Dark Lady Poetry - Jekwu Anyaegbuna




Jekwu Anyaegbuna







They discover you’re a thief the day you bury

your mother. You steal the coffin from that


carpenter, whose head resembles nothing but

a long ridge full of white weeds.


Sympathizers discover and recover their

long-forgotten properties you stole earlier: cups, spoons,


kettles, brooms, calabashes, shirts you are ashamed to wear, towels.

You steal a bible, and place it inside the stolen coffin for your


mother to read inside the grave. You go to confess to that

clergyman who doesn’t believe in God, yet he celebrates Mass,


shouting, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.” He tells you that Jesus created God,

and you believe him, believe his avowed forgiveness.


Now your mother enjoys the grave, but you’re restless over the gold

that glitters on her neck, around her fingers. You are night-is-dangerous. Night


protects you as you dig and steal the gold. You think your mother’s embalmed corpse

should not be left to rot away; you cut and auction parts of her body.


Your next daughter is your mother come back without limbs; and your mother

says she wants to punish you for amputating her corpse: a clear dream last night.


Your next son is a hawk, a fall-and-pick-and-run-and-hide: part of the punishment.

Expect more because your mother is a crippled corpse, a great disability in heaven.





New Factory




My new factory manufactures Holy Spirits,

so you can buy one and get really possessed, and

cast out demons, and make the blind see and

immediately recognise that red is red, the colour

of fire and blood. You can resell my Holy Spirit

to someone else; my products are transferable.


Never doubt how a blind person gets to know

the colour of fire is red: Has he ever seen fire

before being sighted? Miracle. Has he ever seen blood before?

Why does he say the colour he sees is red?

The Holy Spirit I produce remains impotent on doubters.

Doubters don’t buy my products; only believers do.


My new factory manufactures salvation. This product

is free but we distribute it like raffle draws every Sunday.

Employees that fail to work on Sundays miss this product,

and their bought Holy Spirits, even the most expensive, do not

bear enough fire to attack demons. Demons rejoice when such

absentees shout, “Holy Ghost fire.”


In my new factory, tithes and offerings are constitutional.

The Holy Spirit you purchase does not work for you

unless your tithes and offerings are consistent. Several

rounds of offering per Sunday ignites the fire in your

purchased Holy Spirit. After all, a hungry prophet only sees doom;

a well-fed prophet sees progress and prosperity.


My new factory has been ordained by bishops, and soon

it will grow into a big church, provided we sell more and

more Holy Spirits to believers, gullible enough to resell

and convert other believers in another factory to see the power

and potency in my products. My new factory will move into a

big warehouse soon!






Mouth Gun



You are the cockroach that commits the crime

for which rat is blamed. You use your mouth to cut

down a tree, to cover your shame with the leaves.


You are an owl that brags, that dirty-mouthed

owl that says, “ Whenever my mother is to be buried, I will

dig the grave with my mouth and feed all birds

to the brims of their stomachs.”


Then your mother dies, suddenly, of hunger,

and boils come visiting you; some sit on your

cheeks, others inside your mouth. Your cheeks are

bulging; your mouth is bulging. The birds are

waiting to be fed. And the grave has not been dug.

Your mouth is a gun that aims at nothing, but shoots itself.







Jekwu Anyaegbuna was born and educated in Nigeria. He took his first degree from the University of Ilorin. He was a participant in the 2009 Farafina Trust Creative Writing Workshop organized by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.  He lives, works, and writes in Lagos.  His work is forthcoming in Vox Poetica and Breadcrumb Scabs magazines.