Monday, September 21, 2015

WWNF

WWNF is ab for We Will Never Forget. If the on-going negotiations with
the Boko Haram terrorists means the Nigerian Govt. is just gonna let them
walk after all the deaths and sorrow they brought on school kids...
Justice is indeed blind.

Wanta negotiate but forgot the children you torched
I betcha talkin’ ‘bout how ta regain yo freedom,
I betcha forgot the scores of times you played God,
Tossing bombs and pumping slugs all up the north;
Wasting gobs of young dreams in the name of religion,
Now you feel ya’ll just gon’ turn around and spill yo
Guts and make demands? But justice is a loaded gun
On a hair trigger and its cartridge is full of lethal slugs.
The lives you destroyed rise to judge you n’ yo cohorts.
A million wasted dreams signed your eternal damnation.
The only pardon you truly deserve is hell’s own option.
Ya’ll aint gatto make demands why don’t you just pop off.

We will never forget how they died the death of a dog.
We will never forget the fatal aftermath of Postikum.
We will never forget that the earth sucked up their blood
Because you strewn their cadavers in the streets to rot.
We will never forget the camp where ya’ll tripped a bomb,
Because even when they was displaced it wasn’t enough
Until they was wasted and their names wiped off this world;
We will never forget the abductions and forced wedlock.
We will never forget the unborn burnt alive in the womb
Because you fools weren’t man enough to restrain your lust.
We will never forget the schools turned factory for bombs
We will never forgive nor forget until justice has run its course.

You will get what you so richly deserve.
Hear me Boko Haram: judgment is served.

Akpan



Thursday, September 17, 2015

How to Hold Off an Idea Until It's Ready


I’d compare holding off an idea to the moment just before the needle pierces the skin in a hospital ward. The recipient is tensed up for the critical impact while the hypo, clasped between the trained fingers of a nurse cuts the air as it makes its way for the disinfected spot. A unique tingle comes over that part of the body as it waits for cold steel, hungry for blood to break skin and introduce its fluid into the bloodstream.

There comes a time when you know you are going to create something: a poem, a song, a story or even a project as tasking as a novel. I’m talking about those times when the idea presents itself to the mind as an impossible-to-make-out image, a piece of incomplete thought and you can’t readily settle on how it’s going to turn out. Here’s what you can to do to prevent yourself from ruining a great idea and end up burnt out.

Keep a Notebook or Sheet of Paper
Scribble bits and pieces of thoughts and phrases which you think have a connection with the idea at hand. You never know which of these nuggets will spark a flame and maybe become the first line of your story/poem. Jot down entire lines and sentences, from your readings if they so much as inspire creative thinking. Sometimes, a snippet from a billboard ad could be the seedbed for your idea.

Keep an Open Mind
Vague as this tip sounds; it is a really important step in cleaning up your mind and ridding it of leftovers from past write-ups. You can actually choke on a good idea while trying to force the pattern of a previous creation on it. Allow the idea free rein for as long as is required for it to ripen.

Play With the Idea
Don’t start the actual writing, yet. But do write it in your mind. Try a free association of the most persistent phrases—those expressions that keep recurring in flashes and seem to be the handle of the overall idea. By doing this you keep from trying to force it and also, get a better grip of the frame of the entire composition, at the same time. Richard Wilbur waited fourteen years while jotting down phrases before he committed his pen to paper to write his poem, The Mind-Reader.

Talk to Yourself
Do it aloud or silently. Talk around the idea; talk about its vagueness, how it squirrels away just before you can wrap your fingers around its essence. Ponder what style of writing it could turn out to be; if it is something fresh and unique or if it’s your regular thing. Brood over the theme (if you’ve figured it out), go deep and feel the weight of the inspiration which presented the idea and try to make yourself at home within it.

Take Long Walks
Here’s one surefire weapon you can use to tackle the edginess that accompanies the waiting period. Shorten the wait with walks and talks, is a saying you ought to give a try. Go on long strolls, if you can find the time and place. Take that time to tinker with the idea, turning it this way and that while you search for the key that unlocks the door and sends you reeling into the heart of your next creation.

