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CONTRIBUTORS

Akinlabi Peter
Amanda Sington-Williams
A M Gatward
Ayat Ghanem
Bobby Parker
Chuma Nwokolo, Jr.
Dike Okoro
E C Osondu
Katie Metcalfe
Laura Solomon
Mandy Pannett
Michael Larrain
Oge Anyahuru
Terri Ochiagha
Uzor Maxim Uzoatu

 

poetry


FIRST PRIZE WINNER - SENTINEL LITERARY QUARTERLY

POETRY COMPETITION (OCTOBER 2009)

 

Moving

Kumasi, 1967

by AKINLABI PETER

 

1

 

i would not know you if not for the lights

riding forth through the retaining walls

of the ungovernable river…

 

we had forded water to the rail lines

reciting the lapidary psalms of the baptists

but arrived home to a startled flight of voices

 

a frightful moment later,

lights of devotion falling again

through the ashen pulse of the wind, i dog-eared

the intimation on the dark bulrushes of Kumasi

 

and that is how i was ferried home

incomplete, cultivating another time

while the dissonant meaning lets in

a daunting disbelief

 

a child  again, i fold a geography of loss

into your eyes of secret, into the grieving fondness

of that district that women called Lagostown

 

2

 

so you will go through to Kumasi again

you will remember how the days passed

between the terraces and the grotto

you will recall the seduction of a quiet surrender

 

maybe you will remember too

a  child’s unfettered heart; an atrocious gift

wrapped in the riddle of a sunset; arms outstretched

unto the sky of an abandoned house

ah, the sudden dampness of departure

 

now you perfect your gift of double faith-

hope it still retains its reins of cool closures-

admitting your weightless, interminable narrative

a bridge, you say, to a transmissible life

 

when you arrive in Kumasi,

you might cleanse the memory of sun dusts

searching the direction of clouds towards Ababu

or you might come undone

reading the signs of recent dawns on a tall building

 

the river will be unfamiliar- if you find it-

but the lights will still be the same

playing the meanings with things in memory

you can look for the fey swell of the bulrushes

and count the degrees of pain in the architecture of loss

 

 

 

 

OCTOBER INDEX
EDITOR'S NOTE
DRAMA
ESSAYS & REVIEWS
FICTION
POETRY
COMPETITIONS


AKINLABI PETER lives and works in Ibadan, Nigeria. The poem "Moving" published here won the First Prize in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (October 2009)


 


 

 

 

 

October Index | Editor's Note | Essays and Reviews | Fiction | Poetry | Competitions | Drama

Sentinel Literary Quarterly is Published by Sentinel Poetry Movement | Editor: Nnorom Azuonye

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