By Larry Onokpite

I am never thirsty
I gave up that chance hastily
No regret on this sacrifice
Everything would suffice

King of fluids
High class residence of water
Peacefully inhale juice to a nap
Liquid plentiful: life beautiful

Satisfaction will remain our master
Mattering not you marine or earthly
We are slaves of incompleteness
At least materially

Self-acclaimed king of fluids
Never satisfy
Catching, crushing, masticating
Ruthlessly whipping to stillness

Weaker friends are my feeds
Point after point I spy above marine
Plotting my next feast
The king I am mostly wins

I began to brag in fullness
Carefully escaping that cheat of nature
Water commander; territory destroyer
Attacking slowly: devouring in speed

Seeds sprouting in my abdomen
They won’t survive in my giant kingdom
Need soil: need someone’s space
Before I kinged fluids; I begged soil

Who can be proud of a weak king?
Overthrow and death are near him
Pride is our most decorated vanity
Only if you knew how you became?

Should I really be king?
Pride blinds us once we become
Ungratefulness updated in our being
Drop that ego: your cargo will sink

I deposited my eggs ashore
Brilliantly sealed their tomb
A tomb-womb
Dying to live again

Not long enough though
But those days stole my good peace
I gallivanted solemnly ashore
Digging up my princes and princesses

Oh pride! You killed my children already
I didn’t even get the favour to teach
Bluntly refusing to thank the soil
They quickly travelled into their realm

Before I returned home
These tiny creatures were on already
Demanding power and dominance
Never to remember how they became

My feet itching: mouth shivering
But how much must we teach?
What can be learnt from silence?
We are beings patterned in experience

Age trapped me: my kids grew strong
They smashed well: I eager to teach
When a group of weaker friends appear
They were always confused and couldn’t kill
They found a way to burn their pride

I laughed at them skillfully
When they saw many: they starved
When our pride fails us
It doesn’t notify nor apologizes after

I remain king of fluids as I think
Perhaps a confused king
We are greatly impaired;
Kiss a healing humbly
The faith of fate!

Larry Onokpite is from Delta State, Nigeria. He considers reading and writing as great forms of spirituality. Larry previously published A Collection of Mantras and Ululating on Afreecan Read.


By Abeiku Arhin Tsiwah

You always ask, why is life
An olden photograph
that evolves with time and gives away
her innocence to sultry, to little things of colour
when life itself is a cosmic writer of poetry
denied of ethereal exploits in space.

Blue flames are hard to light in the heart
so is an unattractive thigh difficult to please
the eyes that sleep with the morning sun.
And life itself is a dwindling tear of a dead child
staged by coups de’ tat and mobbed by silences.
The soul faces time with a piece of hook
like a fisher-boy seducing a mighty ocean.

You know how to survive a rapturous sin
like apparitions do to living bodies who
Prevent them from returning to their beloved.
But if bread is life for survivors in turned memoirs
then is smoke for believers
Who swim the present to childhood
to learn lessons forming
Skeletons of their new age

Abeiku Arhin Tsiwah performs poetry with The Village Thinkers, Ghana and serves as the poetry editor for Lunaris Review, Nigeria. Tsiwah, an international award winning poet and author of Afro-conscious heritage writes from his fatherland – Cape Coast, Ghana.

Painted Lady

by Onuora Ilodibe

Vanessa Cardui
Sometime in July noticed her presence
Upon blooming verdant lush thistles
Like thoughts prickles
Morning dew glisten off rising sun
Some things are natural as they come
Aesthetic and fragile
A touch of spectacle to reflect upon
Abreast with nature you will hear her call
Clicking sounds and whistles
Unspoken words but sounds mellifluous
Strumming every cord to piece-up a song
Morning she comes painted lady colourful on thistles thongs
As a boy she snapped my love
Playing in the tropical woods
Little do I know of her life cycle
She would last a day or two
Floating beautifully the thin air
Her multi-coloured wings.

Onuora Ilodibe is poet, MC and a writer from Nigeria. He has a BSC in Geography and Meteorology. He currently works and resides in Lagos, Nigeria. His love for poetry dates back to his childhood days, and has written ample of poems which include Uwa Abiara and Long John.

