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Showunmi Olawale Michael has emerged winner of the May edition of the Brigitte Poirson Poetry Contest (BPPC) on the theme: “A PEOPLE’S HOPE”.

Michael, who is known in literary circles as SOMwrites or SOMpoetry, is a graduate of Accounting from Moshood Abiola Polytechnic (MAPOLY), Abeokuta, currently serving his fatherland in the National Youth Service Scheme (NYSC) in Zamfara State.
He beat other contestant with his rhymed poem ‘A PEOPLE’S HOPE’ which scored 86% after judges scores based on Structure (harmony of words, presentation, etc) Creativity/Originality and Relevance to the chosen Theme.
First runner-up, Ayoola Goodness Olanrewaju, whose poem ‘THE GREEN HOPE’ got 85% and 2nd runner-up, Abiola Inioluwa Oluwaseun, who scored 84% with his poem ‘AFRICAN VOICE’ could not stop Michael from clinching the top prize.
The Ogun state indigene is an ardent writer, fond of political satires, nature, love, religious themes.
“My inspiration springs from God, reading and the plight of his homeland,” he said in his bio.
He has been published in poetry anthologies like ‘Epistle of Lies’, ‘Via Grapevine II’ and was a finalist in the February edition of Brigitte Poirson Poetry Contest (BPPC).

One people, multiple voices expressing rich variations on the theme of the month, ‘a people’s hope’: the poets have skilfully explored the arcanes of despair and sources of hope for their country in their verse.
They have expanded into vast semantic fields, conquering outstanding images and metaphors – rarely getting lost in neologisms.
The May poets have brought music to the ear through wealthy alliterations, and peace and ease to the mind through their soulful determination to fly the flags of poetry and democracy.
Faced with such brio, one can only expect permanent proper punctuation and attention to sentence structure in the coming contests, for the full contentment of the readers.
Félicitations aux participants!

~ Brigitte Poirson, co-judge BPPC 2015

Below are the top 10 poems, with marks obtained:

  1. A PEOPLE’S HOPE (Triple Triolet) by Showunmi Olawale Micheal (86%)
  2. THE GREEN HOPE by Ayoola Goodness Olanrewaju (85%)
  3. AFRICAN VOICE by Abiola Inioluwa Oluwaseun (84%)
  4. THE PEOPLE’S HOPE by Ogechukwu Emmanuel (83%)
  5. PICKLED PEPPERS by Igbor Clement (82%)
  6. OUR TRIMMER by Mesioye Johnson,”affable” (81%)
  7. THE PEOPLE AND THEIR COUNTRY by Iwundu Wisdom (80.5%)
  8. A PEOPLE’S HOPE by Theresa Oguche (80%)
  9. A PEOPLE’S HOPE by Nwanguma Deborah Obianuju (79.5%)
  10. THE OLD RAIN by Madu Chisom Kingdavid (79%)

A PEOPLE’S HOPE (Triple Triolet) by Showunmi Olawale Micheal (86%)

Don’t put your hope in earthly man:
He is no messiah, saviour, neither both.
It’s like a cozy wish in a hot pan
Don’t put your hope in earthly man.

This hope is like a vainly yawn:
Draining and wrecking our life boat!
Don’t put your hope in earthly man:
He is no messiah, saviour, neither both!

Don’t put your hope in earthly man:
He is no messiah, saviour, neither both.
No man in his own power can…
Don’t put your hope in earthly man.

Don’t go where others have thus ran,
Believing therein is the antidote.
Don’t put your hope in earthly man:
He is no messiah, saviour, neither both!

Don’t put your hope in earthly man:
He is vain. Nothing can he offer.
God is the only true SAN.
Don’t put your hope in earthly man.

A people’s hope rest not in some clan,
But in the Father- the Light and Order.
Don’t put your hope in earthly man:
He is vain! Nothing can he offer!

SAN- Senior Advocate of Nations

THE GREEN HOPE by Ayoola Goodness Olanrewaju (85%)

Beneath the heart of the vaguely remorseful tongue
Lie wicked shadows in deep devilish deceptive penance
The man in the starched regalia
Driveling and howling at the gazing technology
Is denuded of hope and plastered with greed.

The task masters are here with master tasks
Wielding wet whipping tongues of bloody blades
The food is a morsel of dung in coats of honey
And a flagged pandemonium has crept and crippled
The sanity of hasty fettered legs.

Canvassing denizens drink to stupor over bleeding carcasses
The green white green fosters a bruised and septic democracy
Drowned in the abyss of corruption and death holes
The political ambulance celebrates zeniths of macabre
And fumes silence and scorn to sanctity of life.

The derricks’ keys drag fisted holds
And hunger triggers bedlam talents of the Niger dwellers
The militants are the young sons of the gun
The guns are cheap now and so is the artillery shell
Fastened into the skin of doom ready adherents.

