Madu Chisom Kingdavid has emerged the winner of the SEPTEMBER edition of the BRIGITTE POIRSON POETRY CONTEST (BPPC) 2015 at his third attempt.
His poem, ‘HIDDEN REVELATIONS OF ME TO YOU, US’ scored the highest points, 94%, beating Kuye Samuel Oladimeji’s ‘OVERLAP IN A CIRCUIT’ (93%) and Kanyinsola Babatunde Olorunnisola’s ‘EQUATION OF VICTORY’ (92%) to first and second runner-up positions respectively.
Kingdavid, a 300 Level Student of History and International Studies at Imo State University, Owerri, had twice made the top 10 list without winning the prize.
In the May edition, his poem ‘THE OLD RAIN’ came 10th after scoring 79%. He bettered this performance after a 3-month stay-away in August, climbing up to 7th with the poem ‘I AM THE CHANGE’ ‘which scored 84%.
Kingdavid is a veteran poet, whose works have been published in online magazines, anthologies and national dailies.
He won the 2013 edition of the Eriata Oribhabor Poetry Prize with a poem titled ‘MY VOICE’ and in 2014, his poem ‘THAT I MAY BREATHE YOUR NAME’ won the April edition of the STUDENT PULSE POETRY CONTEST organized by Pulse.ng.
His Kingdavid, the 8th and last winner of the BRIGITTE POIRSON POETRY CONTEST 2015 (BPPC), will go home with N5,000 and join past winners as contenders for the ALBERT JUNGERS POETRY PRIZE 2015.
All poets who made the TOP 10 lists in all 8 editions of the BPPC are eligible for the AJPP prize which will be awarded on the 12th of December 2015.
Below are the TOP TEN poems in the BPPC September themed ‘ME, YOU, US’:
- HIDDEN REVELATIONS OF ME TO YOU, US by Madu Chisom Kingdavid (94%)
- OVERLAP IN A CIRCUIT by Kuye Samuel Oladimeji (93%)
- EQUATION OF VICTORY by Kanyinsola Babatunde Olorunnisola (92%)
- I AM YOU by Adeolu Emmanuel Adesanya (91%)
- SOUND OF FREEDOM by Chinazom Otubelu (90%)
- WE CHANGE THE WORLD! by Olanrewaju Moses ( 89%)
- ME, YOU OR US? by Zion Osemwengie (88%)
- LET US BELL THE CATS by Aremu Adams Adebisi (87%)
- WE DIED TODAY by Ayoola Goodness Olanrewaju (86%)
- THE MIRAGE CALLED TOMORROW by Abiola Inioluwa Oluwaseun (85%)
HIDDEN REVELATIONS OF ME TO YOU, US by Madu Chisom Kingdavid (94%)
( On Her Death-Bed )
ME: I sprung from a breast that had tasted the rusts of time
In a den of dearth where silences still sing of funereal rhyme;
Hold dead images of children mired in mud of terminal miseries,
Whose eyes are buried deep in their sockets in a land of greeneries.
When the sun sunders from the cold shell of the eastern sky,
I become a road-wailer of alms till my voice dies into tearful sighs.
Hoping that someday I’ll strut shoelessly to a neighbourhood school –
A cobwebbed room where flies drool for frass on pews and stool.
A deep road in-between my thighs yesternight ravaged by five Phalluses.
Doctor: “She is in coma and her blood silently speaks of deadly viruses.”
Mother’s eyes grew Nile, she fell and became the wife of a widower.
Weep not for me Nigeria when I’m dead, for here life hardly flowers.
YOU: Child of the silvery sun and fun born in a green kingdom,
Where lights hardly blink an eye nor grow into a darkdom.
In your yellowness you’re flown to Canada, America or India
In a private Jet and the News will spread all over the media.
From the citadel of Luton, You weave siesta in your father’s castle
In Farley, then play prodigal on pounds in nightlife in Newcastle,
That’d be enough to smoothen the faces of our Golgotha roads,
That’d enough to offload the dying-bones untold penury’s loads.
Your father once sat on a pedestal pew and committed looticide.
