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Welcome to The Muse

An online Poetry and Flash Fiction Publication Featuring African Writers 

An Online Magazine

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OPENS MAY 1ST 

I’m proud the announce the inauguration of an annual Poetry Competition to find new, unpublished talent.

The B. James Poetry Competition is launched!

Entrants may submit a previously unpublished free verse, Fibonacci, Stanza, Haiku, or any non-metered poem, not exceeding forty (40) lines on the topic: FLIGHT.

Deadline: 12 Noon, December 15th. 2024

Prize $20 USD

I’m keen to hear from Poets who had suffered loss, hardship or survived a war. What did you flee from?

Terms and Conditions

Eligibility-

Facebook Page Follower

EAL Level 4 ( or D) and Above. Submissions written in ungrammatical English will be binned.

Email- ellaswriting@mail.com

Or, Submit By Clicking Submissions Box Above

Thank You.

Or Submit at www.ellaspoems.com

narrow letters, that works well on almost every site.

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 Edited by Bridgette James.

About Bridgette James

I'm a British Writer born in Sierra Leone. I write various genres of short stories but mostly neo-feminist poetry though my poems may also address socio-political themes.

I've studied English Literature, Social Policy and Criminology and worked in the UK as a Police Constable. My next chap book Anglo-African Rhymes is to be released by L.R. Price in January/February 2024.

I've been published recently in the following Magazines:

Wildfire Words, August 2024

OS6 June-Aug 2024 (wildfire-words.com)

The Lake-

July 2024

https://www.thelakepoetry.co.uk/poetry/bridgette-james/

London Grip (December 2023)

https://londongrip.co.uk/.../london-grip-new-poetry.../...

 

Gutter (March 2023)

Dreich (March 2023)

Wildfire Words (5 times between 2022 and 2023)

https://wildfire-words.com/rem-poetry/#Bridgette-James

 

Fib Review

https://musepiepress.com/fibreview/bridgette_james1.html

 

Longlisted for the Aurora National Prize 2022

https://writingeastmidlands.co.uk/bridgette-james/

 

Bristol Noir short stories (2023)

https://www.bristolnoir.co.uk/flash-fiction-dont-knock.../

 

Our self-published anthology, What the Seashell Said to Me (2022) has been legally deposited and is available in the National Poetry Library (please see attached photo).

https://www.amazon.co.uk/.../B0BNJHYV7T/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?

 

Misjudged and Misperceived published by Zambia Arts Publication 2023.

 

Historic publications

1. Lice in the Lion's Mane 1995 (editor, Dr Hannah Hope wells; deceased).

https://openlibrary.org/.../OL232.../Lice_in_the_lion's_mane

2. Songs that pour the heart 2004 (editor, Gibril Sesay).

https://www.worldcat.org/.../songs-that.../oclc/62268752

3. Kalashnikov In The Sun 2009 (editor, Kirsten Rian).

https://www.wolfboewig.de/kalashnikov-in-the-sun-an.../

Why I became a mermaid

[A Poem by Bridgette James]

I shouldn’t have gone to my aunt’s birthday party in 1999

dressed as a mermaid. I did, emerging half-woman, half-fish

a mystical creature from a twenty-third floor flat in a high riser.

My sister heaving like a whale, shoving me from behind

into the narrow lift. Trust you to be conspicuous.

Neighbours staring and pointing- Look, there’s mermaid.

I was hiding conspicuously in plain sight beneath an air of mystic.

Eyes protruding from gaping holes

on an amphibian face, on the look-out for fishing nets.

Torso and legs scaled up, safe from wolf-whistles.

No catcalls on the underground. A man asked,

Why did it smell fishy going through the tunnel?

In the hall, guests nodding at my sister

avoiding me the conspicuous cluster tagging behind.

People don’t look for women when they see a mermaid.

Even a female in fancy dress, because women are social constructs,

glittered up to the nines in sequins in magazines, online, on the catwalk.

The woman in the mermaid wore lacklustre pearls - a sea of problems.


