30, a collection of poems by Jaachi Anyatonwu banner

he sat alone, on a heap of garbage –
age stricken: that’s one
hunger bitten: that’s two
sun burnt: that’s three
fate humoured: that’s four

for a moment, wished i to take him home
treat him like he’s my own
clothe him in my father’s robe
and all night, we’ll hum “you’re not alone”

but reality says he’s alone

i oft would wonder,
how does it feel to be alone?
just like a hen does when hawk hunts her chicks?
just like a widow does when her husband is lowered into earth’s cold arms?
just like a lone wolf howls at the moon?
just like a heart in love which is unrequited?

how does it feel to fail?
just like a baby taking his first steps stumbles over?
just like this hungry beggar under the scorching sun?
just like a lame girl unable to run?

how does it feel to be unheard?
just like the muted groaning of a raped girl?
just like the unheard cry of Sharibu’s Leah?
just like the desperate prayers of the ethiopian air crash victims?
just like the ignored beggar down the street?

i fell in love with his smiles
cheerfully, though blind –
and ignored by every passersby-
he sings, and asks for alms

this is how it feels to be positive

just like the same hen which lays twelve more eggs.
just like the mourning widow who died in her sleep.
just like the lone wolf who found a mate.
just like the unrequited love that would ne’er hate.

just like the baby who runs and laughs carefree.
just like the hungry beggar who’s now filled.
just like the lame girl who got a lift.

just like the abused who got justice.
just like the Leah clings to her faith.
just like the dead rest in peace.
just like the beggar who, with a happy face, mocks his fate.

dear stranger i met today,

just like a baby eagle learns to fly,
may ugly circumstances ne’er hold you down.

just like the drops of rain after drought,
may you experience the farmer’s joy.

just like the heartbroken learns to love
may…may you find joy.


Jaachi Anyatonwu
Jaachi Anyatonwu is a poet, editor, and publisher living in the suburbs of Aba. He is the author of numerous poetry chapbooks and collections, and the Editor-In-Chief of Poemify Publishers Inc. Jaachi is passionate about discovering new voices and mentoring emerging poets. He is also a fierce advocate for the boy child and sexually molested.

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