Authors / Writers
An interview with KATARINA SARIC
An interview with popular poetess, translator KATARINA SARIC from Montenegro by Guna Moran
1. Good morning. I have had the opportunity to look at your impressive background, but I like to give you a chance to tell about yourself in brief.
It was when I was very young, almost a girl. But my earliest experience in that respect was with my dad, who actually considered it as unserious, and wanted for me to turn to something else, more economic and useful. As a result, I stopped writing for a long time. When I started writing again, it was like a gift. Subsequently, I wrote more than 300 poems in only two years, and today, I’m blessed to be able to finish 4 poetry books, which have been awarded and translated in more than 13 world languages.
2. Why do you write? What or who inspired you to be a poet?
I again started writing poetry as a middle-aged woman. It was an experience that broke through all my inner fears and insecurities. I liberated myself through poetry, even though I had already published two novels before that. Today I can say that poetry made me into a woman. I was inspired by others, mostly by voices of strong women, such as Marina Tsvetaeva, Sylvia Plath, but also some revolutionary poets, such as Mayakovsky and Lorka.
3. What do you do as a hobby?
The modern scene in Montenegro, is practically nonexistent. One reason for that is because we still have a strong community of male writers, as well as national communities that support traditional forms with motives from national and epic history. We also don’t really have a scene for alternative performances, because we are still a traditional patriarchal society. In the light of that, my hobbies are very serious. I’m collecting unique young women’s voices in order to present them and create a women’s solidarity community.
4. Which poem that you have written is your favourite and what are your top three poems?
Trojica, Moja Žena, 100 godina sa Aleksandrom Kolontaj (in my native language). But audiences can find them on many portals, translated.
5. Which book have you read the most in your lifetime?
It is probably “The Second Sex” by Simone de Beauvoir.
6. What are the books that you regard as all-time readable?
It is a rather personal choice, but I consider books of philosophy the most readable, because you are able to come back to them any time. Your enjoyment of them does not depend on the familiarity with a plot, because obviously they do not have plot. On the other hand, they are endlessly engaging you with other things.
7. The writers and poets you like the best.
8.If you could choose to be a character in a book, who would it be?
Childe Harold, from the poem by Lord Byron.
9. What do you get your greatest idea for writing?
My poetry is very deeply intimate but also with a very strong social engagement, because I am daily engaged in a struggle with prejudices, such as cultural differences, with lack of justice, freedom of speech, equality of voices of men and women. Most of my ideas come from engagement with social justice and politics, in the particular sens of the society I live in. Of course, part of it is a way to understand myself and place in society.
10. You have earned immense experience as a translator. Have you recently translated any book or poem? How do you determine of a piece of writing is good?
Recently I started translating from English, and that is my new project that makes me very proud, because in such way I can connect with poems from all over the world. I also established the art community Library of Babylon, which primarily focuses on e-books. Very soon, the first anthology of poetry will be available on Amazon. The final goal is, of course, to have it in printed version as well.
11. Do you think of your own translation is definitive? What about yourself?
There can be endless variations of transitions. My translation is just one of those voices, all of which are equal.
12. Do you think that the first requirement for a translator is that she or he should be a good writer in his own language?
Of course, that is the most important thing, because only a poet can feel the other poet’s soul and his/her poetry, you can not translate the poetry in a formal way, it must be in the spirit of the native translator’s language.
13. Easy or hard, what have been the poems you have most enjoyed translating?
Poetry of strong women’s voices, which I have been discovering on the Internet, especially from Latin America and Asia.
14. What are your greatest accomplishment as a translator?
15. What have your achievement been to date ?
16. Are you happy as a poet or translator? Why?
These are two very different things. Both give me pleasure in their own way. Translation allows for this connection with other creators that in writing my own poetry does not really take the front place. In that sense, they are like two creative cycles which depend on each other.
17. What do you mean by love and how many time have you falled in love till now?
Love is suffering that we take upon us. I was truly in love probably only once in my life.
18. What have you learnt from life?
I have learned that I never stop learning. There is always a surprise at the other end of the curve.
