top of page

A Valentine's Day Collection

Updated: Feb 17, 2023

Valentine’s Day - So Sweet It Stings

Lovers & Friends

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone. Whether you’re enjoying the cosiness of being boo’d up, loving on your friends and chosen family, being your own bae or you’re feeling particularly lonely today, I’m sending nothing but positive energy your way.

In case nobody told you today You're special- Special, Lizzo.

I hope you can wrap yourself in the warmth of these stories like a good harmony.

Hearts on Fire

Heart bleeding on my sleeve

They all say I’m naïve

But loving recklessly is better than going to heaven with nothing

Why are my wings so heavy now?

Where The Flowers Bloom

Travelling is an event. I strut to my destinations in a stylish haste, boosted if I can beat my previous times. I plug in my earphones, and I’m transported to the addicting uplift of Renaissance. At school I’m bombarded with sympathetic stares that scorch like glares of condemnation. Murmurs that confront like an assembly of shouts. Every day I’m waiting for the futile hours to cease.

If I did what he did, I’d be a slut.

But he’s that dude.

If I did what he did, I would’ve sinned.

He just made a mistake.

He’s lounging in the limelight.

I’ll never be the same again.

Traffic stops for me as I bulldoze through the campus. But then my best-friend stops me. I’ve not seen him in ages.

I investigate his honeyed braids, a smile so bright that it almost blinds me. He wears joy like the dangly jewelry we used to snag from charity shops. Nostalgia contorts my frown into a faint grin as carefree days of dance battles, nonstop shopping and gossip sessions with the church congregation aka the ladies at my mum’s salon strut freely in my divided mind.

We begin to take an unnecessarily long route.

I’m ten minutes behind!

My phone blares a discordant melody.

“I don’t like the way we’re going. It’s too long and I… I don’t like walking this way.”

“You’ve never walked this way before. You might like it.”

"I won’t." I frown like a stroppy child.

He becomes my inner peace and my entertainer and a slice of sunshine. Suddenly he’s gallivanting in a vibrant field of flowers, sneaking into our school lab and dilapidated buildings once shrouded in the secrecy of ignorance. He’s glowing as he witnesses lovers growing into each other like trees, his frail body roaming to a reminiscing haze.

An era when there was love without betrayal.

I’ve always loved the quicker route.

It’s straight to the point.

“How long til we get there?” I groan.

“What’s the rush? Sometimes the journey is more beautiful than the destination.”

Almost there.

“… Especially when you know what’s waiting for you is already yours.”

Announcement: Aaliyah is Back on the Scene

By Aaliyah Denise Norwood, ICON-IN-TRAINING

It’s been a long time and from my DMs, I know you missed me. I won’t lie. I was hurt badly and while I’m still recovering, I’m not a victim. I am free, liberated and ready to see everything that's out there. I already feel the palpable thirst. But before you all attempt to drink up, here are a few things you should know:

Treat me like I treat me

Because you know I treat me nice

Treat me how I treat me

‘Cause you know I treat me kind

Treat me like I treat me

Because you know I treat me right

Treat me like I treat me

Love me


Not duplicitously

But Freely



Treat Me Like I Treat Me.

Check my Linktree for more details on the application process and height requirements. Sorry Short Kings. This is one tree you can’t climb.

Survival of the honest!

I know where my heart goes. (?)

This boy be in my DMs say I’m pretty.

This boy. Be in my DMs? Say I’m funny!

I wonder if he knows…

God been knew that

And it’s no shade

Cuz ur kinda cute too

Under the shimmering midnight blue

I know where my heart goes way before mind’s in tune

I’m following all the signs

Look both ways before I cross your mind

Let me know if it leads to you

But can you shine in the light without a disguise?

You need to reveal it all before I can fall

Question: When nobody’s watching, who are you?

What if?

Wandering through the Shopping Centre, my eyes meet theirs. Arresting, captivating, haunting, alluring, calling. Rustling my hair, I stumble away, knocking down every stand in my path.

‘Sorry.’ I proclaim repeatedly before it transforms into a catchy jingle. The slogan of my trifling exes, backstabbing friends and a friend that was forced to leave my life.

The triumphant and reliable National Anthem of the flaky public.

