Posted in NAIJA POETRY, POETRY

She Came to Town by Su’eddie Vershima Agema

He heard of her arrival
the billboards
shouted her to his face
in every place and direction
not enough, she seized signposts
covering milestones
travellers left wary of location
in the forceful paste of her plastic smile
loving…
calling…

She hugged trees
and adorned walls
her jingle on the radio the new herald of dawn
TVs took over
proclaiming her, the promise of sweet dreams at dusk

He died for her
selling all
till she came to town, sirens blaring—
Queen Mistress.
He thought himself her all
and ran to claim her
but found a long line waiting…
She smiled sweetly, melting them,
spoke lovely little nothings,
waved and left.

She came to town
and left,
still everywhere,
now everyone’s
but nowhere in any heart.

article-2651403-1E8C4B0B00000578-560_964x494 (1)
Josh Bakkum Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2651403/Post-apocalyptic-images.html

(From Home Equals Holes: Tale of an Exile, Makurdi: SEVHAGE, 2014)

Posted in CALLS FOR SUBMISSION, COMPETITION, POETRY

CALL FOR POETS: JOS POETRY SLAM E-SLAM edition 1.0

The JPS E-Slam is a digital slam that hopes to bring together poets from different parts of the nation using the platform ‘Instagram’ as a stage. It is a Jos Poetry Slam (JPS) team initiative. All poets are eligible to enter for the competition whether or not the poets have participated in previous slam Competitions organised by the Jos Poetry Slam team.

HOW TO APPLY

  1. Write a poem on any theme and record a video (1 minute).
  2. Follow @jospoetryslam on instagram
  3. Upload your video and tag us ( @jospoetryslam)
  4. We would then repost your video to our page where voting will take place.

 

CONTEST RULES:

  •    Poems can be on any subject and in any style.
  •   Each poem must be an original piece written and performed by the POET/ARTIST.
  •   No props.
  •  No costumes.
  •  Performances are timed and should not exceed 1 minute.
  • No musical instruments or pre-recorded music.
  •  Each poem will only be used once during the competition.
  • Poets prepare three (3) poems in case they move to the second and final rounds.
  • Contestants who proceed from the first to the second round will be chosen by the number of likes their post receives but with fairness as one of our core values each judge has the right to pull through one exceptional candidate who failed to meet the ‘likes’ requirement. Why? Creativity is more than a popularity contest.
  • Only the first round will be dependent on ‘likes’. The second and final round would be entirely dependent on our panel of judges who will select the overall winner of the competition.

You can send your videos from the 5th of July to the 15th of July 2017. The winner will be announced on the 24th of July.

THE PRIZE:

The winner will receive #20000.

NOTE: 

  1. Entry is free.
  2.  If the poem you share is plagiarized and/or is offensive, among other things, we reserve the right  to not publish it.
Posted in POETRY

WHEN LOVE BECKONS TO YOU – Kahlil Gibran

download

When love beckons to you follow him,
though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
though his voice may shatter your dreams
as the north wind lays waste the garden.
For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you.
Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your height and caresses
your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
so shall he descend to your roots
and shake them in their clinging to the earth.

Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.
He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant;
And then he assigns you to his sacred fire,
that you may become sacred bread
for God’s sacred feast.

All these things love will do unto you
that you might know the secrets of your heart,
and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life’s heart

But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace
and love’s pleasure,
then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness
and pass out of love’s threshing-floor,
into the seasonless world where you shall laugh,
but not with all of your laughter,
and weep,
but not all of your tears.

For Love gives naught but itself
and takes naught but from itself.
Love possesses not
nor would it be possessed;
For love is sufficient unto love.

And when you love you should not say,
“God is in my heart,”
but rather, “I am in the heart of God.”

Think not you can direct the course of love,
for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.
Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.

But if you love and must have desires,
let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook
that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart
and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;
to return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart
and a song of praise upon your lips.

