Map of Survival

Let's start by getting hurricane lamp
                     To throw a pale and feeble light on our path
And then arrange our bodies
                          To be able to trek the journey till end
I am wearing courage like bangles
                   To pedal fear away in this carnivorous night
I am my Noah, I am making an Ark of survival
                           To escape from old ruins
Not standing still like a corpse 
               Will only save us from this untimely departure
A bird gave birth in a thick forest
               And the farm owners are plotting a burning
Three days left for the birds
                      To master their first tradition of survival
The third day came and a bird remaining
                 For her wings to bite through the wind
In the evening when the burning began
           Fear of death, make the bird fly beyond her power
This poem there's no moon
                         We are the moon of our night
My mother survived from the blow of grief
                                    I am trying to survive after her

Ariyo Ahmad

3 Questions for Ariyo

What was your process for creating this work?

It's part of a writer's task to write on different levels, I mean either it springs from personal experiences, writing for the voice of the society, or set oneself on task to write on a particular theme or image. The first piece "Map of Survival" was written to meet the target of a call of submission by a magazine but wasn't a fit for them at the time; the piece "Map of Survival" was created to meet a target, portraying a message of survival through theory of a bird while at the brink of survival. The second poem is about my country, Nigeria,  which was written after a plethora of news of killing.

What is the significance of the form/genre you chose for this work?

The significance of the work is to create a work with couplets that carries the message or that carries the reader through the journey described in the story one after the other, and it is one form that I love as it shatters the wing of complexity, and it's completed using enjambment. 

What is the significance of this work to you?

The significance is that I'm able to pass the message of the world and the chaos or grief that lingers in the depth of human life which they keep battling every day without knowledge of whether or not there's end to all this trial, it passes the message of the dilemma and crises seen and unseen in the world and aimed to pass the message of people who are either alive but their voices were silenced and unheard and likewise about the dead who were killed unjustly without any retribution, it has been my major aim to speak through poetry for the less privileged and I'm able to do a bit of justice to that with the poems.

Ariyo Ahmad, Frontier XI, is a Nigerian poet from Ogun State, Nigeria. A Pushcart nominee, he has poems published on Lumiere Review, Kissing Dynamite, Shallow Tales Review, Sledgehammer, Icefloe Press, Native Skin and several others. Find him on Twitter @ahmad_akanni.

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