Ann Arbor Review


Shutta Crum
Paul B. Roth
Laszlo Slomovits
Duane Locke
Felino Soriano
Chris Lord
Jerry Blanton
Carmen Firan
Amelia Makinano
Connie Stadler
Fred Wolven
Duane Locke
Tolu Ogunlesi
Running Cub
Joanie Freeman
Gerald Clark
Karyn M. Wolven
Holly Day
Dike Okoro
Fred Wolven


We hugged the sun this morning.
Our eyes, sacred like Solomon's wisdom,
Cleaved to the rays rushing to meet our ways.
Energies sapped in our thunderous hearts,
Rivers flooded in our hasty speeches.

As it was in the beginning, we
Read the future from the past
And bottled our dreams from each rattle
In the bones we carried within us.

There were seven cows
Grazing down the bush paths we traveled past.
Their colors shone like the seeds of the rainbow.
The sky above them melted from blue
As we monitored the hue
To part with our worries.

We hugged the sun this morning.
A seer promised us rainfall by night,
Should we forget the warmth of the sun
After breezes cease to remember the scented
Air in the pregnancy of prophesies.


There's a mirror in the back of the mind
I call mine memory
Since it is always soiled by sorry
Moments I am so ashamed to remember
Friends always tell me
It is okay to deny its reflection
Since tomorrow, like the sun, never waits
But because I know it is all right to sing
And listen to the wounds of conscience
When no one is watching,
What my mirror reflects never bothers me.


The raffia leaves have found a home in your bartered confluence;
It is for your sake that the winds now sing the blues to comb
Days and nights with forewarnings inescapable...

Across the bridge from Onitsha reside masquerades freer than
Minds queer, and they sulk at the attitudes of the present that
Impregnate your silence with fallacies betrothing your tides.

Nobody breaks a word over the drumbeats of dusts, since
You feast from the earth's generosity to preserve the condiments
Exculpating your excoriation of murderous intruders passing by.

In sunlight and at nightfall canoes controlled by naked body
Fishermen float across your imagination, hissing gently
Into twilight zones and safety, making a parable of missions

Completed and embedded in cycles that measure the depth of
The present.  I know that cry, that shout, that gesture, and that
Flex of muscles provoked by the discovery of treasures housed

In your bosom, when a net is cast and hands grip and pull,
Waiting and timing the lift and drop that will paint eyes
With elation under the skies that do not promise their devoted

Worshippers commotion or confusion, but a feast that will
Negotiate tomorrow's invitation to the same activity, a token
To the kindnesses sprouted from a river's song.

The raffia leaves have found a home in your bartered confluence;
It is for your sake, great river, that winds and birds soaring and
Evading immortal falls, bury promise in your whispers and rhymes.


On evenings when a blackout
Visits the city,
And the voices of children
And mothers
Empty flashes of dreams
In the wind,
While men,
Stubborn like hope,
Wrestle fears with glasses of rum,
Lamps are like eyes to the hands holding them
Under the moon.


My two-year-old son tells me
He knew men and women taller than me
Before he measured my height
With the accuracy of eyes so tender.
I find no reason to negate his judgment
Since innocence is a jury of its own kind.


Dike Okoro, Chicago, Illinois; Port Harcourt, Nigeria

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