By: Lukpata Lomba Joseph


           (The gods are angry)

‘This and only this is the way.’—psalms 500:4

                             I

In a soft polarized light,

let a new day break

upon an imaginary kingdom:

Umueze, Umuagu, Umuijele,

something similar, anything would go.

A red-cap chief lounges

on a fallen roost of the iroko tree—

though the fallen bough

of a mango tree would do.

He chews neem chewing-stick

while flicking fingers to figure-out

deals for the day.

This is the exposition, light must fade.

                             II

An ancient drum is the first to peep,

followed by an ancient whistle,

and a soft opera sets the tone in Igbo.

An ancient village, ancient trees, ancient men,

a thatch house or a rusk-kissed zinc roof.

A quaint looking priest, white dye on

a single eye, a quill feather, an ancient calabash.

Can you read the writing crisscrossing

the walls of the thatch house?

Well, the gods are angry.

A riddle the length of a century,

an elder or chief or anyone laces

the cold morning breeze with proverbs,

a toad does not run in the daytime for nothing,

this is the falling action.

The gods are angry.

A virgin on a revenge mission,

she was murdered a long time ago

by two chiefs and one young man,

her blood cries in Amadioha’s shrine.

Two chiefs on a sacred mission in the shrine,

a séance perhaps. Amadioha needs seven

young men the height of Odysseus,

Homer’s poetry can save a blackout

where people journey to nowhere.

The gods are angry.

Seven young men to traverse

the forest with arrows, the evil forest,

this is dangerous.

Death takes one then another, goof by goof,

a lone man to come home.

The gods are angry.

Hit a gong at sunrise,

a princess for a prize,

this is the end.

Leave things this way,

this and only this is the way.

This is how to act a movie,

this is how to seal suspense,

not with a thrill but

a sigh that slants

across a familiar breeze.

              III

If and only if the era is technological,

stress it no further on spears and arrows.

You might not also be needing

naval dolphins and exploding donkeys.

This will amount to a splurge.

Just a gun that kills before being

fired, a victim that falls before a trigger

is yanked, a car that kills by screeching

to a halt and a pistol that must be propped

forward and jerked to take a shot.

A gush of blood with

the delicate hue of an emulsion

paint adds intrigue and substance.

This is the end.

This and only this is the way.


Note: This is a long satirical poem written based on my unpublished essay about the Nigerian Film Industry, Nollywood.


Lukpata Lomba Joseph is an emerging poet currently studying at the University of Port Harcourt. His work has been published in some print and online Journals including The South Florida Poetry Journal, Subsaharan Magazine, Fourxfour Poetry Journal, Jacar Press’s One and elsewhere.

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