Fly the flag at half-staff, by Marvel Chukwudi Pephel

Because today I have drunk the ocean
And I am leaking from everywhere,
Especially my eyes —
And there is no reservoir to fetch me.
I may leak to death,
I may become a desert with dry bones —
The only oasis you may find will be my eyes
Because my lachrymal glands will still continue to leak.
Will still continue to leak even after this sad day
Goes down in the pages of history.

Fly the flag at half-staff,
For the world is drunk with the ocean of grief —
And we are leaking and leaking and asking:
“How long shall the sun be fed with unwanted bloods?”

       (For victims of the massacres in Benue State, Nigeria).


Marvel Chukwudi Pephel is a prolific Nigerian writer who writes poems, short stories and other things besides. His works have appeared or are forthcoming in Best New African Poets 2016 Anthology, Jellyfish Whispers, High Coupe, Praxis Magazine for Arts and Literature, The Avocet, Academy of the Heart and Mind, Pyrokinection, The Kalahari Review, African Writer, The Naked Convos, PIN Quarterly Journal, Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine, amongst others. He was shortlisted for the 2016 Quality Poets Competition. He is currently a two-time winner of the Creative Writing Ink Competition (Ireland).

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