The Works of Oritsegbemi Emmanuel Jakpa

Oritsegbemi Emmanuel Jakpa lives in Ireland. His poetry has been published in a number of online and print journals and an Irish-Canadian anthology. He is a Yeats's Pierce Loughran Scholar.

All Poems © Oritsegbemi Emmanuel Jakpa


In this drowsy dawn

the forest begins to rouse and waken,

gently bidding her kindred

that the new day has come,

kindling forest jazz

and chants of river frogs.

And on green obeche’s tops,

canaries splashing

into the air like firewords,

as the first ray of the sun

tenderly vanishing the dew of the

awaiting horizon.

Wind propagating the scent of swamps.

Under the Guava, a fowl is shifting leaves.

Rain at Waterford

Rinsing the road, rain hissing

like fish frying in a pan.

The leafs are all hanging

on the elms like washed shirts.

The wind is moist & cold,

its webbed fingers

comb through my hair

like tide through river weeds.

I think nature has always

been so, different people

seeing the same rain.

I close the window & turn to you

as you lie on the bed,

I whisper good night.

The River Rolls On

In this lazy coolness of dawn

she comes and sits on the gedo

by the riverbank of Ethiope,

watches spokes of sunrays prickling

on the sky floor as birds

arrows through the air,

Water on palms of grasses

pours on her feet.

Rivers frogs reel forest hip-hops

gently over the clear silence.

The river rolls on.

Under the trees, leafs weave a dance,

falling. A lizard darts out,

snatches a puny insect,

backs into its leafs huts.

On the hill cresting from the meadow,

green usurps, a painter is sketching

a woman tanned-with-despair,

whose joy is like the flickerings

of a candle flame under the wind.

The river rolls on.

Two women trek on the sidewalk

of Ajago road, with calabash on their heads,

talking among themselves,

half-laughing, half-listening,

talking all the time down the road.

In the market people are buying and selling,

talking about distant lands

where snow falls. They are talking

of the coming of strange songs

and new ways

The river rolls on.