3 Poems, by Faruk Adamu Alfe

The Overall Journey is Arduous and Long

Grandma says fear and sorrow evaporates in darkness
When stars get covered by dark clouds. She asks  

that I remember that every here and there, new things
fall between the space we left behind in our past lives.  

Our loved ones know when to slow their breaths
and narrow their eyes to soak our fears away.  

After pressing my eyes toward moonlight falling
from heaven, she locks me in a hug till our bodies  

become one. She laughs and her voice fills my soul
with light. On my way back to the land of beauty,  

I find the path full of gaping holes. At roadhouse,
a group of heartbroken girls run out of therapy.  

They look me straight in the eye, my face, unraveling
the secret of my heart—I too, am the same as them  

The Blood Of My Mother’s Homies

I remember one of the clubs in Yola,
where indigo and red colored
lights are displayed at night,
illuminating, from the stand
Where the blue is for the stars
And the red for romance— I mean, lovers.
All the people in the club sing along
to high-life pop and merengue rhythms.  

I was too blind to understand that,
because the blue color soaks me
in a noisy silence and the red opens
my eyes to things that if they could see,
they wouldn’t be able to speak either.
What I see reminds me of the scary
creatures floating in my mother’s city—
monstrous faces and hearts
Sucking the blood of her homies.  

I was tough in my childhood. I knew
how to dive through the wave of skepticism,
but forgot to learn how to forget pain
My mother was like that,
and I sucked all the memories in her, the tragedies,
the unending pain that she tolerates,
the heartbreaks she had,
and will stay forever
She left but I still see
the blood of her homies
in their mouths, then the soul gets lost.
When we close our eyes to sleep
their sight becomes the root of our insomnia  

Our principal from Barcelona
called me “incapaz de olvidar el dolor”
unable to forget pain or
“Paciente deficiente y un perdedor ”
And the red will take you to the grave


Where do I begin to peel your truth? O land, I see your skin, scarred  
by the hands of your children. The sky above you swollen with the
darkness of dead stars

The nation our fathers fought for is only alive in history,
Its once glistening eyes faded into a whorl of gloom.

at the edge of every night, we were asked to sleep but not to dream all we
can is to raise our head to see a terrible storm—hurrying with a wind  

and a ghost dressed in black, painting our minds to see darkness
in the eyes of the universe.

our fathers left and understanding humanity faded away, it was hard to believe,
the name tag on their grave swallowed by black vultures

When the years of leadership strip into a new skin, we hear them
calling for our hands to lift them to the heights, where power resides.

What we call home is an arena for their games, the blood of our homies flows on the streets, and we
were forced to believe no hand accountable for the blood
dreams have been dim
and dented thrown down the ocean abyss

This motherless land reeks of weariness Her heart pounds painfully against her chest
She searches graveyards every day for someone to lean on; a shoulder to cry on…

Faruk Adamu Alfe is a distinguished poet hailing from the captivating landscapes of Adamawa State in Nigeria, a realm renowned for its exquisite beauty. His literary artistry has gracefully graced the pages of esteemed publications, including Freedom Magazine of Itanile, ólumo Review, and other esteemed platforms. Notably, Faruk Adamu Alfe’s prowess earned him a coveted spot on the shortlist of the esteemed Collins Elesiro Literary Prize in 2020, a testament to his exceptional talent. Furthermore, his poetic brilliance garnered him the prestigious title of winner in the fiercely contested PANS A.B.U Poetry Contest of the 2022 edition.

Beyond the realm of words, Faruk Adamu Alfe is an aficionado of the culinary delights of his homeland, with a deep affection for the delectable Fura da Nono. For a glimpse into his world of poetic enchantment and culinary passion, connect with him on Twitter and Instagram, where he can be found under the handle @pharuk_Alfe.