Food Poetry


Mabel Anyanwu Okpaefi is a graduate of Banking/Finance from the University of Nigeria,Nsukka Enugu Campus. She is a serving Youth corps member with the Chartered Institute of Bankers, Nigeria. She has many unpublished works that have won awards globally. She is an Essayist and winner of many essay prizes. Mabel is a lover of nature, arts, photography and one time winner of Eriata Oribhabor Photo Contest. In her leisure time she writes and draws. She currently resides in Abuja-Nigeria.

Who Shall I Make My Wife? By Mabel Anyanwu Okpaefi
I am at a crossroad
Clutching my fork, spoon and knife
Concerned about my stomach infrastructure and belly fold.
Who shall I make my wife?

Will it be Habiba or Labiba?
Masters in the art of preparing Fura de Nono, Zobo and Kunu
Matched with Masa, Tuwon-masara, Dawa and Shinkafa
Experts of Mian-kuka, Pate, Awara and Dan-wake
Whose palms endlessly sharpen Kulikuli
Haba!! I salivate at the thought of my Nyarinyas.

Will it be Chioma, Ijeoma or Iheoma
Whose bosoms remind me of Ofe-nsala, Onugbu, Oha and Oso
Whose crafted hands prepare the best Nkwobi served with fresh mmanya?
Oh these ladies, masters in Abacha, seasoned with Ugba, Okporoko and fish
Their Fiofio and Ugbaka are the best worldwide
Chei!! My stomach may never recover from their impact.
Will it be Bola, Fola or Shola?
Dazzling looks, and enticing fingers that serve original amala and ewedu
Their spiced Kpomo brings out the best in me
I cannot forget the steaming pots of Iyan and Eforiro
Ladies who mesmerized me with their Boole and smoked fish
Egbami o! My hollows beg for a refill at the thought of these ones.

I am at a crossroad
Through my stomach,
These ladies have constructed a pathway to my heart
Who shall I make my wife?


Ekene D


Darlington is a 300 level medical student who likes to write poems and short stories when he isn’t toying with cadavers. He won 1st prize in the Eriata Oribhabor Poetry Prize in 2014 and has had his poems published in the Annual Healing Balm Magazine at Abia State University, Uturu, Abia State, Nigeria. He is currently working on a collection of poems centred on his experiences in medical school.



Spare a Thought By Darlington EkeneOgugua
When you stroll past the stalls in Afule
in search of lush green pumpkin leaves
and smooth creamy melon seeds,
do you not marvel at the ease
at which Kponmo stacks are built?
One, two, towering high
flies flying round the tower.
Does the pungency of iced mackerel
not deal with your nasal cavity?
And do you stop to enquire the tribe
of the fair lady with a smile
beckoning to you?
Are you not drawn instead
by the deep red of her tomatoes
which make you drool at the thought
of making tomato stew?
“Put roundabout,” you say,
“Even towel and akwarànu too,
but do not add liver portions
for they make me want to puke.”
And Mr. Butcher does his thing
slicing through cow flesh
knife in hand, razor sharp,
while beating flies away
and you wonder what
a fried fly tastes like.
When at last your soup is ready
and your biceps hurt from pounding yam,
you sit back, peering into the filled bowl,
its contents sitting still silent
with wisps of steam flowing upwards,
and in one half-microsecond,
you think your bowl is an erupting volcano.
Ah, one more thing before you plunge in,
get a glass of water–
Ah, clear, soothing water,
and place it beside your bowl
because pepper in your windpipe
would make you mad, briefly.
And as those balls of yam pounded
slide down your gullet,
spare a thought for the boy with a bulging stomach
who wanders along your street
with not even a glass of water to drink.

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