March 21, 2016 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION


Onis Sampson



Heart of a City



The city folds her legs

like a hinduist monk at prayer

and listens to twisted sound

steeple music out of blasted sea weed.


This is how she lifts her air,

energised breed of time

the joules per second

of a million men’s veins at once.

Unspreading her legs to meet the half sentences

of lost selves in retreat,

her energy holds out. I must be following her.

Her laughter etched on water, I am micro-gazing

at her as she turns

her ancient hips

bit by bit

into hydrogen.









A Compass for Utopia



It is coming, yes… along the invented terrain full

of black orchards. You stab puritan air at dawn and

watch leaves coil like cigarette smoke, a syntax

patiently tugs at you from Egyptian papyrus.


The action does not equate the response

yet nuances rise from the papyrus as iron bird

meandering from the archer’s arrow. We are

sitted at the slippery pavement

before us comes sunrays sucking the waters

about us. We are talking to each other with

inactive lips, inactive eyes, inactive tactile senses

denied of the sense of verbs.


You don’t like the Port Harcourt radio stations

you prefer the raw sentences that jab with a taste

of kolanut on tongue. I tell you to keep watch with me

as we pick a compass to search for utopia,

you don’t complain, you open your heart to scars

imprinted across immobile clouds.










Onis Sampson

Onis Sampson is a young Nigerian writer and legal practitioner currently living in Port Harcourt city, Nigeria. His poetry and short fiction have appeared in African Eyeball anthology, WritersAfriq and elsewhere. He is the winner of the June edition of the 2015 Brigitte Poirson Poetry Contest organised by Words Rhyme and Rhythm (WRR), Nigeria’s biggest online poetry platform and also the winner of the 2013 McPherson University Essay Writing Contest. He was chosen as a semifinalist in the 2016 Saving Endangered Species International Playwriting Prize.


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