A HYMN FOR THE FAIR GEESE by Nome Patrick

A HYMN FOR THE FAIR GEESE by Nome Patrick

A HYMN FOR THE FAIR GEESE 

by Nome Patrick

My father says his son has grown too far from God.

In the light of Lagos, angels nod at him, urge him

to teach me to know God. Why does the vulture fly

so high, when it can fly so close to the heads of foolish

unbelievers? He asks. Can’t unsalt the ocean, why try?

The chapel: tantum ergo. I wake up with my life shorter

than yesterday, isn’t that a belief? I pin my life to the

sleeves of time, that’s prayer enough. The fair geese,

my friends, stand up, ask: But what is God to you –

Why does your life seem a lone play choreographed

by unknown angels?  If I could pay a coin each

to keep them a century quiet, I would.

I’m just a poor boy who can’t tell the dance of

butterflies from the gyration of angels.

The moon so far, I imagine God, if he exists,

builds fences so high, we disintegrate to see his face.

Like the stars, like the moon, I will wander off

someday. What’s it about God that bothers you?

Bother yourselves with the preachers’ false alarms.

They say: this is the voice of another foolish poet.

My silence a heron hovering over an archipelago.

They say: so-called religious rebel, bastard!  Even the birds

perched as witness sing of mockery. For whom?

Their beaks doors creaking to a ghost’s testament:

God is the rivers with their ageless bodies & roar.

God is me whose voice startle humans to mortality.

God is the cold udala orchard & its hair of green.

God is the rainbow, and the boy’s finger pointed to it.

Or the air, how it powers the horses in your bodies.

God is the wind whistling the world to sleep.

I’m mile away from God, but I bear the basket of his fruits.

Who are you? who are you? who are you?

God’s voice in the wind echoes: foolish rebels!


 

Source: From the Rebel Issue (October 2019)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

NOME EMEKA PATRICK is a blxck bxy and student in the University of Benin, Nigeria, where he studies English language and literature. A recipient of the Festus Iyayi Award for excellence for Poetry in 2018, his works have been published or forthcoming in Beloit poetry journal, Crannóg magazine, Puerto Del Sol, Notre Dame Review, Gargouille, Flapper house, Mud Season Review, The McNeese Review, The Oakland Review, Alegrarse and elsewhere. His manuscript ‘We Need New Moses. Or New Luther King’ was a finalist for the 2018 Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets. He writes from a small room close to banana trees and bird songs in Benin city.

THE LOVERS by Logan February

THE LOVERS by Logan February

THE LOVERS

by Logan February

from Garlands

 

We were naked and I was crying. In the sensual

world, I did a woman’s work—felt

a primordial hysteria.

The room, humid

 

and humming, full of my spirited

panting. The sheets I spoiled with a dirty heart.

I hid my face behind history to watch him,

apple of my teary eye.

 

We had torn my veil in hunger, it lay strewed

across the tiles, a glimmer illusion laced with perfume

to invoke an ancient chasm.

Why, what an awful mess

 

I was at that primal depth. There was so much

sweat because the power was out again. And when

I told him I was sorry,

he asked: what for?

Source: From the Rebel Issue (October 2019)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

LOGAN FEBRUARY is a non-binary Nigerian poet. He and his work have been featured recently in The Rumpus, Dazed, The Guardian Life, Lambda Literary, Washington Square Review, Africa In Dialogue, and more. He is the author of In The Nude (Ouida Poetry, 2019) and three poetry chapbooks. You can find him at loganfebruary.com

THE GOSPEL OF REBELS by Othuke Umukoro

THE GOSPEL OF REBELS by Othuke Umukoro

THE GOSPEL OF REBELS

by Othuke Umukoro

& in the evening when he had dispersed

the multitude, he went into the synagogue

& spoke to his disciples & the pharisees

a parable concerning the kingdom of rebels,

which by extension is the

kingdom of heaven

 

behold, sixteen men, he began quietly,

black with pristine pride & holding hands,

like thousands after them, chose

the shark-mouth of the atlantic

instead of life in sweltering

sugarcane plantations

 

