We are pleased to announce that Tukur Olorunloba Ridwan has emerged winner of the March edition of the BRIGITTE POIRSON POETRY CONTEST (BPPC) 2018 which was themed: ‘SOLITUDE’.
Tukur, a poet, essayist and Political Science graduate of the prestigious University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) won the keen contest with a poem entitled ‘THE WORLD WITHIN’, edging Ogedengbe Tolu Impact, author of ‘THE BLISS OF SOLITUDE’ and Ishola Abdulwasiu Ayodele, author of ‘A MOUNTAIN IN LABOUR’ to the first runner-up and second-runner-up positions respectively.
The Lagos State indigene has been one of Nigeria’s consistent young poets since 2013 and his writings have been published on several literary platforms including SPRINKLE STORIEZ, OUR POETRY CORNER, ACE WORLD, and WORDS, RHYMES & RHYTHMS POETRY. He is currently a freelance writer, with special focus on poetry.
Below are the top 10 poems:
- THE WORLD WITHIN by Tukur Loba Ridwan
- THE BLISS OF SOLITUDE by Ogedengbe Tolu Impact
- A MOUNTAIN IN LABOUR by Ishola Abdulwasiu Ayodele
- SOLITAIRE(Y) by Gomathi Mohan
- INTERRED SOLACE OF MY SOLITUDE by Kolade Malik Ademola
- SOLITUDE IS A WOMAN by Akor Agada Nathaniel
- SOULITUDE by Abubakar Ateeq Abbas
- DREAM PATHWAYS by Teslim Opemipo Omipidan
- WHEN? by Nyuwem Goodness Nyuwem
- A JOYOUS DAY by Uzoma Ibekwe
THE WORLD WITHIN by Tukur Loba Ridwan
The power of ‘one’ lies in its prime
standing tall like the tower amongst all.
Glory too to the iceberg across the sea
and to the only everest of heights.
Sullen souls seek solace in silence,
their caves devoid of company and care.
The earth is a cocoon of life and death
where ‘lone glows the moon and shines the sun.
A solitary reaper sows nature in her ambit
and tills to sow more life for herself.
Books buried in brains of banished frenzy
and grasps earned off narrowed paths.
Sages seek signs from the ethereal
while estranged from material vanity.
A monk mingles with minds yonder,
stealing motion from fictions before mere eyes.
Nothing blooms like a flower in the wilderness,
standing out among spines and thorns.
Nothing walks faster than lone legs
in the forgone benefit of helping hands.
We toil thoroughly in our own world of work.
We walk the talk with our will and wheel.
A planet is a lone man, growing from within.
Each man is a lonely planet, growing within
while intact remains the face and size.
Riding solo speeds up the wheel and will
and draws the destination closer.
We become towers and mountain tops within.
THE BLISS OF SOLITUDE by Ogedengbe Tolu Impact
Find me the bliss of solitude
Oh, ye, loners of aged yore
Fetch me the silence’s fortitude
Oh, ye, hermits on lonely shore.
Oh, ye, who mingle with silence
Find me the bliss of solitude
That I may ease this troubled sense
With the calmness from quietude.
I have climbed rocky altitude
In search of comfort for my soul
Find me the bliss of solitude
That I may calm this raving ghoul.
There are raging storms in my head;
A wave rippling in multitude,
And for me to conquer their dread
Find me the bliss of solitude!
A MOUNTAIN IN LABOUR by Ishola Abdulwasiu Ayodele
the mountain shudders in stillness
rumbling at rest
last night, a blind man entered the cave of her womb
dark and stark like a naked night
his heart a quivering flame
and made love with the mountain
penetrating the blanket of blankness
till he lost himself
in a burst of starry ecstasy
a fusion of galaxies
but the mountain is a goddess of gateways
who swallows seekers for rebirths
so this dawn, she’s moaning muteness
and a man opens his eyes to serenading lights
an aura of aurorae
then the mountain swaddles him
to the zenith of her hunched back
so this new born man
with mind of glowing waters
SOLITAIRE(Y) by Gomathi Mohan
Epiphany struck me, high in the hills in tranquil quietude,
Unveiled soul’s pursuit to live my passion with fortitude.
Sights, sounds of serenity in such a scenic surrounding,
Nature ensconced me in solitary bliss for pondering.
