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BRIGITTE POIRSON POETRY CONTEST 2016: MESIOYE JOHNSON WINS BPPC APRIL

Mesioye Johnson, a student of Banking and Finance at the Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro, has emerged winner of the April edition of the BRIGITTE POIRSON POETRY CONTEST (BPPC) 2016.

Johnson’s apologetic poem, ‘I AM SORRY’ got the top prize, ahead of Ngozi Olivia Osuoha’s candid ‘PEACE ON EARTH’ and Emmanuel Faith’s well-rhymed acrostic, ‘TINTINNABULATION OF PEACE’ in the first runner-up and second -runner-up positions respectively.

The young poet, popularly called “affable,” is winning the monthly contest for the first time, despite being a finalist three (3) times in the past – coming 8th in June 2015, 7th in February 2016, and 4th in July 2015.

In February 2015, he was a finalist in the “TONY FERNANDEZ INTERNATIONAL POETRY COMPETITION.” He was also a finalist at the ‘Be Blessed 10 Mini Slam’ organized by EGC. Many of his works have been published on WRR Poetry, Nigeria’s largest poetry website. He also featured in the SPIC anthology of LOVE POEMS.

BPPC APRIL was themed “PEACE ON EARTH.” At a time when there are conflicts in different corners of the world, the choice of this theme was based on the belief that freedom, peace, and happiness among and within all peoples of the earth can be attained only if people are willingly to cooperate and put their resources together.

Below are the TOP 10 entries:

  1. I AM SORRY by Mesioye Johnson
  2. PEACE ON EARTH by Ngozi Olivia Osuoha
  3. TINTINNABULATION OF PEACE (an acrostic) by Emmanuel Faith
  4. I BESEECH THEE (TRIPLE TRIOLET) by James T. Abel Adesitimi
  5. DEAR MORTAL by Agbaakin O. Jeremiah
  6. THE FORGOTTEN WAR by Tobi Abiodun
  7. PLEASE! CHANT PEACE by Samuel Amazing Ayoade
  8. PEACE ON EARTH by Abigail Anave Aliu
  9. LET IT REIGNS by Akanbi Israel
  10. A WORLD OF PEACE by Ikirigo Sokari Jeremiah

I AM SORRY by Mesioye Johnson

These stinking bones are silences of rowdy streets
and the pillar where grief sings the wordless songs
we compose with our sighs under deaf moons
to produce edible dirges for gone starving souls.

At nights clouded with fear,
They carry pipes loaded with bullets that hold lives,
Distributing wailings house by house
With bloods of innocent souls like raindrops on plants.

To Musa, the young cattle rearer
who could only rear his talent in his early grave
while termites finds a room for survival in his flesh
to leave pecking anguish on his parents’ window, I say…

I’m sorry, these letters couldn’t breathe life in you anymore!

To Ada, who lost her mother to dusts of violence;
Veiling every eyes with darkness – papa right; mama left,
So were their directions while her only brother’s stomach
became an arsenal where only his last sigh said goodbye, I say…

I’m sorry, these sympathies are mere whispers in turbulent winds.

To Aminat, who on a journey of no return
forcefully knew the bloody bond between tourism and terrorism
when her laps became a restroom for scrotums’ saliva
and her dreams made thin despite her age being thirteen, I say…

I’m sorry, only pity could close that burgled door of shame.

And to unfought wars and confusion yet unborn,
These words are epitaphs incised on your evil hearts
which demands blood of sacred nations as milk for nutrients
and flesh of raw destinies as meat to host violence, I say…

I’m sorry, your testes remain the meal of this lethal banquet
with your breaths as spices for peace to bury the hunger of ages.

PEACE ON EARTH by Ngozi Olivia Osuoha

With the crystal-ness of displeasure
And teardrops of enmity,
With the tradition of injustice
And the culture of prejudice,
One doubts the chances of peace.

With the heavy weight of poverty
And the whirlwind of unemployment,
With the goddess of prostitution
And the deity of human trafficking,
One calculates the bearing of peace.

With the advancement of corruption
And digitalization of sabotage
With the audacity of camouflage
And the conviction of evil,
One misinterprets the possibility of peace.

With the masquerade of syndicates
And the enticement of organized crimes
With the seduction of gangsterism
And the fierceness of cultism,
One laments the farness of peace.

With the shades of betrayal
And the portfolio of deceit,
With the pride of egoism
And the arrogance of supremacy,
One disbelieves the reality of peace.

With the bondage of freedom
And the boredom of alcoholism
With the shackles of meltdown
And the chains of power tussle,
One denies the strength of peace.

