will kindle a little flame 
    But this wick will burn even in the winds. 

    “Post No Bills”; words emblazoned on emulsion 
    Shepherding cautious pedestrians into compliance 
    Faked smiles on fading posters have disappeared 
    Even lengthy revival names on episcopal banners 
    But me, I’m lured into defiance by my emotions 
    Who can beat me out of priceless heartbeats, for you? 

    So, tonight, I dare the municipal council 
    I will share with the world, on these city walls 
    Treasured images, only my heart has nursed 
    Let my sight into the possibility, even if only I try, 
    That a soul with soaring beauty defying gravity 
    Can weave through colours and brush into a graffiti. 

    The city will wake up to ambivalence 
    Of how the benevolence of your appearance 
    Can at once gratify all aesthetic longings, and touch 
    Their hearts, but also tear at their idealist core 
    Pray, if they get down the wall graffiti, they can’t 
    Cauterize the many hearts it already sits upon. 

    (C) Tobi Adebowale,

    @tobisammyjay on Twitter.