Sentinel Poetry (Online) #58 ISSN 1479-425X


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Jumoke Verissimo   


The Raped

(for the Niger-Delta, Nigeria)


This discharge, is it oil or blood?

or conscience pricking vulvas

into piles of mangrove guilt


This discharge

consuming hymens of virgin skies;

enraging, flaring splintered hopes


This discharge

of a fluid-less pen—

is: oil or blood?


Releasing hate into sacred vulvas

ruffian thrusts, striping virgins;

leaving seeds of strife on promising wombs.


Is it oil or blood that strained the foetus

from the womb? The aborticide of

oracular births whose cords have no umbilical signs?


These days,

aged vulvas live in fear of perverts,


weakened birthing thighs seek for change,

from  violent thrusts on impotent will.


Vulvas of our land have many-name contagions;

the fear of unreached orgasm trails them


Their smelly private lack confidentiality

they are a meal-time discourse.


This once-virgin thighs, now over-raped

plead for menopause…


Why does ambition in the South-South go South-South?

Is it because they are in the South



The vulva is always looking south

now it can't stop its promises from heading south

going down and getting downed




go South-South

anger goes South-South

thoughts drift South-South:

a renewal of contemplation

ponderings — is it this oil or blood

that makes all desires head South-South?


Our deformed skills and tired anger

molests dominant wills,

time it speaks against the call of the oracle.


Why is MOSOP* - soppy?

Is it this oil: this blood

        that has leeched its peak?

what is MEND^ - mending?

Is it this oil: this blood

        that has bleached its own?


Is it the plea to head South-South

to meet patriots of better times only


Those leeches

those boil companies,

those diseased, whose partner—

ship, steers our blood to riot

those who steered our Boro*, Wiwa^ to no return.


Those woes

who sucked our rivers dry.


See what we have become

children from the same vulva….

see what we have become

see marsh, see river


standing apart - aloof

        the river shies from the marsh

like they share no watery relations


It's time this oil will be their blood

and turn against them


The sword disregards the smith in battle

this blood will oil their joy to ache.


This oil will be their blood

this blood is oil.


Those Rapist

this birth will turn against them.


If you rig a condom to prevent procreation

we shall burst its tip and still make babies



if you do not copulate for affection

you must reciprocate past affection


This oil is blood

this oil

this blood

        will flow as it should flow


This vulva must drip fresh blood

The menopausal shall ovulate

it shall menstruate —

not clotted blood - blackened shame

sign of early aging and destitution


This meddle of affairs on arrears

this oil

        this blood

                this what?

this confusion of signs and times….


This discharge of rot

that persists


This seething anger has spilled over

on our farms of hope

in our streams of strength


That untimely thrust into underage vulvas

our shortened virginity has lost ancestral affinity

there is no posterity in our famished thigh


In your sinfulness

our raped vulva pleads for menopause

our oversexed vulva begs for a sex—

change, against the violent thrust on our impotent will.



* MOSOP: Movement for the survival of Ogoni People

^ MEND: Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger-Delta

*Boro: Nigerian, Niger-Delta activist.

^wiwa: Ken Saro-Wiwa, Nigerian, Niger-Delta activist and leader of MOSOP, hanged by General Sani Abacha in 1995 with eight other activists.






Jumoke Verissimo




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