Thursday, November 22, 2007

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Widow's Tears*





She weeps the loss, weeps the waiting trouble
Of contested farmlands and shrinking hellos
In-laws becoming outlaws, shifting landmarks
Fears of tied hands and buried futures of her growing children

She weeps.

The owl knows her secrets,
Her last bath in the night-over ashes
Endless visits to her husband’s last words
The owl knows the taste of her tears

Nwaanyi mkpe*, dark thoughts
As she keeps custom
Sitting on the edge of knowledge
About his whereabouts

Tears and more tears
As the fears
Build up in her heart
About bouts in bracketed sympathies

She remembers, she forgets
She remembers to forget
To earn a widow’s might to fight
With her knuckles talking
To the land that holds his bones

She weeps her words,
Wet stories and damp questions
Ije di**, has it led her
To the stream & brought her back
Without her waterpot?
-- Obododimma Oha
*Previously published in Agenda, Issue 72, 2007.

Sunday, August 19, 2007


a flute & a shivering mail
caught in the space between flight and attack
windwork of tongue & teeth wailing
in the cold comfort of canines

many welcomes & no goodbyes
from the belly of the beast

--- Obododimma Oha

Sidewalks

Let's go download a problem
And postpone solutions
Let's let loose.
Sidekicks, sidetalks, booze.

What speeds the wheel
Hums in the hub, thrills.
Let's get total
Like a verb doing things

Sidewalks, trafficking in theories
sleeping late
On sleepless ideas

Sidewalks, the fastest of lanes.

--- Obododimma Oha

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Nigeria Preys

(For Yakubu Gowon)


Nigeria preys

On the rising sun

Crazed with fear

For the spreading rays of hope



Heavy with a curse

Of many genocides ago

She claws her way

To the next damnation


Nigeria preys

Now behind the mask

Of democracy, in the dark passions

Of people-deceiving-people


How many gowons make one Nigeria?

How many darknesses make a victor

Become the vanquished?


Sunday, April 22, 2007


Niyi Osundare and Biodun Jeyifo,
at the latter's 60th birthday poetry reading in Ibadan