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ERIATA ORIBHABOR POETRY PRIZE 2017 WINNING POEMS by Mesioye, Agarau & Ogwiji

PROBABILITY (1st Prize)

 

We are the two sides of a coin
but unsure of the side that grits the ground
in music brewed with morrows.
This city is a dice
and we are people of shades like a dice too.
We are life, and life is a dice, so we throw our body
to the wind for the ground to decide our fate of numbers:
That we harbour pains in our fingers
doesn’t mean we are dirty or that a win won’t rip it off
into fire later, never mind if it’s a one now;
that we find it difficult to count orphans
wanting a feel of home in their tears
doesn’t mean we’ll father silences on our tongues
for the rest of our lives,
never mind if this city gives you a two now;
that we slip thru oil into a ditch of our gone shadow
doesn’t mean we won’t still fill it with the stories
designing our palms with tragedies,
never mind if it’s a five now, but
do you now see how time changes yesterday?
Hope is the cloth of the mind.
That we walk in a dark room
wanting the touch of a nova
in our passing smiles
doesn’t mean we won’t still be a home
with curtains of calm shadows,
never mind if it’s a three this time,
we just have to throw again
cos the space we leave for doubts
may be the only time left to breathe in this city of fluttering songs;
that elders plant promises that never sprout abundance
but the flag of our hunger in fine colours
doesn’t mean we won’t be a garden
fluttering our blossoming desires
when we throw fertile thoughts like a dice, like this city,
never mind if it’s a four now
for we just have to keep clothing our mind with roses
cos zero is never a number on what we throw,
cos it’s never a number of this city,
for who knows if the wind will add our smiles
and result to six when we toss our face
with hopes that loop the heart with fine morrows?
by Mesioye Johnson Affable

DIFFERENTIATION  (2nd Prize)

Fix ε>0 and a.
From the definition of differentiation we have
|f(x)−f(a)xaf′(a)|<ε    a marketplace –bodies carving selves into storehouses, stories burning, feet heavy with baggage –they came
to be appropriately chosen δ>0.                                   let δ be the victims, f be the frequency of numbers, x be the weight of salt, a be the grief waiting to break into ash            in silence, a red-green pointer ticks
Multiply both sides by |xa| to get:|f(x)−f(a)−(xa)f′(a)|<|xa|ε
                                    my mother sing of places metamorphosed into a garden/grave of flowers
                                    ash-yellow. inside is full of prayers/answers returning to owners/wishes carved like epitaphs                        the epiphany of a morning broken like the fins of a lionfish   wrecks my body          yes
Using ||x|−|y||≤|xy| we have:
|f(x)−f(a)|−|xa|⋅|f′(a)|<|xa|ε:
a boy in the market holds his mother’s hand
they dream together. his father by the window
waiting, slowly longing into the road with a smile
 
the woman –femur/long like surah fathia
the boy –his button shines into the sun
he just passed his exams
 
Rearrange to get:|f(x)−f(a)|<(|f′(a)|+ε)⋅|xa|   :/place=maiduguri
                                                            forget the people in the market
and remember this place is a sea –of head –of sinners –of people who are a blasphemy –of debris washed back to shore –of girls wanting to become –of the becoming of boys –of lovers hiding smiles beneath their chest, waiting for sunset’s return –of mothers whose husbands will teach themselves to sing with their teeth, hold the gourds of their wives and drain the blood –the sand will testify
since f′(a) and ε are both fixed, you can make |f(x)−f(a)| as big as you want by making |xa|bigger and bigger. Thus, the function is continuous at a/ε +boom!
 
in the beginning,
god created the heavens
& the earth
 
& the earth was without form
& the earth was without form
& the earth was without form
& the earth was without form
& each spirit roamed the earth in search of its own skin, even that of the innocent boy


by Adedayo Agarau


TELL LADY JUSTICE (3rd Prize)

Drunken with an intoxicating prejudice,
Our gavel staggers from side to side,
Chanting songs to the drumbeats of crime.
I may only be a woman in my prime
But I know that the Constitution long began
To ally with unrepentant criminals and
His fiery wrath is become a friendly warmth-
Gathering offenders into an embrace
As they toast to the triumph of wrong
With chilled wine in the hollowed skulls
Of the innocent
The jury has inflicted an injury on our soul
For like the ears of corn, stuck on either side
Of my farmland, they hear not our whispers
Nor whimpers of despair and pain
The day the wig (the crown on the head of the Law)
Began to speak the language of brown envelopes
Justice eloped with bribery and corruption
To seek nuptial bliss in the presence
Of currency notes.
So please tell Lady Justice that
The weevils are feasting on the last grains
In our silo. Tell Lady Justice that
The poor man is guilty, his innocence like
A feather on her scale, it weighs nothing
For poverty is  such a weighty crime
Tell Lady Justice to make herself a new blindfold
She seems to be examining the faces not the cases!
Tell Lady Justice to sharpen her sword with the file
On the rough tongue of incorruptible judges-
In between whose teeth, fair judgment cannot get stuck.
Tell Lady Justice that the poor men are at her nip,
Waiting to suckle the milk of freedom.
Counsel, please tell her to allow them suckle
Until they wean and win their case,
Else they’ll shake the thorny hands of fate as aforetime.
by Ogwiji Ehi-kowochio Blessing

MESIOYE, AGARAU, OGWIJI WIN ERIATA ORIBHABOR POETRY PRIZE 2017

Author: admin

I am a member of the WRR editorial team.

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