& his disciples reasoned among

themselves for many days about

the meaning of this parable,

wondering that perhaps in

his death

 

a man sails home, free

Source: From the Rebel Issue (October 2019)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

OTHUKE UMUKORO is a poet & playwright. His demons have appeared, or are forthcoming in the Sunlight Press, AfricanWriter, Eunoia Review, Brittle Paper & elsewhere. His debut play, Mortuary Encounters is available here. When bored, he watches Everybody Hates Chris. He is on twitter @othukeumukoro19

PERVERSION by Logan February

PERVERSION by Logan February

PERVERSION

by Logan February

may be bad or good; must be directed  

elsewhere, always pointed elsewhere;  

at the reddish sex of cruelty; crushing  

an orchid’s softest eye, a gleaming leather boot;  

that hard shine like needles under  

a man’s picture; shot in his negative color. 

Source: From the Rebel Issue (October 2019)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

LOGAN FEBRUARY is a non-binary Nigerian poet. He and his work have been featured recently in The Rumpus, Dazed, The Guardian Life, Lambda Literary, Washington Square Review, Africa In Dialogue, and more. He is the author of In The Nude (Ouida Poetry, 2019) and three poetry chapbooks. You can find him at loganfebruary.com

PALMS OF OIL by Kolawole Adebayo

PALMS OF OIL by Kolawole Adebayo

PALMS OF OIL

by Kolawole Adebayo

I wondered as a boy

Why the flies always hovered

Around fluorescent lights

 

And one day, my mother said to me:

Kola, ẃ epo laráyé ń bá’ní lá,

nikẹ́ni kìí bá‘ ni lá t̀j̀.

She asked me:

 

Do you see the flies hover in/around darkness?

I say no.

“When do you see them”, she asked?

“When there is light”, I said.

 

ẃ epo laráyé ń bá’ní lá,

nikẹ́ni kìí bá‘ ni lá t̀j̀.

Light attracts, and darkness repels.

 

ẃ epo laráyé ń bá’ní lá,

nikẹ́ni kìí bá‘ ni lá t̀j̀.

The tongue only lusts after sweetness,

The bitter things do not call to us naturally.

 

ẃ epo laráyé ń bá’ní lá,

nikẹ́ni kìí bá‘ ni lá t̀j̀.

Fame is no man’s foe.

 

The sugar cube lies there on its own,

Calls to no ants, but they come.

They come first in twos and threes

 

And then call unto others

Saying there is something for us here,

Come, let us make a home.

 

The sugar cube that welcomes every ant

Will soon be as a speck of dust.

 

A friend is not known in the crowd.

A friend is not known in the spotlight.

 

I asked her: Who then is my friend?

And she said: It is you first. Every time, it is you first.

“Who are the others after me”, I asked?

She said: Anyone who walks into your darkness

To experience it with you.

 

ẃ epo laráyé ń bá’ní lá,

nikẹ́ni kìí bá‘ ni lá t̀j̀.

The world licks the palms full of red oil;

No tongue craves the palms full of blood.

 

* ẃ epo laráyé ń bá’ní lá, enikẹ́ni kìí bá‘ ni lá t̀j̀ is a Yoruba proverb in South-western Nigeria loosely translated as “people follow after success, and no one looks in the direction of failure”.

Source: From the Rebel Issue (October 2019)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

KOLAWOLE SAMUEL ADEBAYO is an old soul in a young Nigerian body whose poems seek to awaken human consciousness. His works have appeared on Glass Poetry, Button Poetry, Burning House Press, The Amethyst Review, Mojave Heart Review, Praxis Magazine, BPPC anthology, Kreative Diadem, and elsewhere. Kolawole won the April Edition of the Brigitte Poirson Poetry Contest in 2017. He likes to connect with his friends via his twitter handle, @samofthevoice.

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