Like the youthful consistency of a Swange dancer,
On this parallel line of life’s inconsistencies;
I see black and white. Pain and peace
All to a journey to self-discovery
I reclined in my thoughts and ask these questions
Upon this temple of liberation:
How do I skanky-leg my way to the truth
How do I dance uncontrollably towards peaceful protest?
How do I sway from side-to-side, smiling at the emergence of false reality?
Will this unsuspecting audience applaud my false bravery?
I reclined further, then I asked again
Why is the world a monotonous cacophony?
Why are seeds planted upon the earth, and not in our minds?
Why do babies announce their arrival with a loud cry and not a lullaby?
What is natural when natural is as natural as can be; organic?
Why do cows eat blades of grass and not spears of metals, guns or grenades?
Why does fire start on this dry land ravaging all in its path?
Why does biology determine the sex of an individual; male or female?
Why does social media teach our girls to be Medea against our boys;
boys who never cared if love is freeborn
Why does rain drown itself in its tears, flooding the earth?
Why is depression an option that blinds the feeble
pushing to sue men in death’s court?
Why do we spend years arranging alphabets only to spread them as suicide notes?
Are these men of letters the perfect voice for these lost boys who sojourned?
Why do the sun and the moon avoid each other before the strike of six?
Are their words like clubs and sticks by day and by night?
Why do children prefer moonlight but not the stories of old?
Why do they forget the history told at the footstool of our ancestors?
Why are the old too strong for giving up their weakness?
Why are the young now too weak giving up their strength?
What is this world without you and me?
Why does the world seek you and I daily?
How often should we fight the universe and the universe pretend to not exist?
Do monkeys go to hell for their selfishness?
Do snakes eventually have hands to keep the heart warm?
These questions are the meaninglessness of life
This life is engraved in meaningless questions
If you ask me why I asked these questions
I would tell you about the river drowning itself
I would tell you how the ocean came to its rescue;
Their bond is a challenge that is deeper than the eyes can see
This bond is a challenger deep not many can reach
Picture credit: http://www.pixels.com
I was the one created out of you from the creator
Remember, you were made with the finest of clay;
God’s ultimate achievement on the sixth day
You were packed with wisdom, strength, love, and care
Before time, you expressed creativity
You knew how to name things; and how to till the land
until the harvest came swiftly
You were friends with beasts; knowing no fear
Your boisterous resilience made you number one;
waltzing creation to your command
You spoke and things changed for the best, moving mountains
Birds sang at your beck and call all day
You were joyful, reigned in your kingdom; Eden
A hidden life clothed in the finest of gold
You frolicked with the expanse of the ocean; no flood knew you
and never run dry of option; fruitfully multiplying out of the
the abundance of a grateful heart
You created the perfect life you were made for;
King, ruler, Commander, General, CEO; employing all of the creation
to work in your stead
Nothing stood in your way, NOTHING
Somehow, you lost yourself
Don’t blame me. I wasn’t the spoiler alert to end your game
I won’t blame you for the crawling lies that lurked around me like a ghost
Maybe you got too excited
Maybe you compared ‘cos I looked like you
I guess you forgot to teach me how to be your true self; royalty
I guess you hid a part of you until death did nudge you apart
I guess you assumed I knew all that you knew as one flesh
I guess you guessed wrong of my take over plans
I will not play the blame game. Not to our creator.
Not even on the slithering one
But to the entrance of your churned out thoughts
The one that stayed deeply rooted in your mind
Remember I was taken out of you, inherited your fruitful faithfulness
And your fiery fears. I became YOU!
Never hesitated to bite that fruit that’s been stuck in your throat
Our action was forbidden before bidding with the enemy
We were naked and garbed in the false truth
We gave in to the lies, the hardship
the crime and travails of new good things
you gave in to the hurt and the pain
letting yourself go and strained;
we gave in to the death and forgetting how to replenish
Society gave you a tag; upper superior
Dragging me along, I was tagged lesser inferior
I was created out of you, remember?
Dear boy child
Retrace your root to God’s plan for you; to reign
His plans for you to be like him; creating your world
You are worth more than pleasant and precious riches
You are the boisterous wind clearing all negative forces
Being one with the tree of life; deeply rooted
You are strong, a king, add am to your present state
So, conceive, agree, speak, create and
manifest for this is good on the sixth day of life’s journey
and on the seventh day, have dominion, enjoy fruitfulness
multiply, subdue time in your favor, replenish all lost
rest boy child, REST!
PORT HARCOURT HOSTS NIGERIA’S BIGGEST SLAM
As part of its ongoing literary engagements, the Port Harcourt Literary Society will host, arguably, Nigeria’s biggest Poetry Slam this month.
And the Society has unveiled four award-winning and distinguished Nigerian poets as judges for the Slam, scheduled to hold in Port Harcourt on May 25.