The life here is the life of the lantern insect
Puffed into death in a suicidal urge of fire
The hope long is drenched in the libation of tears

And the news has come in a gleeful robe of dreads
The Vanguard Punch the Tell tale signs of The Nation.

Amidst this wilderness of dried fossils
Of the paralyzed umbrella and the promising broom
Rattle still the deafening silent chants of young vines
Scattered in sows over the fallowed black soil
For the sun and the rise of the green hope.

AFRICAN VOICE by Abiola Inioluwa Oluwaseun (84%)

The crucked path which has always been ahead,
With strength and borrowed breath we all are ready to tread,
For I hear the resounding of the sacred voice of hope
Amending hearts which shame has carved on them, its slope.

The road is slippery, thanks to our brothers butchered bones;
Mothers are waling after death bruised their joyful tones.
Doom is a warrior and all africans are aware,
But serenity is knocking, so doom should beware.

When fatherland sighs,just tell him it’s a sign,
For a man has come, the future he’ll design;
Corruption and crime will shiver at his sight,
For this man has come to bring back our right.

Dignity will return and shame will have to vanish.
Tears of the past and present, our future will banish.
Poverty will be stripped naked at the market place of fortune,
And death will be far from us like the Sun is far from Neptune.

Go out and fetch a dancing shoe if you have none.
Share your light with the next house, if more than one.
I tell these words, do not feel I’m making a noise,
For a man has come, call him the african voice.

THE PEOPLE’S HOPE by Ogechukwu Emmanuel (83%)

He was just a drop of water in the ocean.
But he caused ripples that spread out,
Circle after circle after circle.

From the little help he rendered the old;
The things he taught -the way of peace.
The ripple spread, circle after circle after circle;
The circle got bigger and wider.

He filled a hole in our hearts,
A yawning emptiness, our longing for something that’s missing.
Slowing and gradually, like an incoming tide,
Hope crept like water into the water-starved lands that were our hearts.

We began to see the life in our deaths,
For he gave death life with his gesticulations.
We saw freshness in rottenness,
For the peace of which he spoke sprang from violence.

In the cage of our doldrum existence
We sang freedom, for it was felt where ever he went.
He spoke of freedom from oppression,
Oppression we get from ourselves.

Gradually, this ripple became a wave,
This wave a storm, till he was noticed.

He was our hope, the people’s hope;
A mustard seed planted on the fecund soil of expectation;
The rain in the drought, the calm in the tempest.
We were ready to pull at the pillars of the world for him.

But he left without a word, without us knowing.
Our hope came crashing down like a pack of cards.
It became an echo: fainter and fainter and fainter,
Till hope became a name, a name we wrapped our minds insanely about.

PICKLED PEPPERS by Igbor Clement (82%)

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers

That’s Peter Piper for you
A young boy with nothing proper to do
Wandering around looking for pepper to chew
Claiming He Fs* sisies
Yet I see pieces
Of pepper still lying around
And even more pieces
Of paper still flying about
I see pickled peppers still frying about
And helpless people still crying aloud
And dining sets still lying around
I see private jets still flying about
And armored cars still driving around
And graduate stars still striving about
For jobs they should easily get

Pecks of pickled peppers Peter piper picked

These pecks of pickled peppers pick pockets
And fill our hearts with regrets
They’re in power but have no outlets
To the people, they’re bad sockets
They should be locked in barred lockets
Except, that Peter piper picks pecks
Of pickled pepper for his own pockets

Maybe Peter is not the piper
And so can’t dictate the tune
Maybe Peter just gets hyper
Whenever he sees the moon
Enough spot light to like the reaper
Look for pepper shrubs to prune

If Peter Piper really picks peck of pickled pepper
We hope to see the pecks of pickled pepper Peter Piper picks

OUR TRIMMER by Mesioye Johnson,”affable” (81%)

From the wails of lifeless dreams,
With its echoes from the beautiful walls of hatred,
Oozing resounding plight,comes a sound
from hope,reviving dead eardrums to listen.

Violence tasted our nudity,
And drank our mothers’ blood to maintain her beauty,
As fathers became feathers before bereaved weather.
Still,we salivate to chew songs of peace spiced with hope.

Even the poignant melanin breeding grief
below our skins with pounding pains pinned with race
to tag inequality on our wrinkled foreheads
would peel off,for laws to seal equality on our veins.

Like the meadow gripped by dew at dawn,
Our existence would be kept in the foil of normalcy,
Placed on affairs’ flowing promises,paddled by fulfillment,
To the end where serenity awaits our breath again.

Rights that remained dumb to the chords of independence
when governance failed to dance to the rhythms of credence
since ills were transposed to a pitch where only money sings,
Would all have fearful heart to score their music on fidelity.

Yet,I wander in wonder how smooth the globe might be,
If beliefs from the poles of enmity meet at love’s mid-point,
To form axis where truth draws the radius of human thoughts.
For if the earth turns thorny edges,hope is our trimmer!

We want peace to be the cloud of humanity,
Where sanctity becomes the sun on sky-bed.
But when will its rains reign on our parched gains?

