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Ghosts: Poems by Micheal Ace

Image: remixed

(For the victims of Xenophobia)

Three immigrants from Nigeria:
One in yellow shirt, others
In blue jackets

They brought luxuries stretched
Into the length of a
Guitar box

Each had a cross-bag, jumpsuit,
& a face that carried
The beauty of

Every wall in South Africa
Was a mirror- an opaque shadow
Of blunt sincerity

They saw what was left of them
After dropping thousands
Of memories in
The sea

They walked and settled for
Some green bottles
Of beer

(In Nigeria, they fought wars
With country colours)

The barmaid was present in
Every sip. Her white skin
That lay like tablecloth
In a King’s study

Rosary hiding the crucifix down
Her cleavage- an ebony’s
way of reminding
Herself that her
Body belongs
To a kind
Of god

Her smile whitened the foam
That settled atop the cups.

After six bottles each, they walked
Down the street. Sat under
The streetlight, playing
Guitar, singing…

“A dark star-ed ship sailing on
Three jolly friends here onboard
Burn the night; spill liquor
From Lagos to Johannesburg”

They sang, till sleep cuddled
Them away.

At dawn, sirens filled the city
Searching for three ghosts

In a foreign land.



The boy
Mounted his Father’s

He said a silent
Prayer & drove off

Two days later

The horse came back,

& dark

Tonight is candle night
We won’t be searching
For a carcass

But a missing ghost

The Father said his
Son had died

Even before he left
Poems © Micheal Ace
Image: remixed

Micheal Ace
Micheal Ace
Micheal Ace is a Writer and Poet from Ibadan, Nigeria. He has authored two poetry chapbooks titled Sermon from a Stammerer and Scarlet Silk. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming on Praxis Magazine, Lunaris Review, Kalahari Review, WRR, Tuck Magazine, African Writer, Wildsound Review, Peregrine Reads, Parousa Magazine and more. A Computer Scientist with a great passion for Art and Literature, he is a curator of anthologies and contests, including Pun Poetry Contest, 2018, Growth Contest, 2018, Wakanda: Rewriting Africa, 2018, In my father’s house anthology, 2017, Healing Hands, 2016, and many more.


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