He made here a poor man’s catacomb that we thought of suicide.
Today, he walks freely un-probed, plunder of communal wealth?
If he had played Messiah enough, the sky would’ve been our earth.
US: In my tattered attire, You plucked sunlit petals from my mien,
When You confessed to me a love deeper than the roots of a tangerine,
And I saw the nakedness of love in your eyes, so strong and serene.
But here I’m today ingrained in pangs, having only ten days to die.
A pilot will give You this poem of sweetest sorrow read it and don’t cry!
Cry for your god(father)s whose drums still echo in this shattered sky.
OVERLAP IN A CIRCUIT by Kuye Samuel Oladimeji (93%)
In the clan of enduring sapiens fending on terra firma
Abound a legion of sheep-wolves wheeling horses into vertigo.
Menelaus won’t die solo when Odysseus mouths Achilles into rage.
Yonder waits glory for swiftest Atalanta to refute conjugation-order but
Ogress won’t escape the golden apple of bonding-bedding-bridges
Under the watch of the sky’s sun that rises from the East
AND roam the West feeding on moisture of earth’s water and
Yoking solar with earthlings for the offspring of vegetation.
Oh earth be still! Charge not the sun a toll for the heat of its roll.
Unveiled: the drift of the earth makes it quake
And deaths abound when hyena clans assert partitioning.
Rice-me, beans-you, meal-us, belly fully jolly.
Even as sky be large, yet birds cloven more, for in
Mother Teresa’s “together we’ll do great things.”
Enemies make conflict for the plot of life
Where friends fight for freedom from fools falling apart.
Every thumb has a print
Of lines that make me, in our clan,
Veritably myself, distinct from all of you but
Eris’ apple ne’er dissever Hera-Athena-Aphrodite whose
Rages never dismiss their divinity but Paris humanity.
Let me take you for a walk upon the waters of humanity
And the word guides: “two are better than one”,
Ploughing or playing.
Monadic sun and the rain are condemned to a lovely cycle relation and
Engulfed in their adventures, we toil on the soil,
Yearning yearlong for feast of a season of yeast
Only to see trails of broken bonds by bloody travails in equating deaths
Under the passion of egoistic giantism as if Life’s not about death.
EQUATION OF VICTORY by Kanyinsola Babatunde Olorunnisola (92%)
We are proof of nature’s love affair with creativity,
Swinging down from the same umbilical cord of existence,
Animated by a singular breath of fugacious immortality,
We were the bathed in the cosmic waters of evanescent clairvoyance.
Then, we were each sent down through a divine path
Guided by the fleshy walls of Woman’s legs,
Born into a hostile world, we faced earth’s wrath,
In our minds, the hen of conundrum hatched its eggs.
We adorned the cloak of Frankenstein erudition
And created religion and tribe – our ironical undoing,
Now, John will never sing Medinat songs of affection
For between their people is senseless lethal hatred brewing.
But we are all sons of the Heavenly One above,
The incarnates of beauty and purity,
He built the universe with brittle bricks of love
And only we can restore it – with unity.
An army of one cannot bring down Jericho’s walls,
But a united front can make the devil’s courage crumble,
To survive this wicked planet, heed to this clarion call,
Together, we will brave the storm and never stumble.
Only We -I and You- can dethrone Corruption
Whose buttocks are in perpetual romance with our seats of power,
Only Our collective wisdom and gumption
Can shine light into our society in this dark hour.
We are the hope for a better tomorrow,
Let us not waste our agile years on frivolity,
But leave footsteps for today’s sucklings to follow,
For man’s destiny lies in solidarity.
Me plus You equals Us – that is the equation of victory.
I AM YOU by Adeolu Emmanuel Adesanya (91%)
I am a refugee, a face with no name
A baby growing quickly old, with no age
I speak many languages but with no voice
I come to you with lots of baggage, but with no vice
I am me, I am you, I am a nobody.
I watch you see me in screens with no shadows
I am everyone’s concern, but they all gives no ado
I am a familiar face fighting fate with no mate
An overnight city locked in waters with no bait
I am your pain, I’m in pain, I am somebody.