They are Efe Paul Azino, curator of the highly successful Lagos International Poetry Festival whose recent project was the brilliant Heritage Bank advertisement, and Andrew Patience, spoken word Amazon and one of the founders of the impressive Custodians of African Literature, based in Jos, Plateau State.
Others are Obii Ifejika, winner of Nigeria’s first ever slam, and multi award winner and slam poetry master, Graciano Enwerem.
Chairman of the Slam committee, Edwina Aleme, says the Slam is already receiving entries from around Nigeria, promising to bring some if the best of Nigerian spoken word poets to the Garden City.
The PHLS Poetry Slam, the first major poetry competition in the Niger Delta region, promises it’s winner a whopping N100,000.00. The runner-up will take home N75,000.00, while the second runner-up will receive N50,000.00. A fourth prize, the first of its kind in Nigeria, worth N25,000.00, will go to a winner among secondary school entrants who have benefited from the Society’s PHLS-LIFT (Literature for Teens) programme.
“This is in line with our objective with PHLS-LIFT to nurture a new generation of spoken word poets in Port Harcourt and the Niger Delta,” Aleme says, “so that we help create a new narrative that our youths are not militants. We are a society of brilliant young people and the world needs to hear our voices.”
EFE PAUL AZINO, is a Nigerian writer, performance artist and poet. He is the founder and director of the Lagos International Poetry Festival, and the director of poetry at the annual Lagos Book and Art Festival. Azino has featured in a number of local and international poetry events and is a fellow of the Osiwa Poetry Residency…
ANDREW PATIENCE FINYE, known as AP, is one of the leading voices in creative spoken word poetry in Nigeria, with a debut spoken word album ‘I Am’ to her credit. She is the founder of Custodians of African Literature (COAL), a platform that promotes African writers and their writings. AP is also a broadcaster and media personality based in Jos, Nigeria…
GRACIANO ENWEREM (Sir Grrraciano) is a poet, writer, teacher and media consultant. A graduate of English and Literary Studies. He’s the winner of War of Words (Season 3), YOUPoetry Slam, War of Words Online Slam 1 and other prizes. Cofounder, Figures of Speech movement (FOS), the first online creative group on Whatsapp…
OBII IFEJIKA is a story-teller who made her debut in Spoken word at the maiden edition of Bassey Ikpi’s National Poetry Slam, where she was crowned Slam Champion in October 2012. She has performed in several poetry events such as the maiden edition of the NIBRA Awards, Wole Soyinka’s 80th birthday celebration and at the Theater Expedition Metropolis, Germany.
*How to enter:
Just send a 1 or 2 mins video of you performing a poem to firstname.lastname@example.org . Entry closes on the 20th of May by 12 noon. Send the mini version on Instagram, then follow and tag @phls_openmic with hashtag #phlsslampoetry. All chosen 15 finalists will be contacted via email before 12 midnight on same day.
Hello friends, it’s a brand new week, and nothing gets me more excited than having to take time out to celebrate and encourage people in their chosen field of art. I will not consider myself a life coach, but I enjoy calling out the best from every individual that crosses my pathway in the course of their life’s journey.
Today, I will be featuring a young, shy but vibrant spokenword poet. Hol’ up! Let me fill you in from my ‘story bank’. The first time I met her, sometime last year, she struck me as a very intelligent young lady. I made an attempt to scan her, (which is my attitude whenever I am meeting someone for the first time). I loved the slightly loose vintage shirt and and skinny faded blue jeans she had on. The brightness of her face matched the yellow, green and orangey floral scarf she beautifully wrapped on her head. Somehow, I knew I have made another interesting friend.
Several times I had tried to drag her to the forefront to perform her poems without fear on stage, but today, she is one bold kitty before the microphone and prying eyes of the audience.
Botimi Victoria whose alias/pen name is Blaq ink, is a freelance writer, and a poetic member of the “INKERS BREED’. Born in the month of July 30, 1996 in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. She is a Public Health graduate of Madonna University, Elele (2016). She lives in Port Harcourt, Rivers state. She is also considered a spokenword poet, and has graced several platforms with her thought provoking poems on dating and relationship struggles of young people her age. Currently, Victoria is a Social and Health volunteer, and a strong believer that anyone can be what they want to be in this world. Her all-time favorite slogan is “be you!”
Do enjoy reading her poem below.
I drank endlessly from its’ depth, yet unsatisfied:
It was sweet, then, salty.
I felt it, then lost it, maybe It was never mine for keeps
But, I could swear it was in every moment we spent together,
It was in those fights we had that led me right back into your arms,
sweating and panting after sessions of painful, yet pleasurable body wrestles
So, while you walked down the aisle with her, I was basking in pure reminiscence
it all seemed so real, but all a floating mirage above like tired clouds…
Those times under the bed sheet, when we pulled off sheets
leaving us to our sixth sense.