19. What quality do you most admire in a man?
20. What’s is your next step?
I will continue to write and act as a freelancer, for sure, especially because of all those prejudices in my country, I was telling you about, as long it is necessary for women’s voices to continue the struggle to become equal to the voices of men.
21. What advice would you give to aspiring poets?
Poetry is passion and a way of life. It is not a style of living, insofar as it cannot provide you with a livelihood. If you understand all of this and still keep it doing, you don’t need my advice.
Thank you very much for giving us your valuable time and May God bless you and wish to see you again. Thank you.
The Peacock (One-Act Play)
Kolawole Mathew Ogundipe
Setting: in a private primary mission school in one village called Masote in a Yoruba speaking/dwelling state in Nigeria
Characters: Miss Folakemi (the head teacher of the school), Mr. Oshinowo, Mr. Faseunfunmi, Miss Ewuoso, Mrs. Shoneye, Mr. Ogunkola and Mrs. Oluyinka (the classroom teachers of the school), and primary one pupils.
Act One Scene One
At the school which bears the name, ‘Christlike Generations Nursery and Primary School’, and whose frontage has a locally made fence, consisting of sliced bamboo trees, sticks and rusty tattered iron net; but its buildings (one separate and two joined buildings) are well coloured. The head teacher summons an extemporaneous staff meeting.
Miss Folakemi: It is of great pleasure and happiness that we have a new teacher in our midst (introduces the new teacher to others), his name is Mr. Ogunkola. He will be taking primary five from now on.
Other teachers: (Welcome Mr. Ogunkola) Nice to have you in this great citadel of learning.
Mr. Ogunkola: Thanks so much!
Miss Folakemi: (to Mr. Ogunkola and others) Well, I want to tell you this Mr. Ogunkola, and to reiterate this same thing to other teachers as well, that this is a religious initiative (which is free of school fees payment) to the children of this village and the contiguous villages. So, there are rules that guide every teacher. Among these rules are: not requesting gift or collecting money from parents, not asking pupils to buy certain textbooks or exercise notes (as these are available for them free of charge in the school), all teachers are to involve in extra-curricular activities, and teachers are not expected to make or receive calls in the school environment. Also, teachers are expected to always write their lesson notes.
Other teachers: (in astonishment) Making/receiving calls in the school environment OR during the classroom activities?
Miss Folakemi: Both, in the school environment and during the classroom activities: from morning till the closing, no one is expected to make or receive calls. It’s absolutely forbidden.
Mr. Faseunfunmi: But is this among the teachers’ code of conducts because I’ve never heard of this before?
Miss Folakemi: Yes, it is.
Mr. Oshinowo: What if one has an urgent call during the school hours?
Miss Folakemi: Not permitted, law will always be law.
Mr. Faseunfunmi: (to Miss Folakemi) Please can you make the issue of don’t do this, don’t do that, these and those more real by bringing a documented paper of them all, so that all teachers will be reading them on paper; rather than reading them in your speech every time. But as for me, making/receiving calls in school is inevitable to teachers in as much as it is not during the classroom activities.
Miss Folakemi: This is really a rule that all the teachers must not flout anyway.
Mrs. Shoneye and Miss Folakemi are having argument in primary two.
Miss Folakemi: Your lesson note is not well written; I got to your class and noticed, again, that you are not using appropriate instructional materials for the explanation of the topic.
Mrs. Shoneye: (with retort) What or which instructional material could I use that will be appropriate to teach the topic ‘noun’ apart from the buildings around the school, tables, chairs, desks, pupils, villages around us and others?
Miss Folakemi: (stammering) Eehm eehm you can, as well, draw things on a paper and show it to them. You know, when you use variety of things to elucidate the topic being taught, pupils understand you better.
Mrs. Shoneye: Under how many minutes of teaching do I want to be using all these things you mentioned? Is it within the forty minutes allotted for a subject?
Miss Folakemi: Yes of course, as a teacher, you must know how to manage time. You can come to my own class, primary one, and observe me when I am teaching my pupils. I must tell you, God do take control; my pupils do grasp the topics I do teach them with ease. This results from proper management of time and use of appropriate instructional materials.
