She would open her eyes, gently

and wish the moon blind,

the wave would not whisper today

must not hum her eulogies,

must not remind her of her sons

lost in the teeth of a storm

and her husband lost in the field of Biafra;

thus, she’d mould her heart out

into a stone of fire,

and dive into the Niger river.


Years later, it’d be the tongue of Niger,

hurling hum in knitted waves

the soft canticle of a golden creature

slipping through neon nights,

staying akimbo in the dead of silence.


Mothers would spreen a song, a folksong

fathers would would clay sculptures

of a woman too sacred for homes,

too sacred for hearts,

too sacred not to sit in museum or shrines…

there’d be a stretch of Hurly-burly:

a brawl of a storm drenching innocent cities.

we’d tell it’s the prophecy,

it’s the words of the dibia breaking oceans

when he said:

“Her ghost will visit again.”

We’d later make her a deity –

another sort of godly myth.


The body of a god

how men held the tails of gods

in the trails of a deserted ships

when blood was fire & war was water

breaking into every ocean with a glare

with a sword, a brand of  ogun

with a gun, the fierceness of  sango

how these men said

they’re the origins of rivers


Today, I met a boy in my school, legs folded

a bottle of water at his reach. He’s a fish.

Shy, slippery, shiny, glowy. His eyes ember

as coals. there’s a quill in his mouth. A gash.

I thought of reincarnation. Of mythologies.

Of Folktales. Of healing. My mother said

‘There’s healing in rivers.”

What did she mean?


Your name is what?

I’m  Osungbemi?


I reached for a smile where it seemed absent

and a frown crawled upon my face

he said

“The sea is on my side,” a cackle. Another cackle.

I searched his eyes and saw myths broken

finding home in the psycho of a boy.



* ogun– According to folktale, ogun is the god of iron.

**sango– A god said to emit fire when vexed– god of thunder and lightning.

***Osungbemi– the river goddess is on my side.



About the Poet

Nome Patrick is a writer, poet and deep thinker who’s crazy about children, women and arts. His chapbook is set to release soon.