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BRIGITTE POIRSON POETRY CONTEST 2015: OLAJUWON JOSEPH OLUMIDE WINS AUGUST EDITION

A student at the Yaba College Of Technology (YABATECH), Olajuwon Joseph Olumide, has won the August Edition of the BRIGITTE POIRSON POETRY CONTEST (BPPC) 2015 which was themed “I AM THE CHANGE”.

The Mass Communication student’s poem ‘I SEE A CHANGED MAN’ narrowly beat ‘I AM ME XII’ by Ajise Vincent (88%) and ‘I AM THE CHANGE’ by Uche F. Okpara (87%) to first runner-up and second runner-up positions.

Olumide, a native of Ogun State, Nigeria, is an ardent writer, known for his researches into English Language Grammar and Literary Studies

In 2014, he won the ‘WHAT CAN WORDS DO? Facebook poetry contest.

Judges evaluated the entries based on structure (harmony of words, presentation, etc), Creativity/Originality, and Relevance to the chosen theme.

Olumide is now the 7th winner of the BRIGITTE POIRSON POETRY CONTEST 2015 (BPPC) and he takes over from Adedayo Adeyemi Agarau who won the July Edition of the CONTEST.

A cash of N5,000 will be awarded to him, while all the poems in the TOP 10 category will be automatically entered for the ALBERT JUNGERS POETRY PRIZE 2015.

Below are the TOP 10 entries with marks obtained:

  1. I SEE A CHANGED MAN… by Olajuwon Joseph Olumide (90%)
  2. WHITE CALABASH by Jacobs Adewale (89%) [DISQUALIFIED FOR EXCEEDING 30 LINES LIMIT]
  3. I AM ME XII by Ajise Vincent (88%)
  4. I AM THE CHANGE by Uche F. Okpara (87%)
  5. IF I WAS ALMIGHTY by Adigun Olushola Clinton (86%)
  6. I AM THE CHANGE by Onwa Franklin Chukwuemeka (85%)
  7. I AM THE CHANGE by Madu Chisom Kingdavid (84%)
  8. THE BEACON OF CHANGE by Don Promise Omorodion (83%)
  9. AFTER WE DIE by Abiola Inioluwa Oluwaseun (82%)
  10. A PARASITE RUNNING WILD by Emmanuel Etim Essang (81%)

I SEE A CHANGED MAN… by Olajuwon Joseph Olumide (90%)

O’er the years that I weeded vices through my lips with satire
Like I’m no flesh, acclaiming myself – a hallowed messiah;
A sage prophet that I feigned, a braggart in fuzzy vision –
Yes! That drunken state of my folly, woe be unto its deception!

While mere mortal deeds soured my heart, I had cast a stone
Till I saw a true man of justice above, seated on His throne.
Light up that hour, let my deliverance canon in the air boom
That my soul might transcend beyond vain trance of my past doom!

Like a ray, heavenly vision pierced cataract of my impeded insight,
Projecting the parable of a prophet of doom before my timid behold
Who belched belligerence at folks of a spherical cosmos, shredded apart!
But what seemed more irreparable – his sullen heart; he failed to scold.

And though he could unravel every uncanny scribe of ages on the wall,
On the field of his implacable mind, viable seed of love was nipped!
…Imperiously hurling scathing pebbles – ‘change thy horrid ways’, he ranted!
Ne’er would he notice his brutality, starring at him via the world’s mirror.

How a supposed lamp to mortal feet in an obscure world turned fire that scorched!
Prior to the reckoning day, had not he evoked hell on earth to judge?
Thus, see the accusing finger up there, tingling the nucleus of my conscience;
And my impetuous mind, cautioned by the reverberation of its insightful voice:

”Though the sons and daughters of Adam are damn desperate!
And yes! Their blood boils beyond the queer temperate;
Hath thou not lavished cowries of abhorrence in their imperfect market
Where just a token of charity could be a barter of making it perfect?

