Sentinel Literary Quarterly

Vol.2 No.3, April 2009. ISSN 1753-6499 (Online). www.sentinelquarterly.com

Home Editor's Note Poems Interviews Fiction Essays Submissions Contact
 
Abayomi O. Zuma
Akinlabi Peter
Angela Nwosu
Ashley Capes
Benjamin Beresford
Gregory A Lawson
Lola Shoneyin
Matthew Coombe
Nnorom Azuonye
Nnorom Azuonye (2)
Simon Green
 
Past online issues
January 2009
October 2008
September 2007
In October 2008, Sentinel Poetry (Online) in publication since December 2002 was merged with Sentinel Literary Quarterly into a single ezine. You can find Sentinel Poetry (Online) archives at the locations below:
March/April 2008
December 2007
Dec 2006 - Nov 2007
Dec 2005 - Nov 2006
Dec 2004 - Nov 2005
Dec 2003 - Nov 2004
Dec 2002 - Nov 2003

 

 

Poems

 

 

Akinlabi Peter

 

A Walk on the Plateau

barkin ladi, near Jos, Nigeria

 

1

walls of cactuses, a dark path:

an invasion of shadows

announces identities of arms

and whispers 

 

shedding names, the women

melt into shadows into lights,

blooming, like melons - voices and shadows

a happy hysteria - benita’s bar 

 

ladi’s night is wrinkled

with cold, importunate, prolonged,

hiding behind the reigning rocks -

a divided view, it turns out 

 

2

nameless trees stand, somber

chivalry, along the market road, and

two lovers part into two unrevealing

shadows… 

 

mountains rise like goddesses

fogged in night’s strange grace

over this land where water sprouts

in a taxidermic surprise  

 

an immeasurable space- these lakes,

these ponds, these scarred biographies

miners have dug up for desire -abandoned now 

 

3

on a dark path towards the seminary:

the trees join heads in incestuous

dialogue, widening their roots

into your mind …

 

you know only a knitting mind like pam

might know the secret of their insular

copulation and the hidden memory

of their names 

 

but names here are memory of a courtesan:

you will imagine men laying their songs

in a brimming calabash or mine diggers

surrendering fatigue at the ledge

of the thatched dream 
 

riding the wall of cactuses,

nights row by, a body of dreams,

a body of winds –

you see women of sunset, near chi,

returning home, eyes full of breeze… 

 

and you walk this earth

breaking certain devotion on these hillocks,

and watching the ground of faith shift,

like us 

 

you walk this earth with that ritual faith

for this meaning, this secret,

this stirring desire

that men caress like sadness.

 

 

Top of page l Poems l Fiction l Home

 

Akinlabi Peter lives and works in Ibadan, Nigeria.

 

 

Sentinel Literary Quarterly

 Published by Sentinel Poetry Movement

Editor: Nnorom Azuonye

©2009 The authors and artists as credited. All rights reserved. Reprint permissions.

A magazine designed and built by Eastern Light Web Services for Sentinel Poetry Movement

Sentinel Literary Quarterly is a Poetry Landmark of Britain