Blazing Hot


 Oke IIkeogu Oke studied English and Literary Studies at the University of Calabar and Literature at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He has published four books of poetry, Where I Was Born (2002), Salutes without Guns (2009), In the Wings of Waiting (2012), and Song of Success (2013), An African Pageant of Children’s Poems. Since 1988, his poems have appeared in several journals and anthologies including Unity Magazine, Discovery (published in Braille), Prosopisia, The Second Genesis (2014) and Happiness: The Delight-Tree (2015), An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry in Honour of the International Day of Happiness published by the United Nations SRC Society of Writers. He has performed his poems at various international forums, and recently at Brown University in the United States during the 2014 Chinua Achebe Colloquium.

In 2010, Nadine Gordimer, the winner of the 1991 Nobel Prize in Literature, selected Oke’sSalutes without Guns as her Book of the Year for TheTimes Literary Supplement (TLS) and described Oke as “a writer who finds the metaphor for what has happened and continues, evolves, not often the way we want in our lives in Africa and the world,” and who “does so timelessly and tellingly, as perhaps only a poet can.”


Yellow in Their Eyes by Ikeogu Oke

The wise Muse must know her place
Or risk a whipping by disgrace.
Why lend a voice to a jaundiced claim
And set one’s name on the path of shame?

We know that power, in full undress,
Does not resemble holiness.
They read our sordid world amiss
Who see it nude and think it does;
Or it’s that the eye that sees
Portrays its vision at a loss.

The credo of power, even for a brother,
Is one bad turn deserves another.
Its lust can take a rival’s head
Or leave them worse than living-dead.

If in doubt, go ask his soul
Which yet may lay immersed in dole;
I mean that kindly Williams’s son
Whose given name begins with F.
Or ask Cicero who was head
And lord of justice in our land;
Or ask the nine who, in their ken,
The sword was seen to trump the pen:
The fated souls The Goggled One
Noosed out on that cheerless dawn;
Or ask that hefty Izon lord
Laid low by power in fierce discord;
Or that hulk who kept the law,
Who rode a bull and felt its gore,
And fell down bleeding from his side,
Wounded from his power ride;
Or ask that one whose bank of dough
Has lain prone from power’s blow
Years after the villain struck
With a fist as hard as rock.
And all their tongues will testify
That the Muse I speak for does not lie.

And how forget his story soon,
That martyr of the twelfth of June,
Who, though his cause was square and fair,
Still met his death in power’s lair?

Power is such an evil chef
That cooks to have his rivals dead;
And yet he serves them with a smile
His very dish that’ll bring their end.

In all our land his scions abound.
Why pretend it’s just one man?



Ken IkeKen Ike is savvy at several things. Many people know him as a serial entrepreneur who founded several successful companies and non-governmental organizations; others know him as a journalist, editor and media manager; the literati  know him as a poet and consummate literary event’s organizer who co-founded the famous Abuja Literary Society and Eko Literary Society and has helped nurture and promote hundreds of budding literary artists; yet others know him as poet and writer whose books (The River Died; and, Spirit Walk) have won critical acclaim; still others know him as the consummate corporate communications specialist who was the first Head of Radio Nigeria’s strategy and communications department; and now Director of FRCN’s Lagos operations, supervising three brands: Metro 97.7 FM, BOND 92.9 FM, Radio One 103.5FM.

Recently he has become quite famous for FA$TRACK – the innovative, NGO, Lifestyle club network that helps members set up a Plan B source of income and pre-and-post retirement plan, such that they can attain financial wellbeing early in life and retire well. In recognition of Ike, as a change-maker and social entrepreneur, he was, in 2008, awarded the prestigious ASHOKA Fellowship for Social Entrepreneurship.

Ike’s writings and work, drawing from high knowledge and his cultural origins, tend towards both the material and spiritual improvement of society.

More profile and pictures/info on the following platforms:

He called himself a prophet
But the villagers knew him
As the madman of Oye.
I did not know where to place him
Madman or prophet?

Strolling through village dirt roads,
He cut a dashing figure in his robes of leaves.
All covered in dainty green like ukwa trees.
Tall as the gazelle,
Gangling as the ostrich
He was the tallest figure
My young eyes ever did see.

Some said he became mad
When he chanced upon mamywater
-the gorgeous water mermaid,
Half woman, half fish – And she captured
Him in her midnight dance.
Others said he took leave
Of his senses when he challenged his Chi
– his personal guardian deity – to a fight.
Yet others claimed,
He smoked too much of the foul weed and
White substance used by city dwellers.

His was an intriguing life.
Legend says he was born of dwarfs.
No one could account for how he came to be so tall.
The village elders said
He had the eyes of amusu – the fly by night witches.

He seemed to know everyone’s secret.
Meeting a little-known village crook,
He shared with him:
‘Every day is for the thief,
One day is for the owner of the house.

The next day the thief was killed by a night hunter.

On another occasion
He told a respected village elder:
‘The forbidden fruit is juicy, but
In it is the poison of “ajuala”, the serpent.’
Soon, the elder was exposed as an adulterer.

Once he was asked
Why he preferred
To dress in leaves. His reply?

‘A man who is drenched by rain
Does not care if he pisses on himself.’

At night
His voice could be heard From the forest
Chanting to his God.

I was 7 when I met him on a lonely farm road.
He was sitting on a dead tree rump
Talking with the spirits
Only he could see.
I was chilled with fear and
Tried to sneak across without attracting his attention.
When I thought I was safe,
His voice rang out: ‘Little boy!’
I stopped. Frozen with fear. Sweating,
Despite the early morning frost.
Turning sideways, our eyes met.
He had the most unusual eyes. Eyes
So deep like an earth-sunken well; yet so piercing
You thought he could see the very depths of your soul.
‘Someday,’ he said, ‘you will write about me.’
Laughing, he melted into the forest.

I fulfill those words.
Culled from: The River Died by Ken Ike Okere




Adeyeye Sandra Timi is the writer of Sandra’s Diary (unpublished),
scripts (t.v and radio) and other poems. A graduate of theatre Arts
from the University of Benin, Benin City, Edo State.





STRUCK – Adeyeye Sandra T.
It was pretty dark that day,
Everyone scattered about like clay,
It was storm’s idea that way,
Brutally beaten down, we all laid.

Cars honked, headlights twinkled,
Unrelenting smoke became sight,
Air tasted soured and stifled,
None moved by might.

My limbs were no longer mine,
I knew they groped me,
All I saw were heads where
Feet used to be.

The rain came with sister wind,
Travelers indulged this twins,
A mistake to never repeat,
For none could stand their wit.

DROP by Adeyeye Sandra T.
He caressed my lower lip,
And forced my mouth apart,
His closeness made me quiver,
A sultry taste I want to keep.

My chin arched higher,
Hoping he would oblige my desire,
Tongue warm and inviting waited,
I stretched…all in vain.

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