Poetry from Akinmade Abayomi Zeal


A Whim to Lie!

Ogun, hear my plea,
I have a whim to lie.
Oh, Venerated one!
You boast a largeese of oceans
Yet choose to bath in pools of blood.

Ogun oooooooooooooooo!
The mighty man of valour,
Custodian of the sacred oath,
Keeper of sanity.
The mighty king of Ire.
He boasts a chubby wardrobe,
Yet, swagger down the street in fonds.
Ogun,the dreaded one!
It is you I humbly worship.
Who dare dab his palm on your sword in dare?
I pay my homage to you,
So, do not put me in  turmoils for my whim.
I would lie when I come.

Ogun, tilt your most potent ear towards me,
Hear the sins I cannot mention.
Hear the truth that plagues my heart :
Bitter than galls.

How shall I mention our fertile soils to you?
How shall I tell you Ikoyi spouts legal tenders?
I cannot! Let me hold my peace!
I will hedge when I come.

Oh, Sango!
Mighty man in battle.
Do not roust your venom for my sake,
For I will lie when I return!
I would tell my sanctimonious lies!

Give me your words,Sango.
Vow to spear me for my holy lies.
Let Ogun alone be privy to this,
Vow to spear me should I tell the goings on:
Our maidens Are barters for bandits!

Obatala ooooooooooooo!
The dexterous god,
Maker of lifeless beings,
Do not admonish my lies.
They are nothing but holy lies.

Oh, ‘Yeye Osun,
Sengese Olohun Iyo, ‘
Foremost river goddess,
Custodian of virgins,
Queen of queens,
Purveyor of sumptuous fishes.
It is you alone I greet.
‘Iba’ for your majesty!

Foremost mother,
The truth in my heart will inundate you,
So, steel yourself for my lies!
To tell you our damsels bare their breasts for Bigger Brothers is more than I can say to you.
They have thrown the pride of motherhood to dogs.
These are facades of the truths I lack the temerity to tell.

Venerated gods,
You who set us forth:
On the darker part of the world,
On the hinterlands of the West,
On the hottest parts of the soil,
Forgive our trespasses
Though we err our trespassers!

It is the evil one,
The lone one,
Esu Elegbara,
The Evil one who feeds himself in a labyrinth-
Where the roads tangle.

‘Esulaalu Ogirioko’
The evil one who incites pandemonium in time of bliss.
Esu the hostile one,
The cursed soul.
He helps to make cases where there are none!

Esu Elegbara,please,do not hypnotize me!
I beg you with your mealies,
I place your palmwine in the labyrinth for you!

You have never known Esulalu
The damned soul.
The one who cries passionately than the bereaved.
The bereaved whimpers in silence,
Esu exacerbated his problem for him,
Weeps blood to inflate his worries.

Blame our evils on Esu!
It is he who brought evil to our holy hearts,
Made us profane.
He came to our sacristy and polluted our monks.
Ha,Esu Elegbara, I know you well,
I dare not incur your venom.
I know you,  Esu!
The dreaded evil known as Latopa.

Venerated gods, I plead you forgive our evil,
Cast Esu to your furnace for us.
I would tell these lies when I come to report how the world fares!

A. A. Zeal, 2017.

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Poetry from Michael Robinson


Have you seen my soul? Do you see what I see when I look into the mirror? Seeing my soul is seeing the woodpecker at the feeder with its black and white body nesting in the morning sun.
He wanted to write a poem of the mountains only to describe his own success for words created on the page. Each letter, each word, and sentence was a reflection of newness found.
The winter snows did not freeze my awareness of being a Fresh Air kid. My essence has been refreshed by the summer sun. Only the mountains could have restored my yearning for salvation.


He noticed her perfume smelled of love,

Her eyes floated like waves in distress.

In the shadow of the moon,

He saw her soul dancing.

Poetry from Joe Schueler


Sole Courtyard


With soulless lows

With arms tight,

When burning rage

When stealthy might

Open the shackled pass that follows your dreams

Can I see your world from under the seams


Narrative essay from Todd Wiggins

A Father’s Purpose


My name is Roozario Wiggins Sr. I’m a native Louisianan born and raised. Proudly, the first of my mother’s children to graduate high-school and college. While attending college in Wyoming the reality of culture shock hit me hard. Big open space, mountains and cattle were quite the opposite of my upbringing (low-income housing neighborhoods, crime and the sounds of gunshots every other hour).