 

Fully clothed in attire, I wriggled though party goers, unnoticed.

Since then, I’ve donned an imaginary costume in awkward scenarios

hiding under scales of false bravado in a mythical body.

The lady that I met at the sweets shop

 

was buying exotic sweets wrapped in blue and yellow polypropylene.

handpicking colours carefully.       Ticking off her shopping list

like a painter tasked with creating a masterpiece, scanning the small print

to avoid mixing her shades with other similar pigments.

 

                                                                       In her shopping trolley she kept stacking memories of a childhood when she strolled the aisles of life  back home in Kyiv, arm entangled in her mother’s,

before the blasts were heard.

 

“A taste to bring back the sweetness of youth. Hold on to the pleasures of the aftertaste of peace.”

She mutters to me, trusting me with a guarded secret.

 

Eureka! I instinctively re-read the labels on her delicacies in English.

Peace is a candy. Cherish its sweetness.

                                                                    I scooped up a handful of pick and mixes

to suck on, in my underground bunker, in case a Russian explosion shattered

the fragments of my taken-for-granted life.

By B. James

"*OLE"

           Ngozi squeezed herself further into the back of the yellow *Molue, the Lagos air thick and sluggish against her damp skin. Beside her, a woman with a headwrap  the colour of ripe mango nursed a whimpering baby. In front of her, two men argued in raspy voices, their hands clenched into fists that rested on their knees. The air vibrated with the competing sounds of the Molue's groaning engine, the conductor's rhythmic shouts of "Oshodi! Oshodi!" and the noise of street life filtering through the grime-coated windows.

          Ngozi clutched her worn leather bag, the tattered receipt for her rent payment tucked safely inside. Relief, battled with a rising tide of anxiety. The traffic, as always, was a monstrous beast, barely inching forward on the choked Ikorodu Road. She glanced at her wristwatch, the cheap metal digging into her skin. Ten minutes to four. If she didn't get to Lady Sharon before the rent was late again, the threats of eviction would escalate.

        A commotion began at the front of the Molue. A young man, no older than nineteen, his face flushed with anger, shoved past the arguing men. He wore a faded Arsenal jersey, the dirt mirroring the streaks of sweat staining his brow. In his hand, he clutched a dented phone, the screen fractured like a spiderweb.

      "Ole! Thief!" he roared; his voice laced with a desperate edge. All eyes turned towards him, a collective intake of breath rippling through the passengers. The conductor, a burly man with a shaved head, materialized at the commotion.

      "Wetin happen?" he barked; his voice heavy with authority.

The young man, his chest heaving, pointed a shaky finger at a middle-aged woman seated opposite Ngozi. The woman, adorned in expensive-looking coral beads, met his gaze with feigned innocence. Her manicured nails tapped a nervous rhythm against her handbag.

      "Na that woman!" the young man accused, his voice cracking. "She snatch my phone for inside Oshodi underbridge!"

A murmur of disbelief rose from the passengers. The woman scoffed; her lips pursed in a haughty frown.

"Me? Steal? You must be joking," she said, her voice dripping with disdain. "See how you dress like a vagabond, na so una dey accuse innocent people."

The young man's face contorted in fury. He lunged towards the woman, but the conductor, quick as a mongoose, grabbed him by the scruff of his neck.

"Hold your ground, small boy!" the conductor shouted. "No fight for inside my bus."

The young man struggled, his voice croaky with frustration. "But she stole my phone! That's all I have!"

        Ngozi watched the scene, a knot of unease tightening in her stomach. The Molue lurched forward, the sudden movement throwing the passengers off balance. In the chaos, the woman with the coral beads made a split-second decision. With a practiced flick of her wrist, she tossed a small object onto the floor of the Molue, right where Ngozi's feet were resting.

       Her heart hammered against her ribs. It was a phone – the young man's phone, its cracked screen glinting accusingly. The woman met Ngozi's startled gaze, a flicker of something similar to triumph passing between them before her face resumed its mask of innocence.

