Igloo

by Nikhil Nath
The sofa,
all lips
and kisses

calling love
a mirage,
dreams

land up
in a
micro oven

full of
loose talk
from college

canteens
and
a nation

dries up
on fodder

for animals
because some

monkey has
gone tiger,

hunting inside
an igloo.

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Lucid

by Seth Boss Kay

Luxury of time eludes.

Immortality is mirage;
A dream far-too-away from manifestation.

Integral to the totality
of all humanity is trans-personality.

Mortals incomparable to immortals in physical.
Yet the two worlds overlap,
Interacting with usually unnoticeable constancy.

The reality of the unseen,
As real as the actuality of the seen.

But never is forever;
All that is natural shall see mortality.

Fatwa/Vendetta?

by Michael Aseidu-Siaw

It’s Friday,
Almost time for the evening prayer.
Fix  your Cilices,
Tighten them around your thighs;
Wear your chastity belts
Or better still, tear them off!

We need them as weapons,
We need them as instruments
For we are attending a confession-
A reverend father
Is going to tell us
Why he fucked my 8-year-old nephew
In his butt.

Michael Aseidu-Siaw is a graduate of the University of Ghana.

Drawing For Survival:

by Kwame Aidoo

The caustic arms of fire-breathers bearing
the bald bones of creeds
dropping cold ash into our bleeding eyes blinking
between the gun and the pencil;
I ask, which of the two would inspire a dream
as the barrel does the opposite of dropping blanks

Do they hear the reverberating anguish
or dread not our immortal art and consciences?

Under the umbrella of vision of eternal paradise,
if a benevolent god or karma perhaps
would resurrect common consciousness
we could live amongst ourselves
and not bite the arm of another
but here the tongue is forced at day
to dip into the bile of death’s philosophy

at night we’re here
staring at bloody portraits in a dark gallery,
suddenly, there’s satire in the air that laughter cannot be addressed to
not to make mention of,
broiling flesh
wailing guts too
due to the putrid venom of extremism

We’re not human enough to shake hands
at home,
thousands fall at Baga
but the bartender is busy
rehearsing whisky-blooded speeches

I marched in my heart
I was a pedestrian when the streets went gay with agony
I saw the ripe hypocrisy when hands held contact long like
a randy photog’s gaze
the lens of cameras captured camouflaged faces
forgetting feet keep fighting..

Do they hear the reverberating anguish
or dread not the sharpened ivories of our teeth?

When there’s true freedom of speech
I will frog-leap and chant
Je suis human!
Kwame Aidoo is a 28 year old writer, cultural director and environmental activist who lives in Tema. He was long listed for the 2014 Golden Baobab Awards for Children’s Literature. He received a BSc Biochemistry and Biotechnology degree at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in 2009 and went on to found Inkfluent which produces the Vocal Portraits series of compilations featuring poets around the world, organizes slams for teenagers, poetry festivals, open mics, flash mobs and workshops. Currently, if he’s not working on his ‘spoken rap’ album; Public Verses Announcement, he’s either teaching poetry to teens or gallivanting about looking for interesting local spaces, art and independent musicians to blog about.