Those moments you whispered you couldn’t ‘live’ without me,
‘Cause as I speak emotional gibberish, I watch you live on, even though you died in me.When you said that I was ‘the one’, Did you mean that I was just one,
As they say, “this table you’re shaking has a lot of Nigerian kings on it”,
*Conji or Konji (congeal) is a well known Nigeria pidgin slang word for being left alone for long without sexual relations.
I could write you as lines of poetry
Racing through generations of untimely feats won
at the feet of self-discovery;
a journey not taken on unsure islands
yet, taken to explore your many side like stanzas of a poem
As the laid out canvases of an artists’ finest works
hung on the walls of your forming days
growing up like abstracts interjecting time,
and spreading your wings; jutting into the sky
gazing at the clouds, and ignoring the grey chunks;
Each definite arrangement; deliberate contours
calling for your attention.
You see them as smoke screens; like fog
willing to make you born again into the hands of the racing clock
Your wings are spread wide
You taking leaping soaring steps like Mario; super
Like a young eagle learning to fly
Learning at your master’s feet; yourself
who’s teaching you to fly with wisdom in your belly
across valleys, and above mountains
Still, you are flying, but with grace’s locket around your neck
This isn’t the first time she kissed your cheek
She promised you more at every flight
Your feathers are flapping through
wadding through each memorable skyline,
like the paddles of a canoe;
arms spread wide, waving at the smile that the ocean
shares with the clear blue sky.
Each dip you take reminds one of baptism; newness
Now your time has come, with your hands clasped,
like a prayer of atonement to the heavens…
Even though the sky be grey,
yes, be it for a season; a period of showers
it will be like angels assembling crying for joy, and
welcoming your announced feat
that time you planted your feet, and set to fly
like the bird that you are, soaring;
cutting through the mirrored blue sky
and the heavens applauding as your kingdom come.
Photo Credit: http://www.dreamstime.com
My eyes have seen love sown
How it blossoms in unlikely quarters
How two, love struck, dance
to the beaming melodies of heartbeats
How their feet rhythmifies every step
Every smirk on their lips like a singer
whose unsung notes stay alert for many years
These two, like Siamese stay pressed on
Distance remains their connected cord; umbilical
like mother to child,
like months separating them
from cuddles and warmth
like the two yearning for togetherness
Love, I say, is more than just a word
It is pure serene laughter when light illuminated your form; presently
It is I and you drenched in wanton hugs and kisses
Unashamedly announcing friendship
like an applique on a well designed dress
I behold you many times in my wildest thoughts
Mind traveling journeys like a French tourist
asking precise mind full questions
stamping words of declaration; affirmations
too robust for me to fathom
Countless times “je t’aime aussi” soared
Emotions crept through my fingers,
stroking your beards, and
planting kisses on the soil of your lips
I have seen love take long journeys
Organic; connecting two natural lovers; intertwined
a dread locked away in my heart, and taking territories
unafraid to pole volt this journey with you
Though you gave me an unlikely name
I know that this love has conquered a territory
where its walls are Jericho high
through mountains and valleys of my heart
and these two locked in one as a whole.
I see trophies in between your thighs
No, I can’t help but crave them in my bench thoughts
Your poise is a voice singing riches with no coins
And the traveler is home no more a wanderer eating stones
It’ll be real, everlasting bond
The moment I want to break with you
So don’t fret, i am no flirt
I don’t deal in lies and dirt
It’s not bad crave, but a trophy in between your thighs
You’ll be forever on my mind
All I hear from you dear
Seems everlasting and clear
I see you see trophies in between Africa and Jamaica
But my tentacles embrace signals from afar
I won’t fret cos I know you want to commune
With this sweet wine taste on the tip of your tongue
I know you want to cross my twin hills with your fingers as feet
I know I’ll be in your contact lens a perfect fit
But just let my exhales and inhales mark time
With yours and mine
Hoping that all will be fine
Cos this time, my smiles won’t take strolls down no aisle
And may that one sweet day change no clime
They hypnotize the vulnerable
Their members eat grass like goats
They inhale insecticides to kill demons
Their followers are like carpets for their feet
They have ‘Special sewage water’ for healing
Their members are doused in anointing oil
They have small snakes on standby for desperate
members to swallow… Selah
These men of gods
are now gods of their fellow men
They frolic with the devil to pervert the gospel
These gods of men
are con artists; false as the Bible says
Be careful where you fellowship
you might just be in tune with the devil
and his demons on assignment!
LOVE IS FOR THEY WHO DARE TO LOVE
The three blades of my fan
reminds me of you…
constantly, fanning my embers of passion,
sending me to sleep
sending me to sleep
sending me to s
then, I slipped into
seeing your form in my dream; a picture
framing your name at my every unchecKed snore.
and in the flurry of mY own excitement,
i pick letters of your name like lavenders
growing happily in my garden.
Like a child, Ignoring love enders,
like a brown skinned lover,
hopping out of danger.
Love is for they who (c)are to dare
and for they who dare to surprise love,
but I know in all, love endures;
fanning off chaff of fear,
gradually waking me up
from my sleep…