Ngozi's mind raced. The truth, as thick and suffocating as the Lagos heat. The young man's frustration, the woman's practiced ease. Yet, here she was, caught in the middle with a burden on her conscience.

      She looked at the young man, his face crumpling with despair. Then, at the woman with the coral beads, her gaze cold and calculating.  A decision, heavy and difficult, settled in Ngozi's gut. She knew what she had to do.

Glossary

Molue: A large yellow bus used for public transportation in Lagos, Nigeria. Often overcrowded and known for their boisterous atmosphere.
Oshodi: A major bus terminal in Lagos, Nigeria.
Ole!: Thief! (Yoruba language)

Copyrighted. Ebenezer Moweta is a final year Medical student in Nigeria.

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the man online breathed fire

smoke engulfed his words

 

they fell on my ears- embers

he said- I HATE...

 

the ground sparked up flames

accelerants scorching my toes

 

they pierce my soles into my soul an

inferno blazes he wrote- I hate you,

 

a stranger because my mother taught me not to love

any woman because my dad told her she was lower than

 

tree roots; he typed in his lingua franca – I HATE you

because you were born to be chaff sifted by males -

 

unfiltered husky rice on a winnowing fan -

discarded like ashes trampled on underfoot

Nuture Seeds- B. James

The man on the internet swung a pendulum at me.

I was online shopping for nude tights.

He wrote, “Clasp it with both hands, press it close to your chest, wear it like a second skin.”

My sister was crouched underneath an Orange tree, clutching pips in her hands, muttering secrets. “Look, I found two heart-shaped ones- I’d be lucky in love and fly to England.”  

In my mother-tongue they say where you plant an Orange tree there it will sprout fruits. The wayward breeze blew her wishes erstwhile like the woman’s on the TV saying, she found a man twenty-six years her junior on Tinder. 

I replied, “Life begins at forty.”  Daredevils are those who through caution to the wind. The subtitles bring me back - a boomerang: Woman’s Nubian Lover Was a Scammer.

 

I log off, scribble a wish on a post-it note, “To nurture my sister’s pips, I want to fly back to Africa.”

 Thorn in my side

“  "She’s been complaining about side pain all week and tossing and turning in bed.”

My older sister Ayodele blabbed to our mum, Theodora as we sat in the cluttered living room chatting. My mum looked at me in a concerned way.

   “Which side?” I went silent; too scared to speak. “Right or left?” I only had two.

   “Where’s the pain? Omotayo?” My mum inquired raising her voice as she addressed me by my house name. I knew I was in trouble whenever mother called me by my full West African name and not the one used for school- Bridgette. Fear however engulfed me; my brain was closing in between its barriers- my ears.

I knew I was seriously ill. The piercing sensation in my right side felt like a needle was lodged in my intestines. My whole stomach must be lined with the chillies my mum spiced Cassava leaves and Jollof Rice with. I was paralysed by dread though; I had a pathological fear of needles and hospitals which kept me from confessing to my mum that my right side had felt for weeks like the gardener was running a rake over it.

Naturally boisterous, I found my voice eventually and squeaked, “I’m fine mummy. I’m okay.” Lies rolled of my tongue like my dad’s Cuban cigars. The last thing I wanted was my mum to start laying her hands on my flaming stomach reciting the Lord’s Prayer so God would heal me. She was raised to take everything to the Lord in prayer,  guided by hymns we sang at St Augustine’s Church, Freetown. Vexed, my mum looked at me through narrowed eyes, enveloped by huge eyelids resembling folds of puppy skin. She had her mum-radar up and knew I was lying. My eighteen-year-old sister Ayodele told fibs about not having a boyfriend but even by her standards the report of me been too poorly to sleep at night was farfetched.

   “She was limping on the way to Youth club along the cut-through,” Ayodele continued now picking up a pitch and speaking with verbal diarrhoea.

