How to Imagine

Pretend stars grow on trees

Trees with roots deep inside the clouds

Beneath your feet

Take a stick, draw a line leading away

To nowherethat's your Milky Way

 

Pretend the vapors you see steaming up

On a hot day are rains

Falling from the cloud of sand

Gathered overhead

Your words are thunder

 

Pretend the worst is better than the best

And your eyes are inside your skull

Roaming inside a milky river

That has a million distributaries

That originated from no source

 

Pretend you're all and nothing

And the air is Angels going

In and out and over

Your invisible bodyabsorbing sins

Molding you into a god

 

Dark Alleys

Chronicles of dark alleys

No sanctuariesMen evolve into wolves

And wolves into death

Ghost prints blend into frameless patterns

Of opaque figures in  random disarray

People are decks of cardsthey get played all the time

 

In dark alleys

Consciences are indefinitely polluted

A friend or a killer

Or a friend turned killer

Is there really a differenceAll demons were Angels

No God to pray toGod doesn't live there

 

In dark alleys

You hear the ground Hissing

In a muffled voice of a nameless blood

Bloodanother breed of dust

And moreover all are children of dust

Crying to a fatherthat father can't be God

 

What we paid

A half-faded letter beneath the box;

A hanging portrait a still smile;

 

A name or names prayed to or for,

In consecrated parts of our hearts;

 

Some special days wearing camouflaged faces,

Of actual occurrencesmostly bloody;

 

A ridiculous stormy silence,

That comes from muzzled memories;

 

Some weathered monuments in the parks;

Some deluded people with poisoned past.

 

Why we fear our fathers

Their collars stink of laboured breath

Dusty palms are inheritable

 

Their hands either break sticks or rules

Being a lamb is hard

 

Their voices are gauged with a wooly silence

Who bought their voices?

 

Their hearts crave love

Broken hearts write the best poems

 

Their shoes cannot be unbuckled

The roads are home to wanderers

 

Their feelings are lost in a maze

The best things are found lost

 

They smile like they have conquered death

The last breath is always the best breath

 

Pen deep

How can I write without a tongue?

Or speak without a pen?

 

Can a ghost exist

Without a spirit?

 

Voices are written thoughts

Buried deep in the bottomless mine

 

And writers are cursed to mine

Till coal turns diamond

Joseph Hope

Bio:  Joseph Hope is an aspiring writer from Enugu state in Nigeria. A few of his works have been published in Nthanda Magazine, the spring literary edition. Professionally he's a chemist, studying "Applied Chemistry" in the prestigious institution of Usman Danfodio University Sokoto. When not In the lab, he's reading or writing poetry.