FOOD POETRY (ISSUE 6)
ROASTED CORN by Elemide Benjamin
I know your words, I know your silence.
I memorized your songs to my heartbeats:
they tell of hope hungry to see tomorrow.
I watched you turn each naked corn about
till every grain tasted the goodness of ember-rassment,
you said life is coal pot, we are corns roasted by time;
we are turned inside out and about
to be purified with fire.
you said we would become gold, people will pay
for every grain of experience gathered
while we burn to taste better
in the rain of sunshine and in raining tears.
When life turns me into a desire of many lips,
I will turn to you, the oven that bakes my dreams,
for it is our turn to also turn life into a roasted corn.
*maami – Yoruba (Nigeria) word for mother.
Elemide Benjamin is a poet, short story writer, and events moderator. His works have been published in numerous anthologies and magazines. He believes happenings in the society are enough inspirations for any writer.
JOGUNOMI by Ayeyemi Taofeek Aswagaawy
Aronni despises home,
Onikoyi won’t cease warring.
Until my fingers scratch these
catfishes to their branchy bones,
Strip them naked of their meaty fleshes –
Autopsying the bones apart,
I won’t cease the trouble
of hand-whirling and mouth-widening
Set not your eyes on them
as they compete to mouth-pick
the locust beans that bewilder
this sea of soup.
When the mountain of Semo rolls by,
The sea of soup follows,
Ewedu says it won’t lag behind,
Locust beans, as fishes-in-water,
Swim to and fro, up and down,
Two catfishes swirl by
Like a shark and a whale,
Then Ponmo dives beneath
Like a tricky crocodile, such meal
shall be christened Jogunomi…
Until I feel the glossiness of these semo wraps
And thoroughly sample its contents
With my eyes beholding the depth of the dish,
I, Akanni, will not let war breath
Nor cease warring…
Jogunomi: Let War breath (rest or cease)
Aronni: A mystical bird of Onikoyi that until it appears, Onikoyi won’t be convinced of Victory.
Onikoyi: A warrior in the Oyo part of Yoruba land.
Ewedu: Jew leaf that is mashed to make draw soup.
Ayeyemi Taofeek Aswagaawy is a Nigerian poet and essayist. He was first runner-up at the Okigbo Poetry Prize (UI 2016), 2 times Writer of the Year Award, LASULAWS 2016 and 2017) and the Creative Writer of the Year Award (TPC 2016). He was listed among the EGC top50 Contemporary Poets that rocked Nigeria in 2016, and the TPC African Poets Encyclopedia 2016.
His works have appeared in many anthologies and online literary platforms such as Omojuwa, Peregrine Reads, Pengician, PIN Quarterly Journal, SPIC Monthly Anthology, WRICON Quarterly Journal among others.