That rude science in which lives happen, racing
like molecules in a hot pot: It cries out at birth
when the lungs air and earth reveal itself.
Nothing is the womb after that.
If in your way you wake in your puke, or feel
raw and far from home, put your ears to the wind
and listen. You will hear colours and movement,
birth and death colliding, waves of white noise.
Hearts beating, hearts breaking.
You think… beyond all that is the purest breath,
and strain as meerkats probing the distance.
But horizons are like faces in moving water.
If you travel long enough you learn to trust maps less.
You get on with it, just get on with it.
Afam Akeh, author of Stolen Moments (1988) and Letter Home and Other Poems (2012), has won awards as a poet, short story writer and journalist. He worked in Nigerian journalism and also did pioneering work in Christian missions. Founding Editor of African Writing Online, he has performed his work at international literary events, the BBC and various UK venues, including schools. A workshop involvement with refugees and other poets in Oxford resulted in the anthology See How I Land (Heaventree Press, 2009). Other anthologies with his work include Camouflage: Best of Contemporary Writing from Nigeria (2006), The Fate of Vultures and Other Poems (Heinemann, 1989) and Voices from the Fringe (Association of Nigerian Authors, 1988). His writings may also be found online in Sentinel Poetry, The Maple Tree Literary Supplement, Londonart, African Writing, Fieralingue at The Poet’s Corner. He is Founder and Administrator at the Centre for African Poetry