Unlike that old prophet whose undone sacrifices contorted the face of God
Ignoring the altar of brotherly reconciliation – the image of Whom he could see;
The shackles of my doom, broken! Now, I can see a changed man in me
On this hill of transfiguration, sounding gong of change to the ears of the world!

WHITE CALABASH by Jacobs Adewale (89%) [DISQUALIFIED FOR EXCEEDING 30 LINES LIMIT]

I go numb munching thoughts of moons ago;
A season our debacle had room to grow
In a clan found before the sulky shore
Of a greedy river that quenched thirst no more

Brawny black Iroko of our wealthy woods
Flanking, screening our borderline grudgingly fell
Like a plucky pail drowning in a cluttered well.
To survive we bartered our rules, our goods

When distant civilization dispatched deceit of gold
Hidden in the belly of earth our ancestral homes hold:
Divisive news that murdered altruism;
Heads and necks lost union; poor communism-

It ceased to see the light of day.
We could inhale the reek of ruinous fray
Leaching from the heart of the town;
Apathy had fed fat the crown

That saw gray counsels as empty barrel.
Toothless natives stooped in their coliseum of hell,
In surveillance as our gods became naked and homeless;
Angry machines inhumed their pride- we were hopeless-

And buried in the sand the white calabash
That sheltered our heritage from becoming trash.
Ignominy! Ripe ignominy!! It engulfed all might;
Who was drunk enough to caution the crown or start a fight?

I should return, I shall return to my land,
Disguise a ransom- change – and defy the hand
Wielding hegemony over ancestral toil
That rooted our origin on harmonious soil

No! The crown must be free;
My people need me,
I am the ransom for our white calabash.
And yes, I am the change.

I AM ME XII by Ajise Vincent (88%)

Yesterday, foes said,
I’m the marrow of tomorrow
shattered at the village square
where dry skulls of fallen dreams
are used as drums by blind beggars.

Friends said, I am the black smoke
from the firewood of fate that was dispelled into oblivion
to cling to void air of nothingness.

Even the elders said, I’m the forbidden nut
rejected by the molars of the squirrel
and must be banished to the evil forest
to be immortalised by stale stones.

Then, I was treated like an aged mortar
whose hymen was defiled by the pestle of time
and yet did not gestate any good.

I was looked down upon like a barren hope
whose dreams can’t germinate greatness
even on the addition of fertilizers of patience and waters of grace.

But today, I’m the flute
whose note whispers progress to the aspirations of drunk sluggards.
I am the mellifluous requiem that exiles sorrows
to the tomb where pain is embalmed forever.

I am the sieve of justice that separate shafts of lies
from wheats of truth.
I am the balm from care’s factory
that relieve aches of warring-kings.

I am the present gestating in the clandestine uterus of today
so as to procreate a better tomorrow.
I’m simply me.

I AM THE CHANGE by Uche F. Okpara (87%)

Staring in the mirror on the wall
I couldn’t ask if I was the fairest of all:
For months unending I have had my doubts
Suffering episodes of mental bouts,
Like there was a senate chamber full of voices in my head
All shouting and fighting for a chance to be heard.
I struggle to be on the part of the inference
To be involved in what efforts made the difference.
See, I am that black African boy who surpassed the norm,
Who was taught never to forget where he came from.
So I made the heavens my starting point while the earth shall be my limit
Navigating my interest to design my fate the way I dim fit.
I am the odd one in the range
Hence I stand out to be the change
Born from the cathecasis of metamophorsis
Defying the laws of limitation and all its forces.
For now I am sired in a foreign land
Every bit a pride to my fatherland.
A survivor of many mistakes of what it takes to make a whole
Stirring alteration in places that have no good.
Wondering, I stood before the mirror mumbling some lyrics
Like though reciting to myself the laws of physics.
So I asked, mirror mirror on the wall,
Am I not the change after all?
In convinction, I knew the change will come
Not from nature or any form
For it has taken bone and flesh
And I am the change come afresh.