If I Write You 

By Onuora Ilodibe

If I  write would you write back
Would you send me postcard
Bearing Buckingham Palace
Reliefs at Dartmoor or Yorkshire
The Landscape and drainage
Orchids culture and the people
Hospitable loving and friendly

If I write would you write back
I’ll tell you about my country’s
Relics dilapidated structures
Strewn and broken bridges
Deltaic creekside peasants
Men fishing for pollack

Shanties brim when it souse
Children swimming the banks
Mothers barking obscenities
Broiling fished over gridiron
Spillage endangered aquatics
Contaminated soil and water
Diseases famine and hunger

If I write would you write back
Would you render them succor
Displaced children in IDP camps
Dying of hunger pain and malnutrition
Diarrhea malaria scurvy contamination
Toll continually increasing by the day

I’ll tell you about the oppressed agitators
Pressing for birth of her own nation
Across the Niger calling for a referendum
With bomb feast sabotage vandalism
Clashes between farmers and herdsmen
I can’t tell how it started or when it will end

If I write you would you write me back
Would you call me or send me a postcard
Would you enjoin me in my predicament
I have looked up to you all these years
Would you abandon your progeny
As your protege all I know you thought me

If I write you would you write me back
I’ll tell you about our underage girls abducted
Forcefully converted and married away far north
Outlaws plunder murder threatening to islamize
Our great nation borne off sweat of hero’s past
Quakes and about to drift at religious seams

If I write you would you write me back
Would you see things from the perspective
Of proletariats who has nothing to win or gain
Would you come to aid our last resort has failed
To change our situation further deteriorates
Scared to death as we sleep with our eyes half open

Onuara Oludibe is poet, MC and a writer from Nigeria. He has a BSC in Geograph and Meteorology. He currently works and resides in Lagos, Nigeria. His love for poetry dates bac to his childhood days, and has written ample of poems which include Uwa Abiara and Long John

Laughing Democracy

by Sunday Paul C. Onwuegbuchulam

Happy ululations fill the charged air,
Feets jump up in the jingoistic euphoria,
Mouths open singing songs of jubilation.
What good thing has happened to our hearts?
The khaki head had hit the wall.

Dum dumdum, the drums roll,
Cha chacha, the evil is gone,
Like a nightmare in the night he is gone,
With the break of the golden dawn.
The dictator is dead, the people are drunk.

At last freedom walks in with hope,
For their persecutor, their killer is dead.
How and what killed him, who knows?
He died like a mosquito crushed to a wall.
Even as strong and untouchable as he was.

Now the people can relax and choose.
They can give their mandate to their man,
And the dividend thereof can rake.
For such is what they only seek,
To eat from the fruits of democracy.

A mirage! It was meant to be but not to be.
People defied obstacles trudging out en masses.
They queue up like sentries baking in the sun.
A heavy downpour asked them home, they refused
The reason: to bring their dreams to reality.

The election was meant to be free and fair,
It failed to be free not to talk of fair.
Gun tottering thugs dislodged and maimed some
Victims defying rain and sun, but couldn’t thugs
Some did not vote as their vote was already counted.

The people shouted ‘foul play’ all the way
Old khaki heads are back after stepping aside.
This time not in khaki but in ‘agbada’
They say it is democracy, people know better
In tears, they laughed at a laughing democracy.

They-must-be-crazy in this de-mo-crazy
“That’s better”, says our colonial masters
Absurd! Is it obtainable in their country?
No amenities, no employment and of course no food
A caricature of democracy, I say.

Pssst! Do not talk or say I said
Those who did as the Fourth Estate of the Realm
Compulsorily visited their dead ancestors
They left for work to their graves
But wherever they are their pen is mightier.

For the ignorant knows the truth
The truth is the sun, it is now blazing
It will burn and burn and consume
The rogues and killers, cheat and jesters
Who play and steal in this drama – laughing democracy.


Dr Sunday Paul C. Onwuegbuchulam is from Imo State Nigeria resident in South Africa. He is a researcher and lecturer (International and Public Affairs). He has published peer-reviewed articles in journals straddling the areas of philosophy, theology, conflict transformation and peace studies and political science. Reading and writing poetry, prose and drama is a hobby and passion developed early in life to which he devotes his pastime. The theme that controls his poetic thoughts centres on human existential realities and the plight of the alienated in African societies.


Behind The Scene

by Iliya Kambai Dennis

I often go down to the basement,
To listen to myself speak to me,
To cuddle my thoughts, to find answers to the lingering
Questions running through my empty mind,
Why do human beings embrace nyctopilia
But give less preference to lumière?

There, In the face of silence is evil.
Behind the reflection of the mirror
Lies a third scene only the
Eyes of the eagle can see.

I often lie on my ceiling to read
The writings on my bed, to see,
Reasons why they walk a million miles
To reach the castle of tabernacles,
To join their hands In prayer,
To cross their hands In worship.

But at the dusk of each day;
They throw their smiles to the dust
So to wear the heart of their soul
Then after dawn of each day,
They rinse the scarlet of the darkness
On their faces to wear the mask of goodness.

I often go to the woods with eyes closed
And mind opened.
To hear the owl sing In my dialect at night
“man is wicked”.
This truth she always sings is naked.

Does the slowness of a chameleon
Make it evil? Perhaps,
Its ability to exist In different colours.

I have seen their nature and read their
Footprints on the wall of revelation.