My other sister twenty-year old Bamidele who had picked that precise moment to walk into our narrow living room, stopped in her tracks, her rabbit- like ears pricking, listening in, ready to interject with her bit of juicy family gossip. Disappointingly for her perhaps, I went mute. In the deadly silence that ensued the realisation dawned on me that the game was up: my family had seen through my pretence and knew from the intense pain causing me to shudder involuntarily that I needed to be taken to the only hospital in Sierra Leone in 1990, equipped to give an emergency consultation.

“Ring your dad and ask him to come home.”

My mum Theodora barked at no-one in particular in our language. We lived in one of those old 1960s colonial houses, so our house was connected up by cables to telephone poles to the archaic Hill Station Telephone Exchange.

Garrulous Ayodele took it upon herself  to dash to where the grey rotary telephone sat - pride of place on an overdecorated coffee day adorned by a white lace table mat - grabbed its handset attached to the base by an almost out-of-shape spiral cord and dialled my dad, Pa Thompson-Renner’s government office, chubby fingers pushing the dial all the way round the centre disc as if that would bring dad home sooner at rush hour, with that fuel scarcity and roads riddled with potholes.

 I tried listening in but was distracted by the inferno in my right side; our mum’s charcoal fire must have engulfed my entire stomach. My head was spinning from searing pain as a tightening in my side was the last thing I remembered before collapsing on our bare, wooden living room floor.

                                                                 *

            When I came round, there was greenish vomit on the single bed with the most uncomfortable mattress on which my undernourished  five foot two inches frame seemed to be laying, prone. Female voices sounded as if they were coming through the tribal horn in the living room cabinet at home. Someone was being violently sick- me, and a woman’s rhythmic voice was explaining in Pidgin with large hands convoluting around her bespectacled face, they had no utensils for patients to throw up into by their bedside. Conscious of making a mess, which sat me up like a lightning bolt had struck me. Resting my elbows on springs where the mattress foam had worn out living gaps concealed under the bedsheet, I suddenly took in my surroundings, realising I was in the dreaded *Connaught hospital, having probably been admitted there when I passed out.

The voice belonged to a plump nurse now perched on the edge of my already too-tight bed-  how did her bottom even fit? She kept gesticulating with chunky arms protruding from her stained, off-white uniform sleeves at my agitated mum and sisters who were placed strategically in the position of foot soldiers, beside the tattered floral curtains meant to cordon off other bedspaces in the shared ward. But I remember I could clearly see another patient, looking heavily pregnant, laying with legs sprawled out ungraciously on another miniscule bed with a rusty metal frame, writhing in what appeared to be absolute agony. I scanned the dirty ward from the cobweb clad flickering overhead lights to the flooring around my bed, the sharp-looking ends of broken clay tiles jagged my drowsy brain into action.

            “I’m going to die here Mum.” I must have muttered, because she stared right through my son, gulped down something which must have been fear and coaxed, “You’d be fine Omo, soon as the surgeon gets that inflamed appendix out.”

Her words sent my brain into overdrive, thoughts ruminating. I had heard about *Connaught hospital with its unsanitary conditions and constant power cuts and had the gut feeling that I was probably going to be exterminated in a catalogue of medical errors on the operation table. I had never been hospitalised before, inconceivable, seeing I was definitely an over-active teenager who had climbed all the fruit trees in our huge backyard, while driven by a penchant for the guava fruit, the seeds of which had probably inflamed my appendix. I would squander the whole fruit pips and all after school when ravishing hunger prevented me from waiting until our housekeeper Kadiatu finished preparing lunch on the charcoal stove.

I did not care what had caused the infection. I just knew my life was going to end at sixteen years of age- or my hypochondriacal brain was telling me so.

 “Surgeon? I’m going to have an operation, right?”

This time I fainted again, happily letting my body plummet into its vomit.

 

By Bridgette James

  • = Name changed

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HOPE


 

The humid Enugu air clung to us like a second skin as Nneka and I weaved through the stalls of the Kenyatta Market on a beautiful Saturday morning. Laughter spilled from overflowing bowls of palm fruit, bargaining calls intertwined with the rhythmic thrumming of highlife music from a nearby stall. Nneka, ever the explorer, pointed towards a commotion near the back of the market.


