STRIDES OF MUSIC by Lucky Labaya

STRIDES OF MUSIC by Lucky Labaya


by Lucky Labaya 

That music should

pace as slow as possible.


That what should sail

into ears are stroked strings

of a guitar.

That haste in it means defiance

rides on its meter—


That if it hurries: it isn’t

of the rising dust of stamping feet.

That it isn’t good

for where cartilage narrows.



crawls out of some lips is: so

long it thuds hard and it is

impatient enough to pace

hurriedly, it needn’t be given

a listen.


What about the ones

that now broaden their cheeks from

years of bowing heads after

NF’s tune found its way

into their headphones?


What would have been of

them when they did make yeah

a refrain that overrode their thoughts

as they kept facing the ceiling while

toasting a dice on the floor,

contemplating what a single

squeal could do.

Source: From the Rebel Issue (October 2019)


LUCKY LUBAYA is a poet and fiction writer who writes from Zambia. He pens poems to have a better understanding of the world and to smear different emotions on paper and his word app. If not writing, he spends his time taking a reasonable stroll and finding delight in stuff that fits being art.

FLOWER PETALS by Ugochukwu Damian

FLOWER PETALS by Ugochukwu Damian


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


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


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.


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.
WHAT TO IMAGINE by Yusuff Uthman Adekola

WHAT TO IMAGINE by Yusuff Uthman Adekola


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.




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.
THE WONDERS OF IKOGOSI by Adedayo Ademokoya

THE WONDERS OF IKOGOSI by Adedayo Ademokoya


by Adedayo Ademokoya

There they sat, feeling
the living spring that compresses
the fusion of their hearts on the emblem
of gold.
The warm spring
came flowing through the nirvana
of her soul to rev up the rattling
imaginations. Chasm couldn’t
stop the flow.
The cold spring ooze fresh air
simmering passion for the flesh.
The decibels of the heart contorted
to the strong wave. The once
impervious spring conflagrate to
infuse itself to the waiting warm



They met at a confluence of silence
congruent desires glued them
to be inseparable
That touch was the coup de grâce
to bring down resistance in a haste



Yes, it was all but blessings of nature
to etch on the soul forever the burning
flame of them.




Adedayo Ademokoya writes to resonate with his inner self. He believes that words shapen the world. When he is not writing, he’s reading or surfing the internet. His works have appeared on Brave Arts Africa, Praxis Magazine, Thought Catalog, The Rising Phoenix Review, Wild Word, Ethos Literary Journal, Indian Periodical, African Writer, Pride Magazine, Tuck Magazine, Parousia Magazine, and other platforms.

Pin It on Pinterest