A Supplicant’s Prayer in Sickness (A Poem) by Agatha Aduro

(After Sam Smith)


Stay with me
The beads of your jigida have been strung
Awaiting the flare of your hips
And the calefaction of your skin

Stay with me
Your betrothed has filled the yam barns
Waits to ring your eyes with camwood;
To filigree your skin with henna

Stay with me
I hear the scream of the unborn in your loins
Your pain is a double-edged sword
Cutting through our hearts.
Yet while poppy tears course through your veins
Won’t you stay with me?

Stay with me
I have held open my eyes
For endless nights
Propped up on stilts of countless prayers
The red has crept in from the sides
And Hypnos plays a haunting melody

Stay with me
While I rest my weary head
Let my heart beat a normal tattoo
For a minute or two.
Don’t slip away while I sleep.
Spurn Thanatos’ advances
And stay with me.



From the chapbook, The Enchanting by Agatha Aduro. Click HERE to download.

Posted in romance, TALES

A SONG TO A TALE by Su’eddie Vershima Agema

It was one song. The song of his romance. The song of his soul.

The tune played slowly into his ears as memory came rushing in.

He had been asking Julia out for some time. They knew they liked each other and he just couldn’t see why she would see their language difference as a barrier to their romance. He had asked on and on till she finally decided to come pay him a visit after giving him a subtle, ‘Maybe.’

His radiance had been enough to take away every darkness that might have been hanging anywhere. He beamed his smiles at his neighbours and made jokes that threw everyone to great laughter.

‘What’s the secret?’ ‘A woman?’ ‘What’s happening?’

The questions kept playing as he replied to each: ‘You no go understand.’

Soon, his room and parlour apartment was transformed into a palace. The dust that had found permanent rest on cushions and other parts took sharp leave. Cobwebs that had been spun by expert spiders and become some form of permanent artwork were brought down. He got new bedsheets from the market and put everything in place. Time ticked slowly even as he made each second count till the moment chimed. She came in from work, tired and a bit sweaty. He took her in his arms soon as she stepped in and the tiredness that clung to her like a cloak was lifted. Still, there was something in her eyes that he couldn’t understand.

‘What is it dear?’ he asked repeatedly.

‘Nothing. Was tired but now, I am strong! Thanks dear.’

He took her words, smiled his way to his room and appeared back with a plate in his hands. She opened it to find long grained white rice covered in a deep red sauce supported with some shrimps. At a corner of the plate were fresh vegetables. The aroma rose to her nose tickling the hairs within. He watched her as she closed her eyes. He got to his fridge and brought out two cans of Malt.

‘Would have got us wine but for starters, let’s not get you drunk on a first date.’

Her lips were spread in a huge smile even as her eyes filmed. He had his back to her as he tried to put on his radio set to slot in a cassette. He fiddled with it for some time, then decided to get a new tape. As he turned, he found her in his front. She stretched her arms around him and he smiled. After some time, she disengaged and gave him a cassette. He slotted it in. Soon, the voice of Rascal Flatts filled the room; I woke up this morning, with this feeling inside me that I can’t explain like a weight that I am carrying has been taken away… But I know something is coming… I don’t know what it is but I know it is amazing, my time is coming, I will find a way out of this … And it feels like today…

‘Come, let us eat,’ she called. He made some sounds of disagreement. She looked up at him with a deep frown.

‘Okay…’ he grumbled and joined her.

The plate was cleared in little time. Then he stood up, got to the room and was back with a plate of some dark mound with a smell that could not be mistaken – chocolate cake. Her eyes confirmed what her nose had declared even before he could put it down.

‘Ah! My favourite!’ she shouted and grabbed the plate out of his hand.

Soon, the song, ‘Feels like today’ caught their ears: ‘I woke up this morning, with a feeling I can’t explain like a weight that I have been carrying has been carried away…’

‘Stand up,’ he invited. ‘Excuse me dance?’

They laughed at this. He had a way of behaving old when he was in the mood. She refused to move. He got down to her chair and poked his fingers into her ribs. She started giggling then ended up laughing out loud. She stood up finally.

‘I don’t want to dance!’ she shouted over the volume of the song that he had increased.

‘Oh well, it isn’t an option now!’ he replied back, matching her loudness.

Feels like today…

The song soon changed to ‘Bless the broken road’, then JJ Heller’s ‘Tonight’.

‘From dance steps, I usually know how long a relationship would last and also a lady’s true feelings for me.’

‘Really?’ she said and raised her head from his chest to look into his face. ‘How long would we last?’

‘As long as the day goes,’ he replied and smiled. He buried his head in her hair as the scent rose into his nose. He looked at her face after a while, her eyes closed and against his chest. She looked up then, and he locked her lips in a kiss. The music stopped, but they swayed on to music from within, trapping time if only, for that moment.





SONG for the moment: JJ Heller ‘Tonight’ from The Pretty and The Plain album.



Excerpt from A Song to a Tale and Waiting by Su’eddie Vershima Agema

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