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War Crimes: A Poem by Ubong Anwana


world is
an isosceles
Where I stand
on the base, And
gaze at the apex
For this years I have
still is beyond me.
I wonder why my triangle
Looks like two parallel lines?
I now see
Is not mathematics
is not
you see
It is what you feel,
If the truth is
what I feel
am dead.



when  the sober speak with drunks
it makes no difference
it is not that the words don’t get in
it is only that it gets drowned
when the sober speak with drunks
it is not incommunicado
it is just that the lines get garbled
somewhere in the brain
when drunks talk
it makes a lot of sense
in vino veritas
and they speak their heart
when drunks speak with teetotalers
they have a lot to say
if only the bigots listen
it can save a lot of pain
when the sober get drunk
it is a radical approach
there are two reasons i know of
he’s bereft of wealth or wife



idle moments
are best relived
on the verge of consciousness
idle relish
flashes back
when the stomach
is empty
idle thoughts
are savoured
like mirage
on a parched land
idle gains
like dreams
vanish with
the cock-crow



sing the tunes of the cruel song,
then mime and act the dreaded rhyme,
poured from the heart of an evil throng,
of grimy filth and filthy grime.

blare the bugle and weary trumpets,
then toss in the khaki puppets,
with pockmarked faces of endless strife,
at the center stage of a morbid life.

echo the yell and the victim’s wail,
then follow the zombies on the trail,
where hate opened her fiery doors,
vomiting clean murders and senseless wars.

sit still and remain stone-mute,
then watch violent rape by a brute,
of virgin lands in modern times,
don’t thunder at irreverent crimes.

don’t try to cure this malignant disease,
but see what daredevils try to seize,
with well-mannered men, though ill at ease,
of false smiles and embrace called peace.

gaze at the white poles of the earth,
then see it brimming and chocked with dirt,
that is fairer than this dumb silly riddle,
of the black loam in the middle.

(c) Ubong Anwana

Ubong Anwana
Ubong Anwana
Ubong Anwana lives in Calabar, South Eastern Nigeria. He is a graduate student working part time with a media house in Port Harcourt. He is currently working on a book and has many unpublished literary pieces.


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