A young poet from Ogun, a state in southwestern Nigeria, Olajuwon Joseph Olumide, has won the March edition of the BRIGITTE POIRSON POETRY CONTEST (BPPC) 2016.
Olumide, a Mass Communication student at the Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH) became the first poet to win two editions in the history of the BPPC competition after his poem ‘WARRING NATURE, AND THE EARTH’S CAVEAT’ came tops in the March contest. ‘OSUMARE’ by Samuel Amazing Ayoade and ‘NATURAL NURTURED NONSENSE’ by Ezeokoye Onyinye Vanessa emerged first and second runners up respectively.
The theme of the BPPC March was Mother Nature, with a focus on man’s activities as a threat to the environment, animals and plants, in the face of growing world population and higher consumption demands.
In 2015, the poet won the August Edition of the CONTEST, themed “I AM THE CHANGE”, with a poem titled ‘I SEE A CHANGED MAN‘.
Olumide, an ardent writer known for his researches into English Language Grammar and Literary Studies, is currently the short stories editor of the Creative Writers’ Association of Nigeria’s online magazine – ‘Literary Temple’.
Below are the TOP 10 entries:
- WARRING NATURE, AND THE EARTH’S CAVEAT by Olajuwon Joseph Olumide
- OSUMARE by Samuel Amazing Ayoade
- NATURAL NURTURED NONSENSE by Ezeokoye Onyinye Vanessa
- SAVE HER by Kolawole Samuel Adebayo
- THE MELTDOWN by Odey David Omrenya
- RIPPERS OF EARTH by Valentine Mbagu
- LIBATION by Oluwa Olamiposi Omoyele
- OIL… by Otikor-Nemi Wisdom
- MOTHER NATURE by Ngozi Olivia Osuoha
- SHE BLEEDS by Agbaakin Oluwatoyosi Jeremiah
WARRING NATURE, AND THE EARTH’S CAVEAT by Olajuwon Joseph Olumide
This planet once knew freshness, its unadulterated resources prided in originality –
As voices of nature encircled the cosmos, pealing notes of normality.
Sun smiled, sky emptied its pregnant bowel – virgin soils yielded without friction;
Obsequiously, the climatic phenomena matched along in processions.
Alas! O that a herculean parcel of freewill – domineering stewardship be given
Unto the brainy progeny of Adam, dispatched as pilgrims from heaven!
‘Be fruitful and multiply!’, and through the pilgrimage’s passage they burst forth.
How innumerable, with their insatiable cravings cloying the hosting belly of earth!
Via oft attempts to conceive ‘utility’, wooing their insatiability – exploring activities uncease
As mortal hands become arbitrary, duressing nature; earth screaming of the unease!
They hunt the heart of the forest to empty its indigenes, installing industries.
Sky’s tranquility robbed, by combustions from missiled chimneys; inimical appears comforting breeze.
Insatiable still! Retiring the tired land to perturb the marine milieu’s sovereignty,
Fish suffocate in their haven as engines’ black greases creep into the deep.
The laughing waters become angry and restless! Sea’s fugitives invade the lea,
Carting away its fertility! Desperate chemicals prod reluctant soil from slothful sleep…
Droughts rejoice as revolting sky shuts its belly; terrestrial vegetations look sallow,
Standing in emptiness! Despondence wears earthly environments as garment of sorrow!
Earth’s parched throat emits wrath; human corpses at nocturnal sleep utter sodden sigh.
When its anticipation strolls into oblivion, come flooding earth with out-burst from the sky!
Aye! Nature is chronically sick, her militant syndrome, the earth’s caveat spreading like wild fire,
Mounting torrid stage of erupting magmas; quaking fissural gulfs engulfing beyond Asia.
How magnitude! International media awe eyes, disseminating its reportage
Damning retaliations of nature, with hot spears thrown at men – come hitting in barrage!
Losing grip of repose, no longer the same – this sole terrestrial, inhabitable for human.
And this lights a lamp of reminiscence of the tale of Noah’s countrymen!
Perhaps, mortals’ pressurizing acts are fast rolling this cosmic ball into extinction?
With groaning nature losing its indefatigability, and earth’s caveat of daunting premonition!