Mrs. Shoneye: I don’t know what to use again to present the topic to them oo.
Miss Folakemi: You must look for pictures to buttress these ones you are using.
Mrs. Shoneye: (angrily) Why do you always counteract me Miss Folakemi? Why is it that you always condemn my effort in teaching these pupils Miss Folakemi? Why! Why! Why! Miss Folakemi? I am fed up, I am fed uuuuup.
Miss Folakemi: (calling Mr. Oshinowo) Mr. Oshinowo, come please.
Mr. Oshinowo: (Enters primary two) you called me, Miss Folakemi?
Miss Folakemi: Yes yes, see o, I am trying to explain to her, how effectively she can teach the topic; but you see, she didn’t want to listen to me.
Mrs. Shoneye: (to Mr. Oshinowo) I am teaching nouns, meaning and examples of nouns, see books, pen, handset, chairs, ceiling fan and so on I used as instructional materials, yet Miss Folakemi said that they were not enough.
Mr. Oshinowo: (to Miss Folakemi in a low voice) I think these are enough for the topic.
Miss Folakemi: No! No! No! Don’t tell me that, Mr. Oshinowo.
Mr. Oshinowo: But
Miss Folakemi: (Interrupted angrily) But what? I don’t like your judgement on this issue. You can’t even reason with me: you don’t see it the way I do, and the way it should be.
Pandemonium in the class before light fades.
Miss Folakemi is making a call behind Miss Ewuoso’s classroom.
Miss Folakemi: Hello, hello, eehn, help me to buy three sachets. I will refund the money as soon as I arrive…
Miss Ewuoso: (Hearing Miss Folakemi’s voice while making the call and deliberately went out) I hope there is no problem Oga?
Miss Folakemi: (shakes her body as a result of the unexpected visit of Miss Ewuoso at the place) No no aaaactually it’s an official call.
Miss Ewuoso: Official call?
Miss Folakemi: Yes.
Miss Ewuoso: Okay, I am going back to my class (soliloquising as she is going) offiiicial, hum, official indeed. You must not make calls or receive calls in the school. So, the law that is made for the sheep is not meant for the shepherd? The law that is made for the cattle is not applied to Fulani?
Miss Folakemi goes back to her class after the call, trying to open an old lesson note used by a former class teacher (as she does not have lesson note written by her), and to start teaching her pupils while Mr. Faseunfunmi drags his tallest body and height among other teachers to her class to collect white board marker.
Mr. Faseunfunmi: (Hurriedly walks into primary one) Miss Folakemi
Miss Folakemi: (Quickly hides the lesson note and answers with a high pitch of voice) Yes yes.
Mr. Faseunfunmi 🙁 Observes her action) I need marker.
Miss Folakemi: Okay, this is it.
Mr. Faseunfunmi: (Mr. Faseunfunmi collects the marker and moves his body away from her class).
The staff are having meeting with a new female teacher amidst them who replaces Mrs. Shoneye in primary two after her resignation.
Miss Folakemi: (to Mrs. Oluyinka, the new teacher) you are welcome to this school.
Mrs. Oluyinka: Yes ma.
Miss Folakemi: Actually, today biweekly meeting will be basically focused on the need to be using instructional materials, and the use of textbooks during the explanation of the topic being delivered to pupils is also compulsory.
Mr. Oshinowo: It’s a good idea. But it’s not all the topics or lessons that need textbooks for their explanations, except in a situation whereby there is a picture, relating to the topic which can be shown to pupils. To discuss points that have been written on the board, I think, it is not necessary.
Miss Folakemi: No, that’s not true.
Mr. Oshinowo: You see, Miss Folakemi, why I said this is that textbooks at times distract the pupils’ attention while teacher’s explanation is going on; most of them do open from one page to another page, looking at the pictures and diagrams that are not related to the topic they are learning.
