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Haruna Adinoyi reads baritone voice and other poems on The Poetry Experience Podcast

crumpled blanket in dark room at sunset

Haruna Adinoyi Yusuf is a prolific writer who writes a lot about anything and everything, ranging from poetry to fiction to screenplays. He is the author of several poetry collections, including darkwhite, Fragrance of Your Love, and Wild Rose. In this episode of The Poetry Experience, Haruna Adinoyi reads 4 of his poems, including Baritone Voice.


Baritone Voice

there is a baritone voice whispering outside my window but I do not know why it is there and what it is whispering.

there is a baritone voice whispering outside my window but my wife and children say they do not hear any voice.

there is a baritone voice whispering outside my window. when I go to look who it is, there is no one. just a firefly dancing near the orange tree.

there is a baritone voice whispering outside my window but when I ask “who are you?” I get no answer. just the male voice whispering, whispering, whispering.

there is a baritone voice whispering outside my window and I think it is the wind, but the wind is calm tonight. not even a leaf dances tonight. pale moon, but no wind.

there is a baritone voice whispering outside my window and I think it is our cat, but he is right here in bed with me. as if to clear my suspicions, he meows and places his head on my chest.

there is a baritone voice whispering outside my window and my wife says, “it’s the fever. look you’re running a temperature!” but I know the whisper is out the window. it is not the fever anything.

there is a baritone voice whispering outside my window so I say, “okay, you scumbag. go on. whisper all you want. it is your time and energy you are wasting, not mine. we can do this again tomorrow. haha!”

I pull the blanket up to my chin and close my eyes and then the baritone voice outside the window stops whispering.

Untitled

I stay in bed and

watch the sun rise.

today a song burns at

the tip of my tongue,

a new song to help me unlearn

that which we were taught

in classrooms and altars,

or uproot the seedlings of

half-truths sown in our hearts

by parents who silently blame

us for their failures.

I’m left with this question:

aren’t we all taught to accuse

the other side of that

which we are guilty of?

the birds have moved on.

the veil has fallen.

reader, silence burns

like a thousand knives.

the hurting kind

I love you/ because I don’t want it/ any other way

– Nikki Giovanni

the hurting kind—

rise and float

along

constellation route

with

all the flowers kneeling

against heaven.

the year the city emptied—

these trees, those leaves, this flower, that fruit.

real phonies and genuine fakes

sow pain in the air.

return flight—

museum of objects burned by souls in purgatory;

do you know where you are?

the kissing of kissing; you can be the last leaf.

a poem about love

I reached for the bread

and you dipped the biscuit in honey

I sang the chorus of magic

and you plucked stars from the sky

you touched my white shirt

and I sniffed the scent off of your bra

I went into the garden to plant melon

and you drank coffee while reading the sun

in the morning I pulled down the moon

and you counted the grains of sand

you brushed off the kitten’s soft paws

I forgot the Ebira word for eloquence

and you shouted “shame on 45!”

I dreamed of a new car

and you wrote a new poem

my radio makes a lot of noise

and so does the refrigerator in your kitchen

I said—

and you said—

I—

and you—

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