Although this column most often showcases regional poets from the southern Ohio area, now and then I hear from readers who live well beyond our cozy borders.
Tokoni Uti is a student at Bowen University in Nigeria. She is a writer and blogger for the Huffington Post, and currently lives in Lagos. She responded to an earlier column in which I stated that most contemporary poets write in free verse, eschewing obvious rhyme in favor of a less traditional and more relaxed conversational diction, and that this form of poetry is thriving at the expense of rhyme. She writes that, “the modern literary scene seems to be completely shut towards rhyming poetry.”
Here are two of this young poet’s rhyming poems:
I have no rehabilitation for my addiction.
Or the fact that life is all but fiction.
To escape my fears there is no hiding place.
No consolation as reality slaps me in the face.
As we yearn for a world free from pollution.
As we lie with our beautiful illusions.
As we lace our fingers with our sciences and arts.
As our fantasies lay safe at the bottom of our hearts.
Our lives are fields of pain and vitality.
Cold comfort for those of us allergic to reality.
I am a breath in the wind. I am the color of within.
I am a foil of the pretender.
I am an echo of the bell in the center.
I am the incarnate of camouflaged ways.
I am an instrument of relentless days.
I am the remembrance of mismatched tones.
I am a free runner but not alone.
I am a collision of what cannot be seen.
I am the beauty of what will begin.
I am an insider, I do not gaze from afar.
And I am because we are.
That is a new record for distance—poems all the way from Nigeria! I appreciate Tokoni Uti’s passion for rhyme, and she deserves to have her poems read. I’m happy that it could happen here in the pages of the Portsmouth Daily Times.
Send poem submissions and correspondence to: firstname.lastname@example.org or Neil Carpathios, Shawnee State University, Dept. of English & Humanities, 940 Second Street, Portsmouth, OH 45662. (740-351-3478).