when you are not pretty to turn heads around
or not confident enough to word your thoughts
not smart enough to attend Uxbridge or Harvard
cos of where you were born or raised
yet you still dream of the impossible to be better days
maybe in frank vocabulary, somewhat successful
and even to extend a helping hand
maybe you wont be erased  from history
just as men’s misfortunes are forgotten
in the excitement of new enterprises

when you love to dream big 
and yet you see no light
cos all is but bleak around you
amid flashes of tomorrow
that offer no tap of glee
and suicide somehow is but a haunt
then allow the beauty of nature
to give cheer to every face
and a spring to every step
while birds tweet here and there
and our dreams, a puff of air
and later, with the smell of myrrh

Like the beautiful sunrise and its sunset
perhaps, as the feel of rain or the whiteness of snow 
as the seasons change, and new moons, are bestowed
then, there is hope for a zenith of fame
As the boldness of love aged-couples recap
paints a winsome picture to come
similar to the unconditional love of a mother
then, everything is worth a try
even for the days unknown
and the accents yet unheard

©Flojoe Nsiah Sarbeng


If I Should Marry A Grammar Nerd

If I should marry a grammar nerd
Our lives will be filled with long and apt sentences
We’ll cease to be redundant with words
And Wordplay or Scrabble will be the first game we’ll teach our first child
Before he utters his maiden words and gets enrolled in the local nursery

We’ll use eye contact to give remarks and even punctuate our phrases to him in order to deafen his usual screeching whenever he’s annoyed
By the time he begins to crawl, toddle and chuckle
We’ll whisper adjectival clauses as approvals
And in no hurry will he forget to pause once in a while when speaking
During his time in first grade

Breakfast will be ushered in hyperbolic fashion
With no malapropism or whatever
Our usual conversations will be soothing with pride like the twittering of birds, lousy at times
Before our child grows up to become a grammar nerd just like his parents
He’d have mastered the art of public speaking
And in no instance will he stammer when he meets virgin words
Or get affronted with old clichés

He’d be the valedictorian of his class
And he may probably pass that on to his offspring and that is, if he should have one
He’ll advise him not to speak posh or else others might misquote them
And also tell them and the world that he’s a product of two grammar nerds
And should they misunderstand him,
He’ll placate them with known simile and refuse to talk in unknown accents
And will reassert that he’s a local boy from the nearest suburb
That is,
If I should marry a grammar nerd


 ‘If something bigger than the farm is dug up, the barn is indeed sold’- as does this Igbo proverb reiterate. I have off-late been sparked up and revitalized on reading more books by African  writers. Upon the positive inroads by African writers across the length and breadth of the globe, I find it just logic and reasonable that I read more books by them. Over the years, we’ve witnessed the exploits by Nigerian writers on the international arena and even with the passage of time have increased in numbers. Mentioning of names would not be of much significance. I believe that Nigeria is arguably the main powerhouse of sub-Sahara African literature. As a fellow writer who is always ready to evince myself up to both the old and contemporary forms of literature, I am somewhat driven to fortify my labyrinth of memory and as said by the Nobel Laureate the late Nadine Gordimer, in order to write, you must read. I began Americanah by reading the blurb which gave me a fleeting idea of what the book fully entails. I got enthused with the theme and plot of the story. I knew certainly that the book would live up to its billing. I relished how the writer interplays the various settings of the story which span through three continents.

That makes it very breathtaking and as someone who is fairly abreast of the lives of Africans around the diaspora, I read the story through a crystal retina. In certain instances, the manner in which the writer relays the mood of the various characters makes it humourous and very much event-filled. The specimen of hope in the eyes of the characters makes it worth-while. The writer brings also into play the recent-past history of Nigeria’s ex-military government. It is just like supporting the figures with facts, and as in this case with occurrences.

In an instance, she reasserts that race is embroidered in the fabric of history and I cogitate that it seems to be sarcastically carpeted to the sustainability of man. The theme of the story portrays that of despair and rediscovery of the African self. The diction of the writer in my view appeals more to African readers than to non-African readers. Being an African, it truly gave me a vivid picture of the life of the African in a far-away land. I know with no shadow of doubt that the story is perhaps an eye-opener, that is, in a positive sense to non-African readers. But be that it may, the reader is certain to be thrilled by the theme, mannerism and the camaraderie of the various characters, of which that of the persona is no understatement to the story in its entirety. I thoroughly enjoyed each and every chapter of the book ‘Americanah’ and I would recommend it to both young and seasoned readers.

Cover Photography used ©


I’ll seize to start with prepositions
like the dream I had, on a deserted arena
where silence was the only rhythm that humanity bore
where the sequence of the heart’s pulse invigorate its usefulness
Gone with the wind
like the senses of a three-year-old child
toiling with the math of abacus
or like the soothsayer who talks in proverbs, in sentences of two or three
I’ll seize to start with prepositions
to avoid the predictions of the standbyers ,
who, in piety looks, remain uninterrupted
like the anthem I once heard,
just before my sweet sixteen
which resonates more often than usual
I’ll seize to start with prepositions
to alienate plots of mercenaries
And in moments like these
I may go wind the wind


As the warm ambiance gradually descends into my being
have I been soaked into fairest realms of mankind, perhaps
To delve into a serene melancholy
have I been graced with uttermost receptions
May the seriousness within my eyes
bring me back once more to your fervent embrace

As I sail through the crossroads
amid the water lilies that flower
no language border
May the test of time seek solace from your compassion
Whenever it sees men who wield below reproach
And encounter women with gritty egos
In your fairest embrace do I forever yearn to be