With the lamp of envy
In the wet arms of jealousy,
With the flamboyant war banquet
And the raging storm of terrorism
With the beheading axe of religion
And the frequency of natural disasters
One concludes no PEACE ON EARTH

TINTINNABULATION OF PEACE (an acrostic) by Emmanuel Faith

Torrid tales are sung in synchronizing symphony,
Into our eardrums in a mellifluous cacophony.
Nefarious acts from belligerent beings,
Terrible things, deeds? What has eyes not seen,
I have witnessed mass massacre of the young, the innocent,
Nugatory nuisances with nauseating thoughts, making human head a present,
Nebulous nepotism accompanying ferocious favoritism,
And the sonorous scream of Allahu Akbar won’t stop this religious radicalism.
Brisk boisterous kids in a jiffy lose their parents and homes,
Under the bridge, on the street, with bare feet they roam.
Languid ladies are languishing in sacred Sambisa forest,
At the mercies of Allah’s cabals who kill with zealous zest.
Tell those heinous harams these ladies are not rams,
Inflicting insidious pains on the defenceless is the real haram
Oppressing the unprotected minor is cowardice not boldness,
None of their deeds will go scot free, not even their misleading madness.

Overtures are overturned by obstinate obtrusive obstructions
Fiery fury fumes with flames as bomb blast leads to destruction.

Please God, warn this barraging beasts to stop this blood-filled feast,
Emit your aggressive anger on them if they don’t desist
Amidst this amen, hallelujah and astagafullahi
Cadences of ceaseless cry and waging war shall cease-and
Effusive smiles shall permeate profusely, radiating joy and peace.

I BESEECH THEE (TRIPLE TRIOLET) by James T. Abel Adesitimi

I beseech thee Mr. Belligerent Man:
Drink a cup from this jar of peace.
Ignore the terrorist beer from Satan:
I beseech thee Mr. Belligerent Man.

Make thy family a society’s watery can:
Watering the infant plants to grow in peace.
I beseech thee Mr. Belligerent Man:
Drink a cup from this jar of peace!

I beseech thee Mr. Belligerent Man:
Drink a cup from this jar of peace.
Make not violence thy daily concern!
I beseech thee Mr. Belligerent Man.

Don’t be a Priest… Levite, but a Samaritan:
Using love to build world peace an edifice.
I beseech thee Mr. Belligerent Man:
Drink a cup from this jar of peace.

I beseech thee Mr. Belligerent Man:
Drink a cup from this jar of peace.
Slow – down thy extremist van!
I beseech thee Mr. Belligerent Man.

Don’t use tenets to attack any man:
It’ll make this warlike earth, a tranquil place.
I beseech thee Mr. Belligerent Man:
Drink a cup from this jar of peace!

DEAR MORTAL by Agbaakin O. Jeremiah

I
I write to seek from you
Why adroitly your task you do
Often, you are slaved to fate and life
And like a courier or a servile wife,
You lay your scythe upon young and old
Without a pay or hearth to blast the cold
That ravages the crooked path with you
To the yon place steeped in clouds vast and blue
Ahoy, tell why ever thou seek to
Please Life and her odious ‘to-do’
Pray tell, for none can best wit an answer:
Those tongue-castrated by grief or those asunder
Your shove has ripped, in their very prime
And those made sage by age and pass of time.

II
Dear Mortal, when darkness seeps through
The negligent Light, the blame must be to
For never has evil thrived on its own
Nor does a storm maim if there is a home
Where fragrant laughter reeks in the air
As harmattan’s dusty claw pricks when ‘tis near
So death boasts when life fails to sustain
Oh Mortal, it is not I, that these rampages rain
But ye, agents of peace now gone beyond line,
Have poured your libation on my docile shrine
Evoking thousand chaos on all and sundry
Violence my chorus is, mourning my lullaby
For when you turn a dispute into a blood bath
I play best when peace chooses to be silent.

THE FORGOTTEN WAR by Tobi Abiodun

As valiant men fall, fledging “the way”,
With hearts whispering their souls to go.
Some say die, some say stay;
Let them now float towards that seeming glow
or flit towards the brutish coming day
flitting towards the coming brutish day.
Let us lay flowers silent,
“No sigh-sounds nor tempest-tears”
To pay the debt of depths
from whence the whispers are heard
that their souls may go
where souls do go.
Let us not drift into that time,
Our hearts need our vows.
Let us now proclaim them our wives,
Our hearts need our vows.

As valiant men fall from systole to diastole
and the killing-metal by their heaving bodies lay,
Shuffled under snow-covered cloves.
Boys shall nest them in nets, hammocks left behind in the way,
Then shall the stars come in dazzling throngs,
To the tents warmed by wooden stoves
and POWs whose livers hang by a thread.
Let us now chop sticks only that we may eat,
Eat in one great big gathering,
Lest the cesses of “the way” take away the kimchi.

As valiant men fall by the way
Of War,
Woes deeply rooted in its clay
may cling to their final words.
The shrapnel may build for us walls.
Walls of prejudice and hatred
Except we build altars of incense,
To burn the profanity of our love.

PLEASE! CHANT PEACE by Samuel Amazing Ayoade

Forbid the gun to speak,
And blood deny the sword to lick.
Let the arrows go to hell,
And bows cast not spells.
Let weapons-all be prohibited,
And arsenals be inhabitted.
Pacify!
Please! Chant Peace.
.
Let babes drink blood no longer,
Make vampires also no more take plunder;
Vandals that vandalizes and varnish.
Over hills, let them be barnished,
And forgotten forever and ever
Like slingshot stone shot at Steve(r)n.
Sadamites!
Please! Chant Peace.
.
No farther than this can we go;
Not higher would we grow,
If our fists are always raised,
And other races we raze.
Stop erecting tombstones!
What if we all got stoned?
I see-ists!
Please! Chant Peace.