Wyoming showed me I can be proud of the things I’ve accomplished, that your environment doesn’t determine your outcome or automatically hinder your future success. The world can be a frightening place when you’re alone. I know this fear first hand and became well acquainted with it as I grew up fatherless. The moment RJ came into this world I knew I was ready to make any and every sacrifice needed to assure he wouldn’t grow up ever experiencing the loneliness I did as a child and still experience to this day at the age of 25.

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Film review from Rui Carvalho


Cinema Critique: Les Délices de Tokyo by Rui M. Carvalho (30 May 2017)


Full of poetry, Les Délices de Tokyo, a movie directed by NAOMI KAWASE, is a film that imprisons us inside the screen. Gradually we forget everything around us, until we almost refuse to be confronted with the end of this wonderful piece of art.

At first glance the story seems trivial: one Spring’s day, Tokue, a 76-year-old woman approaches Sentaro, the chef of a small restaurant. Sentaro mainly sells dorayaki, a small cake filled with red-bean (azuki) jam and Tokue explains him that she always wanted to make them, she implores him to let her have that life opportunity. He tells her “no” but she leaves a small sample… and he finally accepts.

Aditionally, there’s a teen named Wakana, a very perceptive person, a regular customer, who ultimately also applies to work at the shop. Together they are a family, Tokue, as the mother of Sentaro and Wakana, and a “mystic” member who seems to glue together all the feelings of these characters.

We can’t imagine a possible end to this story, but Tokue gives us very subtle clues, for example, when she speaks of the natural world in a way that might seem strange to us because she’s much more aware of nature than most folks inside a city… There’s a sense of being different, being isolated inside the grey walls of buildings in open air. Tokue’s eyes emanate compassion in a mysterious way.

We are only able to understand them when the owner of the restaurant learns that Tokue is a patient who lives in a leprosarium… and demands Sentaro fire her, something he refuses but must accept at the end.

When Sentaro and Wakana visit Tokue, for the first time, at her home, the leprosarium, the vivid Wakana alerts him that he will be seeing people with deformed faces. When they meet the patients, the lepers are talking together, smilling, happy despite their reality: they are also a family. That’s the power of being accepted as we are… despite our differences, our different ways to  see the universe and the different ways others see us.

Also, there’s no victory against nature here ; the nature of disease. On the contrary, Tokue determinedly accepts everything… especially without words, simply with the way she looks to cherry blossoms. She sees herself as a piece of the natural world, destined to live and to die. Maybe the fact that the actress deals with cancer in real life helps her with this role.

At the end, we remember the moment when she explains she had to release the canary Wakana gave her… he asked her to do so… and this, combined with the fact that she confesses that after her death, through a cassette recording, leaves us a final thought: a timeless reminder that our mind wants to forget that we are sick for awhile so that we can be happy during all moments of life. That’s certainly the secret of her azuki jam.

This movie explains the human condition in depth: the capacity of small things to change our lives; the importance of simple ordinary people; the power of chance that can transform small moments into important parts of history. The photographic look of the film’s scenes additionally help the director with this therapeutic message. The random bubbles of the boiling beans and Tokue’s coat, with colors resembling cherry blossoms, look like living creatures. Visually, even minor background objects come to life.

This is a movie about the most important people: the simple people.

Poetry from Joan Beebe

When one thinks of the Universe,
It seems to be a vast ocean of time and space.
A nothingness that is an entity having no effect
On we humans living on our own planet Earth.
But as we live our own lives, there is something
Of which we may not be aware.
That is the Oneness that binds we humans together.
Whether we live in different countries and have
Different cultures, still there is an unknown fact
To many of mankind – and that is – the way we think
About ourselves and others.
This is the motivating thoughts that emanate from our minds.
This is the way we perceive others, taking care of ourselves and family,
Interactions with many people and think day to day of our responsibilities.
Man was given that great gift of thought and it is that gift that brings
 a “Universal Oneness.”

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Poetry from Mahbub


To Have a Finger In Every Pie


It was summer’s rain

You came to me blowing soft wind

I became cold from burning coal

Firing and the body was burning

The world seemed to be hazy

Mind crazy

It is you who came to me

Gift me a life

My eyes got power to see

When you kept your eyes on me

Hold me my body tight

made me soft and mild

my heart to beat high

I was trembling with joy

I saw through the whole world

When you fully started to —-

I saw nothing but the colourful —-

It was you my love, my sense,

That I had a finger in every pie.


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