I am the prick in your heart of no conscience
The mirror reflecting your verdict of not guilty
I’m a perilous floating nation with no borders
Promising forever in places with no tomorrow
I am your past, you are my future, I am you.
I am a sad reality of games with no gain
A dirty duel for fame and fortunes with no aim
The itch of transacting nations with no scratches
Yet I’m covered in blood, shrapnel, and ashes
I was someone, I am human, I am you.
SOUND OF FREEDOM by Chinazom Otubelu (90%)
I am the frail flesh of foul-smelling doom
Eyes swollen like stars that burst and blow boom
Frozen with fear o’er black beasts of the night
Like pale petals that wait the beastly bite
Grim ghosts of solitude curse my feeble mind
Beyond white whips of thorns that mock my behind
Within the sacred walls, the loud magic song chants
While I ponder in wonder and pee in my pants
As time grew grey beards that wriggle like a crone,
I twitched like a witch that pleads grave guilt atone
And rivers raged upon the tall hill yonder
Into dead dead deserts that bid your voice thunder:
“Arise from the dust, sleeping dog of woe
And flee from this flame despite broken toe”
In haste, I awoke from the smell of sour smoke
Away from chaffing chains that fed the fat oak
The storm lays its mat before the balmy sea,
Where red roses sprout like a riverside tree
Fountains of brave waters walk bare on the grass
More gay and gorgeous than a fairytale lass
Oh! Sing, my Africa – the voice of green dew
Long live the wild wind that blew me back to you
Like mosses and walls, with you such love I pray
That this verdant day shall sway the upward way
WE CHANGE THE WORLD! by Olanrewaju Moses ( 89%)
Ayekooto’s cry is not for the termites
Feeding on its tiny feet
For it cries for the woes and throes
That had stung the hunched torso of Africa –
Huddling on the fresh waters of the Nile
And disturbing the tranquility that shines upon its margins
Like the glory of a genuflecting galaxy giving away at dusk
Peals of the raging thunder tore the ears of our strength
Peels of scraped worries floored the effigy of justice
Like a toddler trudging through untrimmed fields of weeds
We ran hurriedly.. for the gallows are hungry!
We are a people, Adamu, overfilled with spoils of war
We are a people drunk with drizzles of our own blood
Sipping from the gourd of unforetold sufferings
Padlocks on lips, oh! padlocks on lips!
Even womanhood thrived only by laid hips!
This imminent darkness sneers at our lamps,
Left with one minute of benediction!
For honesty was a merchant with the slimmest sac
Chequered by tinges of dung
But our noses lost their olfactory senses
For this dung of honesty is the costliest cologne!
Me, you, us – we are not done!
Remedies bask in our dreams and thoughts and wills and thumbs
Though the future is pregnant of uncertainty
Still let’s stand up, Adamu,
Let’s stand up to mount upon our horses as kings!
Me, you, us- we change the world!
ME, YOU OR US? by Zion Osemwengie (88%)
Nights benight nights,
Early mornings without the sun, we grope.
In despair, we cast our nets, fishers,
Trading hooks and nets in futility.
Hills standing on hills, our pains raised high to mountain tops.
Endangered seeds planted in fiery fields.
Rains drop but do not clean us. We are spotted leopards.
Make me a servitude. I am but a walking shadow
Enclosed in this failing flesh.
Nights benight nights,
Over and over, nights roll in. The day has lost its turn.
Rains drop but do not clean us. What can clean the Leopard’s spots?
You are our lion roaring in the thickest of forests.
Outstripped of claws and talons, you still roar
Under the shade of nothing. Undress my bare skin.
Blood splattered daily and the walls fell.
Unquenchable, you rose and set out and I, same.
Two in quest for victory and self salvation.
Undress my naked body; let my pains reign. I walked it alone.
Skin your bare bones; you walked it alone.
I walked alone, seeking self salvation and the sword spared not my throat.
You did same and the sword now lies beside yours.
Since I die today and you tomorrow,
Tell my seeds of how I fell. Tell yours also.
