Poet-Today | Abdulrahman Mohammed Abu-Yaman | The Arts-Muse fair


Shamgbo, the primus inter pares of
Gbara land. Not to be confused  with Sango-
the god of thunder in Yoruba land.

Synonymous to both was their in-built thunder.
Unlike the latter, Shamgbo- my maternal
grandpa was a  calm thunder.

His words were as soft as silk but
as sagacious as Solomon's.

The light skinned old man had the three
famed Nupe tribal marks on both
sides of his cheeks striped keener to his
mouth diagonally.

Visiting Shamgbo from far away, he would
crack jokes with Yadogi, my brother, about
an imaginary eya-fiti he promised to gift him
but yet to touchdown despite squillions of
naira expended on its proposed runways.

Shamgbo had a small square-sized parlour
small enough not be rectangular but large
enough to accommodate millions of hearts
Antiquities and mishmash of ancient
paraphernalia were clustered in the
living room.

Shamgbo while lounging on his
spring bed would decline my offer to
fan him with his tsofengi and would say
"who am I?" humbling himself down
to earth.

Shamgbo would have me unfoot my
footwear before squatting down to
greet elders as per culture.

Shamgbo grew infirm and on his sickbed,
he predicted +15 years for himself after
 he overcomes his illness.
Grandpa died on the 15th of
that same month.

Perhaps his earlier prediction was to install
on us our lost confidence and happiness,
two of which were vanished during his
protracted illness.
RIP Shamgbo Gbara!

Gbara land: an ancient city in Nupe kingdom situated in the middle belt of Nigeria where the first paramount ruler of the Nupe kingdom emerged.
Shamgbo: a title in gbara land conferred on the most prominent personality who has distinguished himself among his contemporaries.
Sango: (pronounced as Shongo)the god of thunder in Yoruba mythology.
Eya-fiti: aeroplane.
Tsofengi: local hand fan made of palm raffia.



Been living in a world of
black and white.
Monotonous monochrome!

Was ignorant of other colours
till our paths crossed each other
and you showed me your
real colours.

The first colour I saw was blue,
light blue of the iris in your eyes
housing a crescent in your pupils.

The first time I saw red was when
you took a bullet for me

I got to know green when you showed
me the shape of your heart
Unlike others, yours was lemon green.

Your lips introduced me to pink.
Don't get it twisted, it was all natural
No lipstick attached.

And your laughter revealed yellow to me
shinning on your beautiful dentition



What's a beauty without a flaw?
Incomplete! Can you invade a rose bush
without going through its sentinels of
thorns armed with piercing needles?
What a beauty that repels her lovers!
Indeed beauty is flawed.

What would the full moon look like
without the solar reflection?
But as beautiful as the full moon glows
its craters are there to stay
Who says beauty is not flawed?

Our dear beautiful butterfly...
weighing almost zero kilograms
floats like snowflakes
but she is often incarcerated
in a whirlwind; powerless and helpless
denying such a beautiful creature her
liberty of mobility
Another beauty flawed.

As beautiful as the rainbow paints the sky,
it's spectrums are quite blurry and ephemeral
The manifestation is even subject to some rare
atmospheric combination and permutations
Isn't this beauty flawed?

Da Vinci's Monalisa may be super beautiful
but what is in a beauty with countless
counterfeits of striking resemblances to
the real McCoy?
Yet, another beauty flawed.

Oh Paris! You may be the most beautiful
city in the world, but the first image that comes
to mind when you are mentioned is nothing but
a giant triangular nest of steel with a giraffe neck
looking down on your parks and gardens, city lights
and satellite towns
Beauty flawed.

Miss Peacock with her beautiful long feathers
that intoxicates both the holder and the beholder
is too proud to socialize with others
due to her pride of course
Beauty is flawed.

Dear beauties all over the universe
Without your flaws, incomplete you are!
For your flaws polishes your beauty to shine!


Abdulrahman Mohammed Abu-yaman is writer and accidental Economist. He occasionally moves out of his comfort zone, which has led him to discover other abilities like art and calligraphy, which he now alternates with poetry and other forms of literature. He performed at the Abuja Literary Society Poetry slam 2016 and exhibited his art and calligraphy works at an art exhibition in Gusau Institute, Kaduna. His poems have been featured in Kalahari Review, London Grip, Asian Signature, Brittle Paper, Sentinel Literary Quarterly and in Daily Trust Newspapers. He loves watermelons, sarcasms, decent fashion and a little friend called perfume. He tweets @abuu_yaman