January Updates

I’ve been a bit tardy getting this post up, but I have some January news and thanks to share. I’ve had a couple of fun poems published recently: “Tempest” at The Camel Saloon, and “Still Life with Ibrik” at Silver Birch Press.

Also I’ve been having a wonderful time in the collaborative communities of The Poetry Storehouse and the POOL Creative Group, and several more of my poems have been made into mini-films. Paul Broderick (of the much-appreciated odd sense of humor) took one of my meditative poems “Two” and remixed it playfully with zombies — I can’t imagine what his local Dollar Store thought when he started filming there! And Marie Craven took “Lilies of the Field” (one of the poems from my chapbook Returning to Awe) and turned it into a beautiful short-film that really captures and amplifies everything I was trying to find words for with the poem. I am grateful to both of them for their willingness to engage and explore the possibilities in these small poems! That makes six poem-films that are available now, so I’ve made a new tab on this blog to keep track of Poetry Films. (There are two more coming soon, another from Marie Craven, and one from Dale Wisely — I look forward to sharing them with you!)


Cikin Duhu

(english translation follows below)

Ina Baga yau?
Hanyan Maiduguri
tana ja: jinin
kadani yarina,
tana ja: kafa
daga Baga. Hanya:
ja. Kafa: ja.
Zuciyana: baki.
Ubangiji, ba mu
da wakoki yau.
Ba mu da Baga.

Maiduguri, ina
tunane: muna
kira ke “gidan
zauna lafiya”
gidan aminci.
Ina aminci yau?
Yaya zamu yi
hakuri gobe,
jibi? Zo kusa
Allah. Za mu
iya yin addu’a
cikin duhu.
Same mu.


Where today is Baga?
The road to Maiduguri,
she is red: blood
of a young girl,
she is red: feet
from Baga. Road:
red. Feet: red.
My heart: blackened.
Lord, we have
no songs today.
We have no Baga.

Maiduguri, I still
remember: we
called you “home
of peace”
home of safety.
Where’s safety today?
How can we meet
with patient hope
tomorrow, the next
day? Come closer,
God. We are still
able to pray
in the dark.
Find us.

–Halima bint Ayuba, 11-Jan-2015

Beginning the New Year smiling…

I’d like to thank editor Cristina Deptula for including five of my poems (two new and three reprints) in the January issue of Synchronized Chaos. These are all from my “Nigerian childhood” series. Titles are:

Loaves and Fishes
(reprinted from RETURNING TO AWE, Balkan Press, 2014)

Failed Conversation with the Owner of the Rig

Always Welcome

Tabula Rasa
(first published in Spring/Summer 2014 print issue of THE FIRST DAY)

loved, further, crackles
(3rd place winner of Uut Poetry/What3Words 2014 contest)