She calls from a high and lofty place 
but we know not where 
only hearing as she goes, 
voice trickling down as she calls.

We hear the rain, 
what she says is clear 
'Go in; find rest for your weary bones.' 

Mama says it is a call to retire from play 
still I find play in her, defying thunder 
panting as lightning runs across the sky. 

'Go in, go in' she sings but Chukwudi and I, even with Ette will find, 
where the Lion is birthing her child?
and sun persists on, aiding a birth.

Nno we will say to it, 
this baby lion 
if it has not yet grown a teeth, 
rain calls from her place in the sky, 
we find play beneath her watery tears.

*Nno (Igbo: Nigerian Language) — Welcome 


Words can take on new meaning,
the ear hears what it wills
the mind playing a game of shadow and thought
this is where we have come
so the messenger of Awasi called the bucket a basket
the calabash became a spoon
every hope of a river lost
sprawling hills, a valley between
but where is the river?
Lost in the transit between the realm of the gods
dripping through baskets, spoons and teacups
this is where we have come
to the error of hearing and words

My father tells me of Ifugho village in Ikot Ekpene Local Government of Akwa Ibom, Nigeria. A village with a hill and valley set as it where for a river but it was not to be as the messenger sent them by Awasi gave the wrong information. 


Sifting through his anger,
Amadioha settled to his sorrow
Ekunne was gone, lost to him and his love
for the fleeting life with a mortal.
and what of their many dreams,
the things they had had planned?
Her fickle heart had given up on their bond
reveling in praises that will vanish
Amadioha felt his anger rise again, hot
as he watched her with this mortal
the hairs on his body rose.
the sky rumbled and he let his anger roam free

About the author:

ABASIAMA UDOM is a polymathic writer and poet. Her works have been published in Kalahari Review, The Sandy River Review, Stripes Magazine and elsewhere. She is constantly chasing new adventures but appreciates the constancy of food, music, books, family, sleep, and football in her life. She tweets @Abasiama_Udom

Photo by Breno Machado on Unsplash