soonest nathaniel


There is no precision to the thermometry of existence,

so we invent: curiosity-in-glass and the neighbors die

from eating poisonous mushrooms.

My heart, a frigorific mixture of ice, water and salt;

the nurse takes my temperature and she discovers

how love is a composite number.


I have learnt to exist in equilibrium.

I was a protein unfolding,

gradually trying to change my habitat,

till that which was never lost refused to be found.

So between supply & demand, change got stuck.

Blame it on the cabal; the day is always for the jackal.


We live on reveries and memories,

we chant in our sleep: 

the revolution on will be televised

yet we know there won’t be power supply

to witness even an episode of the melodrama,

we always get all of nothing; joy for us is an art,

joy for us should have been an act of resistance;

but the fathers take selfies while the children see ghosts.


No shame, we are high on hope, we paint a still life,

say life is still, say still is life.

My computer has got a bad mind;

the machine is teaching my wife

new tricks with an old kitchen knife.

I don’t want her to sacrifice on our altar

the daughter dancing in the garden of my mind;

but whose blood shall we spill on the lintel of our door?


The angel may pass by our house tonight,

life is inevitable, it happens to us all,

I have run out of tears, so I beg a friend for a box of rain;

Thursday’s children come, hallucinating solutions;

they chant the never too late ditty,

but the dead will always remain ungrateful.

I am beginning to like dirt, beginning to grow a bad temper.

I think it is time to leave, mine, the beginning of departures;

I want to go find the warmth which only dwells in the spider’s heart.






Soonest Nathaniel is a Poet and spoken word artist. He is the author of “Teaching My Father How To Impregnate Women,” selected as winner of the 2017 RL Poetry Award. He was poet Laureate for 2014 Korea Nigeria Poetry Festival. His poems appear or are forthcoming in Rattle, Silver Blade, The Pedestal Magazine, FIYAH, Silver Blade Poetry, Northridge Review, Praxis Mag, Raven Chronicles, Wiki Column, Saraba, Loudthotz, Northridge Review, Reverbnation, Elsewhere, Scintilla, Erbacce UK, Kalahari Review, Sentinel Nigeria, and Many more.