—a poem by Francis Annagu

Give me
A basket of cocoyam leafs,
Where i should pour this
Salt-sour life of cobbler zest.
Sun is burning wild on sand,
Out of loneliness of the sleeping moon.

My time is needle and line,
But if war is a broken shoe,
Or shredded soles by soccer boys,
Let me,
Who is crafty and called
Mend, and re-mend,
While the whistle blower pauses
Time for the soldier run,
And i, trunked in Elephant tusks
Suturing palm-wine songs for suitors.

Across the yellow lights that enters
The rains, they part-away from
Sinking shores of the
Niger, only fine fluvial photographs
Of blue-faced birds,
Their peppery eyes imprinted on waves
Flowing thru with poetic-dance
Down a cool chumming beck,
Where lovers unjoin to water
The Ranchman's lea, frilling grasses
Upon his metallic horse,
Choff, choff, choff...
And black smoke piping from chimney,
Forming two shy companion angels,
That's cobbled souls, gliding in air.

Let me,
Who is crafty and called
To charge his bells and basket,
Klop, klop, klop...
Cleverly, from town to town
Calling to divorced homes,
Waiting at tattered doors.
I will knot 'em up
On the Iroko.

Francis Annagu is a poet living in Nigeria, whose poems have featured in the PIN
Poetry Challenge
and Black Satin Radio.