Dark Clouds

Dark clouds hover over us lately
one of such has cleared – Iberiberism.
When we were about to enjoy blue skies again,
another cloud sets in – Hopeism.

With faith borne out of decades of resilience
in due time this too will clear
“How can you be confident about this outcome?”
Weather-beaten optimism asks,
we’ve overcome adversities – Otokoto in 1996.

We’ll do it again
these dark clouds will blow over
Imo is bullish on Hope, on bouncing back.

Copyright © Ugo Nkwoala | Spilledwoords | 2020

Love Is a Child

Love is a child; it beliefs fairy tales –
pleasantries, fantasies, and happy endings.
Love is a believer; it blots out reason
inflicts its wounds with unfathomable sensibility
afoot, light-headed it condones deceits’ daring –
you can make a man out of an ape.
A Rake; can be reformed to be celibate
like Byron was to Annabella, Bill to Hilary.
Love is a sponge; it absorbs every crap
pacifies a tormented heart –
good men are dinosaurs – extinct.
Love is a verb, not an opium to get high on,
not a trophy you covert out of pity or envy
but such is Love’s lot – a virtuous villain.

Copyright © Ugo Nkwoala | Spilledwoords | 2020

My Captain, My Captain

My Captain! My Captain, my Captain!
Hoist this pink flag! Sail this full-rigged vessel
point your compass to my true-south
prop me up on the deck, spread me wide.
Set sail; set your propeller throttling –
this cruise I’ll revel – god, what a voyage
how the motion, the appeasing waves of the sea
rock me back n’ forth, from relish to ravish.
My Captain! My Captain, my Captain!
in your pilothouse what skilled sailor you’re
with a big rudder, steering me to Bermuda –
how oh your thrusters give the utmost zest.

Copyright © Ugo Nkwoala | Spilledwoords | 2020


Homegrown, privileged – a handful of men;
organized, they extract rents, pull strings
cajole everyone for their own selfish good
at an expense that’s unfathomably gruesome.
Proceeds of public good they keep at bay
only for the welfare of family and cronies
‘whom-you-know’ and ‘whom-you-can-sway’ –
is their mantra insomuch as
power, wealth, and laurels are theirs
and their surrogates alone.
Good, God! Save me from these good-for-nothing men,
who knows what’s best for me – my Godfather.

Copyright © Ugo Nkwoala | Spilledwoords | 2020

Orange Room

In her striptease, worn
as inept as a mini without panties;
in this orange room – a private lounge,
stereo blasting, teenagers barely legal –
serving sparkling wine, topless n’ carefree.
Illuminated on the neon podium
her body oscillating to Fela’s Afrobeat
she took prisoners effortlessly by her –
swaying luscious hips, caressed ribcage
and licked red-tinted lips, stained with lust;
in this uproar, who would consent
she is paid; by men n’ women – old n’ young
to soothe their frayed nerves, to fulfill their whim
– a private dancer.

Copyright © Ugo Nkwoala | Spilledwoords | 2020


Goodness may be worth a damn these days,
gracious old ways a fad – obsolete,
but cast it not away or be insensitive;
instead – embrace it, enhance it,
it is your irresistible attractiveness –
a trait that makes you a decent human.
It is your life’s work – your craft,
hone it, protect it, and display it
with the utmost care of an artist,
leave it not to chance, or be lazy about it–
your reputation.

Copyright © Ugo Nkwoala | Spilledwoords | 2020

A god

A piece of wood or stone
adorned with jewels n’ sprinkled blood
carved into the shape of a god –
the work of human hands.

A mouth they have, but cannot speak
Eyes, but cannot see, ears but can’t hear
Hands they have, but cannot feel
Feet, but cannot walk, throat but no sound.

The eyes of its worshippers invoke
this piece of craft with awe n’ reverence
addressing it in flattering libations
a divinity in their infallible imaginations.

Faith, the size of a melon, permits them
to see what they want to see – a god.

Copyright © Ugo Nkwoala | Spilledwoords | 2020

Another Wreck

Again they’ve refloated another wreck – Obigbo;
shy men of culture with a deep hatred
they consider themselves patriots, statesmen,
devout Muslim, intellectuals, earnest Christians
but they look on with folded hands.

That’s why you saw me: massacred in Asaba – ’67,
beheaded by fanatics in 2002 as George Orji,
murdered in cold blood in Abuja – APO-Six,
burnt to death like a criminal over Danish Cartoon,
deported from Lagos as an alien without recourse.

Wherever storms rage, there I perish
none contemplates the ashes of my burnt livelihood,
lends a voice to a to-be mother whose womb
has been split – the unborn reaped by miscreants
or consoles a father scavenging shallow graves for his son.

Which tribe are these ready for the Final Solution?
No one cares, or reckons, knowing them is a penance:
the gruesome sight of their mangled corpse
will dint your conscience with blood-guilt;
I am nothing to my countrymen – a mere game.

Copyright © Ugo Nkwoala | Spilledwoords | 2020

The Will for Power

The will for power is a paradox –
some lie n’ cheat to win
others risk life to unmask its pranks
its twists and turns bring out
the basest and the best in us.

Zealous is the scheme for power, yet a paradox –
its reign whizzes by frighteningly fast
nothing is assured; in this romance of the Beast,
but long n’ hash are the days of the oppressed
accustomed to its irony, they jeer n’ cheer.

The grab for power is a paradox –
it rarely ends up in the hands
of those who ignite a revolt or even
in the axilla of those who further it; a Crown finds
he whom the ‘Ruler of this World’ has ordained.

Copyright © Ugo Nkwoala | Spilledwoords | 2020

A Fortnight Today

A fortnight today,
they will rationalize their actions –
‘Keeping the Peace’
and forget what they did.

There was no CLAMP DOWN!

A fortnight today,
their victims would still reminisce;
their ordeal they’ll pass on from
father to child, from siblings to neighbors.

There was a CLAMP DOWN!

A fortnight today,
how quickly Propaganda will rewrite history
say it once, say it again and again, and
it becomes the truth – Truth is what you make it to be.

There was no CLAMP DOWN!

But that’s what our world is after all:
an endless twist of contrasting opinions;
it seems we have succeeded over this failure –
Truth has lost faith in itself.

There was no CLAMP DOWN! There was a CLAMP DOWN!

Copyright © Ugo Nkwoala | Spilledwoords | 2020