(For those that have slept, and those still awake) A is for Achebe, Man of The People, who oiled the wheels of the world with words so things don't fall apart. A is also for Adichie, the prodigy with no effigy. B is for Buchi, who told the tale of the unsung women. B is also for Badmus, word preacher, whose Scriptures of Verses brew a Storm in My Head. C is for Cyprain, who seeped into the veins of my childhood fine needles of words. C is also for Chukumerijie, the panting leopard who leaps words into action. D is for D.O. Fagunwa, the bullroarer who rode in his pen horse for an Expedition To The Mountain Of Thought. D is also for Dele, the town crier whose large bell rings out: Do Not Die in Their War. E is for Elechi, who had words as slave to do his bidding. E is also for Eriata, who wraps the little under his wings. F is for Flora, the Lake Goddess whose water of words sprang far, across shores. F is also for F. Awodiya, descendant of warriors who uses a pen to stilt the deer. G is for G. Okara, who played the words from both the Piano and Drums. G is also for G. Oboido, whose Wandering Feet on Pebbled shores reached the sea of words. H is for Hauwa Ali, who shook the veil of tradition with stories till it tore. H is also for Hussani, Usain's double in the sprint of words. I is for Imam, whose words were a Water of Cure to the people. I is also for Igoni, a barrel full of stories. J is for J. Munonye, the Bridge to a Wedding of letters. J is also for Jonathan, chef of the joint Itanile , where home cooked stories are served. K is for K. Onadipe, who dipped his bleeding fingers, full of characters, to fill an empty page. K is also for Kolade and Kukogho. Perhaps, I should say the last name again. L is for Ladipo. L is also for Logan. If you look around, you'll find there's a pen inside everyone. N is for N. Nwankwo, The Gambler with words. N is also for Niyi, I kneel before thy hill, O Father Poetry. O is for Okigbo, Archpriest of the Idoto river. O is also for Olisakwe, Eyes of the Goddess, who frowns at patriachy's footstool. P is Pepper Clark, the shrill voice in the jungle of words. P is for Pamilerin, whose print of poetry found itself in the caves of mental health. Q is for the q in Iqwo, who ate the words right from her grandmother's bottom pot. R is for Romeo, whose rooms of words are a castle a boy can find himself. S is for Sufola, who got chained to the Sweet Trap of words. S is also for Suddie; the versatile sage. T is for Tutuola, who drank daily words of wine. T is also for Tares, Walcott's acolyte, with his boat full of nets of pages. He returns with fishes of verses. U is for you, dear Editor, whose eyes must be starved of melon of sleep, yet you carry on. V is also for V. Jumoke, who joined together streams of Small Silences till they became a river of loud voices. W is for Wole, the Dance of The Forest cannot be complete without the Iroko tree. X is for all those names that may have slipped by my memory, and are unprinted on these pages. Y is for the Y in Biyi, angel of the camera who has gone to capture God's face. Y is also for Yemisi, who retold the mortar and pebble story. Z is for Z. Truth be told, there's nothing left to say than Z is for Z.
Peter Columba Itanka is a 600-level medical student at the University of Uyo, Uyo. His works have been published across print and online media. He was one of the forty poets featured in the 2020 Brigitte Poirson Poetry Contest anthology, ‘A Pandemia Of Poetry’. He loves reading and writing. He is @itanka_peter on Instagram.