30, a collection of poems by Jaachi Anyatonwu banner


“welele mama ahu
welele mama ahu”

a South African acapella crew moans in a cave
in the desert place of ‘Whenshire”

“welele mama ahu
welele mama ahu”

their voice echo like melancholy notes
from the rusty end of broken vuvuzela

“welele mama ahu
welele mama ahu”

a voice crawls out of the sweet cacophony
and whispers loudly:
“one day, you’ll hear the future in the voice of the present.
I hope you’re not too preoccupied to listen
when she plays the flute of nostalgia
and sings you the tales of transition”

“welele mama ahu
welele mama ahu”

another voice interrupts the first
male, husky, baritone, hasty:
“you’d see better from good.
are you blind to truth?
now dance whenever you hear the flute
remind you of where you used to be
and where you are now”

“welele mama ahu
welele mama ahu”

the first voice prevails
this time it pierces through clouds
and roars like the voice of many thunders.
it then mellows
like the strings of an old Cello
tickled by shivering fingers
it whispered:

“welele mama ahu
welele mama ahu”

soon, you’d know what’s best.
why not trust your instincts.
don’t be too nice that you’d consistently hurt yourself to please another
as to dance their dance and play their part
leaving your vineyard untended”

“welele mama ahu”
the voice fades into an acapella

“welele mama ahu”
the acapella fades into silence

“welele mama ahu”
silence fades into you

“welele mama ahu”
you fade into yourself

“welele mama ahu”
you find you

“welele mama ahu”
you know you


Inspired by Ashele Grace Omolola

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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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