 

From The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

 

About Kahlil Gibrain
ps_khalil_gibran

Kahlil Gibrain (1883-1931) is one of the world’s most popular and best selling poets of all times. He was a Lebanese-American poet, philosopher, artist and writer. His writings are deeply prophetic (he actually has a book titled The Prophet 🙂 ) and deep. Google his poetry and if you get the opportunity, buy and/or read his books. His words are transforming if you let them sink. Now, let’s end this with a quote from him:

You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.

Posted in NAIJA POETRY, POETRY, POETRY FROM THE WORLD, REVIEWS

Unalloyed and Revitalizing: Thoughts on Amina Aboje’s ‘Promises on Sand’

Title:   Promises on Sand
Author:   Amina Aboje
Publisher:   Kraft Books
Year of Publication:   2017
Number of Pages:   87
Category:   Poetry
Reviewer:   Paul SawaPromises in Sand - Amina Aboje

Although I write the occasional poem, I do not see myself as a poet. Avid reader that I am, however, I consider myself competent enough to review any form of literature. After all, I am the end user. The myth that only a poet can review poetry has long since been debunked. When all the lights in your house go out, you do not need to be an electrical engineer to realise that something is wrong.
I’ve always appreciated poetry, but have a tendency to be overly censorious of lyrical fluency and the depth thereof in much of what is expected to pass for verse today. The book which I am about to review, not only dependably delivers on both of these criteria, but goes further to embolden the believer, tickle the lover, and reignite any dying embers in the heart of the disillusioned patriot into a blaze.
The anthology, Promises on Sand, is Amina Aboje’s first published work. It is subdivided into four parts.
The first section, “The Glow,” is my favourite. It affords the reader a glimpse into the primary essence of the mime behind the rhyme. The reckless abandon of an unfettered childhood expressed in “Voice of the Wind,” which gives way to the first gentle tugs of young love on the heart strings in “Fusion” and “Never Enough,” is tempered by the idealistic purity of “Stay with me.” As a theist with a deep love and appreciation for nature, I am struck by Amina’s liberal use of natural imagery with occasional glimpses of the Divine revealed in and through the natural world.
The second section, “Of Loss and Hope,” takes on a more sombre note, yet in its entire sobriety, hope is never lost. Amina juxtaposes the reality of death and consequent effusions of grief with the hope of rebirth and reunion. In the six lines of “Except I die,” I see physical rebirth subsequent to death, like the seed in nature; I see spiritual death and rebirth as the hope and joy of the theist; and I see the daily process of dying to self and thereby awakening to another life. Then, of course, Amina has not neglected to highlight the miracle of birth, disappointments, betrayals and the perplexing paradoxes in this pilgrimage of life, for which she asks for direction in “Guiding Rod” – pragmatism garnished with idealism. Did I mention that this section is my favourite?
Section three, “Time Transience and Nature,” takes the cake! The brevity in style (each poem consists of only three lines) goes to reinforce the transience of time. Like a butterfly from flower to flower, Amina flits from one thought to another … universality, diversity, beauty, nature … as if to remind the reader, “Life is brief. Make the most of it.” It is amazing what three lines of poesy can do. This is, without question, my favourite section.
The fourth section, “Pangs of Nationhood,” strikes to the very soul of Nigeria. Despair translates to despondency which then begins to nudge at a realization that births defiance, as in the closing stanza of “Promises in Sand,” where the citizenry rhetorically inquire of the political class, “…how can you think there’ll ever be you without me?” “The Accomplice” sheds light on the dynamics of the corrupt class while “Musings” gives voice to the common man who laments, “How did I become so common?” The senselessness of internal conflict, the gaping chasm between the haves and the have nots, and the shamelessness of treasury looters as expressed in “Mindless Battles” and “Guiltless Shame” is still unable to quench the undercurrent of hope in “Still Green” and “Centennial Bliss.” Patriot that I am, this section is my favorite.
If I were asked to do the impossible by describing this book in two words, I would say … Unalloyed and Revitalizing. Amina Aboje has, in this book – Promises on Sand, somehow connected the profane with the profound and the sacred with the sagacious. It is an excellent read, and I highly recommend it.

