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Poetry: This shall pass

Richard Inya is a Nigerian poet and short story writer. His works have appeared in ANA Review,, Ake Review,,, Ebonyi Review, etcetera. Some of his works have also been adopted for use in their school systems by over eight states in Nigeria. He is the Vice Chairman of the Association of Nigerian Authors in Ebonyi State. He writes and writes and writes.

Every face now is a loud placard;

yours, your mother’s and mine.

Drizzling tears are emblems of

ebbing hope. Hope struggles like

confetti caught in a whirlwind.

We are a weighty pebble fighting

to stay afloat upon a murky pool.

There’s harmattan in every throat,

and thorns in every word, the words

we speak in loud sighs and silence.

The boom of doom is a scary tale

in the North, and at the South’s tail

is a fusillade of lethal shots echoing

the rhythms of militancy in the hearts

of men quartered behind the mangroves.

At every corner here in the burial place

of my umbilical cord are yawning mouths

longing for magnetic words to attract alms,

but the products of their effort walk like

a mother held up in the pang of contraption.

Who can tell the sharers of the sauce of life

pleasantries equal insult to an unfed mouth?

How would they know the wind has rejected

their songs? Yet the colour of things bright

and flowering, tells me, this shall also pass.


Oneness has taken flight

Like dew overpowered

By the sun’s manly face

So is commonality gone

Another’s corpse is a log

The tears of the bereaved

Are streams of misty fancy

Before dry-eyed consolers

The sanctity of blood now

Is adrift in a violent flow

Life is only a mushroom

The meal of termites

We are now like aged drunks

Admiring pallbearers’ wears

And funeral songs are lullabies

To the children of the unaffected


We are flies trapped in a keg

Of raffia wine; a stranded

Species lonely in its crowd

A multitude swept into solitude

We’d swear and curse and brood

And sue if a car crushes a dog

We don’t care to tell the children

A mad man is someone else’s son

We are oil-bean pods shattered

By the hand of an angry wind

Each freed seed journeys abroad

Into the belly of wandering ones

Our tragedy hangs around the neck

Of selective unity; we can’t see that

Unshared laughter weakens the teeth

As life is sweeter when lived together

Live for tomorrow

They that harry the earth

Give their dwellings away

And bid rodents come home

Wherefore their abode is gone

Owls thus take flight at noontide

Sojourn not among those

That treasure snake soup

If their traps catch them snakes

Let them savour the soup

If snakes catch their heels

Let them bear with herbal water

Make not light of the grave

For the earth fights her cause

Congregate not among the tribes

That call lightning flashes of light

For such tongues harry the earth

If the earth doesn’t fight her cause

Why does lightning speak vile words?

Why does thunder raise his voice?

Why does the cloud break into tears?

Why does the rainbow oft intervene?

The earth fights her cause

Tomorrow is heavy with our baby

Would we smile if it looked like us?

Who but a drunk tells his only son

One must get lost to learn new roads?

Today’s rat should not be burnt

Inside tomorrow’s fair castle

Tomorrow is the today that stays

Yet I speak not of men and pregnancies

But of the future that awaits the earth.



The stygian wind 

Asikason Jonathan is a public affairs analyst and burgeoning political poet from Enugwu-Ukwu in Njikoka, Anambra State. He holds a B.Sc. degree in political science from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, and has been active in the campaign for better Nigeria.

From the savannah of the North,

the wind sprouted,

Tossing everything that crosses its


Its fatwa is blunt: Western education is a sin!

Bloodbath it unleashed on the five.

Scores it cremated to their startling graves.

Lusting for the virgins in wait at Jennah,

The fanatic wind went on a bombing


Our girls the wind enslaved.

Our villages it razed to dust.

Tossing everything that crosses

its path,

The fanatic wind went on a bombing


Oh stygian wind when will you stop?

Oh political creature can’t you accept


Or hasn’t your “ungovernable” mission fulfilled?

Oh the fanatic wind went on a bombing spree.

With old masters at the helm,

The chimpanzee refused to return the cup.

Stalemate and nemesis came visiting,

And the stygian wind continues to blow.

The festival of blood 

Ambuscaded by ungodly herdsmen,

Innocent farmers piled the pyre.

For the festival of blood,

In their very own farmlands.

Crook they jettisoned,

And machete not enough.

Brandishing AK47,

The herdsmen mutated into killer squads.

Nimbo and Agatu wail.

Weeping-laughing governor took the stage.

Come see leadership and neglect of human life.

What a wonderful celebration of mediocrity!

Foreigners our government called them

Non-Nigerians killing Nigerians in Nigeria?

Arrest they made not; arraignment they declined.

Surely ethnicity is at work here!

Oh God won’t you save us from the herdsmen?

The herdsmen that reap where they soweth not.

The herdsmen that rape both the young and the old.

The herdsmen that pitieth not the heavily pregnant

Oh God You have to save us

For our government has forsaken us

You alone can help us oh lord

Lest they say: where is their God!

In the shadows of Biafra 

Agreement suffered disagreement,

And canons were let loose.

Raining in the sky of Biafra,

The scavengers called for feast.


Life and death brawled in a


But the scavengers had their ways.

With their cups overflowing in

the presence of their enemies,

Psalm 23 was in their lips.

Were these Biafrans that “heroes

fight like“?

Ah! Hunger was the weapon of

the enemy.

Kwashiorkor came knocking at

the door,

And the death dominoes began to fall.

The grim-reaper was the zeitgeist,

In the genocidal engagement.

The rising sun hurriedly departed.

And cessation was the secession.

Vox Jammeli

Was it an enactment of David- Goliath


It beggars belief!

Vox populi swallowed vox Jammeli,

And the African strongman fell.

Surprisingly he spit the spit.

Jubilation seized the streets.

At last Jemmeh is leaving us?

Goodbye and riddance!

Then came the volt-face,

What a relapse!

Spit he spit he reswallowed.

Gosh! Fresh election proposed.

Ecowas sneezed, Jemmeh shuddered.

Has any sane man reswallowed his


Spit must be left where it belong,

There Jemmah belong too!


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June 2018
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