Miss Folakemi: ALL, I repeat ‘ALL’ topics need textbooks while explaining. You see, Mr. Oshinowo, saying that shows a sense of being mediocre in one’s field. It’s a sign of one having shallow knowledge. If I offended you, Mr. Oshinowo for the above statements, pardon me. I have to say the truth anyway.
Mr. Oshinowo: No problem my boss.
Miss Folakemi: Yea, thank you for your understanding of what I said.
Mr. Faseunfunmi: On instructional materials, as you often accuse us, I think each and every teacher is using instructional materials for the explanations in the classroom now.
Miss Folakemi: But they are not enough.
Mr. Faseunfunmi: How do you mean?
Miss Folakemi: Thanks for that intelligent question. Mr. Oshinowo last week for instance, he was teaching ‘The Role of the Holy Spirit in our Lives’ in Christian Religious Studies. He only used the picture of the Holy Spirit when He descended upon the disciples of Jesus Christ, and pupils in the class as instructional materials.
Mr Oshinowo: (Cuts into the discussion) If I may ask, what else could I use besides those that I used?
Miss Folakemi: (Remains silent for up to one minute) Eehm, actually you are a teacher, you suppose to know what you should use in addition to the ones already used.
Mr Oshinowo: But I have used the ones I think are good for the topic. Now that you complained, you are in the right position to mention the ones that are ‘appropriate’ as you used to say.
Miss Folakemi: Well, you can use anything that will make the lesson more interesting to pupils. For example, I wanted to teach my pupils ‘Harmful Farm Insects’ in Agricultural Science yesterday, I brought in cockroach to explain the topic.
Mr. Faseunfunmi: Cockroach?
Mrs. Oluyinka: Cockroach! How could that be possible ma?
Mr. Ogunkola: Does cockroach live on the farm or in the house/toilet? Please Oga, try to get it right o. We are not talking about ‘Harmful Domestic Insects or Toilet Insects’ that destroy things at home or patronise the toilet, but we are talking about ‘Harmful FARM Insects’ which destroy farmers’ plants/farm produce.
All the teachers burst into long lasting laughter and light fades.
At a particular period of time when the school changed from classroom teaching to subject teaching (rotating teaching) due to an emergence of a pestilence after the period of Ebola’s living, and the government declaration of morning and afternoon classes. Mr. Ogunkola is in primary one teaching letters of alphabet in English language, pairing the letters with their corresponding figures/numbers for pupils’ easy memorisation and comprehension.
Mr. Ogunkola: (Pointing at the letters with the numbers on the board) A 1 B 2 C 3 D 4 E 5…
Pupils: (Read after him).
Mr. Ogunkola: (Starts calling pupils, pointing to letters and asking questions) Peter, what is this?
Peter: Z 26
Mr. Ogunkola: excellent! What is this, Biodun?
Biodun: H 8
Mr. Ogunkola: Clap for Biodun.
Other pupils: (Clap for Biodun).
Miss Folakemi: (Walks slowly to where Mr. Ogunkola is) they can’t understand this system (method) Mr. Ogunkola.
Mr. Ogunkola: But which method could I use at this level, because most of them cannot read or identify letters of alphabet, let alone writing them down.
Miss Folakemi: If you will not mind, I want to use a method to present the topic to them.
Mr. Ogunkola: Okay, no problem (going to the back of the class to learn from his boss).
Miss Folakemi: Thanks. (to pupils) Good morning pupils.
Pupils: Good morning ma.
Miss Folakemi: Today, I want to teach you letters of alphabet and I want you to listen attentively (calls two pupils, one (Lateef) represents letters A-Z whilst the other (Tunde) represents numbers 1-26; after a lot of struggle in teaching the topic, she intends to ask questions from pupils) if Lateef is M, what will be Tunde?
Pupils 🙁 They are looking at one another).
Miss Folakemi: I am talking to you, can’t you answer?
Sola: (Raises his hand).
Miss Folakemi: What is Tunde o jare?
Miss Folakemi: You are wrong.
Mr. Ogunkola: (Soliloquising) that’s good, a person that studied teaching methodology in university does not know how to teach. That is what she is trying to pass across to me. And thanks to God, she that studied public information presentation took my place and did it effectively that all the pupils understood the topic.
