30, a collection of poems by Jaachi Anyatonwu banner


“there are many fishes in the river”, grandpa hummed.

just yesterday, ese left my outstretched arms,
hanging in the air, like a rag hanging out to dry

the river was as long as Nile, grandpa loved fishing,
he grabbed a hook knotted the line,
dropped the sinker, bait strapped to the hook,
grandpa hummed, “there are many fishes in the river…”

I told him, the tragic tale, of how ese made her hair into a ponytail,

I told him the sun was going down, when ese, took my love to town

grandpa hummed
“there are many fishes in the river,
son, go fish on the other side”

his countenance, emotionless, a wry smile 

played hide and seek, on the corner of his lips

but who wants date a fish?
ese was gold, a gem, my treasure chest of everything bright and beautiful

sun sets on her eyes and rises on her lips
stars twinkle in her voices and music is native to her kiss,

I do not understand why mortal me would dine with a fish
when ese, the goddess of enthral bliss
was my only candle wish

“I fished here”
Grandpa’s husky croaky paused my reverie:
“on this side of the Nile fishes weighed in gold,
scales more beautiful than corals in blue seas, we were told.
Hook, line, sinker, I dropped deeper, 
I fished, too. 

I got gold, a gem too, a treasure chest that stinks too”

Grandpa signed:
“she slipped before my eyes, like catfish from the knife…
undeterred, son, I fished, again.
Your selfish self would with me agree, 
that all that mattered was what you feel.
Son, this river is home of shrimp and whale,
crab and ell, seal and mackerel,
don’t let the flying dolphin distract you
from sinking deep your bait-laden hook.
ese is come, ese is gone, ‘there are many fishes in the river’, son”

I am not a fisherman, oh grandpa of mine;

fishes in the river, who wants to marry one?

let me be a lion, and run jungles for her,
ese might be long gone,
but the tale’s still in scene one.

mallet and dagger, two-edged cutlass.
variety of skulls still litter the dusty floor.

[this poem is still under construction]

#Pengician #SSA

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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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