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Beside the Lagoon: Poems by Amatoritsero (Godwin) Ede

New breed Politician

Sun-sired sons
Who would fire
The crops of the field.
Rising sap bruises the spine
The snake of being
Strikes the psyche in poisonous green;
Green is the colour of harvest.



Out of Royalty’s way marxist fool
Bare-breasted belles dangle
To greet great passage
As I siren through
The performing monkeys chatter
My triumphant scream!

Clear riche’s path,
Miserable earthling
gods tread!

Beware the sinking cities
From Abuja to Lagos
In a shroud of holy dust
Come the members of the order of the river Niger


Sour Harvest

Time will heal
What human nature has destroyed:
You were the scythe; I was the ploughshare
Twin psyches
Together we cultivated heart’s richness;
Words were our crop, our thoughts were manure
Careless we
Doubts weeded in, raising poisonous sap
Along the growing stems
Until we unhappily plucked out
What we happily planted
Shrivelled to a shock of sour harvest;
We broke seeds

And I run reeling round our rolling fields
A seedling lost in the dust that is man.


Fruit Tree

Here is nature’s plenty
stark on a bough.
plucked knotty children among green leaves.

I see men, half-men, tall
Above the ruins
Big children, quick to the pick,
Patriotic bastards.

And I see the weaned tree in desolation
Proud despair amongst barren tops

Hard green testicles verdigrized on wind
Eunuchs all of us.


Beside the Lagoon

Does the river have tongue
To stick out in rudeness?
White desolate miles
Broken, firing the cold sun
Against the hard morning mist
Enlightening my immense shore
Disturbingly green.

Watery mermaid voices
querying, “Is poverty so rich?”

I run from this rootless faith
And yet I turn,
Holding my wishes by the ears
Dipping my hopes in salty waters
My breath hanging like a question mark
Querying, “Is poverty so rich?”



Sharp sighs murder the air.
Christ! a sad thought
Hangs over my hung head
On the cross

Grey silences,
Happy moments sadly dead.


Picture on the Wall

A dead man sits on the wall
Staring at me
His chair of soldierly fame in flames
History’s sad solemn burning sun-dimmed eyes
The time-wrecked sleeves and epaulette
Awkward and rank
Shadow figures
across time’s retina
Leaving no lasting impressions;
Fixtures on our walls
In their natural states
Of unnatural paralysis.

Poems (c) Amatoritsero (Godwin) Ede

Amatoritsero (Godwin) Ede
Amatoritsero (Godwin) Ede
Amatoritsero (Godwin) Ede is a poet and MA student of literature at the Hannover University in Germany. He has had poems featured in Voices From The Fringe, Junge Nigerianische Lyrik, The Fate of Vultures (BBC Prize winning poems) and a host of journals, newspapers and magazines. He is the author of Collected Poems: A Writer's Pains & Caribbean Blues. Ede won in 1998 the All Africa Okigbo Prize for Literature. He is a founding member of the German chapter of the Association of Nigerian Authors.


  1. I think as much as I appreciate your poetic style, it generally holds no immediate appeal to my sense of imagination. This may be because when I read your poetry, it came to me as poems…just poems…noemotions.And I feel that it is in beautifully-splashed emotions that poetry finds its voice.

  2. I was sitting by this poet/writer about 21 years ago or more when he wrote this poem at Unilag Guest House in Lagos overlooking the Lagoon. We have been out of touch for all these years. I had the privelege being the first person he read the poem aloud to. My impression then was that it was a powerful peice of Art. I would like to be connected to this runaway poet. Link me with him please. Omorebokhae Onomoase Email :

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