top of page

  You could have a big dipper   

Portrait of a Life Well-spent in the Hands of Grief by Flourish Joshua

— after Ernest O. Ògúnyẹmí

to sandpaper a boy's body,

gift him a carpentry of grief.

at the throat of this poem

is a burnt prophecy—

that after everything,

we'll eat from God's palm.

every damn thing in this

house has a double tongue

that speaks for itself,

even Moimi's grave.

the memory of how the

earth's throat gulped

her body as

smoothie for breakfast

gets fresher every day like

a synagogue of love mangoes.

for me, unlike others, there were

no final words. only her jollof memory

& the hunger she left behind.

my soul is a loud feeling &

everything is dead today. call a

painter. let's canvass the portrait

of a life well-spent

in the hands of grief.


Flourish Joshua (he/him) is a poet from Nigeria. A NaiWA poetry scholar and second runner-up of the 7th Ngozi Agbo Prize for Essay Writing. He's a BellaNaija Contributor, Managing Editor at NRB and on the editorial board at Frontier Poetry Journal. He tweets @fjspeaks.

191 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page