Rolling thunders and winds gushing,
Sat through icy showers so refreshing.
Effused by soil and water as they made a wet pair,
Heady earthy fragrance wafted in the air.
Delighted by coloured bow hued across the skies,
Priceless sight comes for free without any price.
Disconnected at large and though stranded,
Connected to the Self, felt newly branded.
Of late, spending more time alone,
Not thrust upon but a choice of my own.
Stand isolate in crowds listening to sound of silence,
Whilst inside of me plays a symphony of dissonance,
Fears, aspirations, doubts along with will to fly,
A paraphernalia of thoughts pass by.
Took some courage to peep in, guage the cacophony,
Embrace my Self, with all the scars and acrimony.
Rhapsodic after the attention, inner turmoil subdued,
Awareness dawned of things I most valued.
Saw the larger picture emerging in absolute.
Be it the moon shining with its graceful attitude.
Writings, paintings, creations of great magnitude.
Cognized, beautiful things happen silently in solitude,
Since then penning away in my space, poetry and prose,
In it I found my catharsis and my soul – repose.
INTERRED SOLACE OF MY SOLITUDE by Kolade Malik Ademola
When the sun overtly deserts the day
And the beat of my heart springs to gay
My soul, that I know is frail
Seeks solace in the solitude of my holy grail.
The threat to my unnatural existence
Is the murmur that conjures in my silence
Which lays a siege on my solitude
And sings me dirge of the highest magnitude.
The sanctuary of my heart – shattered to pieces
My whole and soul – deprived of their peace
My solitude is poached, as to them sociability is a bliss
Where then my solace lies?
In intimacy, cacophonous is the sound of the rhythm
That I hear in the hollow of my breathing
But in solitude, euphonious is the melody of my silence
When the birds sing along to its cadence.
When the wind sings the melody of the night
My soul communes with the darkness in the light
And when my heart palpitates covertly in fright
My solitude, I’ve learnt to enjoy dolefully in delight.
SOLITUDE IS A WOMAN by AKOR AGADA NATHANIEL
In a world where nuisance with nauseating noise is fueled by negligence
Delusion will always be the attire of despondence
I feel lonely whenever I weigh her absence
Her serene nature is the seat of ambience
Where men rest their uneasiness behind their silence
Solitude showed me her treasure trove as a result of my patience
Captivating my soul like the fragrance of frankincense
Breaking my defense with her difference
Her sweet embrace smolders the embers of suspense
As time lost its essence
I drew back the curtain of memory lighting a lamp of reminiscence
As the resurging turbulence took solace in my persistence
The river of thought was intense like an orgasm in transience
Basking under the euphoria of independence
who will not be stricken by her magnificence
With her appearance who would not grant her audience
Ecstasy clouded my entire existence
As my countenance shone like a fluorescence
Annihilating the spirit of distraction with defiance
The aura of pretence disappeared with her presence
Solitude became my wife and world
Slaughtering life’s depressing sequence
Behind every great man there is a woman
There is wisdom in women and solitude is a woman
She could be a whore or a wife
The fruit of her womb could be good or bad
Her offspring could bring blessings or curses to life
SOULITUDE by Abubakar Ateeq Abbas
Drunk on the morning mist,
stuck in this hallowed seat.
Left to do nothing but
drown in this deluge of,_
Only flutesong to my ears
to help me whelm these fears
Muting the murmurs without,
Drowning the whispers,_
I found Solace in Solitude
in the tender whisper of the wind
and the silent murmur of the waves.
In the demure dance of the trees,
and the solemn sway of the leaves.
Tell my muse I found a hearth
To rest my heart and weary bones,
On the tree stump by the Water,
is where I’ll build her altar.
And if the river asks where my home is?
I’ll Tell it “flow on without me”.
For Draped in the morning mist,
A lost memory left adrift.
My Soul found solace,
in Sober Soulitude.
DREAM PATHWAYS by Teslim Opemipo Omipidan
Kindred, if your children ask of the lonely leper
that lives ten poles after the abandoned market
and how he finds solace in his utterances,
tell them the tale of how you flocked his doorstep
like ants do forgather around sugarcanes
when he had oil dripping from his palm
and how you turned to things invisible,
things that linger on dream pathways
when his palm drip crimson blood!