My friends are going clubbing tonight. A sort of last hooray before we split off and start our lives anew. I can’t be asked to exchange shallow niceties, picture perfect smoulders and nice-nasty comment that obscure the secrets that lay naked before us everyday.

September gives us a clean break. There’s no future in the past and I am counting the days for this all to be over. They can ride on another coattail, and I can move on from this travesty.

The person follows me. Normally I’d be scared and put my guards up, where they should have always belonged. This time I’m moved by something higher and invite them to sit at a secluded stall, isolated from the insatiable gossipers. I’d been on a string of dates/meetups, and without uttering a single world, this person obliterated the competition. We sit. We stare. We order. We pay. After a chaotic silence…

We talk.

Their eyes stray down to my screen, consumed with wanderlust.

‘Who’s that?’

It’s my best-friend and I when we were twelve years old during our Year 7 Summer Holidays. We’re making silly scrunched up faces and looking like the adorably messy preteens we were determined to show the world we weren’t. His mum was always so glad when I was around, serving us around-the-clock, buying us whatever we wanted whenever we wanted. She’d snapped photos of us like there was no tomorrow and created albums to send to his relatives.

‘That’s thee bestie.’ My heart somersaults as I hear a delicate symphony swell inside me and for the first-time in god knows how long, a smile cleanses my tense features. That is until I remember.

‘I haven’t been able to speak to him in a while.’


They see my heart shatter across the table with their intuitive vision.

‘Let’s talk about something else.’

‘Do you really think you can get to know someone without going into a long backstory?’

‘Sure.’ They shrug effortlessly, oblivious or acutely aware of the true gravity of that enquiry. They punctuate their nonchalant response with a chuckle of levity. Biting my lips sore, my eyes widen with suspicion. The carefree charisma, the lustful lackadaisical lease on life, the twinge of rasp and growl deeply embedded in their voice. I will not be duped again. They are too good to be true personified. ‘I don’t really need to know the person you used to be, but I would love to get to know the person you’re trying to be.’

‘Surely who a person was is a part of who they are and will be? Do you really think you can fall in love with or even get to know a person without knowing the person that preceded their current form?’

‘Umm. I-I guess everybody has a past trailed with mistakes, stamped with regrets and trademarked irreversibly with poor choices. If you’re trying to be better now, there’s no need to dwell on what could have been. There’s no future in the past.’

The bilious yellow hue of the lights nauseates me. The kindness, candour and courage of this celestial being frightens me in a way that invites me into their sublime.

‘You can’t just move on like that.’

‘What if you can?’

‘But…’ a pregnant pause lingers in the shifting borderline.

‘What if you can?’ they repeat with endearing childlike naiveté I’ve been too jaded, battered and bruised to return to.

They are like home. Home is such a strange place. I have standard verses. They build a bridge to a new day. I barely know them. They are an individual and a pluralistic vision of all my wildest dreams.

I am finally experiencing this alleged Love at First Sight? Maybe what I am experiencing is being glamourized by unknowing? It would be foolish to fall for the charms of a mystery. But what if this is real? The happily ever after liberated from the lonely castle of fairy tales.

What if they…


his 19 year old British Nigerian writer and poet is called Emoefeoghene Akpofure Imoyin-Omene but because you’re cool, you can call him Efe, Mr Omene if you’re feeling spicy.

From an early age Efe has had an affinity towards the artistry of writing. It gave him the chance to create alternative worlds when his sometimes felt cold and confusing. Writing became his space to unleash emotions too explosive to articulate.

This love intensified during the pandemic. While most were reeling, Efe was finding healing through writing his debut novel. Ese: The Misadventures of Moving Forward - a book he affectionately labels ‘YA Romance with socially conscious and comedic twists’. It beautifully chronicles the trials, tribulations and euphoria that comes at the worldbuilding adolescent stage through the eyes of an unconventional protagonist and their diverse found family. From his work with The National Centre for Writing in their Lit From The Inside programme at 17 and publishing a zine with them, working on his school’s English Blog, Podcast and Instagram, starting the 1st Black Student Forum in Wymondham College, editing and mentoring, and using his imagination to paint possibility, the sky is too limiting for this bright star. Get ready world because Efe is.

60 views0 comments


bottom of page