“Waters in a Broken Pot” by James Onyebụchi Nnaji

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Waters in a Broken Pot

My only pot broke on the way to the stream And smashed smithereens of hope Seeping crumbled dreams Through the smokescreen Of the overwhelming deluge

That came after the thunder.

Wistful memories flared in the dark Wisps of its smoke rose upwards above the skyline Crumpling up the surging bodies of the duck pond

Once sopped wet with mosses and ferns.

Hereabouts, it thunders again And I cannot hide from its claps Sprinkling beads of gooseflesh

Dazzling on every pore.

In my earshot, cock crowed at noon My fears strained in its echoes. Spider’s webs were woven in my hearing Because night fell during the day

Suffused with mists of deep sorrows.

A world staved in my heart World of seers among the soft-green hills. Trickle of tears, hot and unsavory Spluttered on the freckled leaves And the birds and their nestlings Stampeded into the womb of the forest

At the fall of the Iroko.

The pot of water Slipped from my head and crumbled In my twilight dream, frail and elusive Its fountain lingering in my mind.

James Onyebụchi Nnaji studied English in the University of Nigeria at Nsukka, where he also served as the Editor of The Muse: A Journal of English and Literary Studies, Number 39. His writings have appeared in Drumtide Magazine (USA), African Crayons Magazine, The Curlew Magazine (Wales), Ògèlè: An Anthology of Creative Literature Vol.2 and elsewhere. He has been receiving recognition for his poetry in contests since 2009; most recently, as 2019 joint third prize winner, Poetry Matters Project Literary Prize (Augusta, Georgia, USA). He lives in Enugu, Nigeria.

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