FLOWER PETALS by Ugochukwu Damian

FLOWER PETALS by Ugochukwu Damian

FLOWER PETALS

by Ugochukwu Damian

for ikedinaobi
your country is a hunger
that you cannot name
your bones are fragile
like flower petals
& there’s a river in your body
that you cannot name
& there’s a country emptying this river
into itself
where queer bodies drown last
after drowning in their bodies

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ugochukwu Damian Okpara is a poet and a medical student based in Nigeria. He began writing poetry in 2017 and his major theme explores depression, loneliness, and sexuality. His goal is to inspire those who have been hurt, making them realise that the light at the end of the tunnel is not an illusion. He was one of the 21 mentees in the second cohort of the SLM Mentorship programme. His poems have appeared in Woven Words, African writer, Kreative Diadem and elsewhere.
SELF by Adejuwon Gbalajobi

SELF by Adejuwon Gbalajobi

SELF

by Adejuwon Gbalajobi

I wear my fear around my neck like a tie,
my fear, the reason my sleep comes in fits.
& anytime I close my eyes,
my demon transmogrifies into thoughts, an accuser,
a finger pointed at me:
“You, you’ll be like your father, a waste.”
“You, you son of a beast!”

 

2:00 am,
I saw my demon clearer today,
he has flaccid ears, a squared nose, a red carpet for hairs; 
it has my face & my mother’s voice,
“You! I curse my womb for having you!”
2:30 am
I woke up drenched in my sweat,
picked up my phone,
opened my writing app &
finished this poem.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Adejuwon Gbalajobi is a Nigerian poet and creative writer. He writes to explore every sphere of human consciousness.
His poems have appeared on Praxis magazine, Writer Space Africa and Okada blog. He is a lover of tigers, trees, paintings, and sculptures.
 
THE UNIVERSE, TINCTURED by KC Manuel

THE UNIVERSE, TINCTURED by KC Manuel

THE UNIVERSE, TINCTURED

by KC Manuel

I
The chalk writings leap off the face of the blackboard which received a paint job 
that nudiustertian morning. The blackboard, always in a continuous mode of data collection like a government database, is as rigid as the education we procure. Although bound to a state of 
deletion and depletion, the chalk reincarnates into a chain of dunes at the foot of the blackboard, clogging the teacher’s gullet and painting her black hands white on its way down. Through 
inculcation, she belts the mnemonic now earworm: ”Z for Zebra”, and coughs maniacally.

 

II
Mother warned me not to trust anyone when crossing the road, not even the yellow, green, red 
and amber colours of the traffic lights, but the white stripes on the black bitumen because the 
way these colours kiss my frail feet is like an entire street holding my hand to safety.

 

 

III
History has it that at first the black on the Kenyan flag wasn’t accompanied by white. On asking 
why, the teacher says I’m old enough to know that a complete day is the binary of daylight and 
darkness. The added white fimbriation turned the black and red and green into a pout. The 
minimalist white wears its new identity – peace – like an undeserved medallion. The black, 
always as rigid as the education we procure, doesn’t even acquire something as simple as 
pertinacity for a new identity. It’s so insecure of the white that a shield and two spears have to be ingrained in the flag, for why would they be needed where there’s peace?
IV
My screenplay was returned unread because it had little white space. But how else could I have
told this Biblical epic when this way was my only way of making sense of the world around me?
The Bible is open to interpretation like a poem. It’s a scope you can only see through in a split-
second and strike its meaning like gold from the earth’s underbelly. As I muse over my loss, the
major plot points play in the theatre of my hazy headspace: Jesus comes back on earth as a zebra.
As He reincarnates into the Father, He flays and His skin carpeted on the road leading to the
judgement square. Some people step on the white spaces. Some people step on the black spaces.
Others, bound for glory, walk with their heads held high, heedless of the ground graced by the
union of two beautiful colours people deem to be odd, but still revelling in the power of this
revelation.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

KC Manuel is an emerging Kenyan poet and writer, and student at Kibabii University. His works have appeared in The Kalahari Review. His piece, ‘The Rough Ride Home’, was shortlisted for the Igby Prize For Nonfiction. More than anything else, he reveres moonlit nights and twilights. If he’s not writing, he’s thinking about what to write next.
THE HUMILITY OF GOD by Samuel Kolawole Adebayo

THE HUMILITY OF GOD by Samuel Kolawole Adebayo

THE HUMILITY OF GOD

by Samuel Kolawole Adebayo

He who made water
Came to Jordan
To be baptized of water.
God took upon himself
The flesh of man,
Which will mean God visited the John [which is not Baptist],
Which will mean God might have slept
In a room full of mosquitoes,

 