(Paul Sawa writes from Abuja, Nigeria. Inquiries on the book as well as requests for interviews and reviews can be got from the author by email aminaaboje@yahoo.com. Amina Aboje is the winner of the Mandela Day Poetry Prize 2016  and lives in Abuja)

Posted in INSPIRATION, NAIJA POETRY, POETRY, POETRY FROM THE WORLD

The Definition of Hope

Poetry is hope; hope is life; something beautiful.

If you would listen, it is a promise.

If you would listen, quietly and get those codes that gently unveil themselves to us like dawn unfolds to day; like the caterpillar to a butterfly.20130217-203619

It is the look of waters

– on a cloudy night; wait a few seconds for when God’s hands pushes those clouds –

With stars and the moon dancing in a million glitters across several miles;

Can you see the diamonds bobbing up and down as the waves sing promises and freshness to your soul?
It is transformation from bleak to bliss.

It is the sight of beauty, the sound of desire, the smell of hope, the taste of victory and the touch of greatness… It is so much more…

It is your heart in words the mouth cannot utter; your soul in codes your flesh can’t decipher. It is the air and it is the earth – you can feel it without touching; you can grab it in your fingers yet it carries you.

It is dawn – the sun smiling when you wake.

Dusk – when the sun dives back below the earth’s belt.

The moon shining in shapes from a calabash to a banana, on any given night – with its stars glittering and dotting the skies, precious gems lighting the souls of the weary…

It is those words that tell us, who are heavy laden

– lovers who struggle to find the spark of fires that now seem like smoke

– a writer weaving words no one seems to care about

– someone looking over a sick one, in anguish

– people in recession, finding a single meal

– a father who looks to questioning eyes that ask ‘why?’

– a mother, forced to go to a trash can to pick meals like a lunatic, not caring about eyes that stare, as she puts food in the mouth of her baby

It is those words that tell us to look up in hope, even on those nights when the clouds come around to bring a sense of darkness
As you struggle through dusk, note every night gives birth to dawn and day, brilliant rays that will sparkle your existence

When it seems like the end, remember just when the caterpillar thought it was over, it became a butterfly!

The river that looks dark on a cloudy night, inviting you to taste of its depth transforms to a mirror of diamonds with a small push of Aôndo who takes all the clouds away

True. Those clouds…

They never took away the moon and stars. The clouds would slowly float away… but would you be waiting?

 

That is poetry. That is hope. That is life.

That is you.

You are verse. You are hope. You are life.

Too beautiful to be explained. Too deep to be deciphered at once, yet full of so much and more.
You are beautiful.
If they would listen, you are a promise.

If they would listen, quietly and get those codes that gently unveil themselves like dawn unfolds day; they would see the diamond that hid behind the rough.

You are the sight of beauty, the sound of desire, the smell of hope, the taste of victory and the touch of greatness… You are so much more…

 

Listen slowly to what the universe just whispered to my heart,

hear it everyday in the voice time should never make you deaf to:

You are the best verse that life ever wrote.

 

  • Copyright ©Su’eddie Vershima Agema, 2017
Posted in POETRY

as life goes by (a poem) by Hyginus Ekwuazi

Next year… next

birthday…. next

Christmas….

and time sneaked in
unannounced, uninvited
sweeping it all away:

the years
the birthdays
the seasons—

leaving behind, only the fragments
of the memory

of a life and

of a face

too blurred for memory…

in the twinkling of a lifetime.

 

 

From the collection, One Day I’ll Dare to Raise my Middle Finger at the Stork and the Reaper (Karu: SEVHAGE, 2015)

 

Hyginus Ekwuazi, multiple award winning poet, scholar and film maker, teaches Broadcasting and Film at the University of Ibadan, Ibadan.

Posted in NAIJA POETRY, POETRY, POETRY FROM THE WORLD, Uncategorized

MAYBE WE SHOULD LEARN TO HATE

Maybe we should learn to hate.

Not to love everything, like our heart would have us do. Not to compromise on things that are more of lies, for the sake of – peace.

When they piss on the centre of our souls, quenching the one thing that keeps us going –sanity.

Maybe we should learn to hate.

To rise above the cries we have sobbed, smiling in distress, swallowing sadness while lingering pain stabs us deep in the heart where no one can see… Even in love, we offer another plea…

Maybe we should learn to hate.