The Lioness’ Milk (Short Story)
Onipede Festus moses
What happened to a man or a woman who lacked good character, would s/he be loved or hated?
The time was 5 0′ clock in the morning. The muezzin was still calling prayer and the cocks in the neighbourhood had started to crow one after the other. This early morning cock crow used to wake Pa Gbádé from his slumber. Pa Gbádé had already woke up ruminating on the future of his only female child, Omolegé. Pa Gbádé still in the same dress he wore when he rushed away from farm the previous day, called on Omolegé. As he was calling her, he stretched himself, yawned and rubbed his eyes with the back of his right hand. He then looked at his wall clock which was firmly hung on his room. He felt angry. He had slept beyond the time he had wanted to wake up. He furiously stood up from bed; a knock at the door forced him to change his clothes before heading to the door.
‘Ah, dad, it’s 6 0′ clock,’ Omolegé declared.
‘Are you telling me that I woke up late?’ Pa Gbádé asked and continued, ‘you know I woke up at 5 0′ clock and started brooding over your future.’
Mrs Àgbéké, Pa Gbádé’s wife and mother to Omolegé, was partially awake. She rubbed her eyes with the back of her left hand and looked in the direction of the wall clock in the room.When she saw that it was 6:30 a.m, she sprang up and said: Where are you, Omolegé?’
This question about Omolegé whereabouts alerted Pa Gbádé and Omolegé in the sitting room. He therefore ordered Omolegé to invite her mother to join their discussions. As Mrs Àgbéké was trying to brush her teeth in the bathroom, Omolegé knocked at the bathroom’s door to notify her mother her arrival. Immediately Mrs Àgbéké finished brushing her teeth , she moved out to get the message sent to her.
‘Good morning, ma’, Omolegé greeted her mother.
‘Where have you been since?’, the mother asked.
‘I was with Pa in the sittingroom, and he instructed me to call you to join our discussions’, Omolegé replied.
As they got to the sittingroom, Pa asked Mrs Àgbéké and her daughter to sit on the same couching chair.
‘My daughter, the product of our thirty years marriage provides you. I know right from the time I got married to your mother, nobody has ever come to settle disputes for us. Though the tongue and teeth do bite each other at times, but the moment it occurs, they settle it amicably. I know by now you should have had your future husband’, Pa asked with a smiling face.
‘Yes sir’, Omolegé replied.
As Pa wanted to continue with his discussions, Mrs Àgbéké wished to talk but she was told by her husband to hold on.
Then Pa continued: ‘Omolege, if truly you have had your future husband, kindly invite him to see your parents. You know we are elderly people and we know what will be good for you. Don’t waste time. We need to see him.’
Omolegé knelt down before his father and started crying. Her mother moved closer to her and asked her why she was crying. Each time she tried to talk, her parents found it difficult to hear her. Therefore, she was given some minutes to compult herself.
‘Tell me, my daughter, why are you crying? Your father has told you the fact. Marriage is like a lotto game, only God can choose for you. You are our only daughter, and I don’t want you to suffer when you get married. Tell me what is bothering you.’, the mother encouraged her.
‘Well, pa and ma, you have been so caring. I had planned to inform you about my suitor but I had little disagreement with him’ , Omolegé explained.
‘What is the cause of the disagreement? ‘, her mother asked.
‘I have to confess. One day, he gave me an appointment to see him in his parents’ house. When I got there, I met only him. Thirty minutes after we started conversing, his mother was carrying bundle of firewood on her head coming towards where we sat under the tree. Káyòdé, fondly called Kaykay, ordered me to help his mother with the bundle of firewood on her head, but I refused to do that,’ Omolegé disclosed amidst tears flooding her cheek.
‘You can see what we are saying’, the father enthused and continued, ‘you see, life is full of challenges and the more it increases when you get married. My advice for you is to apologise him, and if possible, apologise the mother,’ her father advised before leaving for his room.
Immediately Pa left for his room, Omolegé stayed behind in the sittingroom. She remembered how she insulted her fiancé and thought of how Kaykay would react if she approached him. A week passed by, and she kept on meditating what she could do to win back her suitor.