 

"Looks like there's a show," she said, her eyes sparkling with mischievous curiosity.

We pushed through a throng of bodies, the scent of roasting corn and sizzling suya mingling in the air. There, amidst towering stacks of colourful Ankara fabric, stood a young man, no older than twenty, his face contorted in concentration. A weathered suitcase lay open before him, its contents were a mix of trinkets, talismans, and wilted herbs.

"Ezigbo ndi Enugu!" he boomed; his voice surprisingly deep for such a slender frame. "Do you seek answers hidden from the ordinary eye? Does love elude you, or your business stagnate? Then step right up, for I, Chibuike, the O menemme, the Oracle of the Marketplace, can reveal your destiny!"


 

A ripple of amusement ran through the crowd. A woman with a mischievous glint in her eye nudged her friend. "Maybe he can tell me why my husband keeps disappearing to his mama's house on weekends," she quipped.


 

Chibuike, unfazed, continued his spiel. "With the wisdom of the ancestors and the guidance of the spirits, I can see your past, present, and future! Just a small token, and your troubles will be no more!"


 

Nneka, ever the pragmatist, rolled her eyes. "This is nonsense," she muttered. But the glint in her eyes betrayed a flicker of curiosity.


 

Suddenly, a woman, her face filled with worry, stepped forward. Her simple cotton dress hung loosely on her slender frame. "My son," she croaked, her voice barely a whisper. "He's been missing for weeks. The police say there's no trace. Can you help me find him?"


 

A hush fell over the crowd. Chibuike closed his eyes, his face adopting a calm expression. He reached into the suitcase, emerging with a collection of cowrie shells. He rattled them in his hand, muttering something under his breath. Then, with a flourish, he threw them onto a worn animal skin spread on the ground.


 

The shells scattered, some landing upright, others face down. Chibuike studied the pattern for a long moment, his brow furrowed. Finally, he looked up at the woman with an intense gaze.


 

"Your son is alive," he declared, his voice firm. "He is lost, yes, but not harmed. He is with water, near a place of healing."

A gasp escaped the woman's lips. Tears welled up in her eyes. "A place of healing?" she echoed, a sliver of hope flickering in her voice.

Chibuike nodded, his expression grave. "Seek out the village by the Ezu River, where the palms utter secrets to the wind. There, you will find him."

The woman sagged in relief, tears streaming down her face. She reached into her purse and pulled out a crumpled wad of naira notes, pressing them into Chibuike's hand. "Thank you," she whispered, her voice trembling.


 

As the crowd dispersed, a murmur of speculation hung in the air. Nneka nudged me, a smile playing on her lips. "Well," she said, "that was certainly unexpected."

I couldn't help but agree. The marketplace oracle gave hope to a desperate mother. This was Enugu, where the line between reality and the fantastical often blurred, leaving us with more questions than answers, and a lingering sense of awe.


 


 

Translation

"Ezigbo ndi Enugu": "Dear People of Enugu"

"O menemme": "He did it"

Ebenezer Moweta is a Nigerian writer

The day I became a mermaid

 

I shouldn’t have gone to my aunt’s birthday party in 1999, dressed as a mermaid,

but I did, emerging half-woman, half-fish, a mystical creature from our

twenty-third floor flat in the high-riser.

 

My sister heaving like a whale, shoving me from behind through tight crevices then into the narrow lift. “Trust you to be conspicuous.” She moaned, neighbours stared and pointed.

 

I was hiding in plain sight,” I explained. I was hiding beneath an air of mystic, my eyes protruding from gaping holes on my  amphibian face, on the look-out for fishing nets.

 

My torso and legs scaled up, safe from wolf-whistles. No guys cat-called me on the underground, a male remarked, “It smelled fishy in the tunnel.”

 

In the hall, guests politely nodded at my sister avoiding the conspicuous cluster tagging behind her- me.

 

I was the only one in fancy dress,  other females came as social constructs, glittered up to the nines in sequins. My costume had lacklustre pearls decorating a humongous fish head. Worn with pride, they came from the sea of problems overcame.

