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Chronicling the Profundity of Moments  | Joseph Ndukwu

Chronicling the Profundity of Moments  | Joseph Ndukwu

Chronicling the Profundity of Moments Joseph Ndukwu Agbowo Art African Literary Art

Here I bring my camels to the waterer. 

Look, you write these poems too close to your heart
I have been, all morning, trying to show you iguanas bathing in the sun, and the orange miseries
in their eyes
But you insist on dipping in distances I cannot reach. 

My poems, like my loneliness, like to chase moths around white light, around bulbs beneath
my backyard window where water is plinking in iron buckets 

I do not say anything original, just the same old things,
How father wished he were a better man

How iguanas dance on sunlit stones
How a mourning dove died and
How it was in my shoe I felt the first pangs of grief and
How for days I would not drink any water
How I cannot find the only photograph of you and me together 

In the room where the TV is alive with the voice of a dying
President, and the mournful cries of a nation at 58
I find the paw prints of large, awkward animals and
their silvery green shit that holds with vengeful fury
the thick warmth of rugs

My body shivered in fear waiting for the sea to take
me to where father’s breath hovered above the lagoon
like a spectral being, like a dagger raised, like a ram caught in a bush 

Joseph Ndukwu

Joseph Omoh Ndukwu

Joseph Omoh Ndukwu is a Nigerian writer whose writing has been published online in Saraba, Brittle Paper, Expound, Praxis and elsewhere. His essays are also forthcoming in Rele Gallery’s book of young contemporary artists and in an anthology by the Fortunate Traveller. An earlier essay was nominated for the CIAPS Public Interest Essay Prize in 2017. In 2014, he emerged a finalist for the Etisalat Flash Fiction Prize. He lives in Lagos, Nigeria and tweets @Joseph_Omoh_. Email:

Cover Photo by Matej from Pexels

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