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Afam Akeh; Two Poems
A graduate of the University of Ibadan, Afam Akeh has fought two career currents for much of his life: the tussling rivers of Poetry and Literary Criticism. Concerning the first, his poetry has won awards: there was his 2nd prize in the BBC Arts for Africa Competition back in 1988. That was for his Poem, Nectar, published in Fate of Vultures and other Poems, (Heinemann). Concerning the second, he has worked in Lagos as Editor of the Times Literary Supplement on the staff of the Nigerian Daily Times. He continues to write poetry and criticism. He has two poems on this page. The second , a whimsical deconstruction of the 'Great' in Great Britain, looks back at the last decade of his UK sojourn; the first , Mid Year Blues, looks further back to his Lagos days, when the casual opening of the spigot in the skies would shift Lagos' lagoons onto her streets... Mid Year Blues was anthologised in Fate of Vultures.

Mid Year Blues .

Every rain, every rain,
the water flushes the guts of Lagos
and writes a poem of pain.
Each grim sight festers in its pool
until the moments bow in shame
and the streets are floods of errors
waiting to be drained.
The feet select their steps,
recoil from mud, deny their guilt.
The eyes searching the wetness
are pregnant with the absent sun.
The nation tells her tale.
Each great wind echoes the dream
until in the drenched moments
there is a thirst for sunlight,
and in the air a lament is born
for the prosperous paths not taken.

© Afam Akeh

...Britain is a great country





Britain is a Great Country

Britain is a great country.
Britain is greater than England and Scotland.
Britain is size and also history,
green English country and colourful London.
The River Thames washes all with equal profit.
Britain is the English language at large
learning to speak itself properly,
sampling alien vowels, coping with exotic curries.
Britain is dogs, horses, cats,
so many classes of polite animals..
Britain is also other people's lives,
homeland of reference for their pleasure and pain,
some of the sports they've grown to love,
much of the politics that divides them.
Brittish life is a global brand,
British wealth a commonwealth.
Accommodation is British, inclusion is British.
Britain is a great country.

© Afam Akeh

Click to continue to A Letter to Soyinka      
©2006 Chuma Nwokolo, Jr.