Franklin Wordsmith
Abstract illustrations with red, black, pink and orange


Franklin Wordsmith

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  • Poetry
Narrated by


we return to our fractured shells, 

wilted, deflated

like balloons, bursting. 

We return to shards

of a once bustling sanguinity,

our sides ragged, 

our shields cracked, 

our ramparts quivering,

from the fiercest melee

with a towering rival. 

Before the flags be raised

and we be pronounced 

heroes, fought and failed;

before drums be drummed

to tout our homecoming,

let it be known

that we return, not with heads high

and breasts bristling,

not with hands shooting the wind

to propound victory. 

Our heads are bowed

and our egos curled, 

shriveled, charred

in red-hot furnaces. 

We failed! 

We return to our places

with ashes on our heads

and eyes pinned to the earth. 

We, seeds of this new indulgence:

Of kites, strong and spacious, 

floating man in mid-heaven. 

Of words sent to distant places

through lines and lines

wattle and slim. 

We failed, 

We who dole this mutation, 

To preserve the hearth 

in the middle, 

the centre point, 

the essence of all innovation:

Ease, love,

A hand over a shoulder,

solidarity flailing up high. 

We know how to build steeples

but not how to build love. 

We have failed! 

For folly it is to rise

without love. 

And we, harbingers

of the coming oblivion, 

warriors of preservation

and continuity,

we failed!

The world decays,


It is beyond our reach

to avert what is coming for it. 

So with our heads buried

in shame,

our clouts stripped, 

our flags droopy, 

we return to our shells, 

broken, flattened

like levelled pottery.

Perhaps solace can be found

in the remaining sunsets

just before the end,

like a decided switch, 

topples all we fought for

into mangled nothingness. 

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Franklin Wordsmith

On the days when he isn't writing poetry or fiction, Franklin Wordsmith spends his time discussing with almost anyone he finds, aiming to either tell a story he already knows or learn another to add to it.

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Ovye ft. Bithiah Adams
  • Music
  • Alternative
Beans Without Korkor? A National Tragedy
Ekow Manuar
  • Fiction
Luh Denebola
Aida Oluwagbemiga
  • Fiction
go to issue v

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