Food Poetry (Issue 3)
Oke Agbo (For you, Dear Home) – Adedayo Adeyemi Agarau
night will ask us for a song
that will drool down the bellies of hungry men
and we shall sing of yam pots that sit upon logs
and the limping flame that dances around nostrils,
we shall sing the lullaby of mortar and pestle,
and the mashed breathe of iyan;
we shall sing of dancers and dances,
the wafting apala blues that softly awaits
the entrance of women who tear the night apart
with ponmo, smoked fish, cat fish and organ meats of regal cow
soaked in melon soup,
some shall sing of gbegiri, others shall mutter lyrics of ewedu
as it stings their desires and waters their throats,
we shall sing of mushrooms and mashed beefs rolled in pepper sauces
and the scent of dessert that paddles the night in Oke-Erefon
we shall sing of stupors
when elders, farmers and smithereens cheerfully piddle gourds of palmwine
to soak boredom. We shall watch as they hang the earth
around their neck and their noises ring in their throats;
we shall sing of craziness as drops of gegemu add flavor to the
the moon shall walk in the breasts of school children and the night
shall drown their dreams.
We shall sing of homeland
And the frenzy that tie us to your name
We shall sing of tourists and our native women,
of amala and gbegiri,
of asaro and ikokore that walk like escort with bottles of stout
and rivers of drunkenness— a satisfaction our land offers
We shall sing of you, Oke-Agbo and
the long longing for dusk.
Iyan – pounded yam
Apala blues – a song that originated from Ijebu igbo in ogun state.
Ponmo – processed cow skin
Gbegiri – bean soup
Ewedu – African spinach
Oke-Erefon – a place in Ijebu Igbo
Gegemu – strong native alcohol
Amala – processed yam flour
Asaro – yam pottage
Ikokore – yam porridge
Oke-Agbo – a place in Ijebu-Igbo in Ogun state.
Adedayo Adeyemi Agarau is a student of Nutrition and Dietetics, Federal Polytechnic, Ede. His poems ‘Garrium Fever’ and ‘Welcome Home’ featured in ‘Who Shall I Make My Wife?’, an anthology of food-related poems published in 2015.
He has won various poetry prizes including Pulse Students Poetry, Tony Tokunbo International Poetry prize and most recently, Eriata Oribhabor Food Poetry Contest 2015. His anthology of political Poems ‘Epistle of Lies’ was published in 2014.
pizza, two memories – Archita Mittra
you’d spy your mother in the kitchen:
dirty apron, parched fingers kneading dough,
an oven from a fairytale,
a smoky room incensed with magic spices.
she’d laugh when you’d close your eyes
and sink your teeth into the milky-golden crust
savouring the molten cheese on your tongue.
it tasted of love.
tv spits static; a room, stale and dusty.
you’re half-asleep. red-stained fingers scavenge
rusty tomatoes and withered greens (relics
of another era), and embed themselves
in brown bedrock. you taste salty snow
and ashen dust, drowning in a swamp
of greying cheese and bitter nostalgia,
a quicksand of loneliness.
Archita Mittra loves to tell stories with words and images, and has a fondness for the vintage, the imaginary and the fantastical. A freshman at Jadavpur University in Kolkata, India, she is majoring in English Literature and is also pursuing a Diploma in Multimedia and Animation from St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata. She has won several writing contests and her work has appeared in numerous online and print publications including Who Shall I Make My Wife? (anthology of food-related poems), Quail Bell Magazine, eFiction India, Life In 10 Minutes, Teenage Wasteland Review and Tuck Magazine, among others.
Iyan Funfun Felele – Aremu Adams Adebisi
Crystal as a cloudless sky,
caging as a graceful eye,
heaven in which angels beam
like a child in charming dream;
shady tree that breathing birds
perch to strum appraising words;
milky hue of littering light
that a blind shall see his sight;
name that drones and vastly pegs
when a cripple speaks with legs;
needed ware in silverware;
Iyan Funfun Felele.
So he smiles, who frequently
defines grace with melon pea.
So he laughs, whose hasty hand
flogs yams onto mortal’s land,
flagged by whipping dynamos
with paddles that pestle blows
while the lions cry in peal
within humans’ bellied zeal;
calling pounds to elegance
as the kids, in staring, dance
for the joy of wishful bits
playing over funnel’s fits.
Won’t he bow, who soonest see
what white gowns could ever be
dazzling like a blended cloud
in cuisines that call aloud.
How sailing than pirates’ yachts,
how moving than mobile thoughts,
how pacing than horses rode,
in the bowl his fingers rowed.
Solar tongue and moonlit teeth
fighting over, bearing sheath,
who would lay its foremost ray
on the gloss of tasty day.
Likewise gullet, only way
that morsels be cast away;
for bones in a sacred shrine
still be revered justly fine.
Worms have sung a welcome song,
as intestines danced along;
blood in veins as hearts in mind
strummed melody, intertwined.
When in gathered pointed horns,
those with fabled crowns of thorns;
who would go for gliding snails,
spewing stales of fairytales?
No wing betters eagle’s span,
no mind betters that of man,
no dish offers more delight
than a meal of snowy white.
Find an Ondo lasting mate
if you wish to live in weight.
And if that should turn out far,
book a charm in Calabar.
What could turn a thunderclap
into pee-wee lightening tap?
Ask a man with crashing sound
’bout the awe of ivory mound.
Aussies dote on Kangaroos,
Athens worship mighty Zeus
what I cherish will I bear;
Iyan Funfun Felele
Aremu Adams Adebisi is a poet of distinctive classical, lyrical and indigenous poems. He was a day winner of the ‘SPIC’s’ 7-day ‘Love Poetry’, a runner-up in the ‘The Talented’s’ maiden competition, a shortlisted poet twice in the ‘Brigitte Poirson’s Monthly Poetry Competition, and he recently was considered for the ‘Eriata Oribhabor Poetry Prize’ Sponsors’ shortlist. He is a member of variegated poetry groups which include the WRR, the FOS and the Poetic Elephants (Ayanmo).
Chips and Chops – Nnenna Ihebom
Take the chicken to the kitchen
Don’t mess with chin chin please
I want to catch up with my check up
Please fetch me the ketchup
These chips are charred
So get me the chunky chops
Did you know that fries are not friends
Not French and not free?
Well, the pumpkin pie looks palatable
But take them away from my table!
My choice is chops
And rice curried in a hurry,
Crunchy chips and ketchup sauce
So I can catch up with my check up
Nnenna Ihebom hails from Mbieri in Mbaitoli Local Government Area of Imo state. She is married into the Ihebom family of Umuomi Uzoagba in Ikeduru Local Government Area of Imo state. She wrote her first story book, The Rejected Stones in 2007. Her novel, The Web won the ANA/Chevron prize for environmental writing 2009. She has a passion for Igbo writing and also won the ANA/Ken Nnamani prize for Igbo literature 2007. She also produced the first comprehensive, monolingual Igbo dictionary in 2015.
She is an active member of the Association of Nigerian Authors and Mbari Literary society, Owerri.