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Creation and Criticism

ISSN: 2455-9687  

(A Quarterly International Peer-reviewed Refereed e-Journal

Devoted to English Language and Literature)

Vol. 06, Joint Issue 22 & 23: July-Oct 2021


Black Child and Other Poems — Ngozi Olivia Osuoha

Ngozi Olivia Osuoha (b. 1965), a Nigerian graduate of Estate Management with experience in Banking and Broadcasting, has authored twenty three poetry books, and has featured in over one hundred and ten international anthologies. She has published over three hundred and twenty poems in over forty countries, and some of her pieces have been translated and published in Spanish, Polish, Russian, Romanian, Farsi, Arabic, Serbian, Scots, Chinese, Hindi, Assamese, Macedonian, among others. She has won several awards, and some of her works have been nominated for Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net Awards, and others. She can be contacted at


1. Black Child


They call you coloured, as though they are colourless

And tag you awkward and still hinder your forward,

They compel you wayward and compact you untoward

Black child, the world is so wide, yet wants you wild!


The sea wants to drown you so be no fish,

for fish is edible and profitable

Rather be the tide, the current and the storm

Be the mermaid, and rule the sea!


Black child, the fire wants to raze you

So be not the coal for coal is combustible,

Instead be the flame, the hotness, and the degree

Be not inflammable!


The wind wants to uproot you

Be the earth, the land and the forces!


The world doesn't like your skin

So she can throw you into the bin

Just to get the tiniest tin

Or drink the harshest gin

And still label you a sin,

If that could make her win

Or puncture you with a pin.


Black child, you are not gold

Let no one have you sold,

Though you live in a nest

You can be the best.

You are never the worst

Let no one; your head burst!


Black child, you are not a monkey

Do not be laboured like a donkey

Though you live in a cave

You are not a slave,

And never you be a pest

Though they put you to test.


Your breastmilk is sweeter than honey

Let none syphon it with money,

Your balls are stronger than rocks

Let none crush them with blocks

Nor cage them with padlocks, for there is your life!


Black child, the world is dark

But you can make a mark!

Yes, your skin is black

But there is no nature you lack!


Your skin is beautiful and wonderful

Even the rainbow is not that colourful,

Black child, walk with your shoulders high

For no human is more human than you!


2. The African Girl


My flat soles don't flatten my soul

At least I am five feet' nine

My casual wears don't commonize my person

Sure, I am one worldwide,

My small breasts don't bottle my mind

I am a phenomenon!


Hear my rough face tell gorgeous a fortune

See my unkempt hair wave loudly to glory,

Hear my short nails call the worlds to order

See my black eyes so glitter like gold

Hear my cute nose breathe dazzling diamonds

See my long legs step proudly on thorns,

This African girl, O nature is you!


I need no knife to boost my beauty

Need I no chemical to change my skin,

Hey! see how cosmetics flatter me

But watch my bums rock and roll in harmony

Feel my straight arms flagging wonders untold

And my big ears spread wide apart,

This African girl, O nature is you!


Of nipples that are pointers, we wrap

Of breasts that are compasses, we guard

We neither ensnare nor anyone enslave

Because If nudity was a calling,

we would have you endangered!


I am slim, a model by nature

A perfect art of divinity

But if I got chubby in the future

Still wait for it, my audacity.


The orchestra is me, the melody is me

I am the chemistry; undiluted

I am the gallery, unadulterated

The exhibition is me, black and blunt!


You are the content and the container

You are contented and concentrated

You are the contest and the quest,

You are so pure and so raw

O The African Girl!


Don't feel inferior, dance pass the exterior

Draw from within and decorate your interior

Fly high above, nature abounds in you,

Phenomenal girl, the goddess of beauty.


Cameras take bribe, mirrors are corrupt

Shadows are dark, echoes distort

Yet I have a dream, a dream so clear

That someday the paparazzi shall arise,

With courage and effrontery to witness my beauty,

This girl shall set cameras ablaze

And burn mirrors into ashes!


Piercings are fierce, so they hurt me

Stories could be written not just tattoos

Scars could be stars even taboos,

So dear African girl, nature is you!


If nudity was a calling, I would intimidate Adam

If nudity was a calling, I would rubbish Eve,

A principality, a power

A force, a creator,

I rule my world!


Remember I am a poet, I don't pity words

This African girl is nature, beware!


3. Ends Of The Earth


I wake up and wail as I ponder

Crying to understand what life is all about

Yet I find little or no answer

As I get lost.


Under the shadow of trees, I am not free

Yonder the window of doubts I try to sprout

Beyond I reach to teach but within ditch.


Upon the ends of the earth, I run

I grab voices to shout aloud

I borrow noises to ring the alarm

hearken dear earth upon my homeward way.


From the ends of the earth I mourn

Seeking peace and love to live

consoling myself shamefully in pain,

Lo, here pegs the lungs of a child

a child buried amidst life and plenty because he was hated.


4. Dear World


Dear world

I have watched with bitterness

what you have done to yourself

You have crushed your foundation

and laid bare your base,

You also have crashed your pillars

And buried your sight,

Now you fight with all your might.


Dear world

Look, I am tired of praying for you

as you swell up in hate,

My prayers have piled up to the skies and heavens

I feel weak and numb to pray more

as you continue to prey on yourself,

See, how happy you feel wanting to die,

O how eager you run to kill yourself.


Dear world

I am so ashamed of all you have done

You squashed unity and peace

You spoiled sanity and sense

Dear world, why are you so mean and cruel to yourself?


Do not say I never warned you

Never cry, I did not tell you

See, the dangers you were warned of have all happened,

yet you wouldn't learn,

The atrocities you have done now chase you,

yet you pride in them,

I have come to warn you again all over

I know you may never heed

Because your ears are deaf, and your eyes so blind.


Desist from evil, make haste to change

Stop the calamities you build

Refrain from the terrors you upload

Abstain from the horrors you upgrade

Contain the errors you download

Change, make the world a better place

No matter your pace, find a space

Show your face, and receive grace

Run, and win the race.


5. I Did Not Keep Mute


I am just a voice

With message not noise,

Listen, and hear.


I have come, I am here

I wail, weep and wait

I hope and watch and pray

I did not keep mute.


As a flute, I blow loud

As a trumpet, I play into the crowd

As a pipe, I sound into the cloud

Hear me loud and clear

I did not keep mute.


Let generations unborn, hear me

Let the living take note,

Let the dead, feel me

Let heaven and earth witness;

That I did not keep mute.


Let my light shine in darkness,

in this dark world

Let my echo sound in emptiness,

in this empty world

Let my nuance fly in sadness,

in this sad world

Let my aim search the wilderness,

in this wild world

Let my anger avenge ugliness,

in this ugly world

Because I cannot keep mute.


I cannot keep mute, I am a flute

I cannot be bound, I am a parachute,

Dance to this music, this song of bitterness

Align with the rhythm; this melody of restlessness

Know it, say it, I did not keep mute.


Bear me witness again; louder

I did not keep mute, never did I

To this world of recklessness and woeful-ness

Please tell them, I was never comfortable!



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