Poetry Issue #66

Rhapsody of Icarus where Daedalus is an Orchardman

He believed in miracles. He 
buried a mustard seed in the earth,
& watered it every morning & 
night. For days. & months. &
years. & from every seed, there was
a tree. Then, a grove. Then, gravity 
pulled fruits off their branches. 
Then, his son, off the branch of 
a healthy oak tree. The man wept.
& went, ahead & planted his body 
in the earth, & watered it every 
morning, & night. For days. &
months. & years. & from every loss, 
there was a shadow. Then, a grave. 
Then, grief. He sat under the tree,
in a vacuum filled with chord-like 
sound waves which he later crafted 
into a violin, lunging for hollow
ness in the wings of his songs. Because
at his feet, were elegies with broken
voices & rhythms. Their clefs, merely 
hanging on like the rain in a dark cloud. 
In his lungs, there was another elegy —
healthy & ready for flight. But, the 
fear is this: the broken elegies were
birds, too, which had waded through
the  cloud in search of him. Once 
levitant. Once gutsy —like a ripe bread
fruit in its season of fall. Beloved, 
hope, is like the dust rising 


Darling, you’re dancing in the mist, again

Eight forty-five, again. Intermittent pulsating of 
veins. Midnight silence callused into cartilage. Foot
steps across the walkway. It must be that you are 
thinking aloud, again. Or it must be raining diamonds. 
It’s been months since you last wrote joy on the indented 
pages of your face. Last night, I dreamt of you 
dancing in the mist. & where I am from, it’s a sacrilege. 
But, this is how we remind ourselves of cheerfulness. 
That even a tangible thing can be found at the 
edge of darkness. The end of a circle is where it begins.
It’s nine pm. & you’re alone in this world, again, 
trying to be happy. Happiness is a sex drive. & Damn! 
I used to hate the word sex. I thought it was 
a synonym for sin. Though, this isn’t part of the 
poem. But, everything goes. I, you, him & him, again. 
Everything goes like ten pm. The door creaks. & it’s 
you at the threshold of a fresh memory. Its tongue, brown 
& rusty. Your scars bright like the flashes of lightning. 
A solution of salt pumping from your red heart into 
your veins. That intermittent pulsating. Your eyes red &
wide open. You drag your feet across the floor. One 
step after another. Darling, you’re dancing in the mist, again —


(…) wade (…)

the trees are stretching their branches 
                       into the clouds. how we maraud our 

tongues to touch survival in the tinniest 

                      droplet of rainwater. once, lightning
kissed a boy’s lips, so that, what cascaded 

                       from it was clean.  & rhythmic.  & 

drinkable. under a mango tree, i sit, un-
                       freezing myself —trying to break through. 

at the borderline, summer slept. molten 

                       & silent. autumn leaves yellowing & 
withering. a ferocious wind announcing 

                       the harmattan. somewhere in these

moments, a mango falls from the tree & 
                        is bruised. the elders would normally 

say, it’s a bad omen. but, a still body when 

                       displaced is a sad memory. & so is silence 
when broken. i wheel my head in every 

                       direction. peace, in the mouth of the

ocean. & i chose to dive. at least, for that 
                       moment when your voice was thick as blood. 

thick enough to  sing me out of the water. there 

                       are birds on the branches of every season. 

there’s always a song that keeps the lungs 

                       alive. the world is foreign. & the safest 

place to be is inside your head. recycling 
                      those memories into abilities. boy, to wade

in the water & not capsize.

By Gospel Chinedu

Gospel Chinedu is a member of the frontiers collective & an emerging poet who studies Human Anatomy in Nnamdi Azikwe University, Awka, Nigeria. He plays chess when he’s neither reading nor writing. Gospel tweets @gonspoetry & is a 2x best of the net nominee. He is the winner of the StarLit Award, AsterLit 2021 winter Issue. He won an honorable mention in the 2021 Kreative Diadem annual contest (poetry category) & Dan Veach Prize for younger poets, 2022. He was longlisted for the 2022 Unserious collective Fellowship. His works of poetry have appeared or are forthcoming in Bath Magg, Fiyah Magazine, Sonder Magazine, Roughcut Press, Consequence Forum, Agbowo Magazine, The Deadlands, Blue Marble Review among many others.