Tears are filtered blood from our hearts,
made clear they can flow easily;
our hearts bleed through our eyes.

Let some tears dry on their own;
they won’t hurt your cheeks.
Let them run through
to create a path on your face,
and in the forest of your thoughts.

First Aiders for Broken Hearts


“Wingsong” by Michael Escoffery

No one can touch
a broken heart like a writer.
Even doctors are not skilled enough
in matters of the heart like that.

The writer drills the love-hole in
the reader’s heart further with their pen,
which may or may not be painful,
removing the rest of the waste
that was left behind,
or that the reader had tried to fill
the empty space in it with.

Then they may fill the hole up with words,
promises of a love that would be easier and sweet.
That is the most the writer can do,
for no one else can completely heal
the injured heart except the one
that the reader truly loves.
Else, their heart may never be fully healed,
and they may hurt themself and others.

If the reader does not dig the writer’s words out,
and they try their best to trust again,
they may be fine till “the one” comes,
the new one that will give them new love,
for the writer’s first aid keeps the
heart alive till the reader meets
and becomes their own healer.


Her flowers grew from her seed;
her poems grew from her pain.
She had to bleed to be free;
then she danced in a trance with the rain.

She’s a pain-ter.
She kisses grief on the lips
and moulds it into art.


Is “Agolo” by Angelique Kidjo a Yoruba Song?

No, she’s not speaking Yoruba in the song, it’s Fon gbe, but the Fon people of Benin are of Yoruba descent, so any Yoruba person would understand the lyrics. “Igbadoun foun ayé”, for instance, sounds a lot like “ìgbádùn fún ayé”, which transliterates to “enjoyment for the world”.

This video used to scare me as a kid, I knew there was something different about it and I was right; it’s a beautiful, rich, deity song.

“Ago lo” in Fon language means “move out/make room/excuse” and it is used to welcome/announce the descension of a voodoo spirit. It is not “agolo” as in “tin”. If you know what “ago ya” is in Yoruba, it’s similar. The song is a celebration of Mother Earth. It is a song of hope and a call to the good powers of nature; a call to Aidahouédo, the great rainbow loa/snake, the messenger of love and tenderness. Ayida Wedo [same spirit, different spelling, Yoruba people should know what it means now- something like “the one who transforms/turns into something else to (or ‘so she can’) swim in the river”] was highly honoured in this video, and the dances you see are sacred, spiritual, Yoruba/Fon dances.

Morio orio 
Ola djou monké n’lo (3x)
Ola djou monké
Ola djou monké n’lo
[Benin deity chant/prayer. I don’t know what it means, but I’m pretty sure ‘Olajumoke nlo’ is wrong. Olajumoke nlo ibo? Olajumoke isn’t going anywhere.]

Eman tché foya lénin [don’t be afraid today/now]
Ifé foun gbogbo ayé [love be to the world]
Eman tché gbagbé ifé [don’t forget love]
Ifé foun ilé baba wa [love for our Fatherland]
Ifé ayé ilé [love be to the world]
Igbadoun foun ayé [enjoyment be to the world]

Agolo agolo agolo agolo (*welcoming/praying to the spirit* )
“Agolo”, Angélique Kidjo, 1994

Who Sat and Watched My Big, Fat Head?

Who sat and watched my big, fat head,
when sleeping on my queen-sized bed,
and tears of sweet, planned revenge shed?
My brother.

I Ran to the Water


“Seated Nude” by Michael Escoffery

I said something “wrong” to him,
and he destroyed the bridge that led to me.
My chances of seeing him again were slim,
so I ran to Iya*, I ran to the sea.

Iya saw me crying by the bank,
and I explained all that I could to her.
I spoke till my spirit, voice and strength sank,
and she stated that we had both gone too far.

She wiped and erased my tears and fears;
she put honey in my mouth and put me to sleep.
The sounds of frogs and fishes filled my ears,
and when I woke up, the last thing I wanted to do was weep.

*Iya: Mother