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POETRY

 

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

wished

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

            passed?

 

 

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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