Nwuguru Chidiebere Sullivan’s poem ‘The Anatomy of Boys’ spoke to so many, and it is for this reason that this ‘fascinating’ ‘beautiful’ and ‘inspiring’ poem is the IS&T Pick of the month for September 2020. Huge congratulations to him!
Nwuguru is a budding writer from the Ebonyi State of Nigeria. He writes autobiographically about life, the boy-child, and about multiple aspects of the ebbing African culture. He is a penultimate Medical Laboratory Science student with lots of unpublished works to his credit. His works have been published at Quills, Ace World, Trouvaille Review, Ducor Review, The Lake, LiteLitOne, Inverse Journal, The SprinNG, Journal Nine, e.t.c. and he has also contributed to several anthologies.
He was the winner of the 2018 FUNAI Crew Literary Contest.
After careful thought, and with Nwuguru’s blessing – he asked that it be put towards a charitable cause of our choice – we donated his £30 ‘prize’ to the Nigerian Diasporans Against Sars fundraiser.
The Anatomy of Boys
Boys are cold birds
Boys are carrying broken wings
Boys are burning oceans
Boys are drizzling ashes
Boys are not the thorny rose
Boys are petals of hibiscus
Boys are rainbow
Boys are not cloaks for a deluge
Boys are glass prisms
Boys are bends stifling grief
Boys are untapped palm trees
Boys are cask for unharvested tears
Boys are cameras
Boys are libraries of cracks
Boys are dustbin
Boys are cavity for filthy blames
Boys are suns
Boys are shining in isolation without stars.
Voters’ comments included:
I could feel every word, every line and every stanza of the poem, as it had an usual way of describing me
I love the poem’s construction, how it reminds me of what it means to be male— and what it should never mean.
lots of surprising images
I liked the vigour of it 🙂
It talks about the boy child and I can relate so well with every line of the poem.
The poem appeals to me
The anatomy of boys is a great metaphor depicting the future.
The lyrics of the poem are so deep but have captivating meaning which is very true.
I love the flow of the poem.
The poet was so explicit in his writing. I love the idea.
I love the simplicity of the poem and the way it carries the plight of the boy-child with scintillating metaphors
Simple, touching and reflective
Honestly his poem have really impact positive life unto me
His poem seems to be the best among all. Telling us the hiding things we don’t understand
Gives us an insight of the thought
He is passionate about what he does
THE REST OF THE SEPTEMBER 2020 SHORTLIST
Goethals Football field, Kurseong by Sekhar Banerjee
I watch a lonesome Tibetan horse grazing
on the Goethals football field ; solitary clouds chew
sadness all morning here, as if, it is their staple food
The starving fog licks the whole body of the horse
like a swarm of blue fleas on a wound
Down the slope, rows of block- printed
white flags ponder over the psychology of the clouds,
and the flagpoles
offer Cartesian x-axis to the y-axis of the ground
to measure the winter sky’s elevation
Just before noon,
someone regularly yells at the sun here
for no reason
In the evening, I see a lonely human figure going
down the valley with the Tibetan horse with blue fog
In a strange language they converse
Sekhar Banerjee is a bilingual writer. He has four collections of poems and a monograph on an Indo-Nepal border tribe to his credit. He lives in Kolkata, India.
My unromantic poem for this unromantic time as the world is asleep like a spiral shell or like the maddening stairs by Ilhem Issaoui
It takes time and effort to unfurl
It happens naturally though, for most,
Through nature’s imperative
Once we are old, though, we become acquainted with
How things shall happen
But we disdain repetitions
We rob a middle-aged man from his pseudosagacity
We teach ourselves the language of negation
Because unfurling never happened naturally
We bury the imperative’s hand with a heart divided
Between what it wants and what it mustn’t
And we walk like a carcass
A cephalopod with a shell to corroborate the theory
That all primitive cephalopods had shells, spiral ones
Like the maddening stairs
Ilhem Issaoui is a Tunisian researcher, poet, and translator. She has been published in many countries including the US, the UK, Canada, and India in print and online. She is in the process of publishing her second poetry collection.
In a Home by Josephine Lay
When he sits in his chair by the window
my father’s head shines in the sun
like a hard-boiled egg.
There’s even a dip in his skull
where someone’s put a spoon
to open his cranium.
This was the surgeon who broke through
to the yolk
scooped out the soft mass
of the tumour.
When he sits in his chair by the window
my father’s head droops to his chest
as he snores after lunch
while he waits for me to visit.
When I arrive I see his pale pate through
glass, fine hairs knotted
into a silver halo.
I walk towards him, take his hand
from beneath an ill-fitting cardigan
that doesn’t belong to him,
and greet him with a kiss.
He raises his head,
looks at the clock on the wall,
lances me with a glance
as sharp as a spear,
and smiling, says
‘You’re eight minutes late.’
Josephine Lay is a published poet and writer; her most recent collection is Unravelling 2019. She is editor for Black Eyes Publishing UK and heads the Gloucestershire Poetry Society. She also hosts the monthly poetry event ‘Squawkers’ in Cheltenham.
Your body is small by DS Maolalai
as a folded receipt
in a pocket
and he clings to it
in a downy nightgown.
he is wrapping you
in silk so smooth
you can forget
his rutting crotch
like a hog come to water. you
you look at the ceiling
and watch lines going over,
like a web in a crack.
spit dribbles on your neck
and he gets at your shoulder with his tongue
and your leg with his fingers
and you don’t like it
but are too
polite to say.
when he falls asleep
you get up quietly
and carefully piss without flushing.
you wash your small hands
and your teeth.
your blue glass feet
in blue patterns
on the tile.
DS Maolalai has been nominated four 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)
Folly by K.S. Moore
A jagged edge of sunset gold
cuts the hillside.
Was it folly to build
this land a tower,
that it might fold
its heavenly green
over and over,
a monocle of window
Remember the night
we tested its magic,
walked in a snowflake
chain of bodies,
getting too close?
Remember the shape
of a witch’s shadow,
hat like a dagger,
arms rising to curse
our wicked intrusion,
her figure exposed
K. S. Moore’s poetry has recently appeared in Atlanta Review, Mookychick, The Honest Ulsterman, Fly Press Magazine, Boyne Berries and The Stinging Fly. Work is upcoming in The Stony Thursday Book, Verity La and with Broken Sleep Books. Blog: http://ksmoore.com/