BLAZING HOT (ISSUE 6)
WHEN NIGHTS COME CRAWLING
By Chisom Okafor
Remember how you sent a coterie of ants
racing, tingling against the slippery coldness
of my insides, when
you first touched the back of my shoulders and said,
‘see how our night crawls like
a toddler to its mother.
Isn’t love a chemical reaction?
Shouldn’t this be irreversible?’
You said we formed an art work when our
hands met and our breathes became one with
the air around us,
and the bloody sun at sundown made leaves become
colourful emeralds on the mosaic that was our world.
Remember how the dust grey-toned our faces,
how we forgot what the world beyond looked like –
two running parallels,
save for the things we knew:
like the urgency in
a mother’s voice somewhere down-hill,
calling out to her playing son,
echo after echo.
Or the glaring indifference when he’d left, and
his playmates resumed chanting, like the finest cherubs.
We’d never know about Lagos,
about the garri thief with a car wheel slung
somewhere around his torso,
while he roasted, in degrees, to a jungle-justice
– induced death
(because it was sweeter
to see flames rage through a boy
than it was to call the police),
nor would we know about the girl
forced into premature marriage somewhere
in the far North
(because it was easier for girls
to accept the ‘nature of things’).
But we’d remain two tiny specks on a hill, at sundown
ready to embrace naked darkness,
pleased by how unbreakable, like an ionic bond, we were,
waiting, yet not wanting to return
to the world beyond us,
that world bound by a shriveled bond,
that world set to disintegrate under the mildest illumination.
Chisom Okafor studied Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. His poem came third in the 2016 maiden edition of the Nigerian Students Poetry Prize and first in the maiden edition of Dwarts Poetry Prize. He has been published in various literary outlets.
RIVULET OF SONGS by Victor Ugwu
This rill reels a song
From gongs of underused tongues
Sailing swiftly steadily
Tinkling your glare
And short hands.
This Brook plucks a flare
From your hair
To hew a bong
That pilfers your voice
for the Sun’s burning sores
A tickle on the Moon’s face—
She crescents her smile.
This wet psalm
From Janus first tear
Is now a rivulet
Pooling on time’s palms — eternized
SOBER NIGHT… by Victor Ugwu
The Night is white,
wry for my sober touch.
Shan’t I blue it
With my lips — grip — thrust?
My lips are blue of my pen
My grip is blue of a sky dipped in a morning sea
My thrust is a blue of tamed flames…
Victor Ugwu, a 20-year old poet, was born in Onitsha but writes from Minna, Nigeria. He is a member of the Hill-Top Art Foundation in Minna. His works have appeared in the Ebedi review, ANA review, Praxis, Dwartonline, and the Kalahari Review among others. He is the author of RHYTHMS: a poetry collection.
WEEP NOT, CHILD by Nome Emeka Patrick
For the clouds that have rumbled in your eyes,
And mountains of fire that have stood up high…
I see your lips curl into an ology of fluttering fuss
And the tip of your tongue wrapped like strong pains
In the embouchure of a boy holding death’s refrains.
I see you break into shards and episodes of loss.
I hear the strings of your soluble sighs break the nights
Like a precious étagère, splintering into fragments and flights…
I know your heart is a confinement of dirges and deaths
For in your little blue eyes lie stories stained with dearths…
I know you’re a madrigal lost on the wicked tongues of time –
A distant desert of scattered bodies and bones in your prime.
The wrinkles of the rainbows are grinning upon the earth
Holding a parcel of promise to the threshold of your crumbled heart…
Weep not, child for the storm has fallen into the mouth of death
And at the corner of the sky, a light is fondling the body of the earth
Tearing into homes and hearts, with the genesis of a soft prayer,
And flicking elements of worries into a troubled river of flaring fire
Child, the rumbles of your fine soul is as turbulent as an earthquake,
But welcome the running letters of this poetic tapestry to heal your aches…
There’s a little room in your heart waiting for a song of revival –
a song riding on the crest of victory towards a field of survival,
for your pains and aches, little boy, may be as robust as mount Kilimanjaro;
there is a bliss of peace lying patiently for the arrival of your morrow.
Watch! Dear little Child – watch!
The gaiety of little birds as they hold the sky in their clutches…
Sit here and watch the stars sparkle, and the moon swirls
Like a beautiful maiden under the gaze of the sun.
Sit here, little child, and watch how the fireflies too, twirl,
For life is an infinitesimal organism, out of a great foetus borne.
A sun of strength is sprouting in the dawn of your soul
And its gay warmth is burning the crux of your sole…
There’s a flame of strength wiggling in your little eyes
And a beautiful dawn crawling and snaking up to its rise.
For your soul, O little child, glitters like fine coasts of gold
And like the glory of the firmament, greatness shall you hold.
 Ngugi Wa Thiong’o’s “Weep not, child.”
Nome Emeka Patrick is a poet, writer and deep thinker. He likes to read and loves children (for their hilarious and innocent nature). He’s an undergraduate of the University of Benin. He is shy, but finds boldness in writing.