From the Editor's Desk || Elisha Oluyemi


From the Editor's Desk

Elisha Oluyemi


I should title this issue SOUL. I should name it after the depth of the hearts from which the contributors have poured out words so bold, so delicate, so personal I wondered if I and my team deserved to be entrusted with them. I should take it like a painting from antiquity and build great white walls around it to foreground its beauty, its fragility, and on it impress the names of all contributors, readers, and editors, as if to say, “There is no tree without roots."  I would step into those walls and gaze at the beauty, arms crossed, acknowledging, “They did it. Their SOULS have made it happen. The blood beneath the flowers."

Issue Five is a return for us after a long period of hiatus and uncertainty, after a couple years of rocking back and forth. It is a symbol of clarity, the glow of embers that must be fanned to flame—our fiery vision. And speaking of flames, this issue is an embodiment of fire, an alchemy of unfettered creativity.

“Origami" by Sunmisola Odusola stands out with its astonishingly spiritual exploration of intimacy, breaking the walls of individualism; and with a prose as delicate as the thin film between life and death, and with blood, and with paper cranes, Origami paints a picture of wild passion, closing with a submission, “You're my body; you're my body."

There are more breathtaking works: The Fixer by Lori D'Angelo, blurring the lines between humans and robots in a futuristic setting and illustrating the emotional complexities of both species as they coexist; 24 by Ola W. Halim, exploring a chaotic period in the life of a character who seeks redemption as he grapples with a looming apocalypse; Mnemonic Lake by Eoin Butler Thornton, a vivacious and sore narrative of the consequences of a memory replication experiment; Within These Walls by Okafor Chukwuemeka Tom, repainting against a futuristic backdrop the terrifying old picture of the continuum of slavery and how a mountain of hope can be a paltry chunk of chaff; It Was Never Just About the Witches by Kendra Jackson, a story of a pitiful witch hunt, and a shocking twist; Leaking Pockets by Cynthia Chukwuma, a contemplative piece about a Nigerian who makes a resolute decision following a long pitiful stint of merry-go-round in China; a culturally relevant The Filth We Carry by Mariam Tijani, chronicling a life of reckless sacrifice, selfless sisterhood, and a bottled-up resentment for a blind culture of chastity; and Global by Ron Riekki, about the relentless efforts of a couple to survive a prolonged and violent storm. 

Also enclosed are poetries from Karibo Goodnews, whose bittersweet nostalgic poems explore the themes of self-discovery, nature, and grief; Erinola Daranijo's The Souls Descended into Earth, which paints a grim picture of a fatal mishap, how existence is only the distance between the ground and our bodies; Exorcism by Anushri Nanavati using dark visceral imagery to explore themes of despair and pain; Hussein Waliu Olalekan's two dreamy poems connecting nature with fragile planes of human existence; Babatunde David Ọlatunji's Hallowed Healing chronicling the personae's search for healing and redemption; and Tariq Agboola's Through the Horizon exploring a reconciliation with the experience of loss and the hunger to preserve the memories of the ones who have left, the way “the night holds darkness".

Not forgetting our bold curation of essays: Viktoriia Grivina's What to Do with All the Russian Books & Lillian Tsay's In Another Life, I May Have Been a Classicist, both equally, yet uniquely, reflecting the writers' strong need to keep their literature and culture in perspective, in appreciation. Sanobar Sabah's What My Body Wants, Recalls, & Why chronicles her journey to healing and self-acceptance. And finally, Christopher French's I Am Not a Father gives a heartrending account of the writer's loss of a newborn son.

Considering the depth and diversity of this issue, how it reaches into the soul and stays, maybe as a lump in a throat or in the manner of a chicken soup, I dare say this is the closest we have come to living our name, Fiery Scribe Review, and expressing our mission, to publish bold and spirited literature.

Coming here, we changed a lot of things and spelled out our cores. We revised the website, boosted the editorial team, used the help of a lot of readers, stuck by our promises, our hands firmly connected. A synergy.

And I'm grateful to the entire team for their diligence. Working with them afforded me an experience I never really had. Yaqub Olayinka, Okorie Divine, Frank Njugi, Ariyo Ahmad, Adesiyan Oluwapelumi… What could I have done without them? 

And there's our active body of readers: Mhembeuter Jeremiah, Kelvin Shachile, Amaani Sadiq, Precious Osikha, Mathew Daniel, Ayodeji Israel, Munachimso David, Njikonye Charles, Winifred Odunoku, and Olusoji Obebe. My gratitude is boundless.

With Issue Five now before us, I again find myself musing, “What is a tree without its roots?"

Elisha Oluyemi,

Founder & Editor-in-Chief,

Fiery Scribe Review.


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