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totality of 72 poems from 72 contestants were recorded and compiled for the contest at the
initial stage. With the help of our guest editor, Abeiku Arhin Tsiwah, we were able to arrive
of 4 contestants, leaving the other 4 who won to the bout. That was the
end of the knockout system. Another pairing was done (round 2) and
another(round 3), leaving us to two grades for each of the contestants.
Houses are burning inside me
My eyes have lost her river to an unknown gods
In my body are cities on fire
Flying ashes to the beautiful face of the sky
Tonight comes with ghosts of dead angels
Holding burnt roses in their burnt veins
My home is a city
Decorated with flames of burning men
A home were men wear skin of men and call it fashion
If i’m angel
I will wake the dead and plant flowers on their heads
They said that men dies at their pavement of dreams
I had like to see my pastor
But I saw ghosts of children
Peg on crosses in his alter
And I saw a vulture snarling at their entrails
Suddenly my blood turn torrent
And freezed from her reservior
Ashes are not dead men
They are men flying to the blue sky
If i’m a bird
I will fly to heaven with my stories on a dragon wings
And write about the giant mosquitoes that stole my dreams from his blood
But here i am
Just a crab hissing in a dusty bow of savagery.
holding god’s words in his stomach
priests cuddling in the beautiful faces of the rainbow
COOK MY FAVORITE MEAL
broken pot on the cold arms of a burning ice,
your ghost to a cemetry,
the wrecked hearts of the dead.
your table with duvets of colours
watch the hearts of men burn in arms of ice
drill the dept of an ocean
homes of fire
the dead entrails hissing in the broken pot.
said there are nests of fire
body of dead angels
must drift away with the wind into uknown worlds
their bones and bodies
the dinner shall ring her bell, dress the children in whites
shall sit for my favorite meal
watch hearts of men
with ice, served in a clean table.
—father once told me about power:
he said it’s a sword that haunts the bearer.
Like a King’s mind is a progidy of dreams,
when his heart becomes the tentacle of thrones.
As in the nature of man;
We are all aged thirsting for a power,
placing creed and oath beneath the shoes of greed,
to walk the void paths of a hopeless world.
At times I tremble at the spindle of God’s might,
when each day crawls in and out of my body,
like a government mounted upon the shoulder of dreams;
directing the vision of hopes
screwing my conscience sovernance
in a system of friends
renting foes in dynasty that misspells a nation’s sovereignty…
issues of life.
COOK MY FAVOURITE MEAL.
too simply to doubt my culinary prowess when i tell people I can cook, as a
man. My favorite meal is OFE EGWUSI NA GARI (melon soup and garri) as the English would have it labelled. As in igbo culture, this meal is prepared
with great diligence, as I have always watched my mother had the magic delicacy
done, which begins by the cook’s discretion on how many cups of EGWUSI to make.
And there are three methods to have this meal done:
simply pouring into a boiling pot.
moulding and pounding after cooking.
this meal. I prefer the third method which best describe my culture’s recipe,as
learnt from my mother.
minutes meal preparation. I start by making available two cups of EGWUSI, then
grind it synthesised with pepper, crayfish, ogili okpeyi (native Maggi). Haven
done this perfect blend with the grinding machine, in 5 minutes.
second stage goes by washing the Anu (meat) and Azu (fish), ugu
(pimpkin-leaves) thrice with salt. Then pack in a mini pot of three cups of
water, sitted on a well glowing fire. I add half teaspoon salt, three cubs of
maggi, pounded fresh pepper and let it boil for 15 minutes.
the pot is still on fire and the tantalisers being heated.
the ugu (pumpkin-leaves). After which is done.
the third stage, having the ground EGWUSI into moulages. Then put into the pot
to boil for 10 minutes. Then spoon it out and pound softly. I dish it back
inside the pot and cover to stew for extra 5 minutes.
the last, I sprinkle the ugu (pumpkin-leaves) inside the soup, turn it and
immediately bring down the pot to keep fresh the leaves. And after the soup is done,
I put half kettle of water on fire to boil for 10 minutes. I now pour it out
inside a bowl and have the garri spread inside till it’s soaked and then have
it turned thoroughly for consumption….
My mind is a small room
peopled with large faces
urging me to keep going
without showing me the way.
I listen to dead whispers
singing life into my ears;
blindness— dark is my foresight
to the light of lies ahead.
Thinking I have seen it all—
to what end through this tunnel,
There I go, making the narrow path
My only map, back to back,
in and out my wanton desires.
But i must chase what i want—
I keep running after my tail
that leads my head into delusion.
that satiates stomachs
unknown to the eyes’:
the voice of hunger
throats of teeth & tongues.
learned from sitting
kitchen with mother
wasted meal of lessons
lakes of soups has not
stirred by the spoon in my hand
paddle does to the sea, surfing.
every end to every means to a meal
climax of stages upon the sparks
matchsticks rubbing against matchboxes,
by a coal-pot or by a firewood,
boiled is water, like a raging brain
with the heat of pressure.
boiling point is the call sending
flour that makes carbohydrate
morsels of yam flour – àmàlà;
the hot water with its lightness
turning stick stirs & turns thoroughly
thickening treasure of a food — smooth.
a table before you with a plate
to be fed with a portion of àmàlà
way you’re waiting to be fed:
good for the bowl is good for you.
The holes in my bones are filled with photographs of the past & memories-
floating into a tombstone
My lover said I’m everything her father was;
-a pub where lives are enclosed in bottles
-an ocean; empty, deep & alone
Our love sailed westward- without us
My mother ran out of oxygen;
-trying to hold her breath from life’s poisonous air
-talking deep to her reflection in a voice that turn wayfarers away from the
I never got to forge her last smile on the walls of my heart .
The doctor asked reasons for my solitude
I folded my tongue into a lone star & answered;
-my story is one dancing to wind songs
-my life is a girl crying into herself
Deep in my heart- the world is growing numb
How do i live in a world that doesn’t hold my body?
into songs skating on the terrain of blue skies
& everything that drown men in themselves.
stars & waves,
the world into a photo album full of strange people.
called him Adam- a name crafted from his bones.
only script, scripted for the making of a god- this was how i knew.
woman & set on the stove to heat.
between his lover’s thighs, add the ground egusi & start frying.
the colour of the skin of a Mongolian princess.
a full grown woman.
carry his cross & walk into his lover’s Golgotha.
oil separates from the mix like a soldier parting with his soul in a war front.
calling her man home.
blends childhood days with a mother’s memories.
dish is a sterile woman.
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wandering rainbow, seeking refuge in her heart.