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By Yemi Soneye


Sunday, March 20, 2011.


The African Emperor


His friend’s palace was

hurled down by bare peasants


The emperor,

being a thoughtful man

and not a friend in need,

decided to let his

people do the math


He went to them

with ribboned black boxes

in which lain skeletons

of three decades’ treasures


But hardly had his helicopter

wailed over the great walls

than the iron gates banged


And till smuggled out by sworn pages,

in the servants’ slums he hid


Schoolgirl Lola

(for Lola Shoneyin, with Love)


Schoolgirl Lola

disturbs the class

luckily, she sat on an egg


And ran to hide

by a river

but a bird made her sing


They breathed crisp


their priggishness

did not tuck her away


For she came

changed, loving

flying and smiling

but as a witch on them


The Things I Never Say


The things I

never say but ought to

never excavate like

aged phlegm nor go

sleep from brow


They stay rocks in throat

mares on morn

tearing for transit

when path closed


But why? why do me

like that when it is they

that swirl into hourglass

to stay safe till moment




Yemi Soneye was born in 1991. He is a graduate of Agricultural Economics and Extension from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Nigeria. His works have appeared on Sentinel Nigeria, Saraba magazine, Istanbul Literary Review and Palapala magazine. He was a winner in the 2010 StoryTime One Sentence Short Story Competition. 

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