A month after her parents had conversations with her, she set out to see Kaykay since she could not reach him on his phone number. Each time she called his phone number, the response she got was: ‘The number you are trying to reach is not available. Please, redial this number and try again.’
The following day, around 8 0′ clock in the morning, Omolegé had already ironed her clothes, plaited her hair and adorned her face with befitting make-up. On getting to Kaykay’s house, she met him and his parents sitting under a cycamore tree. She greeted them but refused to go on her knees. A boy was asked to bring her a chair. She was also given a bottle of chill zobo to refresh herself. An hour after, she knelt down to apologise both Kaykay and his mother for her misbehaviours the other day she came. Kaykay’s mother smiled and said: ‘Young lady, you are forgiven, but don’t try that next time.’
Kaykay on his part advised her to respect every personality that comes her way. Omolegé then moved closer to him and hugged him.
Before she left Kaykay’s house, she asked Kaykay when he would be visiting her parents.
‘I will think of it and get back to you on my new phone number,’ Kaykay replied.
The next day, Kaykay called her to inform her of his coming.
Few days after the heart-to-heart talk, things went on well. Kaykay as usual, called Omolegé to know about how she was feeling. All along, Kaykay called Omolegé that he would be coming to see her parents the next day. He also enquiried from her the kind of gifts to present her parents. And she suggested him to buy palmwine and schnapps.
It was a bright new day in the month of July, there was heavy rain and the hold-up was very terrible.
Yes. Igbóbì was place that people could get to within a stone’s throw. People walked and got there within thirty minutes. Furthermore, since it’s thirty minutes walk from Kaykay’s home, he had to leave home early since he had to beat the usual traffic jam to get to Omolegé’s home on time and still get some time to talk with her personally after seeing his parents.
Five minutes to alloted time, Kaykay got to Omolegé’s house.
‘Good morning, sir and ma,’ he greeted Omolegé’s parents and he prostrated.
‘You are welcome, young man. How are work and your parents?’ Pa replied.
‘They are fine’, Kaykay answered.
‘Young man, I learnt that you are planning to marry my daughter. There’s no problem but I want you to love each other so that whenever you have any altercation, it will be easier for you all to know how to settle it’, Pa remarked.
‘Thank you very much, sir’, Kaykay replied with smile.
‘Dad, thanks for your support and I promise not to disgrace you’, Omolegé replied her father.
‘Kaykay and Omolegé, the two of you should keep to your promise. Marriage is about perseverance. Do bear with each other’s lapses. By so doing you will have a successful house’, Omolegé’s mother advised them.
Few months after, Omolegé could no longer hide her mind from her mother. There had been strange changes in her body. She frequently passed urine and started vomiting every morning. This happened one day when her mother asked her to prepare breakfast. When her mother saw her vomiting, she quickly approached her.
‘Omolegé! When last did you observe your period?’, her mother asked.
‘Two months ago, ma,’ she replied her mother.
‘Omolegé! You are pregnant! Who is responsible?’, her mother asked emphatically.
‘Kaykay’, she replied quietly.
‘No problem then. You have to get your dad informed,’ her mother suggested.
Pa came back from farm one day to sharpen his cutlass. Mrs Àgbéké did not go out that day, having known about her daughter’s pregnancy, she was in haste to disclose the news of her daughter’s pregnancy.
‘Pa! We can’t be annoyed just because our child becomes two. Our daughter is a-two month pregnant,’ she disclosed.
‘Who is responsible?’, Pa asked in surprise.
‘Let us hear that from her’, the mother answered.
Mrs Àgbéké quickly summoned her daughter and she asked her daughter to tell her dad the person responsible for the pregnancy. Omolegé, who did not know what could be her father’s reaction, quietly knelt down before her father and whispered Kaykay’s name into his right ear. Pa laughed and ordered her to move to her matrimonial home.
