04 August 2020

Read of the day


The accident

the sun was hot overhead
and I guess that made
the thing burst
faster; a horse

had been hit by a truck
and died on its side
in the street
on the tramline, expanding
and filling the air
quicker than you’d expect
with the smell of dead flesh
and rotflies.

all over town
people held their mouths
against the assault.
busloads of tourists
got something more than buildings to look at.
people buying clothes
had all their purchases

blood ran
but the guts,
were surprisingly clean,
spilling out
like snakes from a basket.
the coach-driver
was distraught – the harness of his coach was gone
and also his horse
and his livelihood.

I opened my nostrils
and walked home from work
inhaling the air;
a suffused stink
like rockpools
at low tide
painted with tanged blood
and scatters of sunrotten seaweed.


DS Maolalai has been nominated six times for Best of the Net and three times for the Pushcart Prize. His poetry has been released in two collections, “Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden” (Encircle Press, 2016) and “Sad Havoc Among the Birds” (Turas Press, 2019)

Blast from the past

Flower From The Tomb

Elegance of palms in gentle breeze
Grace of duikers on hind legs

Emulsion of twilight on calm beach water
Whose ripples must beat seven eyes

Water of the crescent moon
Bathing the jungle at sunset

O royal python towelled dry
Glistening too from lamplight of my soul

Always you made my lips quiver
Before a rainbow touched my heart

Between the morning and noontide of our meeting
I remained human with your incandescence

I was the rocket of all galaxies
Powered by bonfires of your heart

But this is evening; evening of ashes
Endgame of skies breaking in invisible lines

Endgame of sand dunes of scorched lilies and roses
Of the short horizon of steel, marble cycloramas

Unless you sit on angel galleries
Blights will blaze over your serene image

You were alone on my royal seat
Matchless work by nameless genius

O sealed meaning of mysteries
Speeding through the white clouds of my night

You were what is left by a sacred tomb
A resurrection with a flower behind

You from the deep of the sweetest of dreams
Daring the dragon of sunlight…


‘Flower From The Tomb’ by Chimalum Nwankwo was published in Sentinel Poetry (online) Magazine, April 2003. Professor Nwankwo is the author of Of the Deepest Shadows and the Prisons of Fire, and The Womb in the Heart and Other Poems.