Sentinel Literary Quarterly

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

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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
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Akinlabi Peter


A Walk on the Plateau

barkin ladi, near Jos, Nigeria



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 



nameless trees stand, somber

chivalry, along the market road, and

two lovers part into two unrevealing



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 



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.



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Akinlabi Peter lives and works in Ibadan, Nigeria.



Sentinel Literary Quarterly

 Published by Sentinel Poetry Movement

Editor: Nnorom Azuonye

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