Even my shadow deserts me in the dark,
my eyesight too leaves without looking back
and I reminisce moments we’ve spent in the light
till sleep creep in like a fugitive in the night.
Let the trees perform their choreography
let the sky too match this topography,
let the Benue embrace me in its laughter,
let the wind sing to me songs of hereafter
for there lies immeasurable joy and happiness
and none of the letters that make up loneliness.
Kindred, if your children ask of the lonely leper
that lives in the village outskirt without a helper,
do not tell them of life, humans and attitude,
tell them why I learnt to live in solitude.
WHEN? by Nyuwem Goodness Nyuwem
As I wandered down idle paths in thoughtful solitudity
Numerous, the perturbations that accosted my mind
How did we raise a crater that evades sheer congruity
For a people we were, of love, peace and a sturdy bind.
Amidst a babel of languages, I felt one reverberation
Like mad echoes in a resonate precinct, just one voice
Like the grumbles of ocean turbulence in feigned elation
The echoes of grumbles from a people without a choice.
Amidst the diversity in cultures, I beheld a synchrony
Like pregnancy that can’t be hidden, twas e’er obvious
A unified tune twas that mocked the crazy cacophony
Of our subordination, subjection and dire suppression.
Alas, we await the moment we’ll gape into wakefulness
To uncover gloominess that so envelopes us everyday
For a people we are, bound in tethers of hopelessness
And our soil so littered with ruins of our fathers’ decay.
When? When will these imprints of slave chains fade?
For they adorned our necks, wrists and ankles e’er so
When will our voices e’er rise beyond Jericho’s wade?
As a soulful tale of our spell in hell is surest way to go.
See we have the grey matter to build assured posterity
For ebony sons we are, beloved of dear Mother Earth
O when will we be liberated from civilised animosity
To navigate surging rise till our greatness be birthed.
For I see a people peculiar, riding on the wings of liberty
I see a race unique, revelling in the joy of emancipation
Just as I hear voices chant creeds of their sovereignty.
A JOYOUS DAY by Uzoma Ibekwe
There I stood. The bride dressed in white,
The image of perfect stitch work and splendour
A thousand glittering set off by light against smiles.
Smiles. That never reached up to the eyes,
Staring down the well on my lover’s face,
I search for the spark like a child searches for his favourite toy,
His face drawn tight held by pins at the edges of his lips. Smiles.
Cold hands clutch mine tightly like a suitcase of money in a heist,
My value, joys and will, folded to suit cases, jars,
Repackaged like a product long past its shelf life, tagged: New Me.
Like a suitcase, I have no feel, handled the way they please,
Melodious words buzz in my subconscious, each vow pronounced
pierce my heart, a suck of blood from my veins. Numb.
My eyes connect with the audience, linkin park s of well-wishers of doom,
I see my mum mop rivulets off her cheeks with handkerchiefs that do no justice,
My siblings display pearls in the show glass of lips. Smiles.
This is a joyous day.
The day my family would officially pay off its debts,
The day my younger sister would be set free from the bondage of tradition,
The day I can walk on the streets with my head held high cause I finally have a man,
The day I become complete in the eyes of society as I deplete in all that is Me.
This is a joyous day,
The day I’ll finally wed the man of my dreams,
And as I stare into the deep wells on my lover’s face,
As I hear the cheers explode like fireworks on new year’s morn,
As I’m embraced by close friends and family, a thousand kisses and hugs,
I find myself truly alone.
Lost in a world no one would ever know.
Tukur will be awarded the N8000 cash prize, and his poem, along with all the other TOP 10 finalists, will be automatically entered for the ALBERT JUNGERS POETRY PRIZE (AJPP) 2018 and published in the BPPC 2018 anthology. The finalists will also each receive a certificate and free copies of the BPPC 2018 anthology, to be awarded at the Words Rhymes & Rhythm Literary Festival 2018.
The BRIGITTE POIRSON POETRY CONTEST, a brainchild of Words Rhymes & Rhythm (WRR), is a monthly writing contest aimed at rewarding the under-appreciated talent of young Nigerian poets. It was instituted in February 2015 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. Now in its third season, and being one of the few credible contests for poets, the BPPC has since grown to be one of country’s most popular, especially among the younger poets.
Click here to Enter for BPPC April 2018.
I am a member of the WRR editorial team.