I was born in Calabar, Nigeria and lived, among other places, in Egypt and England before settling near Boulder, Colorado with my wife and four children. I'm a computer engineer by trade, but poetry is my passion. My chapbook, Ndewo, Colorado is a Colorado Book Award Winner. In my spare time I snowboard, coach and play soccer, and train in American Kenpo. I am also an editor at Kin Poetry Journal.
Notes: garri–West African mealy food, generally eaten with thick vegetable soup. Tasse–French: teacup.
I've had it with this portioning;
I never get the leopard's share.
You serve me this thumb of garri,
Okon enough to break his chair.
As for the soup, the same trespass:
He has the pot, I've got this tasse.
Oh mercy, not another bite!
Please allow me let my spoon drop.
Carping was a mistake, I didn't
Think you'd make me and Okon swap.
My shrinky eyes have me accursed.
Forgive me, or you'll watch me burst.
The wheat field slopes of Europe spread like lifetimes and empires
But they give the eye a nasty itch, which wouldn't suit the buyers;
So latitudes of flatbreads cross up longitude baguettes–
Expiry date assurance butters toast burned of regrets.
Fanning greens of canopy bring luxury to stew:
Malaria's a pain, and so's the bush militia crew;
A salad in the basket's worth two tales of paradise:
Beets to onions all at once leave time to shop for spice.
Pigeons above the buffalo, a layer cake of meat
As long as you've no pressing need for church or frontier street;
Besides, there's more fine art in pretty-palette cubes of flesh–
What gallery'd permit the scent of livestock fully fresh?
The jellied eye of fish is fixed on mystic orient–
The wrong shell's share at mealtime sees your humors badly bent;
Tradition picked and science bred, sea nibbles boxed in rice–
The shopper's reassurance is the dribbling bed of ice.
New fruit bursts from every drop of water near the Plate,
But death from microbe, dart or fang's the likely punter's fate;
A slacker's opulence calls out from pyramids of fruit–
Taste is made by managers—exotic deals to suit.
A wide world sprawls outside, most parts with foodstuffs near at hand,
But hunt and harvest bear a rather antiquated brand;
So here you find in twenty feet what nature makes in miles,
And once you're done with nature, do proceed into the aisles.
-First appeared in Fiera Lingue
©2015 Uche Ogbuji