Poet, essayist and story-teller Efe-khaese Rinse Desmond has won the April 2019 edition of the monthly Brigitte Poirson Poetry Contest (BPPC) which was themed ‘HUMAN HERITAGE – THE COMMONWEALTH OF HUMANITY’.
Efe-khaese Rinse Desmond is a young Nigerian writer passionate about animal and societal welfare and the value of true feminism. His stories mirror the issues he feels are not given enough recognition. He was the first runner-up at the African Poetry Contest 2017 and was recently shortlisted for the Chronicles Short Fiction Prize 2018.
Desmond won the contest with his poem on cultural reawakening ‘THE EIGHTH WONDER’. Narrowly missing out on the top spot again, Emmanuel Faith was First Runner-Up again for his poem ‘AN EPISTLE TO HUMANITY’. He had emerged 1st-runner-up and 2nd runner-up respectively in the February and March editions. The April 3rd spot went to ‘TO BE LIVING IS TO BE WATERED’ by Oladimeji Adam Adedayo.
Below is the winning poem:
THE EIGHTH WONDER by Efe-khaese Rinse Desmond
Mend your wings and visit the temple of humanity's history!
There you find in mummified archives the leprous flesh of our selective race.
Stroke your fingers across the pages of what we once called home.
You see eyes that watered the still mass of dead sons and daughters;
You see mouldy maggots that spring from festered wounds
To rule our quarters;
You see hallowed giants haunting the pockets of the hapless,
And the workaday man searching for the daily bread, returning helpless.
Within the thick stripes of decay,
You are aroused by a song which causes your eyes to sore,
A song we sing to pass down our African heritage.
And if you are keen and see past what is seen,
You find within humanity's decaying mould
A beating heart, an aging peace,
Held in place by the rib cage of communal treasures
Beyond the dark past and smoky future!
You see the strings of Ijele hopping alongside the sounds of reggae,
Calling out to the dance steps of Gule Wamkulu...
But while we trace the lines of slave chains upon our father's necks,
We deny ourselves from gracing Iqhiya
Made by hands we describe as sad...hands that salted the seas
Of Argungu, turned into an annual playground of excitement;
We fail to see the kneading of offspring by the feet of Osun renditions,
And we forget, amongst the treasures of our common pot,
That if we tell these tales like poetic dirges,
We fail to teach the history of our heritage...the eighth wonder.
YOU CAN READ ALL THE TOP 30 POEMS IN ‘‘THE 8TH WONDER’‘ CHAPBOOK AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD BELOW.
Desmond will be awarded the N8000 prize money and, alongside the other TOP 10 finalists from February to September 2019, will be automatically entered for the 2019 ALBERT JUNGERS POETRY PRIZE (AJPP) in addition to receiving a certificate and a copy of the BPPC 2019 anthology at the Words Rhymes & Rhythm Literary Festival 2018. All the top 10 poems for the 2018 Season will be published in the BPPC 2019 anthology while the top 30 poems are featured in ‘THE 8TH WONDER’ chapbook. The finalists will also each receive certificates at the Words Rhymes & Rhythm Literary Festival held in December every year.