 

Fully clothed in attire, I still splashed, wriggled through chairs, tables, dancers, cumbersome obstacles, unnoticed.

 

I now adorn that costume when faced with awkward scenarios. Charming humans  with an aura of false pretence to hide the real introvert.

A Haiku

By Lergon Parris, Jamaica

A good book can sing
Song sweetly soothing one’s ear
The mind’s secret smile

They Were Lucky to Escape

By Lergon Parris, Jamaica.

"Oh please!” came Arthur’s trembling voice. “Don’t hurt me. Don’t hurt my family. Please!”

“I came to you as a matter of honour,” Stanley’s voice was intimidating, dominant as was his body as he stood over the feeble man trembling before him. “Is that not something to be commended? Am I not a man of honour?”

“Y-yes, Stanley,” Arthur stuttered. “You are an amazing young man, and a man of honour. L-look, I-if you walk away now, we can forget about all of this and move on.”

“There is no moving on!” Stanley snapped. “I never leave a task incomplete. I was a disciplined soldier. Now, I’m going to ask you again, and I want you to remember that it is I, Stanley, MAN OF HONOUR, who is asking you. Arthur Noble, may I have your daughter’s hand in marriage?”

Arthur swallowed hard before responding.

“It…w-well, as I said, it is h-her choice. She has a mind of-.”

“She doesn’t know what she wants!” Stanley snapped. I asked her and she turned me down. Now, I am coming to you, as the man, as the father, and once I have your permission, then it supersedes anything she might say.”

Joseph would certainly not deny that it gave him a personal feeling of pleasure when he kicked in the door and realized that his theory, seemingly farfetched and motivated by his own bias was right. At first, Stanley’s stance was somewhat mocking, something akin to his own father’s condescending scowl. But when the other officers, Joseph’s back up, came in behind him, the celebrated ex-soldier’s disposition changed.

Stanley, Ed’s boy, Stanley, had murdered Spongie because the inebriated man had spouted some criticisms about his interest in Jenny. He had then, himself drowned in the embrace of liquor, found himself at Jenny’s place of work, where he asked for her hand. Furious with her answer, the man had stormed off, waited a few days, still fuelled by liquor, then confronted her father.

Perhaps it was fate, just like the lightning that had illuminated Spongie’s murder, which had led Joseph to his absurd hunch, and compelled him to act on it. undoubtedly, the clearly deranged Stanley would have turned his attention back to Jenny after he had killed her father. But Joseph forced an inward smile at the ramifications of his actions. Arthur on the other hand was a mountain of gratitude. It was not lost on the old man that they were lucky to escape alive.

Extract from Lergon Parris' winning story, in the Easter Short Story Writing Competition, 2024.

To Read Full Story Please Click The Link Above To Featured Writers

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Stanley was one of the judges in our 2023 Easter Short Story Writing Competition.

Poem of Place

 

Every person in this city

is on the mental fringe

Everyday women and children begging for alms

Sisters taken to the street walking naked in the night

Brothers taken to arms making money with their guns,

egunje collectors on the highway,

one sees a broken molue in an ocean of people at the bus stop,

street traders littered.

Lawlessness is on the rise.

*****************************************************************************************************

Stanley Chijioke is a Nigerian Poet who studieD  Bachelor of Arts in History and International Studies at the University of Calabar.

Bitter Fate

 

This bitter fate is equally familiar

When relating to a borrowed-rob Noble Macbeth

Who became excited with three sisters' message

And the play closes up unchecked desire with a fate

He is our own staged in African theatre

 

The theory reveals here the truth

For our own leader was too jovial and the cup fitted

Making confessions that he is palm-oiled

Never he knew that they were ravens

Pronouncing the fate

 

Many people have related him

To Jewish Godly leaders at some note

He perceived nakedly persecutions for the gospel

But not his one

This bitter fate has cast spell on us

By Emerson Sam Navaya, Blantyre, Malawi.