THE PEOPLE AND THEIR COUNTRY by Iwundu Wisdom (80.5%)

When they were fresh of their mother’s breasts
And no longer wiped their faces with diffident diapers
They would gather at the windowsill, bidding farewell to the moon
And watch the sun yawn into the clouds and atop trees
Then to the early psalms of the morning creatures, they’d hymn
A song of change, a lullaby for liberation
But the morning would become deaf and the day quiet
For the unmet promises from their leaders campaign swathe their hopes
But when the sun found respite beneath the umbrella of clouds
And the rain tinkered on the loam of their infancy
They became teenagers¬ – still courting the prospects of change
They’d gather at the casket of their forefather’s hopes
Singing with new tongues an old song
But the sky would roll up and government’s seats retreat
To watch them sing those strange songs alone
Then from the lying lips of their savior-assuming leaders will come
A reason to change their song, an excuse to lose the fight
And now, their assemblage is a prayer of full beards and bare breasts;
They now pick at the hope from their infancy
Sitting around the remains of their youth
Their hymns now slurred with age and perseverance
Each word weary from the burden of their sojourn
Still singing an old song – but with old tongues
For they believe they’d be witness to the day
When the sky will brighten at their orchestra
And the morning creatures will share their songs
A day the sun will awaken to lean on the shoulders
Of their hope and truth will be engraved in the lips of their leaders;
A day they’d be glad they never gave up on their country

A PEOPLE’S HOPE by Theresa Oguche (80%)

In catacombs of misery for torrid decades
habitated the grievous gaunt garments
Savouring the dry quivering dust
Of the hardened earth crust
In penurious lament.
The kleptomaniac citizens of
Truthful lies cum adversary in tanned
Cloaks of skeletal promises
Mired motherland in recession and sent
Justice,change and love on a foggy exile
Alas! a stentorian hope hoped for has
Risen above the camouflage of dreadful thorns
Hovering over the garment of our land, with
integrity,sincerity,humility,credibility, morality,creativity and due
sense of responsibility. Lo,let songs of hope be sung
Aloud and gongs of unity,beaten stupendously as the wind of hope
blows and flows
Rhythmically o’er our land.
Tell the people in disguised garments of trepidation,that the people’s
hope has emerged
With a crown of justice,harmony and change to
Eradicate the cloak of destitution,corruption
and to elevate the masses from ashes of
Shredded dreams cum shattered visions and
To lead us to our promise land.

A PEOPLE’S HOPE by Nwanguma Deborah Obianuju (79.5%)

I see into deep eyes that are used to darkness
Even now these eyes rest on the roads
The roads filled with large holes
Those holes that dig deeper holes in his heart
I see into a heart filled with emotions
Filled with driving forces that screamed change
Coils with pain when injustice plays in front of it
Bleeds sadness and hurt for a land diseased with corruption
I know the eyes that read the books
Books that speak of history of bloodied flags
As white and green gave different shades of red
I see into a mind that wondered
Why some people wanted the Sun half and the blood they gave for it
Yet In this dark land, a flower buds still
Almost like the famous root out of a dry ground
He screams thus with will and patriotism
I may not have witnessed twenty seasons of harmattan, No
But to this darkened and raped land, I will give my godly conscience
Though the millions the swollen leaders swallow
I will give the poor my mite and time
I will read printed black and white to be great
There’s a trench on the floor from my constant prayer
I will play Luther again and again when there’s need to
I refuse to put my feet in the imprints of those ahead
I will teach little kids the honest way in the race
I will light the candle of hope before dim eyes
Weakened by the search of silver lining in the clouds
When I’m given the Mandate, fulfill I must
I am a people’s hope

THE OLD RAIN by Madu Chisom Kingdavid (79%)

There was no clap of thunder, there were no
rumours of gathering clouds,
For our sky lost ownership of rain to drought
for sixteen-clawed seasons.

The dying bones of the Grassland, Forest and
Creek enclaves watched Locusts
Of the Rock reaped the greens of our earth,
While we ate from the lips of carcasses.

They penned us in the perpetual pen of penury,
Where we met the fun-filled
Funerals of our teething dreams before sunset.

We watched faceless foes of the midnight forest
Purloined freely our maiden
Sunflowers from the Chibok garden and beyond.

We watched the navel of our nay-tion split;
Watched its images became
Moulds of maze before the eyes of other skies.

Our hope became pregnant with death in the labour
Of pain and the delivery seemed eternal.
Until The Old Rain came with the
April rainbow, carrying Millions of tired voices,

Carrying the rain-bearing Wind of Change –
Now gradually revealing the hidden
Wrinkles of clouds from the face of our tattered sky.

We hope, soon, the million seeds we queued and
Planted in ballot boxes shall blossom,
For The Old Rain, Our hope, has come with
Naked promises of the virgin rain;

That we may sprout above the tangled
talons of this parched earth of ours
And bear green branches with ripe breasts.



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