AS TIME GOES BY, we become more conscious of our humanity or/and the lack of it, or even perhaps the need for a post-human(ity). As we continue to strive towards rejuvenating our existence amid the lingering travails of the Covid-19 pandemic, we also endeavor to reposition our perspectives on who we are, to renegotiate our relationship with our inner spirit and others, and to reconsider everything we’ve established as important. In no small measure has our collective consciousness been challenged, debugged, and realigned. Like the stuffiness yet emptiness in Phola Liyena’s “Some Things are Better Left Untamed,” we are now more in awe and harmony with the bright, clear, and colored birds that cheerily perches on our window sills. But while in pursuit of its astonishment (like other things), we should not seek absolute dominion over it, “because in truth somethings are better left untamed.”
Although set in a space with characters that traverse both the physical and the supernatural, Plangi Neple’s “Fractured” interrogates the quests for knowledge, true-self, immortality, and divination amongst others within a relative existential frame that causes an (un)equal reaction for every measure of action. Hence, Dana’an, the goddess of knowledge, is restrained from an absolute purview of her superpower; she herself is in pursuit of answers/knowledge to create a desired harmony. Also, this astonishing narrative in the manner of a true heroic quest reminds us of the significance of pain, the enduring sacrifice or catalyst that spurs the substantiation of imagination. In essence, Neple reminds us these quests are in a constant chain of progression, although desirable (and should be), the pursuit of their absolute attainment is unending.
Ismail Bala’s “The Promise of Sunrise” and John Grey’s “Sunset Stroll” relapse into one another but in a distending intertextual manner: the latter reads like a desirable and seamless resolution to the former. Where Bala’s poetic persona wrestles its pain and darkness, Grey’s simply “glide like the sun does, / [with] darkness spreading behind you”. However, Chinedu Gospel’s “Undying…” goes beyond teasing the texture of pain; the poetic voice deconstructs and is fully immersed in the journey to healing and its cursive process. It’s the second year since the Covid-19 pandemic, and the world at large seems to be recovering from the scars of the pandemic, forcefully pulsing or purging through a “scuttle of ashes” “patching the soul / to the body again / like making torn flesh close/ without the scars.”
Eventually, like the poetic persona in John Grey’s “Summertime Arrives,” we can also let our hearts have a look around, and amongst other things, (re)discover that:
Now that summer has returned
from where it hibernated beneath stones,
a few instances have already scorched
like lantern flame,
and the beach has filled up with sand and water,
sketched in the piers,
as my thoughts rejoin the living.
Likewise, but more intensely, Miriam Odeyemi’s “Rain” fills our “barren and botched” mounds till we feel “Our shoots spring and sing, / blooming for life.” Not just the subject of the poem, her deft disposition through imagery is soothing, such that the sudden swishing, cascading, and thundering of the rain comes near to life. More than I can recount here, from the nostalgic ode of Nduibisi Martin’s “Songs remain instead of mothers” to the redacted and dark epistolatory narrative of Luke Dylan Ramsey, “Dearest Love”, Lunaris Review #14 is a composite of diverse and alluring narratives that are sure to delight your cravings for well-curated artistry.
Wishing you a blissful read!
Publisher, Lunaris Review