Spotlighting Pan-African Poetry

Biography

Underneath the Table

Enlarge poem

I fell
many years ago
and it was sweeter
than cold soft melon,
softer then cotton.
It was magic
and short like magic,
shorter than the time you really have.
It was falling
into a dark chasm
of fairy lights
and juju powder.
It was
dancing in the rain,
getting wet and laughing;
touching,
underneath the table,
touching hands.
It was
everything out of a favourite book,
an old epic
but with no clichés:
he was tall
I was taller;
I was dark
he was handsome.

It was flawless.
Sweeter than the
juice of the darkest berry,
softer than the fog.

Yewande Omotoso

Featured Poem:

The Death Wish

Enlarge poem

Sometimes I wish for being a wife
and having children to take to soccer practice.
Being a bored housewife with a more bored husband;
a man who sneaks to find sex somewhere wetter, more dangerous.
I wish for this.
For shopping lists with shaving cream at the top and
‘Honey, I need new vests’.
I wish for this, for an accustomed-to dullness,
instead of holding my breath all the time,
hoping for magic,
hoping to be touched, be adored.

I want something usual. And regular. And broken.
I want my fairy tale splayed in front of me, begging but bleeding.
I want to arrive in the land of the settled,
distracted by money. Numbed.

It’s the closest thing to dying without having to be buried.
And sometimes I wish for this.

yewande omotoso

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (4)
  • Pride (1)
  • Optimism (0)
  • Anger (0)
  • Delight (0)
  • Inspiration (1)
  • Reflection (11)
  • Captivation (4)
  • Peace (2)
  • Amusement (5)
  • Sorrow (3)
  • Vigour (0)
  • Hope (0)
  • Sadness (4)
  • Fear (1)
  • Jubilation (0)

Comments

  1. I really fall in love with this poem, because this was the my late mum’s dream. I beg ur husband to grant u this wish expeditiously for every woman needs this.

    AWURI OKEY WILLIAM

Your email address will not be published.

Biography

Yewande Omotoso was born in Barbados in 1980 and grew up in Nigeria with her Barbadian mother, Nigerian father and two older brothers. The family moved to South Africa in 1992.

Yewande trained as an architect at the University of Cape Town, to which she returned after working as an architect for several years, to complete a Masters degree in Creative Writing. The product of her degree is her debut novel Bomboy published in 2011 by Cape Town publisher Modjaji Books. Bomboy was shortlisted for the 2012 Sunday Times Literary Awards as well as the MNet Film Award, it won the South African Literary Award (SALA) for First Time Author Prize. Prior to Bomboy Yewande authored several stories, among them The Piano (2nd Place, People Opposing Women Abuse, 2005) and Maude Hastings (Honourable Mention, John La Rose Short Story Competition, 2007). In addition she has published Heroes with online crime fiction magazine Noir Nation and Two Old People in the anthology Speaking for the Generation: Contemporary Stories from Africa. Yewande’s poetry (Stranger and The Rain) has been published in the ‘Baobab Literary Journal’ 2009. The Rain was shortlisted for the Sol Plaatjie European Union Poetry Awards 2012.

Omotoso, for whom writing is a means to make sense of the world, is interested in the complexity of human experiences as well as the incongruities of life. Loneliness is a recurring theme. Omotoso views her writing as a tool for compassion and evoking self-examination. For her talent and the intent to tell stories, she credits her parents and a childhood steeped in reading and the sharing of ideas.

Yewande Omotoso

yewande omotoso
yewande omotoso

Biography

Yewande Omotoso was born in Barbados in 1980 and grew up in Nigeria with her Barbadian mother, Nigerian father and two older brothers. The family moved to South Africa in 1992.

Yewande trained as an architect at the University of Cape Town, to which she returned after working as an architect for several years, to complete a Masters degree in Creative Writing. The product of her degree is her debut novel Bomboy published in 2011 by Cape Town publisher Modjaji Books. Bomboy was shortlisted for the 2012 Sunday Times Literary Awards as well as the MNet Film Award, it won the South African Literary Award (SALA) for First Time Author Prize. Prior to Bomboy Yewande authored several stories, among them The Piano (2nd Place, People Opposing Women Abuse, 2005) and Maude Hastings (Honourable Mention, John La Rose Short Story Competition, 2007). In addition she has published Heroes with online crime fiction magazine Noir Nation and Two Old People in the anthology Speaking for the Generation: Contemporary Stories from Africa. Yewande’s poetry (Stranger and The Rain) has been published in the ‘Baobab Literary Journal’ 2009. The Rain was shortlisted for the Sol Plaatjie European Union Poetry Awards 2012.

Omotoso, for whom writing is a means to make sense of the world, is interested in the complexity of human experiences as well as the incongruities of life. Loneliness is a recurring theme. Omotoso views her writing as a tool for compassion and evoking self-examination. For her talent and the intent to tell stories, she credits her parents and a childhood steeped in reading and the sharing of ideas.

Underneath the Table

Enlarge poem

I fell
many years ago
and it was sweeter
than cold soft melon,
softer then cotton.
It was magic
and short like magic,
shorter than the time you really have.
It was falling
into a dark chasm
of fairy lights
and juju powder.
It was
dancing in the rain,
getting wet and laughing;
touching,
underneath the table,
touching hands.
It was
everything out of a favourite book,
an old epic
but with no clichés:
he was tall
I was taller;
I was dark
he was handsome.

It was flawless.
Sweeter than the
juice of the darkest berry,
softer than the fog.

Featured Poem:

The Death Wish

Enlarge poem

Sometimes I wish for being a wife
and having children to take to soccer practice.
Being a bored housewife with a more bored husband;
a man who sneaks to find sex somewhere wetter, more dangerous.
I wish for this.
For shopping lists with shaving cream at the top and
‘Honey, I need new vests’.
I wish for this, for an accustomed-to dullness,
instead of holding my breath all the time,
hoping for magic,
hoping to be touched, be adored.

I want something usual. And regular. And broken.
I want my fairy tale splayed in front of me, begging but bleeding.
I want to arrive in the land of the settled,
distracted by money. Numbed.

It’s the closest thing to dying without having to be buried.
And sometimes I wish for this.

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (4)
  • Pride (1)
  • Optimism (0)
  • Anger (0)
  • Delight (0)
  • Inspiration (1)
  • Reflection (11)
  • Captivation (4)
  • Peace (2)
  • Amusement (5)
  • Sorrow (3)
  • Vigour (0)
  • Hope (0)
  • Sadness (4)
  • Fear (1)
  • Jubilation (0)

Underneath the Table

Enlarge poem

I fell
many years ago
and it was sweeter
than cold soft melon,
softer then cotton.
It was magic
and short like magic,
shorter than the time you really have.
It was falling
into a dark chasm
of fairy lights
and juju powder.
It was
dancing in the rain,
getting wet and laughing;
touching,
underneath the table,
touching hands.
It was
everything out of a favourite book,
an old epic
but with no clichés:
he was tall
I was taller;
I was dark
he was handsome.

It was flawless.
Sweeter than the
juice of the darkest berry,
softer than the fog.

Comments

  1. I really fall in love with this poem, because this was the my late mum’s dream. I beg ur husband to grant u this wish expeditiously for every woman needs this.

    AWURI OKEY WILLIAM

Your email address will not be published.