Shout at the arrogance of asses that fart noises to our noses, entrenching deeper stripes into our skin as more wipes are lashed by those we throw our hearts at, as they target carefully aimed darts…

Maybe we should learn to hate.

Maybe hate should grow. Slowly, a spark at a time till it flames and enrages our being, burning every fibre to shout at every evil, stare every stupidity and not be trampled by those who live that we may die…

Maybe we should learn to hate?

 

  • Su’eddie Vershima Agema
Posted in POETRY, POETRY FROM THE WORLD, Uncategorized

On Death – Kahlil Gibran (One of the finest poems on death ever)

You would know the secret of death.
But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?
The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light.
If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life.
For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.

beauty-black-death-desire-hapiness-favim-com-241279
BEAUTY, BLACK, DEATH, DESIRE, HAPINESS, HAPPINESS, LIFE, LOVE, TRUTH, WHITE. Source: http://favim.com/image/241279/

In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond;
And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring.
Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.
Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honour.
Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of the king?
Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?

For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?

Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.

 

About Kahlil Gibrain
ps_khalil_gibran

Kahlil Gibrain (1883-1931) is one of the world’s most popular and best selling poets of all times. He was a Lebanese-American poet, philosopher, artist and writer. His writings are deeply prophetic (he actually has a book titled The Prophet 🙂 ) and deep. Google his poetry and if you get the opportunity, buy and/or read his books. His words are transforming if you let them sink. Now, let’s end this with a quote from him:

You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.

Posted in POETRY FROM THE WORLD, POL TALKS, Uncategorized

Pity The Nation – Kahlil Gibran

Pity the nation that is full of beliefs and empty of religion.
Pity the nation that acclaims the bully as hero,
and that deems the glittering conqueror bountiful.

Pity a nation that despises a passion in its dream,
yet submits in its awakening.

Pity the nation that raises not its voice
save when it walks in a funeral,hqdefault
boasts not except among its ruins,
and will rebel not save when its neck is laid
between the sword and the block.

Pity the nation whose statesman is a fox,
whose philosopher is a juggler,
and whose art is the art of patching and mimicking.

Pity the nation that welcomes its new ruler with trumpeting,
and farewells him with hooting,
only to welcome another with trumpeting again.

 

 

…..

About Kahlil Gibrain
ps_khalil_gibran

Kahlil Gibrain (1883-1931) is one of the world’s most popular and best selling poets of all times. He was a Lebanese-American poet, philosopher, artist and writer. His writings are deeply prophetic (he actually has a book titled The Prophet 🙂 ) and deep. Google his poetry and if you get the opportunity, buy and/or read his books. His words are transforming if you let them sink. Now, let’s end this with a quote from him:

You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.

Posted in INSPIRATION, NAIJA POETRY, POETRY, POETRY FROM THE WORLD, Uncategorized

ONCE UPON A TALE OF LIFE (Versed Notes)

(after listening to a spoken word by daisy odey)

once, there was a storyteller
who created fires from sparks
who started each tale with ‘let there be’…
a teller of many intertwining tales
who told our universe to be
and in that space,
he killed the darkness, formed the light
filled everywhere, made it bright…

tale-of-life
art painting fire surrealism Old man Teun Hocks Love|Crave Source

the teller decided to tell another tale
‘let there be…’
a dragged sentence that took nine sticks
and a rubbing of stones
the answer was a tiny spark…
that found movement in four ways…

four feet became two
as seconds multiplied minutes
that aged into years
the tale spiralled on, and formed extensions
that spanned decades through an existence
of much that left in some minds
a steady presence, in others an absence

this tale continued
a fire spreading
burning as it lit others
within, other tales made:
continuations that left everyone amazed…

till finally,
the fire quenched to smoke
the tale came to a halt
it lived on in others and became a narrative
one that continues to be
in a beauty everyone can see
but the fire was meant to be reborn
and so the storyteller…

…decided to add one more
like many other things
the voice said: ‘let there be…’
it was a long sentence that took nine sticks

a rubbing of stones
the answer was a tiny spark…

-©Su’eddie Vershima Agema, 2015.