Wednesday 21 October 2015

Curtis + Steph Wedding 28.8.2015

There is a story I have been trying to write
But the characters never seemed right.
They were shallow inspiration from rendezvous
that started with maybe and ended in hell no
Speed dates bringing faces in pretty packages
that failed to deliver, cyber visits that concluded
With adjectives unbefitting of the masterpiece I imagined
I mean, whose eternity begins with ‘nice’ or ‘okay’?

I wasn’t expecting a miracle with you
But I caught my joy betraying itself one time too many
in loud eruptions of laughter that accompanied thoughts of you
... the exaggerated way you recount events,
when I started carefully pitching the notes of your voice at the right key in my head
giving my name the cloak of your existence
like Curtis Edwards, Curtis Stephanie Edwards
getting first date giddy at the thought of you
I knew you had become the only character I wanted to see in my story

I didn't understand forever until I met you
Now you are woven into the fabric of every thought
When my emotions are fortified castles
You hear through my silence and coax my spirit out of anxieties hallways.
You are a mirror and a spin cycle
Leaving me be and challenging rebirth of a better me
Your love to me is security and danger, safety and risk
You are a leap of faith I want to continue making

Curtis, I recall the beginning.
When your date tells you
‘I don’t tend to like people straight away’
Then cuts the evening short by refusing desert
without so much as a glance in your direction
you prepare to tuck the evening into your useless but interesting encounter cabinet.

You suggested drinks. I’m not sure why I said yes
But I soon noticed your smile melting away 

my reluctance as it now does in angry moments
your eloquence aroused my curiosity
And slowly, as tomorrows found us unraveling together
your laughter rolled drum beats into blue skies
and had me beseeching God for longer days
to bask in the glow of your company.

If I am your story, you are the best chapter in a book that was being written about me
Long before its existence entered my consciousness.
Voices in college corridors I heard but couldn't decipher
Mothers on different floors of the same buildings
never meeting but together dreaming our futures into being
You are answers to questions I had almost stopped asking
We are soca and heavy metal fusion

 that somehow yields rhythm
Your energy is my rainbow.
Your patience my motivation,
your understanding, my validation.
I catch myself admiring you sometimes
Imagining us older in a little town, somewhere warm
holding hands, looking out to sea,
saying everything and nothing with no words
Overwhelmed by the love that has been our union

I’m bookmarking this moment
Asking you to save it clearly
So when celebrations are wiped out by the night
And reality opens its doors
We can both enter in the joy and strength of this moment
Where we bound hands and lives
In chords of love and invited God to be our glove.


Saturday 8 August 2015

Fly! (After Maya Angelou's Phenomenal Woman)

Go ahead!
Seize the Mirror.
Make it captive to your face.
Suck sinkholes
Under cheekbones.
Perhaps dark skin lighter.
Unseat your petite.
Babel tower
Your physique
Contour symmetry
Across facial features
Go crazy!
Becoming the one
They said was perfect
Whilst your soul burns
its stock of happy.
I won’t wait.
Sitting on Maya’s throne
defiant, I’ll happily upset
pretty women
who keep wondering
where my beauty lies
don’t believe when I say:

“Its in the reach of my arms
the span of my hips
the stride of my step
the curl of my lips
I’m a woman
Phenomenal Woman
That’s me”

There’s a seat here
For the woman
You are trying to shed
Fly! Give the mirror
Back its sight
Go ahead.

©Tolulola Agbelusi

Tuesday 6 January 2015


I met him once.
He bore through my resistance
With a sun bright smile
Tackled laughter from clenched jaws
Made me feel sand grain light
With a dune strapped to my back.
He was spectacular.
Annoying at times 

with an endearing arrogance
I can only describe as odd.
A leader who took pride 

in a higher stride
He spoke only when necessary
and befriended intellect for fun.
He flew on my level
Didn't intimidate when my name consistently
sweetened the lips of excellence
Wore my successes like he earned them too
Making their lustre last twice as long.
When I let my thoughts flow with no filter
Spoke truth that hurt
He would shake his head
Tell me I was hard to love
Yet refuse to move .
I found him 

in moments of rare vulnerability
Where his tears unbuttoned emotions held captive
By some flawed idea of masculinity
It was in those moments my soul welded itself to his heart
In bonds I would always find hard to break.
Bonds made stronger in the knowledge that he saw me all
And loved me anyway through irritation and tears and laughter.
We spoke the same language.
Exactly What I needed, but alas
he was too much her husband to ever be mine.

©Tolulola Agbelusi 2014

Saturday 7 June 2014

Maya Angelou Tribute by Michelle Obama

I haven't posted for a while.... that will soon change.

