You'll enjoy this edition of Sentinel Nigeria, and that's not because I'm in it, but of course because I'm in it! This edition features an interview with Ismail Bala, poems from Funmi Aluko, Okoduwa Tanko Mature and many others. Here's a poem from the ezine.
The Mislaid Bracelet and the Bandaged Wrist
(A Variation on a Theme by C P Cavafy)
Now I turn and trudge back with you,
Our eyes rummaging the dirt for that bracelet,
Mid-day sun so cruel it seems the very light
Is being sabotaged and will soon be gone
As its vast furnace dissolves.
Squatting on your knees among pebbles and grass,
Your shadow, lost beneath the horizon encircling us,
Turns this submerged path into a wandering boat
Where now we’ll continuously be together,
As time, dazzled by the day’s splendour, ignores us,
And the blood throbs in your bare wrist.
She said she had injured herself on a staircase, or had tumbled,
but certainly there was some other reason
for the injury, for the bandaged wrist.
She was reaching up the top for a shot
she wanted to take more closely
when the bandage came unloose. A tiny blood ran.
I tied it up for her again, wasting far too much time
over the edging; she wasn’t in pain,
and—to be candid—I liked starring at the blood.
That blood. It was all part of love.
When she left, I found a piece torn from the bandage
under her seat, a strip I should have dumped
straight in the bin—but I picked up and raised it to my nose,
and kept there a long time:
her blood on my nose, o dear, my beloved’s blood.