I found myself in a restaurant,
The waiter smiled, then a little chat.
I clasped both hands, and then a nod,
Picked up the menu in a plastic card.
He looked again and said to me:
“Ma’am, which do you prefer?”

I glanced at everyone in there,
Buried my head to search for thrill.
I smacked my lips and swallowed hard
At every food that caused a stir
He looked again and said to me:
“Ma’am, which do you prefer?”

I picked ogbonno and ewedu soup,
Some pounded yam and afang too.
Maybe oha or banga soup will do
I thought of my angry stomach’s growl
He looked again and said to me:
Ma’am, which do you prefer?

Can I have some native soup to taste
Some seafood to quench my hunger’s fate
Do add Ofingo and fresh shrimps please
Mgbe, Ngolo, Isam for my tongue to tease
He looked again and said to me:
“Ma’am, which do you prefer?”

The atmosphere was getting cold
This waiter gave a look so cold
Upset, I asked for some point and kill
Some Peppersoup to keep me warm
He looked again and said to me
“Ma’am, which do you prefer?”

I tweaked my mind a little bit
I spotted kekefiaye on the menu list
Can this be done by half-past three?
I waved my hands in sheer delight
He looked again and said to me
“Ma’am, which do you prefer?”

My heart began to pound so fast
Agege bread, the perfect meal at last!
Ewa agoyin, dear, please do combine
This might just be my lucky day!
He looked again, whispering to me
“Ma’am, which do you…prefer?”

What shall I get my mouth to eat?
Ekpang Nkwukwo, my eyes did spot
Fura de nunu, Masa might just be fine
Or fresh Abacha with some Palmwine
He frowned so hard, then said to me
“Ma’am, which do you prefer?”

It’s now sundown, and still no meal
I had to make a simple choice
Of bole, groundnut or some barbecued fish
Or nothing at all that fire had killed
He leaned over, then whispered again
“Ma’am, is this what you prefer?”

He heaved a sigh in displeasure
His countenance, of one bemused
Just then, I found another delight
Guguru ati epa at the end of the list
I smiled so hard and then said to him
“Sir, now, that’s what I prefer!”

©Edwina ‘Neofloetry’ Aleme.

*Ofingo, Mgbe, Ngolo, Isam (Periwinkles): Names of seafoods as called by the Riverine people.
*Ogbonno, Ewedu, Afang, Ekpang Nkwukwo, Fura de nunu, Masa, Bole and barbecued fish. (Some Nigerian delicacies)
*Abacha (Snack food made from shredded boiled cassava, usually accompanied with sauced cow skin, some bitter leaf called utazi and shredded oil bean seed (ugba). Popular in South Eastern Nigerian)
*Guguru ati Epa (Popular snack of among Lagosians)


IDIOM-VUTAM (Pounded food)

Ekein Atala is empty-stomached,
The Odam-ekein announced,
“There must be a fattening celebration!”
Then called he the Imosi and Imivtam.

Atala clan clustered, and deliberated,
“What do we prepare for her?” One asked.
“She should be fed lusciously, Osuo-Atala knows!”
Imatam and Imelem happily exclaimed

Odam Ekein called the cooks,
“Prepare a recipe for Atala’s delight!”.
Mortar sat; ready to be appeased
with boiled Ogbro and fingers of Iblain bibi,
Kpoi, Kpoi! The pestle tirelessly did pound.

Edi drooled without complaint,
Fresh fish announced its willing presence.
Awe, islebein wuwo and iyeyen showed interest
In the aki, they giggled like little girls.

The firewood was lit with fire sparks,
Odinga aki sat butu on the tripod.
The towns people, cheered and danced;
Bubbly with joy, Odu mixed, kputu, kputu, Kputu!

The aroma satisfied Ekein Atala,
And their nostrils glued to the whiff.
” What shall we name this new child?”
A voice pierced through the noisy clan.

Without much ado, the King stood;
“We shall name this delicacy, Idiom vutam,
For it suffered pounding to be sweet,
To fill up Atala’s empty stomach”.

©Edwina ‘Neofloetry’ Aleme.

*Idiom-vutam is a traditional delicacy of the Atala minority clan of the Udekama (Degema Local Government Area) people of Rivers State. It is mostly known by other natives as ‘Onunu’. Majorly prepared with pounded boiled yam and ripe plantian mixed with red oil, and fresh fish native stew with native spices.

*Odam-Ekein (King of Atala)
* Ekein Atala (Atala town)
*Imivtam, Imosi (Women, Men)
*Imelem, Imatam (Young men, young women)
*Osuo-Atala (god of Atala clan)
*Ogbro, Iblain bibi (Yam, ripe plantian)
*Awe, iyeyen (native spices, often used for Peppersoup delicacy)
*Islebein wuwo (Fresh pepper)
*Odinga Aki (Couldron-like pot)
*Butu (An old pidgin word for ‘Firm’)
*Odu (Native Stew)
*Kpoi! Kpoi! (The pounding sound from mortar and pestle)

Edwina ‘Neofloetry’ Aleme is a Port Harcourt based Spokenword Poet. She is a graduate of Theatre Arts (Playwriting/Screenwriting major), University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria. She is also a trained professional makeup artist from the House Of Tara Makeup School. Edwina is one of the co-founders of a fast rising poetry group called FIGURES OF SPEECH (FOS). She has written many unpublished works, performed on several platforms around the country and Ghana, and she is a lover of the Art in totality. She loves listening to hip hop and soul music, draws and paints as a hobby.

Email: neomakievi@gmail
Phone no.: 08064528857


About neofloetry

I am a lover of the real things of life and love. An actress, Playwright, Poetess and a lover of Hip Hop. I do not compromise my happiness for any negative thing and i am human. I just love to scribble down my thoughts, no matter the topic... I make mistakes! Welcome to my blog page.

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