When I said nothing happened
I lied to you.
It happens, it happens every day,
on bridges, in open spaces.
Because I yielded to love
I walk, for some an

Civilian and Soldier

My apparition rose from the fall of lead,
Declared, ‘I am a civilian.’ It only served
To aggravate your fright. For how could I
Have risen, a being of this

Yaa, the Adowa dancer

The tune of Adowa
Drives Yaa to frenzy,
Her legs alternate–
they close,
they cross,
they open,
they part.
Oh, what a dancer,
The dancer of Adowa.
Her trunk goes–<br

The Female of the Species

When the Himalayan peasant meets the he-bear in his pride,
He shouts to scare the monster who will often turn aside.
But the she-bear thus accosted rends the peasant tooth

A Song

Heigho for a glass, heigho for a lass,
A drink and a kiss, I leave you;
Heigho for a friend that sticks till the end —
Good-bye, my lass, don’t

Upside-down cake

I am going to make
An upside-down cake.
I know I’ll need some flour,
But I’m going to wait
At least half an hour
Before I begin to bake.

I’ll need

A Valentine

For her this rhyme is penned, whose luminous eyes,
Brightly expressive as the twins of Leda,
Shall find her own sweet name, that, nestling lies
Upon the page, enwrapped from


The black one is squatting-the red one is licking
his bottom.
(Cooking-pot and fire)

Two tiny birds jump over two hundred trees.

The mourner has stopped weeping.
The pitying friend is

Kambili the Hunter

Kambili the hunter spoke out,
“My Father, Kanji, he said: “Yes?” the reply.
“Tell the people of the smiths,
To make some young boy’s arrows,
And, to strike a young

The Wedding of Kambili and Kumba

Ah! Namu-sayers!
At this time, kolas had been sent out for a wife for Kambili.
And what was Kambili’s first wife’s name?
Her name was said, Kumba.
They tied up

To Tea or Not to Tea

Two Ants climbed into the cup.
Who is going to sip first? That’s a prenup

A cup filled tea in a cup leftover
Mosquitoes are eyeing, staying hover.

Sipped by a human,

To Die Before One Wakes Must be Glad

to die before one
must be glad
(to the same extent
that it is also

a slipping away
in glee
unobserved and
in the wide—

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