Fear

I feel it under my skin cold as ice

As it creeps it leaves bumps in its wake

I can feel it make its way under my spine.

It is a familiar feeling; it is at home in my body

It had camped here when I couldn’t get myself to learn how to swim

And later when I had to speak up for myself in that crowd

Years ago it was when I sensed my best friend's looming betrayal

Then when I didn't hear from him after that big fight a few days ago

Now it's here again making an encore

Within these very dark fragile walls it has seen before.

Is it the stranger walking towards me?

Or just its way of reminding me that it never left last time?

A Poem By Vicky Koros, Nigeria

 A bird in his nest

 

Perched on his branch a robin. Female breast, feathered colourfully                                                

a male puffed-out chest speaks volumes, brandishing his conceited:

don’t philosophise it, a translation of his misogynistic

patronising tut: come on you must be gagging for it.

A dolly bird. Mating calls mastered over the years

luring a male to his moment of ecstasy in her boudoir

nest of erotic nooks and crannies.

The male stares through centuries of theropod evolution

visualizing a taxidermic Jezebel in her eyes

plumage ruffles disdainfully: you must be

gagging for it, boudoir antics coined

in the heave in your bosom

the sway in your hips

an objectified

human

dolly

bird

Bridgette James

   

Papa's Kitchen

 

All seasons gone,

near and afar

the bam of pestle

in assonance with mortar

resonating in Papa's kitchen

where there is

never a serene twilight

with clanging of utensils

dancing with sumptuous recipes.

In papa's kitchen

a sanctuary where,

like a craftsman plying his craft

every ingredient comes alive

with the tiki-taka of wooden spoons

seasoning seasons through the seasoning.

Taste that savours my soul.

Like the affluents

 

Papa's kitchen is my restaurant

where the best always come alive

meeting the gluts

even in my grey years to come

I will desire the more.

There is no denial

I have grown in bond

with the familiar flavour

from the corner of suavity

where a man could

eat a mountain of foo-foo

feeling like a possessed being

on an errand of satisfying the belly-bag

always in need of more.

The aroma is in harmony

wrestling with ingredients in earthenware

like a ‘crucified saint

journeying the abyss of hungriness

to meet a bountiful harvest

when mornings' chameleon into nights.

My soul has grown in bond

sating the craving for food

that nourishes my soul beyond

recipe after recipe.

I have eaten the whole world's meal

in the nook of sumptuous creativeness

enveloping a rainbow of aromas.omas.

   A Poem by Osman Emmanuel Kargbo

 

Osman Emanuel Kargbo is a graduate from Milton Maggai Technical University and presently teaches English at a school in Sierra Leone.

Dear past

By Shamim  Mponda

 

I have weeded all the burdens

that you watered in my precious heart.

I have chosen to instill peace and prettify my mind

with wise and wondrous thoughts.

All the secrets that were drowning my brilliant soul, I have let go.

I am a free and destined being.

    Sue me if you want

 

Sue if you want

but I won't hide

my intentions anymore

I won't let you confuse

visibility and value anymore

I won't let you engulf and digest

my courage anymore

like antibodies I will fight

the germs that me cry

you have given me

the vocals chords

that my brain can't understand

as the hypothalamus and its friends

are taking a nap.

 

Sue me if you want

but like agglutinins

I will clump your tears

Lysin- I will dissolve your fears.

Like antitoxin

I will neutralize your sick thoughts

like an anticoagulant

I won't let you clot in agony.

I will let you be smitten with joy

I will not let your pulse rate increase

let you produce more glucose of peace

When I am around you.

 

Sue me if you want

But I won't hold my breath

like lungs I will exhale your sorrow.

Like anaerobes I will still survive

without moisten air or your efforts.

But like cilia and mucus

I will trap your painful old days

and childish character.

 

Sue me if you want

but I won't let

my nerve transition

or muscular contractions stop

I will not let muscle fatigue

from strenuous exercise

stop me from following you.

Like a mute volcano through its space

is not even available to melt and drift

Towards you. I am I here

A Poem by Josiah Kaisi

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