OSUMARE by Samuel Amazing Ayoade
tiny shreds of colourful lines
striding fibres of abstract beauty
the footprints of the eternal divine
Osumare, that I may touch your beauty
Osumare, the wonder bow of Edumare
stretching from the loving throne of Adeda
down to this dusty deadly brown earth
even tho’, evil penetrates the earth of Iseda
I write not of Afonja’s fibrous bow
nor of the deadly sling of David Jesse
but of the lovely string of the God of Mose
that abdicated the flood of Noah
red orange yellows and grins
upon our blue-ish indigo violent sky
Osumare, thy blessings bids budding waters bye
upon the stormy hills of Kigali
inscision from the hands of the immortal
on the circumference of our earthen ball
scribbled safety and hope in mortal’s mental
Osumare; hide me from the rain
Edumare – God
Osumare – Rainbow
Adeda – Creator
Iseda – Creature
Mose – Moses
NATURAL NURTURED NONSENSE by Ezeokoye Onyinye Vanessa
These earthy fussy thoughts
Obnubilated her head again
Whilst the essential spit of God
Spluttered vigorously,causing others to run
As she rolled the tires of her wheel chair
The wind threw her off balance
And these thoughts,
Sprung up, disrupting her life again.
The earthy grumpy thoughts
Envisaged his mind again
Causing and forcing the verbalization of cockeyed ideas
And the air brewed nauseating odours.
Her inability to run and walk freely.
The rain flogged her
And she just cursed.
A hapless victim,
So allergic to sweet brewing odour,
Fell out of place
And ended up epileptic
These natural deficiencies bamboozled their kind
Like the mummery flummery of their minds
Unable to disencumber their noesis, they ask
Why does nature fail thus??
SAVE HER by Kolawole Samuel Adebayo
Nature was very happy
with all of her family,
until you wore her crying garments.
With the skin on her hairy legs,
she felt nothing but joy and peace.
Now, those hair-strands have been shaved;
that once beautiful skin is impaled
by your sorrowful spear.
She feels nothing.
She is now an emaciated prisoner
of your harrowing reign.
Her joyful joy has been snuffed out
by your morose joy.
Her bright light has been darkened
by your dim light.
Existence is at stake,
why don’t you forgive her?
For your own sake,
why don’t you save her?
For your light is not
bright enough to light this space.
Your joy is not good enough for this place;
it is drenched in hateful hatred.
Let her live again;
and her light will spread to yours,
giving light to your darkness-soaked light.
THE MELTDOWN by Odey David Omrenya
At one end of the world the alarms kept ringing
Emergency Van raced up and down the streets
Earth is under alien attack, or so it was believed
There is rising tension in Situation rooms
Electronic media are covering every bit of event
We are advised to stay indoors
Alas nowhere is safe enough
The goddess Eris reigns supreme and thunder bolts quakes to the marrow
The engulfing trepidation is obviously not fleeting
Polar ice caps had suddenly vanished
The heavens are cast in swirling dark clouds
Tis a day we had feared, nah dared.
Noah’s Ark had ended the floods
The deserts nevertheless must drown
This dream seem more real than life
A day of reckoning for alienating Mother Earth
For our insensitivity nature had erupted in fury
Her limps we had cut off and burnt
Diseased by randomly dumped toxic waste
She can play SpongeBob no more
It is no Armageddon, not yet; whatever our option
Lest we continue to plunge this Earth into cosmic imbalance
Then like a child from who candy is snatched
A shadow with a face of terror is all we must have
RIPPERS OF EARTH by Valentine Mbagu
All ye humans raping earth art thou without conscience?
Reaping on the soil wherein thou soweth not,
Thou that poiseneth the sea with thy poisonous science;
Is thy heart so callous that it cannot but produce wrath?
Woe betide ye parasites feasting on planet earth,
Thy experiments have darkened the light of plants;
Careth not thou that they venom poisoneth animals to death?
Thou that tilleth the ground have ye no sympathy for ants?
Ye rippers of earth considereth thou not the health of thy environment?
By thy pregnant hands earth regret her existence,
Thy inhumanity to nature have forced her to retirement;
Art thou not touched by nature’s plea for existence?
