Ngozi Obasi Awa


The rods are away at the High Seas


"Remember, O dancers,

the thunder among the clouds..." [Christopher Okigbo]




Remember, O dancer,

there's thunder in the clouds...


And you, O choreographer,

Remember, only spirits dance

the dance of death!


O dancer, anger is a dance of death!


In vigil it stands to wear the bones:

In flames, as faggots, the flesh

wears the plumes of maggots and sand.


Remember, O dancer, before your feet taps

into "pills or no life!"





I am my mum [if not worse].

The rods are away at the High Seas.


O, the sweet fragrance of restraint!


There are songs

in the crevices of every happy child;

a bitter life

for the child suckled on anger.


"The son of a frog is a frog".

What of the son of a mad woman?


O, the destruction that trails a volcanic vein!


Anger is like the odour that escapes

from a decomposing corpse;

The black alluvium that sticks

to the bed of a sick heart.


I never can raise the rod!

Children must have their moments.


I am my mum, you see,

I immerse myself in tassels of petals;

the smell of roses

against the stench of abuses.


I live to pop no pills.



Ngozi Obasi Awa won the Sentinel Poetry Bar writing challenge on the theme of  Anger with this poem. To join the Sentinel Poetry Bar for a chance to take part in these free-to-enter monthly challenges write to


  <<Previous l Next>>

Ngozi Obasi Awa

Readers this month

Sentinel Poetry (Online) #43  - June 2006. ISSN 1479-425X

The International Journal of Poetry & Graphics...since 2002. Editor: Amatoritsero Ede

Frontpage l Back Issues & Submissions l Sentinel Home