Today as we celebrate the home-going of Maya Angelou, a woman whose story and books and poems impacted me beyond poetry;  whose words did a lot for helping me realize it was okay to be me, I  thought it was time I came out of hibernation. I hope I can make half the impact she did. Michelle Obama's tribute at the funeral rings true so i thought i'd share:

Wednesday 4 December 2013

Latest Best Seller (Dami & Seyi's wedding Poem)

If God is an author
Then this must be his latest best seller
8 years in the making it has all the hallmarks of a remarkable story.

Boy spots girl in a crowd and feels legs propelling his body
Towards her quicker than his brain can react in any cohesive manner
He sees only her and loses the words ‘you are God’s best channel of light’
Somewhere in the cave their hands make when they shake
But she lets it go; walks away and marvels at how boy could possibly think that was enough.

I hear it wasn't just a weak chat up line, that boy lost some of himself to her that day
And kept trying to get it back; that circumstance colluded with him and coincidence
Orchestrated a day when his quiet persistence could run straight
into her awakening heart without having to break any barriers.
I hear God exploded possibility into realities so boy stands here today
Tears welling from depths he barely knew existed as girl strangles his hands
With message laced trembling fingers;
words that tongues cant compute but eyes can digest like:

Seyi, you pull laughter from the shards of my brokenness
on days when it is the only healing that will suffice. You are
the push at the back of my swing set when both energy and momentum
have deserted my hemisphere. Your belief in my abilities is a ladder
I keep climbing; I can’t foresee its pinnacle. You are my special dictionary
without the words barrier or cant or betrayal. When your circumstances paint
pictures with too many shadows and not enough light, you refuse to fade
into the background. Your ambition is an elaborate runaway train
that never crashes, I am always glad for the ride. You take me as I am
and interpret my utterances with an eye on the best of me.
You are my miracle.

Even as we recount this story boy looks at girl sheepishly
Capturing the journey to the alter, remembering the first times
First gazes, first kisses, first words and he mutters
You are God’s best channel of light
And this time, her smile is the key to every door
An invitation to keep going and his words keep flowing as he says

Dami, I left heaven just to be with you. You are part God.
I have seen lilies open prematurely on your approach
trying to catch a glimpse of the beauty to which they aspire
and it astounds me that you don’t even know it.
When I fall hard, you don’t pull me up in haste disconcerted
By my weaknesses. You come down and sit with me, wrap your body
around me like a glove and speak life into me. You challenge me to find
the wisdom in dark places all the while kneading laughter into bitterness
and making sure contentment rises. You crawl, then walk, then run with me
till we are both standing effortlessly
you make me feel that I matter every single day
and that is a gift I intend to keep giving back. It was always you.
This and many more sweet utterings feature in this story

I hear this is just the beginning
That this best seller has a sequel that the couple writes as they wish
I hear script writing for eternity is a hard task
That somewhere in between courting God and speaking to each other always and honestly about everything you can build forever slowly. I hear outsiders often try to help.
Parents and siblings and friends all with their own ideas and often with the best of intentions
Trying to direct what happens next – I pray you, let heaven sent discernment
Be the sieve you pass their words through before adapting it to your story.
Take each day as it comes being strong enough to be vulnerable knowing
That is where bonds are forged and memories are made. Resurrect laughter
As often as possible knowing that it heals more than it will ever cost you
If ever the going gets hard, remember the time of sweet utterings, the reasons you came together, how well you fit like question to answer, remember today
and the God who brought you here. This is just the beginning.
If God is the author I know he is
Then I’m convinced you are his latest best seller.
May your journey be smooth.


Wednesday 18 September 2013


There’s no music for this dance
This left to right wiggle waltz hands
Rolling unrolling stretching beyond
Tendons as the urge creeps over
Me like a Tsunami as I sit on
An unsuspecting bus in
The middle of nowhere
There is too much
Base in this heart
Beat my left hand is
Leading my forehead in
A dance of rocking abandon
Butt cheeks are clenched so close
They might as well be clapping
Face twisting into contorted
Grimaces my words have
Been stolen by an urge
That forbids
There’s a hand
Hugging my stomach
I think it’s mine can’t hold
Too tight might unlatch the dam
Within and cause the bus to flood
The bus has fallen in love
With speed bumps
And potholes
My muscles are
Stretched to breaking
But the next stop is mine
Little steps move me of the bus
It’s the waltz again there are no lyrics
To this song no rhythm to this skank
This quick quick slow run walk
Pulling me closer home
My zip sees the door
Before my eyes
It is already
Down maybe I’ll
Make it my trousers
Are at my ankles way before
I collapse onto the toilet
I am safe now
It’s over until the next time
I don’t listen when the toilet calls

©2013Tolulola Agbelusi