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Auchi: Poems by Austyn Njoku


If you eat Amadioha’s meat
remember, his unholy visit!

The king who shields his eyes
from the famine in his land
will soon see his ancestors

The termite may sojourn
to the top of the iroko –
but it will still travel
through the fowl’s gullet

If you eat Amadioha’s meat
remember, his unholy visit!

The earth mothers the seed
the earth eats the sower

The tongue does not ill-treat
its guardian incisors, or
ignore their barbed presence

If you eat Amadioha’s meat
remember, his unholy visit!

*Amadioha is the god of thunder in Igbo mythology.



I see the stars in your polluted skies
so crestfallen like a lack-lustre nuptial band

I see the moon in your blind nights so
pale and sick like a mal-mixed yellow water colour

I hear the sea harbouring you howling like
a haunted hound restless like a sow on heat

I see your winds wailing with mindless abandon
breaking the spines of groves chequered on her rancid routes

I feel the fire raging in your leaden heart hot
like the flarings fouling your environs and breaths –

Succulent souls sent to smouldering death through
punctured pipes in Oviri Ogale claimed by corrupt concerns

Nurtured in the bowels of black bullion rigs drilled for
the greed for Greens – the vessel of soulless colo-multi-nationals!

Dear Delta I see the pain in your seared soul
and my heart does bleed for your flatulent nipples

Sucked dry and flat – withering away like the limp
limbs of souls suffering from a most scorching Stroke

Dear Delta I do see the pain in your pulsating heart
and my soul does cringe for your harrowed bowels.



Do not leave for Fugah
tonight, your eyes sleepy
like distant stars in dewy
skies, your hearty laughter
stifles into sweet dead smiles
warm desires darken with
Rayban shades shielding beauty –
the freshness of your cool hue;
do not go to Fugah tonight,
leaving loneliness with me –
the night heavy with boredom
darkness drips like emptiness
yawning like the wry distance
between longings of lovers
seeking freedom from penury;
do not leave for Fugah tonight
watch the lonely moon with me
and let’s share these scents of a rose.



I am a reluctant sojourner –
i trudge through the annals
of your intricate honeycombs

O vanity! Trap me not in delicate
tissues of your deceitful luster
shiny like colorful neons of Broadway!

I am a reluctant sojourner –
i labor through labyrinths
of your bland alleys and valleys

O banality! Clasp me not with claws –
cobwebs woven with bile and care
to kill tomorrow in today’s desires!

I am a reluctant sojourner –
i crawl steathily into calabashes
of minds – like a loathsome millipede!

O calamity! Cling not to me never
with your repugnant repertoire of woes
tragic in your ever triplicate birthmarks!

I am a reluctant sojourner –
i creep steadily into the crevices
of your calloused heart hunting an oasis!

O civility! Cloak me with woolly robes
warm like the glamour of celebrity
secured with cerebral sigils of longevity!

I am a reluctant sojourner!

(c) Austyn Njoku

Austyn Njoku
Austyn Njoku
Austyn Njoku studied French Language and Literature at the University of Port Harcourt. A poet and short story writer, Njoku's poems have been published in recent anthologies like Passport to the New World (edited by Sunny Ayewanu in collaboration with The Nigerian Commission for UNESCO) and the International Library of Poetry anthologies. More of his poems have been published in Nigerian national newspapers and magazines and put to Baroque music in THE SOUND OF POETRY. His first collection, I've Been A Crew, got an Honourable Mention in the Cadbury Association of Nigeria Authors (ANA) Poetry Competition. Scents of Dawn is his second. The former Treasurer of ANA, Lagos chapter, is sadly now deceased.


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