Which will mean God might have
Been beaten by rain,
Which will mean God can cry,
Which will mean God is just like you and me,
Which will mean the creator
Became as his creation,
Which will mean salvation
Is for the high to come low.
And this will mean I cannot save others
If I look at them from above,
This will mean change happens not in the palace,
Not from the corridors of power,
Not from the distant throne;
I was made high for the low.
I must become as the common man;
For only when the palace
Comes unto the sordid places
Will change truly begin.
And isn’t this how God saved man?
 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kolawole Samuel Adebayo is an old soul in a young Nigerian body whose poems seek to awaken human consciousness. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming on Glass Poetry, Button Poetry, Burning House Press, Anti-Heroin Chic Magazine, Tuck Magazine, Mojave Heart Review, Praxis Magazine, Eunoia Review, BPPC anthology, and elsewhere. He likes to connect with his friends via his Twitter handle, @samofthevoice.
WHAT TO IMAGINE by Yusuff Uthman Adekola

WHAT TO IMAGINE by Yusuff Uthman Adekola

WHAT TO IMAGINE

by Yusuff Uthman Adekola

What to imagine by Yusuff Uthman Adekola – Shortlist (Top Five) of the 2018 Kreative Diadem Annual Creative Writing Contest (Poetry Category)

Imagine you were a fish
Placed on a sandy line between water and land,
Feeling the caressing touch of life on one end
Yet feeling the peeling scorch of death on the other..

Imagine. Just imagine. 

Imagine you were a goat
Tethered to a stake where a guillotine lurks unseen,
Savouring the painful delight of amputated freedom
But before your bleating doubt lies a mountain of cassava…
 
Imagine. Just imagine.

 

Imagine you were a bulb
Dangling and dancing to the wobbly rhythm of the Abiku,
Celebrating your glowing garment for a second swiftly murdered
But soon mourning your drowning light for a million faceless years…

Imagine. Just imagine. 

Imagine you were a pot
Twerking to the sweltering me(a)lody of searing flames,
Spitting grief through a cloudy rise of curly steam
Yet spraying the aroma of hope into hungry nostrils…

Imagine. Just imagine.

Imagine you were
The only molecule of air amongst a swelling family of heat,
The only pond of water on the fiery face of a sprawling desert,
The only one-legged lion in a den of legless lions,
The only green leaf amongst a sea of yellowing leaves…
 
Imagine. Just imagine.
Imagine all these,
But never imagine you were a lonely human
Bound by the fetters of national tendrils of spikes and spites,
National tendrils unworn only with the politics of connections,
Or else you shall worship the haunting ghost of slain salaries…
 
Perhaps imagine. But don’t imagine this for long.

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Yusuff, Uthman Adekola writes to reflect his society. His poems have appeared in a few literary/non-literary journals and websites like Praxis Magazine, Ngiga Review and more.
He also does poetry performance and a bit of spoken words. He has performed his poems in few events across Nigeria and has made the shortlist of or won certain poetry contests.
He believes in the use of art for social change.
I KISS THE NATURE GOOD MORNING by Kamarudeen Mustapha

I KISS THE NATURE GOOD MORNING by Kamarudeen Mustapha

I KISS THE NATURE GOOD MORNING

by Kamarudeen Mustapha

I kiss the nature good morning
And brew a pot of honey in my veins

I converse with the wild hues of the wilderness
And win myself a garland of rainbow around my neck

Today I befriend the weaverbirds and their tweeting colony
See how fast I become a chatterbox of modern lore

I imitate the Nightingale and its solemn notes
See how fast I become a singer of fortune

The day I imitate the oracle,
I will become a poet of vision

I will borrow its mystic gaze
That threads the innards of truth 

I will borrow its nimble feet
That walk the labyrinth of wisdom

Tired of borrowing, I may steal its prophetic flames
That burn the dross covering the gems of tomorrow 

I may steal its everlasting repose
And learn the secrecy of patience
 
Tell me which blacksmith fashions his ore
And fabricates his sinews
The uniqueness of his saber
Comes from the zealousness of his shadow
 
The length of his shadow comes
From the reflection of his person by the height of his fire 
Not the ore and neither the fire
But the power of his bellows
 
Then the strength and the rapidity of his hammer
On his anvil…

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kamarudeen Mustapha (Prince Dankeketa) writes short stories and poems. He is a teacher and a photographer based in Ibadan, Nigeria. His poems and short stories have been published in Our Poetry Archive, Setu online magazine, Africanwriter.com, and Kreative diadem. He had also had poems published in some anthologies apart from self-publishing some children story books like Zinari, the Golden Boy, Winners Never Quit, Magic Birds, Wayon Bana ( Hausa ) among others. His debut novel ‘Zero Orbit’ is almost ready for publication.

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