Issue #2: Five Poems, N.L Shompole

Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 2.39.56 PM

// Plunder

Here, (in the heart)
is softness.

I will survive.

// Until the end

Each breath
she endured
There is no peace
for those who cannot endure
until prayer became a form of self -torture,
for every hardship, one more breath
There is no peace
for those who cannot endure
when the rain came too early,
drowning the fields
There is no peace
for those who cannot endure
She died on her knees,
eighty one years old
bones digging into red soil,
face melting in the sun
parchment skin
breath hot sugar and the cloves
she bit into that morning
to soothe the aching molar,
prayer on her lips
There is no peace
for those who cannot endure
There is no peace
for those who cannot endure.

// Mutiny

Who told you this
open-mouthed mutiny
open-palmed rebellion
orange skied
heart plundering
was love?

who told you
the flower hunting
field burning
dark skied
river damming
are blessings?

// sky

Cover me,
cover me,
cover me
with the night sky.

// Remember

Beg your eyes to forget me. Remember you came willing, sight blind, fingertips searching, dark skin, shadows, yellow moon. Remember what I tasted like as you wipe my kiss from your mouth with the back of your hand. Warm honey, rose attar underneath my breasts , salt water skin. Remember your heartbeat on my palm, running wild, and the fire, the embers, the spark, and the soft, soft …water. Remember that you came willing. Remember that you begged for more. Remember that you didn’t have to stay. Remember that I let you go.


N.L Shompole is a writer, artist and poet. She was born in Kenya where she spent her childhood. Her work is gripping and deeply poetic, whether you are getting lost in photographs from her budding project Modorland, that attempts to show the immigrant story in a new world, or flying through her poetry project as found on her blog Kingdoms in the Wild. Her photographs and paintings have appeared in festivals and galleries all across San Francisco/Bay Area and her writings have been featured in several online and print publications.

In 2013, Shompole authored a poetry chapbook Cassiopeia at Midnight, featuring 30 spellbinding poems that later evolved into the 2014 yearlong poetry project Twelve Names for December which was featured on her blog. In December 2014 Shompole published her first full length poetry collection, Heaven Water Blood, featuring over 100 poems that delve into the reality of love, loss, war, and hope with vivid intensity and stunning detail. She currently lives, studies & creates in the Bay Area.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s