Let the Initial Emotion Cool Off
Above all, try not to write in the heat of emotion. You stand a chance of muddling up the waters and scaring away dinner. Your emotions can totally blind you and make everything you write look awesome. A few weeks or months after your so-called spectacular write-up then you reread the work you have so wonderfully created and Ouch! *Palm over face.*
            A good fisherman knows how to tease the fish; when to cast his net; when to reel in his catch; and especially, when to hold off from upsetting the net. Now go and do likewise.

This article is actually a product of waiting. The idea popped into my mind around the month of April while I was doing NaPoWriMo but I kept putting the moment of actual writing off; kept waiting for the idea to blossom and produce fruit. I can’t tell you the thrill wasn’t worth the wait. And that’s the reason I believe that waiting is a game to the trained mind. Waiting is a writer’s game.

Keep your pens bleeding!

Akpan



Friday, September 11, 2015

Ground Zero

Courtesy: Twitter: @Patricia_Braun

I live in a time when this moment is a memory,
Where all of life enfolds you in the warmth of family
And your dreams lead you by the hand into euphory.

I live in a time where my hope is your reality;
When from within your walls busts a chorus of rejoicing,
And peals of laughter rip your kids’ throats continually.

I live in a time when every sunrise declares your peace;
When the tips of your towers slice the clouds rising still,
And nations marvel at the bounty of your beauteous bliss.

Akpan



Friday, September 4, 2015

Is Writing Poetry Intuitive?


Poetry begins in the head. The day had gone gray and I’d pretty much given up on fetching new stuff to celebrate the occasion. I was just settling into the fact that all I was going to do that day was set up a customized blog header when the line, ‘I wish you knew the man I called father’ blew in on the breath of inspiration. Details of the poem, dedicated to the memory of my father who passed on some twenty odd years ago, sorted itself out with the introduction of the phrase above.

Writing a poem can be either exciting or pretty much like cutting rock with an ax. It all depends on the angle of approach. Wordsworth took his cue from this when he said poetry “takes its origin from emotions recollected in tranquility; the emotion is contemplated till, by a species of reaction, the tranquility gradually disappears, and an emotion kindred to that which was before the subject of contemplation, is gradually produced, and does itself actually exist in the mind. In this mood successful composition gradually begins.” Underneath every good poem a carpet of refined emotions sustains the poem’s resonance, molding and loading it with deep meaning heavier than the metaphors presenting them.

Wordsworth composed the entirety of his poem, “Tintern Abbey” about 159 lines in all, in his head while taking a rather long stroll. “Not a line of it was altered,” he said. “And not any part of it written down till I reached Bristol.” How a poem begins and takes form in the mind; how the poet recognizes it for what it is and starts rubbing words together to kindle the flame; trying for consistency says a lot about the role intuition plays in its creation. When a poet tries to force a poem it often than not produces a composition which, comes off raucous to the ears like the sound broken glass makes trampled under heavy boots.

Poetry works best when it comes as a result of a free association of words in the mind, when it springs from an idea and develops through emotion that has been refined in the heat of tranquility. When I wrote the poem about my father, I’d had years to mourn his passing—the emotions within had blossomed from pure grief and outright bitterness to one of clear perception. And when the muses whispered those lines to my heart, the tranquility had traded places for recollected emotion. I knew what I was writing about like I knew my own heart.

Magic plays a prominent role in the writing of a poem. It is impossible to create one without help from the muses. Ask anyone in the know and they will tell you that, “Poets who have written successfully have done so largely through intuition. Poets often do this without being able to explain how, just as readers may respond to such rhythms without knowing technically, why.” A quote from Robert Wallace’s ‘Writing Poems’ which still rings true to this very day.

Keep your pens bleeding.

Akpan



Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Tightrope


For the Chibok Girls

Here I sit in my room alone but alone,
Tossed in mixed-up emotion’s throes,
Dying to live where your pain lives;
Breathless in anticipation of the impact
I want to hurt your hurt bring you release,
Trap the sunshine in a cup revamp your spark.

Tho I can’t read the scars on the skin of your heart
I’ll give anything for five minutes to play your part.
I wish I could trade an exhale for a million sighs;
Heave the tug of your burden shoulder high
Until I hear myself scream, ‘please, no more!’
Yet this much is true, no one can erase your worth.

Akpan