IF I WAS ALMIGHTY by Adigun Olushola Clinton (86%)

If I was God,
I’d tear open the chest of men,
cleanse their blood and put a new heart in them.

I’d peel hatred off our women’s skin
and adorn them with the furs of a goddess-being.

If I only was the Creator,
l’d etch love on our children’s heart and tongue
that they may speak goodness all life long.

I’d write verses of sacred truths
on the heads of our youths
that humanity
might feed fine from future fruits.

If I was Almighty,
I’d fade colours off human’s skin
that white and black might see each as the other’s kin-
none would be maid, neither be king.

Alas!
I am but a small god
and I can only change our world
right from mine.

I AM THE CHANGE by Onwa Franklin Chukwuemeka (85%)

I’m sorry I don’t want to be a president,
I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone,
I want to love, give and live for everyone,
I want to bury this pressing dent.

Please, don’t make me fight the dancing wind,
I’d rather not challenge its whirling song,
No, not because I can’t stand its wing,
But for it has done nothing wrong.

Twist my tongue till it burns to purple,
Drill me farther from my white to brown,
Not until my song finds a couple,
I’ll fight on till I sight a crown.

No competitor takes a bribe to win a contest,
The victor knows better not to quit,
All tribes must align for this tasty conquest,
If we must eat from victory’s meat.

It’s so easy to break the rules,
But how possible is it to pick the pieces?
I want to doubt my semi-gold rules,
Till I behold how true your praise is.

In this time, evil abounds,
I am called to set things right,
To halt the clock, no roundabouts,
In life’s trade, to be the light.

I am the trader, who has enough,
I try so much to look less rough,
So after each trade and tough exchange,
I return a piece of me as change.

I AM THE CHANGE by Madu Chisom Kingdavid (84%)

I’m the Change brought into the spinal navel of Power
By wilt-tubers dodging the fingered mists of sixteen-Saharan seasons,
Feeding from the pillages and spillages of cold camwoods,
Needing teeth of warm sunlight to cleave the fangs of deadwoods.

I’m the Change, {s}he who must perch on a pedestal pew
Must not test positive in corruption laboratory.
That’s why the goats are ripening their legs into exile
Lodging in havens afar off, vomiting communal yams eaten ages long.
Now yams stored in the foreign barns are now ‘returning’ home.

I’m the Change brought into the spinal navel of Power
By yellowed youths with hushed hopes under the bridges
And gaunt guardians of unheard urchins peeling in sweet slums.
To cure Power-miscarriages, exile long queues in F-stations
And to offer breaths to deaths that our mortuary-roads have sprung.

I’m the change that has come to bring back the girls from the oxters
Of sambisa and to freeze the flame-fists of the sambisa beasts.
Ah! But each day, bullets and bombs rain on us from the beasts,
R.I.P-squeezing souls back to ashes in unripe scenes?

Do not call me yet, ‘The Harbinger of Snailage-ism’ or ‘Baba Go Slow’.
For I’ve been moving into the deep clouds to fetch the smiles of rainbow.
Moving in a feline grace to erase the cottoned hazes hanging on
The frame of our looted image mirroring Klep-loot-omania-cracy.
Soon the sweet songs of September showers shall greet our ears?

I’m the Change, but I can’t carry alone the spirited corpse of this nay-tion.
So all the parallel lines must meet and agree at the funeral of our failures,
To bury our sour scrolls of war and ethnic demons in a
Catacomb deeper than Hades; welcoming a sunborn of Green Home.

If not, sunset will sit in-between the eyeballs of our daybreaks,
And we’ll become torn shadows groping in the pant of dusk, endlessly.

