A poem that can tell the story of our existence with such crisp and catchy lines wins just about any heart effortlessly. Adepoju Isaiah Gbenga won us with his poem “Distillation of a Decade.” The ‘story’ woven into the lines of this poem is our common story, one that many spend a lifetime telling, without even realizing it. This is a thought-provoking poem.

– Editorial Team

A year to chase fame
Like an elusive little lamb
Until it succumbs at dusk.

A year to read burnt memories,
And to write memories
Slipping from time’s glass.

A year to wake up with
Heavy knots of perspiration,
Dreaming of things yet to come.

A year to grow tender chrysanthemums
Beside the river path and to say to its helix
A farewell to those who have crossed.

A year to throw serrated hats
Tossed upwards by gravity and beaming smiles
In front of flashing Nikons.

A year to walk the pallid streets with a worn shoe;
A worn coat – or rain coat;
A worn certificate – under the sun’s glaring passage at noon.

A year to barge in tall buildings enveloped in tranquil greenness;
Little offices sitting in large spaces – with an old typewriter clicking –
With resumé, swearing with heaven’s wrath you can work.

A year to leave for a tranquil greenness;
Of lush leaves; of the forest swaying gently to the foreign breeze –
In the warm temperament of the European sun.

A year to dance down the humming street of Princeton –
Or the sun-burn streets at home –
Hoping Monday comes, to begin an earning job.

Seven years: for the rough beast to slouch towards Bethlehem
From the reel shadows of indignant desert birds:
To bring to naught all our sweat and gain and tilling of the vain earth.

About The Author

ADEPOJU Isaiah Gbenga is a teen poet, dramatist, reviewer, and fiction writer. He works at Tribesmen House and Writers’ Global Movement as Editor. A coordinator at Praxis Hangouts. A coordinator at HillTop Creative Arts Foundation, Minna. In 2020, he was shortlisted for the Africa Writers’ Award. He’s been published internationally.