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Two Poems by David Ishaya Osu

For an Elegist I

Let morning not meet you in bed
Crawl to the stream
Along Bhu Nukba forest

She has a gift for you

When from your lips
A dirge is to be spewed

Go under the naked sky
Humble your groin
Undress your bones

The first smell you collect
The last whiff that erupts

Congest them in your nostrils
In your urethra

When your head the sandy pillow welcomes
The next tune your ears graze

Sing that song
The chant of a repented elegist


A Name in Grids


There’s an air
That walks with her shadow
It’s but paradise’s signature
Bulky, a pearl to paint in this canvas

No chants from night’s goddesses
Will seduce my fingers
Into carrying the testaments of her spell

For she’s the rainbow
Dethroning all suns
Feasting on my scalp

A thousand bridges
Did not take me to heaven

Neither my footprints on stones
Nor the sweats in my groin

In the mirrors
I saw how I was killed:

Poisons poured from her pupil
My throat picked them
Thirdly I melted in her oil

In that morning Adizah
We’ll lean on our silhouettes

And while molten lyrics fall in our ears
We’ll milk honey from the moon
So our tongues will march on it

Then build our nest in Pacific Ocean
And permit silence to fertilize our eggs


© David Ishaya Osu


David Ishaya Osu
David Ishaya Osu
David Ishaya Osu is a Nigerian poet, street photographer and freelance journalist. His works have appeared in several journals such as the 2012 Sentinel Annual Literature Anthology, The New Black Magazine, and elsewhere. In 2011, his poem, Seasons at Peasant’s Palm, won an Honourable Mention for a National Poetry competition in honour of Prof Remi Raji at 50. He is an alumnus of the 2012 LUMINA Creative writing workshop. David is currently polishing his debut collection tentatively titled Rape Album.


  1. He hooks me
    and pulls me in every time
    I am entranced
    The sorcerer
    has enchanted me

    ps I wish he’d title his series differently.

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