by Praise Osawaru

Shortlist (Top Six) of the 2019 Kreative Diadem Annual Creative Writing Contest (Poetry Category)

last Tuesday began with showers of sunlight/the kind that melts your spoonful of ice cream/before it arrives at the doorstep of your mouth/the weather report read: sunny with a chance of stark happiness/& so i blindly believed/the thirty minutes ride to school felt like two decades/spent watching the trees’ leaves flutter in the wind/the birds chase after themselves in the sky/& Asa’s There’s Fire On The Mountain swim in the atmosphere/a grey cloud—blend of white & black—hovered above the school premises/but i recalled: sunny with a chance of…../so i walked in, clutching my bag tightly/seconds turned into hours & classes flowed/steadily & almost undying like a waterfall/by the time the school bell rung, it sent a shockwave of happiness/that slithered throughout the school/& doors fell like dominoes, one by one/(the governor’s wife was to pass in front of our school that day)/about a minute after the stroked string of the day’s end/sirens stamped its feet onto the atmosphere as black tinted-window cars/arranged in front of the dispersing students/a gang of students surfaced from the corner of my eye/their hands smooching placards in the air which read/give us light! give us water!/and then men in black uniforms stormed down from a vehicle/with their hands caressing the butts of their AK-47’s/back away! one yelled at them dancing his gun across their faces/silence played as slow as possible & its tune flowed throughout the school/everyone’s gaze was held hostage by the placarded students/who stood their ground/give us…./attack!/poh poh poh…/I heard a violent ringing in my head/the crowd scattered like sand or ashes/whichever slow-motions/as the uniformed men/played a different tune with their guns, shattering everyone/the next day, the news read/governor’s wife escapes attack from varsity hostel students/i reclined on the bed, with the hollow in my stomach teasing me/attack!



Praise Osawaru, also known as Wordsmithpraise, is a Nigerian writer, poet, content developer & entrepreneur-in-training. His writings are influenced by his consciousness of mental health, his personal experiences & the desire to heal through words. His works have appeared in Black Youth, Nantygreens, SprinNG & Writers Space Africa. Praise was a finalist in the Clash Of Pen Poetry Contest 2019. He was also longlisted for African Writers Award 2019 & shortlisted for The Zi Prize 2019. His poem, ‘How Last Tuesday Became Black Tuesday’ won Honorable Mention in Kreative Diadem Annual Creative Writing Contest 2019. He is liberal, & enjoys reading books, listening to good music & binge-watching series on Netflix when he isn’t over-worrying about University life. Say hello on Instagram/Twitter: @wordsmithpraise



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