The question of writer’s block is one that most writers face, discuss and just make a million excuses of. Several people have given their reasons for why it is there, explaining in scientific and ordinary terms but on January 16th, 2019 at Nick Makoha’s workshop in Oxford – which I attended – we got another view to it.
Adamu, write me not of the
chameleonic nature of Lagos
nor of its seeming a spiderweb
Continue reading “BORNO (A Poem) by Mujahyd Ameen Lilo”
We are skeletons trapped in a pot of time
Life is the fire boiling us
The seasons picking our flesh
Vultures take forks, smiling
Waiting as they hover
We are skeletons waiting
We soon lose our flesh and become our true selves.
It isn’t always one wakes up in Oxford or to a day when you would attend Kwame Dawes’s poetry workshop. But that was the case on this fine Saturday, 1st December, 2018. The clouds were gloomy but that was the least of my concerns. I had spent the night in the town after coming in from Brighton the previous day. Kwame had had a reading, followed by a showcase of the African Poetry Book Fund books. It was fun but that is story for another day.
Who am I?
I’m the most of hawkers
The cutest of beggars
I do your chores
I’m the backbone of every…
Continue reading “WHO AM I? (A Poem) by Aishah Abubakar Gimba”
Every day rises with a pain
Sometimes deep, at other times just plain
Absence in that missing part of the soul
We are never whole
And wake up each day, nursing the hole
That our missed rib strikes into our hearts
i build memory
one block tenderly placed on another
of love and disaster; right steps and wrong songs
time cementing each with sorrows savoured, lessons learnt
slowly, materials disintegrate
shattering what once was me
the years wither to dust
and I am left to start building afresh
lost in sands that have become my now
- Su’eddie Vershima Agema (First published in Ake Review 2016)
He heard of her arrival
shouted her to his face
in every place and direction
not enough, she seized signposts
travellers left wary of location
in the forceful paste of her plastic smile
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
till she came to town, sirens blaring—
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
but nowhere in any heart.
(From Home Equals Holes: Tale of an Exile, Makurdi: SEVHAGE, 2014)
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
- Write a poem on any theme and record a video (1 minute).
- Follow @jospoetryslam on instagram
- Upload your video and tag us ( @jospoetryslam)
- We would then repost your video to our page where voting will take place.
- 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 winner will receive #20000.
- Entry is free.
- If the poem you share is plagiarized and/or is offensive, among other things, we reserve the right to not publish it.
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,
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
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.