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Blame the Gods

by Jonathan Chibuike Ukah

I orchestrated the crimes of my ancestors,

and blamed the future for arriving with hope;

no need to blame me for walking away;

I asked for an evening without rain and storms,

but you sent me streaks of lightning and thunder;

I sent out word through every bird in the sky

to send me longer days and shorter nights;

but in your magnificence, you stacked up my fears,

blessing me with shorter days and longer nights.

When I asked for a garden of flowers,

you sent me a dark forest of marshmallows.

I walked away from you searching for love,

away from these channels of blood and death,

where seas and oceans spread to meet the sky;

where nights cooed in the womb of the day;

where each possibility was a ramp for the impossible;

yesterday has no power to cancel or change

the vestiges of light tomorrow put in motion;

I have activated my refuge in benevolence,

though I am not a refugee but a free-born,

a returning child to the household of his father,

who paid bloody ransom to bring him home.

These twilight days have reshaped you into a mirror,

lulling the moon to monitor anywhere I go;

but the moon is my mentor and will not succumb

into spitting out its secrets to witnesses of untruth,

the papacy of falsehood, carnal priesthood,

swimming in carnage or serial sacrifice;

pained pythons groaning in the wilderness,

reminding me of the days I knew no miracles,

when we smelt of fear while rushing to the shrines,

passing through graves of hope overgrown with weeds,

passing through paths where leaves were your eyes.


Jonathan Chibuike Ukah is a graduate of English and Law living in the UK with his family. His poems have been featured (and will soon be featured) in Strange Horizons, Atticus Review, Shift Literary Magazine of the University of Ringling, The Pierian, and the Journal of Undiscovered Poets. He is a winner of the Voices of Lincoln Poetry Contest 2022 and has been recently nominated for the Pushcart Prize.

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