I Am Looking For A Wife

by Sena Kodjokuma

Papa I have come to you this morning,
With my cloth around my waist and ash in my hair,
Hands clasped in mourning.
Papa I dreamed a dream and it was a night-mare!
I dreamed that my manhood was ripped from my loins as I watched,
The long tendrils of my babymaker watering the ground,
And the cruel jibe of my maimers as the pain latched.
“He who fetches firewood for his hearth needs not the strength of his loins.”
I woke doused in a lagoon of sweat,
And touched my self tentatively down there,
At the place where the branches of my legs meet my meat,
And calmed I come to you,
Papa I am looking for a wife.
I am two and forty harvests old,
The erstwhile pride of the clan,
Now the butt of all jokes told.
I stare at the maidens deadpan,
For the songs in my mouth go mouldy and cold,
And the seed in them is not fit to be chicken feed,
While my heart labours and strains with the ache of my loins’ need.
I am looking for a wife,
She need not be tall and waiflike,
Graceful and mysterious like the women of the fire tribe,
Their stories hidden in the scars on their cheeks,
Or petite and full of curve,
The ovals of their necks carrying the royalty of the forest tribe,
Trinkets jingling
Enhancing the wobble of their assets,
For these are the first daughters of the gods,
The ones to whom only the chosen have a claim to assert.
She need only catch the eye of this mortal man,
And choose me as I choose her.
I am looking for a wife,
One who will light up my hut,
While I crack logs open,
For my sons to fetch and keep the night cold shut.
One who bakes pots in her own oven,
And draws my morning water,
With the dainty steps of a deer.
I am looking for a wife.
One to be my dear,
Who will chide me in the darkness of my hut,
Hold me to her breast when my eye threatens to spill a tear.
She needs not be chosen by the gods,
And though my songs may be mouldy and cold,
She will ignite them with her passion,
For as I choose her she chooses me.
I am looking for a wife,
A woman who never fails to remind me that morning has broken,
And when Asaase Yaa offers her gifts,
She whispers in my ear,
“Agya I have changed the beads on my waist.”
And when we fumble and wrestle in the dark,
She shows me that you don’t need light to see their beauty.
A wife who will take me into her,
And not judge from the strength of my loins,
When the flower of my youth withers,
For the fruit slowly ripening.
Then we will eat it together.
So Papa I have come to you this morning,
With my cloth around my waist and ash in my hair,
Hands clasped in mourning.
Papa I dreamed a dream and it was a night-mare!
I dreamed that my manhood was ripped from my loins as I watched,
The long tendrils of my babymaker watering the ground,
And the cruel jibe of my maimers as the pain latched.
“He who fetches firewood for his hearth needs not the strength of his loins.”
I woke doused in a lagoon of sweat,
And touched my self tentatively down there,
At the place where the branches of my legs meet my meat,
And calmed I come to you,
Papa I am looking for a wife.
Sena Kodjokuma is a graduate of the University of Education, Winneba. Writing is an art and a skill he is constantly looking to hone. He writes as an artist and as such his themes are varied but similar. People, emotions and situations define what he writes.

Child Discipline

by Jason Visconti

I wish its scars were an imaginary friend,
the trotting of my feet alongside a welcome wind,
the pride of my sleep while lying in love’s covers.

I wish they were an unexpected recess
Toting my conduct as sweet–
Their salutations planting in my garden of innocence.

I wish the belt buckle were
A raised hoop
I could throw my body into
And circle back again.

I wish each violent slap
Were a kiss on a whim.

Doleō

by   Juan Pablo Duboue

 Pain is a part of me as much as writing is a part of me

Sometimes it’s bloating and unbearable,

Though at times it is quite manageable.

Migraines come and go like the jasmines in my garden.
Summer intensifies and
Winter harbours grudges.
Blame it on the rectified cervical lordosis
Blame it on my insomnia
Blame it on you, on me, on them
On them, on me, on you.
Psychosomatic disorders
you name them.
I know the Rorschach by heart
and the inkblots dye my mind.
Imagination’s running wild
as the oil spills on the butterflies.
Not a penguin, but a butterfly
Not a penguin, but a butterfly.
Haunting crows circle
my sheets, an orgy of feathers
and cawing at midnight.
They tear my limbs apart
My intestines open
My aorta bleeding poppies in July.
I do not see myself as fat
I am not overweight
It’s the eating that I dread
For food makes me gag
I cannot seem to hold it.
Body rejects what mind decides is past.
Bags have transmuted from a grayish green to black
People seem to stare at me
As if I were a terminal patient
There’s nothing terminal in me
My conditions are chronic
They let me rest
They let me have my days
And then the cycle starts
Again and again and again.
An episode here and there
When life’s good it’s every four months
Otherwise it’s every month
A cramp
A shock
A needle stuck into my neck
A syringe plunged into my back.
It’s dying and resurrecting every time
Every four months, lucky me.
Doctors say it’s in my mind
Shrinks say it’s in my blood
Daddy says it’s on his family’s side
Mother says just stop the nonsense
You’re fine.
Thank you for your insights
But the pain is still concrete
I can touch it
I can grab it
I can chew it
Feel it twisting me
From the inside out
A thousand claws
Toying with my insides.
Feasting over me.
A common depersonalization,
fear of a heart attack,
a nervous breakdown.
The acute onset
cradles me to sleep.
I am one with the attack,
a sisterly feeling
of impending death;
Pain is a part of me as much as writing is a part of me.
I know the Rorschach by heart
and the inkblots dye my mind.