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


Nothing works against the success
of a scheme so much as a wish to make
it wholly secured n’ sure to succeed.
Such an attempt requires many men,
much time and very favorable conditions;
these heighten the risk of being discovered –
how daring, how O dangerous!
Yes, Conspiracy has a human heart –
cold n’ calculating, fearsome n’ fearful – most unscrupulous.

Copyright © Ugo Nkwoala | Spilledwoords | 2020


Helter-skelter in the city
The mall strangely in disarray –
Smashed windows, ransacked shelves.

Citizen: “Liberty! Liberty is in town. It’s a protest!”
Government: “No, no, Citizen! Be on your guard!
Law and Order now cower at your feet, too timid to act.”

Soldiers, to the street! Forward march!
Load fresh bullets in your guns
Off the safety catch, pull the trigger!

From now on, it is a curfew –
From Lawful n’ Legal to Illegal n’ Unlawful
The end justifies the means – period.

LORD, I am not worried about my soul
But, spare the lives of my sons –
All revolutions devour their children.

Copyright © Ugo Nkwoala| Spilledwoords | 2020

By the Tollgate

By the tollgate at Lekki, by the roadside
far from the comforts of our loved ones
eased from the day-to-day tasks we abide
there we sat in anguish n’ anger – agitated.

Placards we brought with us –
a solace to our heavy hearts,
a plead to the world to hear
but soon we found we’ve upset our censors.

With resentment, they tagged us:
Bolsheviks at the gates of Berlin
“Protest is the handiwork of idleness,
the brainchild of the opposition,” they fuss.

A few days afterward, all is clear n’ quiet
the muffled din of steely-glinting pieces
like a menacing messenger announced their disdain.
Rat-tat-tat! Rat-tat-tat! Their attack dogs barked.

Neither time nor force nor force of arms
would ever bring us down; this Gate of Blood
would not be our sepulcher but
the headstone of our country’s glorious rebirth.

This Green-White flag in our hands –
a shroud now covering our corpse
will only fall when our Will fall
only he who’s without cynicism births ideals.

Copyright © Ugo Nkwoala| Spilledwoords | 2020


The will to power destroys the power to will.
The weapon made, we cannot help but use it;
it drags us with its own momentum still.

The power to kill compounds the need to kill.
Grown out of hand, the heart cannot refuse it;
the will to power undoes the power to will.

Though as we strike we cry “I did not choose it”,
it drags us with its own momentum still.
In the one stroke we win the world and lose it.
The will to power destroys the power to will.

Copyright © Judith Wright | Judith Wright Collected Poems 1942 – 1970 |1971

Silent, but ….

I MAY be silent, but
I’m thinking.
I may not talk, but
Don’t mistake me for a wall.

Copyright © Tsuboi Shigeji | Translated by Geoffrey Bownan and Anothony Thwaite | 1964


I love to pass my fingers
(As tide thro’ weeds of the sea
And wind the tall fern-fronds)
Thro’ the strands of your hair
Dark as night that screens the naked moon:

I am jealous and passionate
Like Jehovah, God of the Jews,
And I would that you realise
No greater love had woman
From man than the one I have for you!

But what wakeful eyes of man,
Made of the mud of this earth,
Can stare at the touch of sleep
The sable vehicle of dream
Which indeed is the look of your eyes!

So drunken, like ancient walls
We crumble in heaps at your feet;
And as the good maid of the sea,
Full of rich bounties for men,
You lift us all beggars to your breast.

© J.P. Clark | West African Verse – An Anthology by Donatus Ibe Nwoga published by Longman | 1967

Photo by Jackson David on Unsplash

 John Pepper Clark-Bekederemo (1935 – 2020), a renowned poet and playwright, who also published as J. P. Clark and John Pepper Clark' finally dropped his pen in the early hours of today, Tuesday, 13 October 2020. Born in Kiagbodo, Nigeria, to an Ijaw father and Urhobo mother, Clark held visiting professorial appointments at several institutions of higher learning, including Yale and Wesleyan University in the United States. Your words and verse were an enormous contribution to our heritage as Nigerians.

Don’t Urge Me

“Entreat me not to leave you,
Or to turn back from following after you;
For wherever you go, I will go;
And wherever you lodge, I will lodge;
Your people shall be my people,
And your God, my God.
Where you die, I will die,
And there will I be buried.
The LORD do so to me, and more also,
If anything but death parts you and me.”

Copyright © Holy Bible: King James Version

Wait Not

Wait not, fond lover
she’d not give a waiver
who took your place
find yourself another,
let your memories bank not on me;
your fantasies are free to roam.

Wait not, fond lover
she – I dwell now in
her river like a fish;
she’s a taunting schemer
that wouldn’t unshackle
or make me free.

Desire me less in the night
turn the page, don’t write
another script of this entangle
close the dossier; find another –
live long, fond lover.

Copyright © Ndidi Ugo-Nkwoala | Spilledwoords.org | 2020


Dreamland’s gate is not locked
even those betrothed to misery
ride in the delight of the Wright brothers
hug princes in a wanton relish
revel in well-styled buffet
while their empty bowels groan timidly.

Dreamland’s gate is not locked,
a land lush in lithospheric beauty
of bright hues spread vastly
separated by parasomniac realities
of bodies deprived of sleep
who solace finds in this dreamland.

The gate to dreamland is not locked
hectares upon hectares of unending land
bridgeless, stretching, everlasting.
Accommodating the mad, the sane, the feverish
in a boundless palace of beauty- turned ugly on waking.

Dreamland’s access code is
like the air – freely given,
a land where pains wear Joy’s faces
Happiness’ heart palpitates into wakefulness
every hunger gets filled.

This borderless land loves every sleeping eye
accompanies all – this faithful bodyguard
that knows no race, no age, no color
standing not aloof, so all can see
that, its gate is not locked.

Copyright © Ndidi Ugo-Nkwoala | Spilledwoords.org |2020