They are owls that fly by the day,
Angels of day light, devils of peaceful night.
They are vile In white garment,
Poisonous as the venom of a viper.

If these owls live unhaunted
And these vermin untamed,
There is a capsizing certainty of this ship
This shaky vehicle that conveys us all,
Whose paddles dwell In the hands
Of these owls.

Iliya Kambai Dennis hails from Kaduna state, Nigeria. He is a physics student at the Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto,Nigeria. He loves writing, especially poetry. Several of his poems can be found on African Read.



The Self


                by Zondiwe Mbano
               (Leeds, England, 1982)

Consolidation of the self
Is a great moral effort.

Society is a monstrosity
Demanding propitiation

From individuals. Society
Is a faceless progression

Annihilating individuals.
The individual, rarefied

Of all corruption, is the self.
And solitude is the culture

For the sublimation of the self.
The self is his own identity

And poetry is his own bride,
His song of a velvet sunrise.

Love is a mellifluous
River that purifies all;

It is a titillation of light
That sweetens solitude.

It rejuvenates the self
To flow into poetry.

Freedom is the government
Of the self. And equanimity

Is the power of rectitude;
It is the self’s own fortitude.

Bruce Zondiwe Mbano is a lecturer in the Department of Language and Communication Skills at Chancellor College. He has authored short-stories, plays and poems, some of which have been published in The Fate of Vultures(BBC prize-winning poetry), Heinneman and The Haunting Winds(published by Dzuka). His poem The Viphya won second prize in the 2000 Peer Gynt Literally Award. Mbano’s has published beautiful poems on Afreecan Read including, Eyes of AgeRoad to Emmaus and The Breadwinner.


By Iliya Kambai Denis

I send my fears to
Trek to a land of doom
And ignited my patience
To establish herself, boom!
Faith, she published…
And gave my effort a crown
And send my plight
Into the countenance of
The rich.
Like photons I possessed
Momentum without a mass
Enormous energy is what
I posses even when
I take the weight off my feet
In perpetual solace.
The dust of my feet
Is comparable to the
Fragrance of a majestic foot
Personality of mine is at
The equinox of the sun,
Blessed with…peace.
Owls of day light now
Striking the anger of the sun.
Now hear my dreams;
With this palatable rebels,
The sky won’t be blue again
The sun and the moon…
Won’t travel the same path
Stars will betray their oath
And the night won’t have
The celestial bodies to
Beautify her ugliness.

Iliya Kambai Dennis hails from Kaduna state, Nigeria. He is a physics student at the Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto,Nigeria. He loves writing, especially poetry. Several of his poems can be found on African Read.

Dry Throat


by Iliya Kambai Dennis

Ecstatic proletarians!
Always in the warmth of the
Beautiful feces of bad eggs
Anxious of every four years after
Curious about the propelling
Forces of another

Oh dry throats!
Always laying face down
Looking up to the roof of thy home
A thatch house in a town
Oh obnoxious proletarians!
Listen to the call…
When will you wise up?
Rush to the hall

Push back at the wall
The vile wall of destruction
Entwine those decoy threats
Fill the glass wine with
Water and drink so cosy.

Look into your throats
So dry!
Kept by elite for votes
As fowl…
Groat that keeps you grouchy
Kisses that keeps you glowing
Will wash away with the
Salty ocean water.

Iliya Kambai Dennis hails from Kaduna state, Nigeria. He is a physics student at the Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto,Nigeria. He loves writing, especially poetry. His previous poems on Afreecan Read include My Sinful Nature and the Old Truth.

Life’s True Love


by Larry Onokpite

The place
The time
The approach; or
The rationale

Question of importance
Thought of beauty
Reason of hygiene
Power for life

Life! Dear life!
That solemn strife,
Forceful in its dive,
Asking no consent.

Life is deceitful,
Maybe we deceive it,
Or understand it to deceive,
We could just deny it deceives

Life bears poverty of encompassing
A wretch of individualism
A predestined enemy of singleness
Life is divisive and multiple

Life sneaks if understood wholly
No friend of the severe
Not to be understood in definite
Life betrays completeness

Happiness is on the left
Joy sways right
Peace resides above
Love settles below

Congregate the pieces
No bad in brokenness
Brokenness produces shapes
Shapes are beautiful

Shapes agile the imagination
Breathes life and curiosity to the soul
The body is in shapes
Descriptions empty without shapes

Life is never found in one piece
That’s the design
You are a sojourner
Get on your way.

Life consecrates you
Be aware of its blessedness
Even when we expire
Different broken shapes are married

Roll; cast; built into one
Saying goodbye to a life done
Life is in pieces
Pieces! Pieces! Never in Ashes!

Larry Onokpite is from Delta State, Nigeria. He considers reading and writing as great forms of spirituality. Larry previously published A Collection of Mantras and Ululating on Afreecan Read.