PEACE ON EARTH by Abigail Anave Aliu

Ah! how comfortable is it, if peace is here
On earth, everyone is halcyon, earth will be stilly.
We desire, pray and long for peace everywhere,
It’s the breath we wish, seek and crave for daily.

Let’s live in one accord, unwarlike, uncombative
Soon, we will be on cloud nine, it will be lovable.
Let’s be dovish, halcyon, serenity and affable,
Shun the antagonistic spirit, for it’s destructive.

Shun tribalism, embrace neutrality and unanimity
Seek the aged prelapsarian and not postlapsarian,
For peace to reign, create the state of Serenity,
Peace does not divide tribes, nation nor alien.

Peace on earth is possible, say no to clattery,
Even the Holy Scripture urged us to live peaceably
With all men, blessed are the peacemakers, for God
Can rain peace on earth for He honoureth his word.

Through who shall God bring peace on this earth?
If not you and I, knowing there is strength in unity,
To conquer external enemies and our heart at peace,
Bloodthirsty will be a moonlight tale and history.

LET IT REIGNS by Akanbi Israel

For you i want to hang my self on that fig tree.
For you, I have crucified myself on the cross of change,
That whispers the assurance of set us free.
I stand upon the coast of river Niger,
Remembering the genesis of the Messaiah.

I stand upon the coast of river Congo,
For i want those psyche that,
Those standing Macho over the stormy sea of our peace be crucified.
Those emblem over the showers of peace should be sanctified.
The chronicles of our wise men, are now obstacles leading us to the den of mayhem.

I stand upon the coast of river Zambessi,
For i want the cacophony of kaboom to sound no more,
And the rain of pain to reign ever more.
Let’s regurgitate the lines in the second stanza of our anthem,
To build a nation where peace and justice shall reign.
This muse of my peaceful piece, shall not go in vain.

Our leaders were singing the song of mediocrity
They failed to plant the seed of serenity
I intercede for the dew of charity,
To fall on our wilted hope,
I stand upon the coast of river Zambessi.
Remembering the genesis of the Messaiah.

The weapons of our hand are carnal,
To fight this war of freedom.
Only if we can obey the
Clarence call of our father
I still plant my feet upon that coast of river Hippoppo
Until this serenity reign till eternity.

A WORLD OF PEACE by Ikirigo Sokari Jeremiah

I dream of a world of peace,
Where people can live a life of ease,
Where peace, love and harmony reigns,
Throughout the globe, bringing gains.

I dream of a world of peace,
Devoid of terror, fear and chills,
Where sincerity, will be a norm,
Binding all together, like a gum.

I dream of a world of peace,
Where people can live a life of bliss,
Where hunger and famine, will be no more,
But abundance and plenty, forevermore.

I dream of a world of peace,
Where all these killings, will all cease,
Where people will know the value of life,
And treat each other with love, without strife.

I dream of a world of peace,
Where a friend’s kiss, will be a kiss,
Not one that’ll cast him down the hill,
Into the valley of betrayal, woe and grill.

I dream of a world of peace,
Where people can live a life of ease,
Where peace, love and harmony reigns,
Throughout the globe, bringing gains.

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 a certificate.

———————————–

“The herculean task of writing on a complex theme of “peace” without resorting to write on its antonym of “war,” along with its many attention seeking siblings such as violence, terror, pain, hunger, chaos, crisis etc, can be quite daunting.
The poems that made it to the judge’s desk demonstrated a clear understanding and artistic interpretation of the theme, application of variety of literary devices, originality, and brilliancy, inevitably making the work of the judge more difficult, yet interesting. The top ten poems are set apart from the other poems, which are well penned, by their beautiful portrayal of theme.
It is interesting to note that some of the poets felt compelled to elucidate on their societies’ perceived non-peaceful existence (understandably so), before talking about “PEACE ON EARTH.” Others seemed somewhat distracted by the compelling nature of their narratives, and hence had to forcefully marry in the opposing end of “peace” in hindsight.
The poetic devices applied in the poem “I AM SORRY,” the poet’s distinctive style of writing, the emotive and wonderfully woven choice of words, and the humanistic yet apologetic stance, qualifies it for the 1st position in this edition of the BPPC.”
— Adeolu Emmanuel Adesanya

CLICK HERE TO ENTER FOR THE MAY EDITION

The BPPC is a monthly writing contest aimed at rewarding the under-appreciated talent of young Nigerian poets. It was instituted in February 2015 by Kukogho Iruesiri in honor of Brigitte Poirson, a French poet and lecturer, editor, who has over the years worked assiduously to promote and support of African poetry.

 

Author: admin

I am a member of the WRR editorial team.

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