The following day, Omolegé called Kaykay to intimate him on her father’s reactions to her pregnancy and she discussed the possibility of packing her loads to his house. Kaykay advised her that she would need to stay at her father’s house until he settled the necessary dowry. Omolegé discussed Kaykay’s response with her father and he told her to pack to his house that he did not need any dowry. Three days after, she got back to Kaykay and he sent a car to pack her loads.
After Omolegé left for her matrimonial home, things did not work well for her anymore. At times, when she was with her mother, hardly would you see her fetching water for their domestic use. Her parents pampered her to the extent that she could not wash clothes for them. One day, Kaykay had gone to farm in the morning and returned in the evening. When he arrived, he could not get him water to take his bath. He had to move to neighbouring house to beg for water. As if this was enough, all his clothes were dirty and he could not boast of wearing clean dresses. These odd behaviours of Kaykay’s wife had made people suggested that he married second wife. Kaykay could not show the real love he had for Omolegé anymore. All he could do was to give her food and denied her his marital right. It got to a point that they started quarrelling and people in the neighborhood had settled various forms of disputes between them. Omolegé refused to report her husband to her parents just because she knew that their judgement would not be in her favour. She then planned to seek her friend’s opinion.
One day, after her husband had left for farm, she visited her friend, Dàbímotidà, who she thought would be in the best position to grant her her will. When she got to her friend’s place, they shared pleasantries before they sat down. Fifteen minutes after her arrival, she narrated to her friend that her husband did not love her anymore. Her friend therefore calmed her down that they needed to see one of her babaláwos- the medicine man, in Igbóògùn. Omolegé in her merriment, stood up and thanked her friend.
The next day, they set out for the journey. They got to Igbóògùn at 2 p.m. When the babaláwo asked her to tell him what he wanted him to do after she had explained her challenges in her matrimonial home, she told him to give her ìmòjú- a love charm so that when she put it inside his food he would be able to love her more. The babaláwo then told her that he would do as she requested. He went inside his hut and picked some pieces of charcoal which he ground into powder and wrapped it in a paper. When he returned to her, he gave her the charm and instructed her to put it inside her husband’s food, and that if he ate the food, then, his love for her would have no limit. Omolegé quickly collected the charm and applied it as she was instructed. After putting the charm in her husband’s food, she expected a change but she couldn’t see any. A week passed by, the only change she got was a beating of her life when her husband returned from farm, she could neither greet nor fetch him water. This made her to return to the babaláwo the next day. When she got to babaláwo’s house, she explained what happened when she applied the charm he gave her. The babaláwo then told her to get him a lioness’ milk for another concoction. She was surprised when the babaláwo mentioned lioness’ milk. She wondered how she could get a lioness’ milk. She knew that it would be very dangerous to move closer to a lioness let alone talk of extracting her milk. The babaláwo told her to get the milk by all means if truly she wanted to be loved by her husband.
Thought of how to get the lioness’ milk kept on ringing in Omolegé’s mind. Hardly a day passed by that she would not think of the possibility of getting the lioness’ milk. The following day, she left home with two small bowls – one full of àkàrà- beans cake and the empty one. When she got to the thick forest, where lions and lionesses live, around 6 0′ clock in the morning. She got to a place where a nursing lioness was breastfeeding her cubs. She started throwing àkàrà to the lioness and moved gently towards her. Each time she threw the àkàrà, she noticed that her presence was welcomed. She tried throwing these àkàrà for good seven days. On the seventh day, she quietly moved closer to the lioness and extracted some milk. Immediately she finished extracting the milk, she headed to the babaláwo’s house. When she got there, the babaláwo laughed and said: ‘Young lady! The first time you came here. I did not give you any charm. I picked some pieces of charcoal and ground them to powder. This is the remaining one. You see, for you to have succeeded in getting the lioness’ milk, it took you some times. You endured and persevered the pains in the forest. Therefore, what you need now is patience, perseverance and endurance. Go back to your husband and demonstrate those features that fetched you the lioness’ milk’
‘Baba, are there any other things that I can do?’ she asked the babaláwo.
‘Nothing else. But whenever your husband returns from farm, quickly go out to welcome him, get him water for bathing and wash his clothes’, the babaláwo added.