Say, questing for salvation should not be for self.
We are failed saviours of fatherland.
Divided we ran like a herd guided by none.
Say, it should be Neither Me Nor You But Us.
LET US BELL THE CATS by Aremu Adams Adebisi (87%)
A million heads in million gourds;
A million glories million lords,
For a million is a million’s million’s sweats.
As shackled nipples tackle grasps
Intended for the supple clasps;
Secretion shuns secrets of the seething sets.
The cackling chicks in creaking copes
Nurturing dreams in valiant hopes,
Soon be counterfeited with a fountain pen.
And flapping wings of lettered cries
Challenging bad bald eagles’ sighs
Would be supper before they be super men.
Those chanting ants of ranting guts
Suppressing cow’ring cowing nuts,
Still being traded for sweets in national cakes;
Would not they pay a windy call,
Strumming dirges in spiteful brawl,
Easing hurls of kabooms by the factious makes?
We hoi-polloi their buzzing bees
Batting brushes of beating breeze;
Burd’ning towards both’ring honey brouhaha
In won’drous thund’rous symphony,
In cantankerous melody,
Like some knitted shreds of suff’ring regalia.
These sucking bugs of people’s greeds
Puncturing people’s people’s deeds
Should be you, I, and us jointly battled thus.
But as you shroud your sunny wits,
And I blanket my lunar bits,
May we fault our parts when eclipse dawn on us.
WE DIED TODAY by Ayoola Goodness Olanrewaju (86%)
you said you love me
under the witness of the stars…
you drew my hands to feel
the softness of the coy moon
when he peeped behind the curtains of the sky…
you told me it was my comeliness
that excites the hastiness of the sunrise to dawn
that his twilight is his saddened farewell at set….
you wound around me threads of love forever
and ringed my hands the beauty of passions…
when your lips fluted caresses on my hair
you caroled sweet rhythms unsung
i knew your trembles of love
when your eyes blued in passions unleashed…
you said i was your egg
you said you were my secured palms
you whispered tongues wrapped in the secrets of ardour…
you promised…swore to gods
and took my breath away…
when wedded stringed our lock
and your moon tumbled into the honey between my thighs
you became the beast
the beast bound by a lusting lust…
and for the colours of batteries
you paint on my canvass
passers-by say i glimmer in black and blue…
and now that your punches meet my protruded pouch
i feel hot blood trickle sadly down my core
i know it is ‘us’, and we died today
THE MIRAGE CALLED TOMORROW by Abiola Inioluwa Oluwaseun (85%)
Swinging round this strange fire of change,
Our eyes have chewed cuds of corruption,
Smelling those awful tears hiding under our elders’ rage.
Paralysis is now adopted as futility becomes a solution.
Moans of defilement, raging in sacred nights.
Groans of regret now taints our impotent palms.
In our fathers blindness, traitors are now epitomes of light.
Even in our fortunes, we beg solemn alms.
Weary feathers, counting cowries of penury,
For our milk and honey are now a refinery for alien comforts.
Death has become a peaceful sojourner in our century,
Now, crumbs are left for screaming bellies, even in tiring efforts.
Won’t you rise amidst these thorny gusts
Till mediocrity becomes a mirage, seeking survival in our dreams?
Won’t you bury your fears in the heart of these shy dusts,
Till courage is enthroned, crowned with royal beams.
Tell this tale to the civilized hut
With a sigh of relief and tears of a new belief.
Gather your broken hearts on the platelet of oath,
Till serenity saturates our soil like sahara.
Me, you, us
The fading future of a dying Africa.
Me, you, us,
Our light is faint, but quite far from dead.
“In September the poets have flown on the wings of creativity higher than ever. They have gone to great lengths to perform poetic prowess, inject original and heartfelt words into dire situations, and conjure up very special atmospheres.
Congratulations to ALL the contestants.
— Brigitte Poirson
The BPPC is sponsored by WRR CEO Kukogho Iruesiri Samson in honor of Brigitte Poirson, a French poet and lecturer, editor who has worked tirelessly to promote and support of African poetry.
I am a member of the WRR editorial team.