The Sea, the Living and the Dead by Omodero David Oghenekaro
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Everything on the sea deserves to be called ‘living’

even the ship rent apart wants to be called a carrier of Life

a memento of honorable beginnings—

when its white sail was first sampled plain to the sniff of the storm—

 A vessel of honor. & an honor to the sea

Here the storm first came unnoticed,

roaming around in the light regalia of a breeze

spying up on our bodies, our belongings & the porosity

of our faith

it was only the sky that presented itself truthful:

We saw it. All of us.

A dark country of air

partitioned into crooked shreds by lightning

so vibrant with electricity we thought

It was going to come down on us and our children

& It did come.  Although not all of it.

But Everything on living water deserves to be called Living, right?

Yet a man is hoisted in-between the teeth of the waves

& they don’t hear him gasping. The people don’t see him clinging

to a slat of fractured wood –

a fractured hope—  like a fleeting inheritance

The  Sea, the Living and the Dead by Omodero David Oghenekaro

By the first light of a gracious dawn, he’s washed onto the shore

a bloated mess,

like a lump of food rejected by the stomach of a god; a sea god

& What is rejected by a god suddenly becomes a specter to the world—

The people mount him and make a pumping machine out of his chest

in search of some spill of rebellious water. Or some resurrected gasp.


the sea has had too much of us than it gave out to the shore.

too much of our hopes than we left our families back at home.

Here the ghosts of our children tread unabashedly

like young Jesuses on the waters // but no disciples to wonder

& their mothers have made pacts with the gods earthed here

because the sea, they say, had long cried for motherhood

the storm’s lips wrinkled and dry // from absence of the moisture

 of breastmilk

because everything Living at all // deserves to be hungry and be fed

We know of a young father

who goes with his young daughter

to the seashore each night

His stories are of lullabies—

beckoning the serene attentiveness of the waters—

& his daughter listens with her ears,

molding sandcastles in the void of his laps. Tonight she says,

her voice the most tender in the orchestra of the night,

Daddy please let’s go, it’s too cold in the night of the living.

About the author

Omodero David Oghenekaro is a Seventeen-year-old Nigerian writer and has an undying love for Poetry. He’s currently an undergraduate student of Biomedical Technology at the University of Portharcourt. Works have appeared or are forthcoming with Pride magazine, Nantygreens, Agbowo art, Palette Poetry and elsewhere. Phone number is 07056009378. He tweets Omodero DavidOghenekaro.

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Writer, editor and reader. A student of mathematics and physics, Twitter troll, Facebook comedian and human.

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