These portraits slowly smudge the smiles that lit the streetswhere our fathers loved, lived and thrived. Violence is fueled on sensible and senseless plainsIn the name of brazen gods and a common God called peaceGuns blaze while cutlasses fly in the air cutting down destiniesHerdsmen hide under false pretences to raise fights as farmers riseDying … Continue reading ON THE BRINK (A Poem) by S. Su’eddie Vershima Agema
I just read a blog post by my cousin, Mimi titled ‘Drink Air.‘ and it brought memories. In summary, the term ‘drink air’ is from a Tiv expression, ‘ma ahumbe.’ It is a literal translation. In our context, it is a term that was popularised by her mom, my aunt Mbatomun and my Dadi, Mr. Charles Ayede. A third person who we lost early on was our Auntie, Pat Iorpuu. They would be deliberate and just make time out for us to go out, take aimless drives around town or anywhere, or long walks. Sometimes, it would even be a celebration because — no good reason. Just, live. There was that time in the village, Christmas 2009, when we went to the village with Dadi and a battalion of several families to just enjoy our tradition, acculturate and have fun. Truly, it was one of the best Christmases ever and I hope to replicate this some day, if Fanen does not beat me to it.
But, on the issue of drinking air, we were talking of this on our group chat and Ngodoo, my big cos, reminded me of one time, about sixteen years or so ago, when Dadi got us to go on a road trip with him from Makurdi to Obudu, in Cross River, a four to five hour trip, to get ‘bamboo.’
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. Continue reading SKELETONS (A Poem) by S. V. Agema
Often when we are in a position, we fail to see how far we have come. It is often the case that when a man is climbing a mountain and looks down, he does not appreciate the heights he has attained but is afraid of what would happen if he falls.
Well, poetry speaks to us in many ways and comes to us in different ways. It is that place where there are many of us rushing in, especially with this whole advent of the social media. Now, while a lot of people have argued and bashed people who write so-called bad poetry on their blogs and spaces like Facebook, I’ve told these ‘critics’ to cool down. We are simply moving with the times. No writer should be judged for such posts. The only time when such a person should be judged is when the poem has been put into a book. So to say, when the poet has declared it final.
i build memory and years wither away… I am left to start building afresh lost in sands that have become my now Su’eddie Vershima Agema (First impression of this was published in Ake Review 2016) Continue reading building to wither by su’eddie vershima agema
I have learnt to take a few things; to embrace the tears of others, whether in joy or sadness. It has been a year like that. 2017 was. I have grown tougher, and yet, softened too. I am not the man I was at the start of that year, or the man the year left. … Continue reading A RACE WITH SELF: A NEW YEAR NOTE
There is an eagerness for everyone to say something about Biafra, to blame somebody for the chaos that is about to unfold if care is not taken. This is not the time to say that IPOB had it coming. The issue here is that human lives are being wasted. First, the killing of Biafran agitators … Continue reading BIAFRA AND THE REST OF US by Abubakar Adam Ibrahim
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. It is the look of waters – on a cloudy night; wait a … Continue reading The Definition of Hope