• Publisher’s Message
  • Contributors
  • Poetry
  • Fiction
  • Non-Fiction
  • Galleries
  • Archive
  • Find your river

    Blue is for rivers,

    curving tortuous paths between

    the ill-shaped igneous rocks.

    Red for land, purple the background.

    On the map, a plenitude of names

    more of places, of people,

    a myriad of entities squeezed to recognition,

    each craving to find a space

    between the weeds and thorns,

    the longing to belong.

    Whether A4 or wall sized,

    the interface will never suffice

    to showcase each one, every piece,

    every contester and even winner, in the tournament

    for the trophy of fame.

    Stray from the race for space.

    Retreat to the bushes where the waters be,

    find relief in nature’s peace.

    Find your river too.

    Follow it into the sea

    and be the quickwater that propels another

    as they find their way through

    the labyrinthine byways of life’s maze.

     

    ***

    Stampeded I do’s

    The smile pasted behind the veil is hard to keep up

    you know, like impotence, it keeps fading out.

    Like the song of patriotism

    we are expected to sing

    even when uniformed unfaithfuls exhibit barbarism

    and maul their very brides.

    How these aggrieve our souls,

    grind faith like in a mill

    as memory cells dissipate and overwhelm my entire

    physiology.

    How can a reconnection, reunion or reconstruction

    of faith ever ensue?

     

    The many “yes’s” and “no’s” delivered under duress

    or seduction.

    Affection and attitudes stampeded

    into beings naturally created to be rational and spontaneous,

    autonomous and esteemed.

    The sequelae of dishonour rendered is

    progressive and exponential resentment,

    antagonism, acrimony and kick-back,

    bad only gets worse,

    the ripple of negativity spreads on and on.

    Who can keep it still?

    Who will initiate an esprit de corps

    when each wants the same apple on the tree?

     

    Ever wondered how it’s our alikeness that expands the

    wedges between us?

    Again, the law of physics is obeyed and like poles repel.

    For cold alienation and disrespect

    are offered to the neighbour in attempt to win the race of

    “I’m right”, “I’m superior”, “Me first”

    and a man loves a dog more than his kind simply

    because unlike charges attract no competition.

    Weeping widows curse as they mourn husbands

    and sons.

    Dialogue is just the song of a mockingbird.

    Greed has claws longer than a hundred inches

    no national cake can survive that.

     

    So here we stand, together

    yet each man at war

    even within his inner chambers.

    For not always is one a victim of the other

    but there live the soul, heart and body

    who is a victim of self.

    Where pain and confusion in the spirit

    cause hate, neglect and destruction of the body

    and today’s lecherous and carnal appetite

    cares not a wink of the soul’s afterlife abode.

     

    How deeply intrinsically planted

    is that egoism seed

    within each man, each nation, this world?

    Is it too much a test of faith

    to ask the commencement

    of a hurricane for its deracination?

    Or do we simply begin with the branches?

    I will sing this song,

    but name no man or land.

    For the answer my friend,

    is living in all men.

     

    ***

    You’re not superhuman – you’re human, and weakly so

    So, you ruffle her back and forth, a tennis ball

    between clenched fists and hard walls,

    the sharp-edged staircase and kitchen counter

    where you grab a knife and stab the punching bag to order.

    You think yourself permitted because tradition says it’s trend.

    And by the way, what’s all the muscle fibers for?

    I simply disagree.

     

    So, you hurt and leave, here and there

    a rat pinching at every packet of milk in a roll

    but really having none.

    Delude yourself superior because more people say your name,

    check the hashtags, lots of likes.

    Everyone thinks you’re young and fair.

    But what’s attraction anyway?

    By itself, it’s a lame and vain case.

     

    So you do what you please;

    not a thought of your brother’s house,

    or more importantly his heart.

    A wake of homes and lives extirpated by your greed tours.

    You think yourself licensed because you kiss a power coin and

    carry empty tittles around like bags of expired rice.

    That’s only a virtual space, you can’t contain their freedom forever.

    You’re mud and fleshly human

    and the laws of nature apply to you.

     

    So, you cross your whip relentlessly,

    in circles over his skin

    break those strong bones and clip his wings,

    char his spirit in pools of fire,

    infuse fear like through an emergency room IV.

    You name him slave,

    worker with no pay, sex with no pleasure.

    You think yourself superior because of skin colour.

    Just remember, snow is white

    lepers also.

     

    ***

    I’m not afraid of the pain.

    I’m not afraid of the pain

    I just wanted you to know;

    I wouldn’t drown

    because I’m swimming alone.

     

    I hear the sound of a broken heart,

    The lyrics spit from my lips

    Who could ever have known that

    this much melancholy my notes could ring?

     

    But I saw this coming

    yet I blinded my eyes.

    You neither appreciated nor deserved the gold

    and everyone saw that but I.

     

    If I braved a love less than I was worth,

    the silent hurt of out-loving idle care,

    then I can take the pain of losing it all

    knowing this even, is an open door.

     

    I’m not afraid of the pain

    and I’m grateful you had the courage

    to stop me from settling for less than

    the best that I thought was you.

     

    I’m not afraid of this pain

    and I do not hate you for it

    because I refuse to darken the colors of my beautiful soul

    with animosity’s bitter coal.

     

    I am stronger than this pain.

     

    ***

    Frozen pelvis

    Frozen pelvis: a medical description of the internal female reproductive environment literally squeezed tight by adhesions. These occur due to chronic Sexually Transmitted Infections. Manifests as lower abdominal pain and infertility. Common in sex workers.

    I was mortified, terrified when the

    doctor spat the curse words.

    The sound of them FROZEN! PELVIS!

    like a powerfully shut door.

    The echo resounds, with the force of a hurricane

    my fear abounds.

    I do not want to be a childless girl!

    Oh, why does the mountain seem so colossal now

    catching up and closing in on me?

    But I will carry myself to my market place with pride

    and sway my luscious hips from side to side

    to float atop the lewd comments

    of my lusting spectators

    as the barmen tap on my glutes with disrespect.

    My chunky chest bells

    ring provocatively from right to left,

    but I’ll pretend not to notice

    that my crop top is see-through

    even though the pool players stare

    and squeeze my clapper boldly.

    My patrons do not see frozen,

    they cannot feel it when they touch

    or taste it when their savage tongues caress the

    hairy, slippery gates that part as they slide into me.

    My frost bearers deserve a piece

    of the ice we all creamed

    while I gave them happy endings.

    I will wear the person I choose to be

    and harbor the humiliated other in distant waters.

    No compasses.

    I will embrace this guise

    until the cold from below ascends like incense

    and freezes my heart to the grave.

    Don’t. Judge. Me.

     

    About The Author

    Glennise Ayuk (2)

    Glennise Ayuk

    Ms. Ayuk, is a final year medical student at the University of Buea, Cameroon, where she lives. She is also a blogger at www.pregcompanion.com. Between medicine and all kinds of writing, Glennise finds time to sleep and obsess over art as she slowly learns to paint. Her poetry is published and/or forthcoming in Parousia Magazine, Authorspress International anthology, Munyori literary journal and Verbal Art, among others. Her e-mail is  ayukglennise@gmail.com, in case readers want to keep in touch.