Thy activities have posed itself a threat to thee,
Woe betide thee for thou has poisoned nature to death;
Seeth not that thou causeth harm to none but thee?
Yet to thy household thou feedeth venom for meat.
All ye scavengers of nature and rippers of earth
The seed which thou soweth have turned into thorns,
Thy rebellious acts have caused thy citizens death;
Willeth thou not spare earth seeing thou causeth nature to cry storms?
LIBATION by Oluwa Olamiposi Omoyele
You constantly bless the earth with seedlings-
Seedlings of kernel and crude,
Rubber and ore not left out.
You wine and dine,
Dealing with offspring of earth to death.
You kill to grow large and big,
You sow soap that washes away
goodies laid in style.
You lavish and squander in splendour,
All on the layer of the earth.
The season of harvest is near.
Your crops are fully blown.
The spillage of crude in crude ways,
The seedlings of carelessness in all ways-
The result of which you now see.
The pisces race to yore,
The seedlings are suffocated to death,
You reap drought and dryness,
Your libation is yielding blessings-
Blessings of action and inaction.
OIL… by Otikor-Nemi Wisdom
Last night she came to me in my sleep
A reminder of the 9 heads on Ogoni hill
She won’t call his name
She won’t call his name
Oil belongs to grannies pottage pot
Not this water that bear our shit, fish and their lot
Oil belongs to our dry hungry skin
Not this waters whose life has since grown lean
Last night she visited my dream
Their promise of a cleansing is lame
Watch as they make of our pains fame.
Last night she came visiting
Out of our wastage, out of our wreckage
Our cowries and libating
Does no taming of her demons
Our oils and delivering
Only open the wells of her apocalypse
Give to Caesar what is Caesarean
Spare her a prayer in your planting
Give to Caesar what is Caesarean
Exorcise her body of this spilling
Once again she speaks
A little longer, and she would say
‘I have no pleasure in thee’.
MOTHER NATURE by Ngozi Olivia Osuoha
The rugged hilly-mountain
With beautiful valley-fountain
The green flourishing forest
Booming at her best,
Blowing a smooth breeze
Mild, tender, cool, I sneeze.
Mother nature, a wonder
Mother nature, not a blunder
She is spick and span
She is such a huge man,
Clean and neat, cute a flute
More charm, no harm.
The enemy came by night
Sowed his wild tare
Wrestling against her might
With force, grave and rare
Drilling crude, flaring gas
Stealing all mother has.
She can neither drink nor wink
She does shrink and stink
Turning pink with none to link.
Porous earth, weak land
Poisonous, worn and torn
Forlorn, Mother’s hand.
SHE BLEEDS by Agbaakin Oluwatoyosi Jeremiah
One day, she will
Spill, spin and spill
And rave about
To reel, ruin and reel
We then all shall
Toss in its bout
As in Charybdis, Odysseus’s boat.
I hear she now bleeds
Time indeed has robed her
With grace and great a ruin
Who will wager that
Our cars: stallions of steel
Minted from bowels of the earth,
And the tar their rubber feet squelch
That we draw from her fossil blood
Has not gilded us with ease
Save the lethal air
They cough to the face of Mother Earth!
She has traded her woes for ire
Lo! When you come back home
After a day of stress steeped in traffic
They shall tell
Of how baleful the climate has grown
For there’s no more home
Save the one swallowed by the aberrant rains.
For she will spin, spill
And reel, ruin and give us chill
In warmest months; heat in winters
For she bleeds and sane, no more shall be.
A cash of N5,000 will be awarded to Olumide, while all the poems in the TOP 10 category will be automatically entered for the ALBERT JUNGERS POETRY PRIZE 2015 and published in the 2016 BBPC anthology. Each poet will also get a free copy of the BPPC Anthology and certificate.
“March has offered us yet another original mix of creative poems, of superbly inventive associations of images and words, another festival of alliterations, oxymorons and more, of warnings to man and admirative celebration of Mother Earth.
A handful of contestants sent vibrant poems, but unfortunately unrelated to the theme, which points the fact it is always necessary to read the guidelines carefully and not work too fast. A number of excellent poems had to be left out because a contest allows but a limited number of winners, and for no other reason. These talents will certainly be acknowledged on another occasion!” — 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.