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August Debut

Issue 2; October/November


Nnorom Azuonye


Nnorom Azuonye,

Azuonye, founder & administrator of Sentinel Poetry Movement is the author of Letter to God & Other Poems (2003), and The Bridge Selection: Poems for the Road (2005). He is also Editor, Sentinel Literary Quarterly.

 Two Poems

Slave to poison,
proud owners of death wishes,
together with their coiling clouds
stink, and make pride of stinking.

They have been decreed out –
like lepers of old - to sidewalks.
Kicked out from the insides
of all the nice places in England.

They have been thrown out
as all burning rubbish bins must
out of all the fine places
decent folks with healthy airs play.

You see them everywhere
shivering like rain-beaten birds
outside office blocks and outside pubs.
They curse the suits of Westminster.


Postcards from London


At flight time, even choice had wings;
to stand still at life’s gate in Kaduna,
until felled, perhaps, by a Jihadist’s sword,
to walk the world to night, feed the humour
of ex-friends maddened by defunct dreams,
or fly - fly quickly to Great Britain...
but Great Britain is a merciless quicksand
that swallows decades of lives in a flash.

During honeymoon, the yet optimistic
hang around Trafalgar Square – carefree
idiots with double X wide smile syndrome
posing for photographs near Nelson’s Column,
where pigeons fed-up with loveless tourists
dart past at hair level like war planes
and shoot movements from angry anuses
until the grinning lot become a bunch of shitheads.


Baby, this London sojourn has more twists in it
than those braids that robbed you of seven hours
on the eve of my departure into the ‘dream’ life.
Today, I am drinking cappuccino in an Internet café,
Dying to create for you, a picture of the road I walk,
brushing over scores of potholes of despair
as I gasp, show me the life in the dream.

London life is mostly snake life. No brotherhood.
This city is a violated legend on crutches,
and this has nothing to do with rats in the tube
or fifteen-year-old gangsters prowling streets,
panthers on crack seeking ‘a life for respec’;
striking and avenging, cycle of bloodletting cycling on,
and on…in a land with talent for wasting lives.

As you know I did not come here to snap pigeons,
or attempt suicide by nasty Autumn breezes
that have found their way up my trousers.
Baby, I miss you. I miss you more now I realise
I don’t know exactly why I came here,
constipating my stormy thirties down gullets
of English water closets, searching London’s grumpy
old eyes for twinkles to misunderstood as promise.

I head butt and scream at a brick wall,
show me the life in the dream.


Give this message to yourself
good thing you know I am well and free
no need to say I’ve gone searching for gold in Timbuktu
more like Pounds in the City of London.
You may blame me for keeping you guessing
for keeping you hanging on for a decade
I wouldn’t have if I did not think it would be alright
but now you must move on, go on, to somebody new.
I must stay back and fight till I have victory.
Whatever victory I claim in the end, I still lose.

The end.




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