THE BEACON OF CHANGE by Don Promise Omorodion (83%)

For my silence is become treason
Amidst the battling tempest.
The cancer of depravity looms
Within the stuttering tongue
Sipping into the pores of virtue
I beheld the murder of merit
Strung along the gallows of decadence
But my lips are cleaved by fear
My actions slurred to the fight head on
I am become what i abhor
For though my ship is chaste
The water i sail on, is tainted
For we wait, in earnest, for the messiah
He that bears the beacon of change
We grow grey in wait and faint in virtue
For what we seek lies within our breathe
A plague spread when unchecked
But i hold the sceptre of change
My deeds are firm in merit
In a ranging world of deceit
My speech bears the arsenal
Speaking against the wiles of corruption
I am one but my words are a thousand pellets of positivity
Like a flint, am undeterred by peer rejection
For the little spark of revolution
Will ignite an inferno of change

AFTER WE DIE by Abiola Inioluwa Oluwaseun (82%)

This wailing silence treading through our marrows;
The songs of mediocrity hung on slaughtered dreams;
These songs are the wrongs which will never embrace our rights
Until the heart of corruption is lured to death
By the whispers of serenity.

We have wandered off the strokes of progress,
Hiding behind terrified shadows of hypocritical minds
As bones of our patriotic brothers
Stand on the corridors of doom, to welcome more souls
Perishing by the sword of ignorance.

Our curses are counted on the weary facade of our mothers,
And our tears are not comforting enough to console our dying wishes.
These tattered skulls won’t stop being heroes of oblivion,
And our hope will die each time our thumbs are slain by ignorance.

More dreams shall be aborted by each thrust of fear
Until we silence this raging storm.
We can erupt the confidence dying in marrows of blacks;
We can fight till death becomes weary of slaying sacred souls.

The scars of corruption seem too deep for us to survive,
But we are warriors, longing to hear the voice of freedom.
Let the orphans rise with the strength
Of the fading memories of their beloved,
Let the mad men fight with the weapons of insanity
Until sanity returns with our staff of liberty.

Let our bones be buried in your memories after the war,
But we pledge by our fathers, that even in death,
You all shall remember us from the eyes of change.

A PARASITE RUNNING WILD by Emmanuel Etim Essang (81%)

I am come; I, the One whom you seek,
I am now come unto you…
I hail not from the dusty dunes of Daura,
Otuoke’s speedboats creeks my imagination, but
to the thirty-six kingdoms and their provinces is my life-source strung;
I breed in lands unmapped, infecting voices that are but weeny whispers.
I am come; I the One whom you seek.

I am come unto you,
I will lord, not from the fiesty fortress of Aso Rock,
I dwell not in ‘harrowed’ chambers painted food and blood, but
into the soul of every man shall I spurt my seed,
inside every artery, vein; as thoughts that to fro flow,
from courtly luminaries to puff-puff pedlars who will walk against traffic;
I am come; I, the One whom you seek…

I am come unto you,
I seek not, the warmth of the worm-eaten umbrella,
the broom’s busy brouhaha is the elégún festival;
I long not for the holiness of the chartered cathedral,
nor do I dance to the music that to Juma’at calls…
I hear the whispering whisperers whisper: ‘olóríburúkú ni’ but
I proudly smile at that odd worker of giant birds’ nests,
I am come; I the One whom you seek…

I am come unto you,
far spread my tentacles may be, yet none shall I abduct,
a willing heart I only befriend,
or blank slates in nests, and cots;
I am the song your ancestors sang at the hunt,
I stand unsoiled, pure and pristine
a parasite running wild in your bloodstream.

*elégún – a Yoruba masquerade
*olóríburúkú ni – she is unfortunate

JUDGE’S COMMENT:
“In the August collection, the poets have soaked their pens in the inky arteries leading to the heart of change.The theme could actually be understood in two different ways.

Change could be considered as the actor of progress speaking in his own name. Or better still, the poets could see themselves as the force behind events, deciding to do their best to improve the situation and amend their ways.

In all cases, their profuse imagery and profound inspiration have conferred color and pungency to their poems.”
— 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.

NOTE: Submissions are being received for the BRIGITTE POIRSON POETRY CONTEST 2015 [AUGUST] on the THEME: “I AM THE CHANGE

CLICK HERE TO ENTER FOR THE SEPTEMBER EDITION

Author: admin

I am a member of the WRR editorial team.

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