open letter to the people finding it hard to breathe


empty your heart of the leeching fear / anxiety
it’s siphoning the light from your sun

there is chaos swirling around /
unplug yourself from the news
else you find yourself puckered in swelling darkness

remember not to cram melancholy
like it is a verse seeking a home in your body

breathe in / breathe out

there’s a world within you
& it’s okay to recoil into that universe /
you’re not dwindling


Praise Osawaru is a Nigerian writer, (performance) poet, & wannabe entrepreneur studying at the University of Benin, Nigeria. His works have appeared in African Writer, Kreative Diadem, Ngiga Review, Perhappened Magazine, Praxis Magazine & elsewhere. He was longlisted for African Writers Award 2019 & shortlisted in the 2019 Kreative Diadem Creative Writing Contest. When he isn’t overworrying about life he’s reading or binge-watching. Say hello on Instagram/Twitter: @wordsmithpraise


image: Sheldon Birnie