River by Adeeko Ibukun

Gowns of dews laced the dawn.
An angel descends the hour stairs

on the wind raising the skirting,
new veils, floating, guttation beads

on the spine indict and then adorn.
Morning breathes and you think

a woman is spreading her satin
on her arm and offers a body.

This is what I want to own and you
love, pouring in a flow as the earth

receives. We fetch from the river
that flows over and over. Should I say

the earth also gives, a river, a songbird
on a bamboo branch at the bank sings

with the choir of wind, swaying, gently
in an angelic trail – I want to be the anchor

of the sun in the glide, the stars of dews
on the furnished body. Your voice is the song

I’m trying to save in the wind that keeps
lifting over my shoulders. We’re anchored

to our shadows, the dark on our path without
our burdens, as the river bearing our

faces in its mirror, carries itself beyond.




Adeeko Ibukun’s poem: A Room With A Drowning Book, emerged, from over 2000 poems, winner of the 2015 Babishai Niwe African Poetry Prize. The judges praised it for the subtle politics and vivid imagery. His poems have appeared on Sentinel, Ake Review and elsewhere. He has read his poems as a guest at the Lagos Poetry Festival, Ake Arts Festival among others. He lives and writes in Abeokuta, Nigeria.

  1. Thoughtfully crafted. Beautiful poetry.

  2. “Anchored in our shadows” yet we return to the river again and again, to flow with it– beautiful and wise.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.