Subscribe to Newsletter
Monthly Newsletter: Join more than 5,000 African literature enthusiasts!
Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our "Guide to African Novels."

blo

i re-imagine silence
as a white cloth sailing
in the wind
as a lake of blood in a dying child’s eyes
who has seen the shape of pruned tongues or karma coming after dogs

– this city is a tunnel where crouching shadows waylay the men who owns them
steal their songs
kill their joy…

i re-imagine fear as a dark
cloud coming after my multicolored kite which my teacher says cannot
survive the inferno my country has become

because it speaks so
much beauty into the world
like how to tend rosebeds or tuck cherry blossoms
into the hairs of softboys
like how to pray to rainbows for sunshine
and snowflakes
and raindust

these butterflies teach us
how not to make wars
with the trunk of our favourite
trees
or call forth the half moon in a honeysuckle before bloomsday
or murder evanescent flowers & songs & boys that float like soapsuds

the spot where the soldier’s boot raped Easter is still waiting for next April to grow new grasses

but my mother said
go to Maiduguri and plant new
gardens
do not wait for god or country or
matching boots

  …but they’re killing flowerboys all over
the world —
Orlando says it
akin says it
the bruises on my cheekbones say it
my puckered poems say it…

i re-imagine war spreading like a body of water
from Sudan to Syria
to stylistics in Sapo’s poetry
where do one go these days and not get drowned
in crown cocks

each city has enough fuel to burn down itself from floor to finish
but we’re still busy searching for god in each
other’s throat
the mouth of the four rivers in eden
hidden in our breastpockets

so my poems keep saying
throw in
more water,
more water…
some more water
keep painting the newmoon
on the toes of daisies
keep counting the sun days until the caterpillar blossoms into wings

**********

About the Author:

Portrait - ChibuiheChibuihe-Light Obi is a poet, memoirist and creative photography enthusiast. His writings aim to interrogate identity and memory; to probe language, finger silence and, confront stereotype. His works have been published in The Kalahari Review, Expound magazine and Black boy review. His photo book “Coal of Many Colour” is forthcoming from Praxis magazine.

Tags: ,

Ainehi Edoro is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she teaches African literature. She received her doctorate at Duke University. She is the founder and editor of Brittle Paper and series editor of Ohio University Press’s Modern African Writer’s imprint.

4 Responses to “Bloomsday | by Chibuihe-Light Obi | African Poetry” Subscribe

  1. Michael August 10, 2016 at 1:31 am #

    This poem is epic.

  2. Yusuf Sodiq Oluwatomi June 5, 2017 at 12:39 pm #

    This poem deserves an award! PERIOD!

  3. Afya June 26, 2017 at 2:11 am #

    Beautiful!!!

    Kindly check “…waylay the men who owns them”.

    I believe it should be “…men who ‘own’ them.”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. When Abibliophobia Strikes! | Book Lover's Hangout - August 23, 2016

    […] Fourth, vivid poetry by Chibuihe-Light Obi. This is a quote from, Bloomsday. […]

Leave a Reply

Welcome to Brittle Paper, your go-to site for African writing and literary culture. We bring you all the latest news and juicy updates on publications, authors, events, prizes, and lifestyle. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@brittlepaper) and sign up for our "I love African Literature" newsletter.

Monthly Newsletter!

Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our
"Guide to African Novels."

Archives

Suyi Davies Okungbowa’s Fantasy Trilogy, The Nameless Republic, Acquired by Orbit 

Suyi davies okungbowa by adaeze opara duncan

Orbit has acquired the rights to the Nigerian writer Suyi Davies Okungbowa’s new epic fantasy trilogy. Titled The Nameless Republic, […]

Ilya Kaminsky & Ellen Bass Have Serious Praise for Romeo Oriogun’s Hotly Anticipated Debut Collection, Sacrament of Bodies

romeo oriogun - sacrament of bodies - graph

We are two months away from the arrival of Romeo Oriogun‘s debut poetry collection Sacrament of Bodies, from the University […]

Nancy Adimora, Founder & Editor of Afreada, Rejoins HarperCollins in Diversity-Focused Role

nancy adimora - website - graph

Nancy Adimora, founder and editor of the literary magazine AFREADA, is returning to US publishing house HarperCollins in a newly […]

Come Home with Me | Obasa Funmilayo | Poetry

nick-karvounis-8WODX7nO2JE-unsplash

i This is a tribute to the dreams we failed to keep between our breasts, for the fantasies we painted […]

Watch Liberian Journalist Clarice Gargard Talk Her Family History, the Civil Wars, & Charles Taylor

clarice gargard - tedxamsterdamwomen-2019

The Liberian Dutch-American journalist and social advocate Clarice Gargard recently shared her story of Liberia’s civil wars in a TEDx […]

Submit to Issue III of 20.35 Africa Poetry Series, Guest-Edited by Itiola Jones & Cheswayo Mphanza

20.35 africa - itiola jones and cheswayo mpanza guest-editing

Launched in 2018, the 20.25 Africa: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry collective is pushing institutional boundaries in the African literary scene […]

Thanks for signing up!

Never miss out on new posts. Subscribe to a digest, too:

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.