Wordview 2022: SELF PORTRAIT OF MY HOME AS WATER, AS HEALING, AS LOVE.

On the day of the apocalypse, I’m reminded twice of all the people I have lost on battle fields, 

The wild life, petal of strength stuffed in the nostril of dead people, that is to say, my father 

Survived the civil war and years before he met the woman that would later become my mother 

In Sarkin Pawa, he was learning to swim, learning to travel, taking the legs of the wind and walking The surface of the Mediterranean; a ball  

room for survivors, for victors, for people that would later Build a home, a family, a bouquet of January-February-March-December children.  

This is to say my Mother is the only rose flower nurturing the sapling of light. My brother, scattered on the face of Goggle maps like 

 geography, like physics explaining the equations of motion in simple V= U + at 

Like valleys resting between my fingers my brothers are vagabonds, they were born on the roads And they might die on the roads. My  

sisters, my sisters are stars, constellating the beauty of night 

The silence of quiet my sisters are soft-petal-lip balm caressing the tone of language in high-pitched Words, PITCHBLEND in low-pitched  

words TENDER , my sisters are tenderness tending tenderly our Home. Here, a man once said home is a place I must have seen but can’t  

explain but I remember 

Being born in the year of the disconnections when every boy was to himself and my father became A body, exiled into the depths of dust  

and void and my brother, my brother says : mother, how do I differentiate a garden from a flower? Mother says son : a garden is a home  

you plant flowers but A graveyard is where you plant your heroes and what differentiates a hero from a flower is the markIt leaves in your  

heart, the snippet of grief mixed with anxiety and longing. She says son: a home is 

A place that births you, she says son: a home is the place your chest lays to rest, she says son: a home is the place you carry in your chest ,  

she says son: home is a piece of an offering you must 

Protect, she says son: home is water, home is healing, home is love, she says son: don’t you ever Mistake home for family because home  

is where your family belongs. I fall to my feet and asked 

Mother, how does a boy my age carry a home on fire? Because lately people in Sarkin Pawa mistake Crows for bullet and its passionate  

urge to wipe out existence, I said mother, how does a boy carry A home and all its insecurities in my chest and not feel the heaviness, I said  

mother, how do I call the Place that scattered my family home? She says son: on the first day of the civil war, I met your father And that  

there on the battle field was where our home began so how would you deny being called a warrior, how does a boy born on the battle field  

deny being called a battle child? How do you name A group of boys that never smiled? How do you name a home lost in the dust of the  

wild? How do you name the broken pieces of family you’ve piled? She says son: Home is water, home is healing, 

Home is love. 

Poem recorded as part of Poetry Archive Now: Wordview 2022. Used by permission of author.

Wordview 2022 Winners

Poetry Archive Now! was established in 2020 to enable us to gather recordings from a much wider pool of talented poets from the UK and ...

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Abdulrazaq salihu

Abdulrazaq salihu, X-gene is a Nigerian award winning poet. He has his works published/forthcoming in brittle paper, masks lit mag, Kalahari review, pine cone review, rogue and elsewhere. He won the masks lit mag poetry award, BPKW poetry contest, Nigerian prize for teen authors, splendors of Dawn poetry contest and more. He is a member of the hilltop creative arts foundation and has been living for too long inside his head.

Glossary

A special thank you to our WordView 2021 poets.

Chair of the Judging Panel, Joelle Taylor, says: "We were thrilled by the range and scope of the poetry and techniques explored throughout the wide submissions. I have said before that to write a poem is an act of resistance but to then perform it as well is a revolution. It takes a bravery to face the page, and a further one to stand by your words. While we’ve all become more used to filming ourselves over the pandemic, all of us were deeply aware of that courage.

Often when on a judging panel we find ourselves faced with impossible decisions. If you can imagine, after sifting, it’s as though a hundred people have crossed the finish line at precisely the same moment but there are only three medals. How do we come to these decisions? Through the objective unpicking of the poems, through our individual passions, through a consideration of narratives, especially those lesser heard. We come to it through uneasy negotiation and through heart, and above all through our shared love and understanding of the possibilities of poetry.

Our honest applause goes to all who submitted, and I hope you can hear it.

Congratulations to those we selected. We hope to see you all again soon."

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