Rigorous
Volume Five, Issue 2



When People Say “We Have Made It Through Hell Before”

Samuel Ajani


After Clint Smith

I see a stone of clouds clasping on ashes of people
whose body were woods in mouth of sulphur,
whose fate did not last a night like the wick of an oil lamp.

A spring sweeping the legacy of those whose mouths
were a hub for silence, whose faith did not endure
to see a messiah plop from heaven,

whose hands were too short to reach for grace.
I've lived to see life as a ball of fire that soon will die
at the feet of grit, the deeper I drown this body in faith, the farther I burn.

Time stretches like the wings of a breeze
and who can tell when this fire will last?
Sometimes truth is a skin of vinegar and before dawn
what will be left of this flesh is a grain of ash.



Samuel Ajani: “I am a creative writer, (performance) poet and political enthusiast. I was a Semi-finalist at the 2020 Jack Grapes Poetry Prize and was shortlisted for the 2020 Kreative Diadem Annual Writing contest. I write for the Invincible Quill Magazine, and my works are/forthcoming on FeralLit Journal, Ethelzine, Eboquills Mag, MadnessMuse Press, Praxis mag, The Hellebore lit mag, FEED litmag and everywhere else. Say hi to me on Twitter @solvic16.”




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