Posted in POETRY

BORNO (A Poem) by Mujahyd Ameen Lilo

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”

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Posted in POETRY

SKELETONS (A Poem) by S. V. Agema

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.

 

 

 

Posted in ESSAYS AND LITERARY JOURNEYS, LITERARY MISSIONARY, POETRY

KWAME DAWES’S WITNESS TO POETRY

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.

Continue reading “KWAME DAWES’S WITNESS TO POETRY”

Posted in NAIJA POETRY, POETRY, POETRY FROM THE WORLD

FOREVER AND AGAIN (A LOVE POEM)

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 heartsR2-on-a-cloud

Continue reading “FOREVER AND AGAIN (A LOVE POEM)”

Posted in LIFE, POETRY

building memories by su’eddie vershima agema

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

 

 

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  • Su’eddie Vershima Agema (First published in Ake Review 2016)
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.

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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

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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)