Poetry: Efe Ogufere’s “June 23rd”

////Poetry: Efe Ogufere’s “June 23rd”

Efe Ogufere

 

JUNE 23rd

i
when it rains in barkin-ladi
we take shelter between cattle,
only then can we graze in peace
and sleep with our limbs intact.

ii
there are bullets in our harvest
and no bread to feed the birds,
so they pick the flesh of our children
and love the taste.
they no longer wait for us to die
they sleep in our beds.

iii
our physicians have jumped ship
the bloodstain on our flag is permanent
however we rinse and repeat.
we bear the burden of a black tax
the moment we are conceived.

iv
Igenegba, call Otis to call home.
the head is heavy and old, tell them
we cannot bury our mother in a strange land.

v
god is all the words that don’t get said
when you map the lines on our palm
you see a charlatan,
a preacher and
a wolf herding the sheep.

 

 

About the writer:
Efe Ogufere is a poet working in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. A few of his poems have been featured in journals and magazines such as Sediments Literary Review, The Kalahari Review, Afrikan Mbiu, Ibis Head Review and The Single Story Foundation Issue I. In 2016, Ogufere was long-listed for the RL Poetry Award (International Category). In 2017, he was listed by Nanty Green as “one of the top ten contemporary poets you should be reading.” His chapbook A Portrait of Violence drops later in the year.

Image: Untitled” by Valente Malangatana Ngwenya. Pen and ink on paper. By permission.

By | 2018-09-01T14:44:58+00:00 August 21st, 2018|LITERARY ARTS, Lyric, Poetry|