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A Race of Black Diamonds: Poems by Iliya Kambai Dennis


The world is an ultraviolet catastrophe
     Though we are fastened by the same gravity
     And poetry seeks to unravel our indifference
We are all people of mediocrity
Birthed from enchanched red dust
     Our race has no colour in the rainbows
our identity tinted like a shadow
Yes! This is what we are

We are a puzzle we cannot solve
In a world of whirlwind and mermaids
     Because we refused to emerge from a race
Of interferring protocol
     we’ve since
been tagged culprits of emitting radiation
We are peasants of rubbles and despair

We are lucid creatures
     from a race of black diamonds
We are a race of cursed nations
Sprouting from the embers of hell to inherit pain
     Bent towards the contours of a diverged society
Dismissed with glittering disdain
     Whose paddlers are dwellers of a foreign country
And owners of prodigious asset beyond shores

We may be ‘eaters of dust’
Our hopes buried in the grave of deathless souls
     We may be lawless, careless, helpless and flawful
Yet we are people of worthy recognition
Teaching ourselves how to love more
     With beautiful standards for our parents to follow.



A man was making barbecue at
The shore on a Sunday morning
How the dexterity of his hands
Raped my thinking faculty I couldn’t deny
Breaking palm kernel with his teeth
Was like using magic wand to
Make a frowning cloud smile

At the other side of the shore was
A woman of substance
She opened the river between her thighs
Then she swallowed the whole ocean into it
She seduced a eunuch, erected his penis
And he ejaculated in her his trust
But she raped his fidelity
When she wore the Delilah of her heart

His eyes, fixed and steady
On the white papers ready
To give another glance
She stepped in not by chance
It was all framed
A young man with wife and progenies
Yet he could not resist
Her curves but persisted
In the realm of the
Shadows that ruined his tangibility
His wife maliciously
Kept mute for decades
Until it became a cascade
She couldn’t conform to
This unfathomable strangeness
Has taken away her sweetness
Oh poor malicious woman
She could only sit and chase
Shadows but never chased
The ball of marginalization
She is vulnerable.



We danced the masquerade dance
When drums were heard
Women would run to their huts
Children would hide under
Their mothers’ shade
The youths would gaze through windows
With hearts beating as fast as
A Chinese drum
While the Abwoi* confraternity
Danced and rallied round the whole
Looking for a scapegoat to scold
Then, we asked for a change of lifestyle
Our hope came with life eternal, our salvation!
*Abwoi is the name for masquerade in a Nigerian dialect in Kaduna state.

Poetry © Iliya Kambai Dennis
Image: Benny Jackson on Unsplash remixed

Iliya Kambai Dennis
Iliya Kambai Dennis
Iliya Kambai Dennis hails from Kaduna state, Nigeria. He loves writing poems and stories. He is a physics student at the Usman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto. His works have appeared on Youth Shades magazine, Afreecan Read, and Praxis magazine.

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