African Poetry with editor Vera Ignatowitsch

green is green

 

green is green

be it lush as the grazings of Nigeria

dark as the envy

in the bladders of our ‘leaders’

cool as the essence of grape

plummy as fresh green apples

or unripe as the inedible fruits

our blind, naive followership bears

 

green is green

on postcards or placards, or voters’ cards

on flags and banners and posters

on charts and television or news headlines

on rigged result sheets or jigged growth rates

 

but white is white, too

—free of stain and grime and dust

free of speck or grease and rust

be it the flowing gowns of politicians’ wives

or the conscience they lack

or garments of African leaders in AU summits

who pawn their people’s green destinies

and siphon their wealth into white lands

 

white is white

the colour of parliament buildings that does nothing

about the dozen colours in white UN refugee camps;

white faces, red sores, black hunger, brown leaves

or the white chalkboards in dilapidated classrooms

or blank spaces on greased farmers’ blank checks.

 

First published in Tuck Magazine.

 

Emmanuel Stephen Ogboh is a young Nigerian poet. He started writing poetry —his observations and experiences— four years ago and has been published in several literary magazines. He can be found at https://medium.com/@Stephenecdotes, and www.fb.com/semmanuelogboh.

Dissatisfaction

 

Strange how things have changed

I watch politicians like poppy puppets dangling on strings

spending more time on television screens

 

On what day will the country be fixed?

yes, we need debates but we also need action

I voted for these men and women

who have somehow rejected my right to freedom

 

Gone are the days of good governance

on the ground we have bony cheeks and bloated stomachs

I am one of you but you have forsaken me

passing my potholed street in luxurious cars flashing blue sirens

 

So what can really surprise me more?

You have failed to undertake your duties in office

then allow me to drop a rabbit out of a hat

I solemnly declare we’ll fire your ignorant asses

 

 

One Day We Will Know Why

 

Maybe not in this lifetime

Probably in the near future

One day we will know why

 

We existed on an earth like this

That orbits in unseen air

Toward and away from the sun

Dancing to our rhythm

 

Maybe not in this lifetime

Probably in the near future

One day we will know why

 

We have two hands and feet

And one glorious good head

That works like A, B, C with ease

Although we screw it all up

In the depths of our denial

 

Maybe not in this lifetime

Probably in the near future

One day we will know why

 

We exist in variety as humanity

Could it have been a test?

That we failed to see all along

How we are no different

 

 

Lazola Pambo is a South African poet, novelist, and essayist, with work published in acclaimed literary journals such as The Criterion, Sentinel Literary Quarterly, BlazeVOX, and Gemini Magazine. He holds a BA in Creative Writing from the University of South Africa.

Womanhood

 

O womanhood

The mother of manhood

And father of brotherhood

Your strength is enormous

And your breath, courteous.

 

O womanhood

The warming firewood

That gathers the neighbourhood,

O womanhood

The palatable food

That sustains livelihood.

 

We appreciate you

We love you

We admire you

We salute you,

O womanhood

The diamond garden

Of diamond roses.

 

 

Ngozi Olivia Osuoha is a Nigerian poet/writer who has published over one hundred and twenty poems. Her first two poetry books, The Transformation Train and Letter To My Unborn, were published in Kenya and Canada respectively are available on Amazon.

Garment in the Dust

 

Pauper puffy sniffy stinky

Dirty dusty browny tattered garment

Contour of ribs drawn snaky

Visibly and countably undoubtedly

Telling tales of myth

Tales of fate or faith

Dwelling under holey rusty leaking roof

Wandering headlong when cloudy.

 

His cud lonely and silent

A dried bitter sauce and a loaf

As he caresses his one-eyed black cat.

They warm up beside a smoldering fire

The moon watches as the stars flick

Colouring void and hope combined

Black painted lamp flickering

On the old sapele table

Effortlessly kindling tomorrow

As a false hope.

 

As he lies on the hard raffia mat

His one-eyed cat accompanying him

He dumbly slumbers in nightly darkness

And sleeps forever

The crowd of condolences

Weaves a wreath of myth

On his muddy and dusty tomb

Where the one-eyed black cat waits on.

 

 

Francis Ocran is a poet from Accra, Ghana. He has over 50 poems published on his personal blog www.francispoems.blogspot.com. He loves writing poems and everything about arts.

Copyright  Better Than Starbucks 2019, a poetry magazine    

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