Faith’s Duality: Illuminating Paths, Exposing Shadows

4 Poems | Opeyemi Mapayi | Nigeria

Religion can be a guiding light,

A source of wisdom, a path to what’s right,

A beacon of hope, a way to find peace,

A chance to connect, to make our worries cease.

But too often, I see the dark side,

The ways people use it to divide,

To spread hate and fear, to cause pain,

To push their own agenda, their own selfish gain.

We see wars fought in the name of God,

I’ve seen people oppressed, silenced, and flawed,

We see corruption, hypocrisy, greed,

All masked by a false sense of piety and creed.

Religion can be a force for good,

A way to lift us up, to help us where we stood,

To inspire compassion, kindness, and love,

To bring people together, as one peaceful dove.

But it’s up to us to use it right,

To interpret it with clear and open sight,

To follow the teachings, the lessons it imparts,

To listen to our conscience, and to follow our hearts.

So let us use religion as it’s meant to be,

To inspire and guide us, to set our spirits free,

To be a force for good, a light in the dark,

To bring hope and love and leave behind hate’s mark.

Sunset of a broken bond

As I pass time on sitted elevated earth

The flickers of a cinematic sunset flash before me

As I watch the palm fronds sway to the gentle caress of the wind

I remember the bond I shared with her

And how, for 68 days, I’ve struggled not to be held handicapped by her existence.

Keeping her out of mind and out of sight

Till we suddenly became strangers overnight

Isn’t it funny?

That the woman I called honey became as sour as vinegar.

Because I desired her to be more elated about me

The way her praises wet my lips and my heart flutters to the golden sound of her laughter

Whenever she shares with me the ravishing beauty of her being captured by photographic lenses is unreal.

I wanted a taste of my own medicine

I wanted to feel special to her

And for this, I became a villain in her eyes

How dare I demand such from her?

Need I say much, but I agree I chose the wrong person to be my hype man

A lie I tell myself “That is the only reason she reacted the way she did.”

The taste of her insults still lingers behind my tongue, bittersweet.

Although as ugly as it was, it made me beautiful

Liberating my heart from every tendon of love I have for her

To slowly fall and set like the sunset before me

Rolling credits, end of movie, light fade.


Do the thoughts of my lips entice you?

Do they remind you of a taste you’ve always wanted to know?

Do your eyes trace lines and follow curves along my body?

Does your mind travel to unspeakable places whenever we both touch?

Do the thoughts of your bodies without barriers appeal to you?

Does my nudity tease the edges of your vision

The bare body, more art than profanity?

What do you picture?

Me on top of you, firm yet gentle

Hand around the back of your neck

Tucking away hair that might obstruct

Fingers tracing from ear to jugular

Kisses taking you from Spain to Jupiter

Or do you prefer a rush?

Heat, sweat, and a possible climax

It’s a mental arousal

You’ve been thinking of me too much

I can’t blame you though

Who wouldn’t?

Shades of Rain

The clouds tonight are heavy and dreary.

The wind, in its might, blows cold and weary.

Dark and swollen is the soul of the sky.

It empties the pain embedded in its eyes.

Lashing my skin with beads of tears in disguise.

Reminiscent of the storm in my head.

Cascading upon the pillow on my bed.

A thunderstorm cracks open the heavens, pouring down in showers and torrents.

Behind the clouds lies the ever-glowing sun.

And the breeze to blow away the messy muck.

Leaving the air filled with the earthy cologne of damp soil.

Awestruck at the multi-coloured bands of light

That cuts across the floating clouds.

Gracefully adorning the once teary skies.

It occurred to me that rainy days are cold and dreary.

But sometimes, bright and cheery.

Opeyemi Mapayi is a talented poet, writer, and rap artist from Ondo, currently residing in Abuja, Nigeria. Having completed his studies at the University of Ilorin, he developed a strong passion for poetry and has achieved recognition for his work, being featured in prominent anthologies. With a knack for engaging readers and tackling issues critically, Opeyemi demonstrates creativity, collaboration, and a results-oriented approach. Beyond his artistic pursuits, he is an avid music lover and art enthusiast. As a trailblazer in self-expression and activism, Opeyemi is dedicated to creating platforms for others to connect, heal, and celebrate. He has aspirations to publish his poetry collection and also collaborates with fellow artists






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