Book Review: A poetic appraisal of “Ripples from the King’s court” by Aire Joshua Omotayo

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I was a boy in the cloak of the night, on my body laid a pile of sweat seeping into the clouds in search of QUESTIONS in the shape of a cap. Those sweats turned into a heavy rainfall and there was a basket-full harvest of ripples filing into the mouth of the sea, forming spiral LINES. Each line was a song I sang the other day when I saw a damsel walking down the asphalt road, her bounties made me break in my skin only to become BORN AGAIN by the waves that swept me off my feet. She looked into my eyes that day and all she said was “my sandals is too heavy for you to unstrap”. With the tears flooding in my eyes, I began to see my body BREAKING FREE from my soul, it looked into the poor soul and all it said was “I want to learn HOW TO BREAK A HEART”. I learnt how to split open a heart and tuck a dynamite into its chambers, only to hear an explosion of tears from the eyes of my victims. Ask Àdùké, Chidimma and Farida, they are living testimonies of my generosity.

SOMETIMES IN SPRING, I used to learn the songs of gentle breezes singing from the mouth of hungry birds for winter will has gone and I will dance like a dire wolf howling to friends playing OMO AYÒ (A GAME OF SEED) on a dusty bench. in springs. I learnt HOW TO PRAY for the other day when I saw my father, he gave me a star to swallow and told me me run before my body becomes a pile of DEBRIS sprinkled like ashes into the forgotten books of the wind. I knew how to become a calabash as I turned to its back and deflected rain into many countries, where the splashes washed away the tears of little children. A boy was left, he came to me with tears in his eyes and I said, “WEEP NOT OH CHILD for winter is gone and your tears is a poem with three dotted lines”. I wanted to recite the poem but all I could say was “I LOST A TITLE FOR THIS…”, because in it, my tongue caught fire and my lips could only bear the scars of women sinking into my eyes and swaying their hips to stir my heartbeats into lost song.

My brother saw me one day on the street, painting the face of my shadows with the palette of the sunset hues, he told me to come home for the night was at hand, I held his hands and we went for a feast of HOMECOMING I-V, there I saw the letter father gave to me, I saw my finger prints on mother’s face when I wiped away her tears and licked it off my fingers only to remember the saltiness of family stinging my throat. There I saw men in diverse ways, i became them, I became the sun and moon and I became a home for home is a place where the sun and moon shine without eclipse, I became a chronicle written like a psalm on scrolls and sang like a melody in the belly of victory. I became a rhythm miming into the throat of moonlight tales while I carved myself out of father’s mouth through the streets of mother’s womb and then, I became a folklore on the tip of tongues confessing that a king is born and home is here.

I went to a party at the other side of the street and there was a MAD DANCE as the the city walls crumbled and the dusts found a place in the sky, only to become shooting stars painting the face of the earth with light, Then I saw the face of maidens who asked who we were, and we said, “WE ARE STARS”. They gave us a lot of QUIZZING QUIZZES where we saw the mystery of what LOVE IS, I fell in love again but this time, I fell with my teeth and I became ANOTHER STORY till I met A MAN CALLED gOD who taught me love without shedding my bones aways. i wrote A LOVE POEM for his daughter ABIKE and day and night, we basked in twilight breeze under the orombo tree, we dissolved into our bodies and there was a REINCARNATION of our souls. In her eyes, there was fire burning like a beacon on a hill, in her lips, there were SORES from residues of a broken heart, I lapped the wounds and then, I saw a hill in her eyes this time, I clambered through it into a country, and then I found myself in her arms again and this time she said my arms was her home and that was THE DAY I WALKED HOME WITH MY HEAD and that was when I knew that RIPPLES FROM THE KING’S COURT never vanish from the faces of burning rivers.

Download Ripples From The King’s Court  (Published by Dwarts Publishers)


Aire Joshua Omotayo is a student of Computer Science from the University of Ibadan, he is a poet, programmer, campus journalist and freelance writer. He lives in Ado-Ekiti and he is a lover of tech, art and nature. He has been a writer in other genres since his secondary school days before discovering poetry towards the end of 2015. He believes poetry is a healing balm as every words written by a poet is an epitome of a godlike thinking. His poem was one of the best 100 in the 2017 Nigerian Student Poetry Prize, he was the first runner up of 2017 Nibstears Poetry Contest and the July winner of BPPC 2017.

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