When Omolegé got home, she did what the babaláwo told her and her husband then loved her more than before. She later realised that she was the cause of the calamity befalling her matrimonial home.
‘It takes patience for one to extract lioness’ milk’, she affirmed.
Lousy life of Tomaszek (Flash Fiction)
Christopher T. Dabrowski
The creator attached the head of Tomaszek to his body and bedecked with an absurd cap.
Well the head and body when there are no legs? But the creator thought about it – he attached them.
When they were sitting him down, Tomaszek felt as a passive puppet. He resided in stillness watching all this confusion – as always.
A building of social uselessness was built. Everything was inside but could not use it. Tomaszek became an inhabitant of an empty shell. Anyway, they will soon pull it down. They will destroy also him – the creator has no mercy.
A sadist will pull his legs. He will tear off his head. And then will revive attaching it to another body.
He will give a new name…
It is hard to be a man of Lego.
AN APPEAL FROM DIVINE HEART
I offer you generosity
I offer you integrity
I offer you humanity
In everyone let me see divine beauty
Sweet soul feels your presence
It gives me immense essence
I enjoy his eternity
I offer you universality
I offer you creativity
Let me go hand in hand
For Peace and prosperity
Salute from heart for such true beauty
in the soft night
dew drops gather
engulfing the pain, frustration
of not forming, not making, not having
tiny pearl dews that form
in the cool of night
the making, forming,
in the early morning light
as the sun shines brighter
hanging on for life
unwilling to let go
begin to melt and drip down
on the buds, leaves, stems
the tiny plants below
yearning for a sip of the nectar
thirsty for the pearls
waiting with bated breath
the floodgates of fate
that eventually must come
the dewdrops roll down
quickening its pace
onto the grass waiting. quivering
THE NEW GARDEN
O come and see the new garden
A season of fresh fiery flowers in bloom
Blossoming in lines aflame in the night
Fed by bodies in a steady stream
Watered by running river of tears
Stoked by the oxygen of the air
You can hear the wailing lullaby
Wafting up with the smoke into the sky.
Oh, won’t you come out once
And see the new garden?
The sight will forever stay behind your eyes
The fragrance will ever be steeped in your skin
The memory will be etched in your brain
Rest assured you will always remember …
The gardener stands
Behind his back
His eyes staring
Off into the distance
What to grow
Maybe he should dig
To sow in it
The other variety.
I Don’t Understand Politics
l don’t understand politics of the day,
l don’t know what the politicians say.
What l know is their dirty mind ,
Which l have no difficulty to find,
In their artificial appearance and false speech,
Which amongst commons dig a deep racial ditch.
Do they really harbour deep love for the masses?
Do they follow rules and regulations their state passes?
My brain doesn’t wander in the air to find an answer,
As l know them to be nothing but each a trickster.
They pretend to love the humble only to gain power,
By promising a heap of wealth and happiness’ shower.
They administer rules and regulations for all,
But they prove to be nothing but mere doll,
As they never try to know of their own moral fall.
Do the politicians fall out amongst themselves?
As we do so often amongst ourselves.
No,they hurl abuses against each other in fields,
Privately do they share secret talks and meals.
They don’t fight physically like public in a bar,
They are engaged in the intellectual war,
As how the public can be conquered.
I don’t understand politics of the day,
What l would like to love and say,
Is that we,the humans,should have only one politics,
And that is of as how we can stand with stick,
Beside of those whose heart trembles and is sick.
Great poet, writer, playwright, social, reformer, painter Rabindranath Tagore,
You are that person whom we all adore,
Popularly known as the “Bard of Bengal,”
You are an inspiration for all.
For Gitanjali he got the Nobel Prize,
For freedom he made many tries.
He reshaped music and Bengali literature,
And was sharply inclined to our culture.
He composed National Anthem for India and Bangladesh,
Many of his stories got published in the magazine ‘Sandesh’.
He founded Visva Bharati University,
His writings are full of diversity.
Today on the day of his birthday
Let’s cherish his works and fight,
Which brought our Country from darkness towards light.