For the last few days I have been deeply engrossed in the expertly-written stories on Pretty Nde’s blog Find Palaver Woman: Telling African Women’s stories. In fact I was so into Lunch Date that I missed my stop on my way to work! Good grief. Which got me thinking, I love reading other people’s work but I never get to share mine. I mean I do share my fashionable opinion on red carpet events and celebrity sightings but writing has always been my first love. I find book stores weirdly soothing and homely and nostalgic. Books N’ Things in Buea was my haven. I still can’t believe it’s being shut down 🙁
I started blogging with the intent to put out my writing but I’ve never been able to bring myself to do so. Why? I’m dead nervous when it comes to people critiquing my writing.
So far my only audience has been my mother who has read all of my stories (even the really shitty ones, bless her hahaha) and a few close friends.
In essence, I’m a closet writer who is coming out of the closet today.
I’ve only shared this with a few people until today but…
About 6 years ago, I saw this call for African female writers. The editors were compiling an anthology and wanted to hear from anyone who was passionate about writing. Well, I sent in my work explaining how much it was my dream to see my work out there. To my sheer shock, they emailed me saying they liked two of my poems. TWO. OMG. I was ecstatic. I couldn’t believe it. Little Lyd from Limbe was going to be published alongside other renowned African female writers. We went along to sign contracts et voilà! The book, Reflections: An Anthology of New Work by African Women Poets ; hit the shelves a few years later and I felt reinforced.
I went on to start my first blog lydieville.blogspot.co.uk which featured snippets from this crazy story I was cooking up then The Sorcerer’s Emporium of Enchanted Objects. Oh dear. The title alone should tell you something. You can catch up on it if you are into enchantment and fantasy stories.
I created the ABY Prose section on my menu for such work but I am yet to gather the courage to start putting up posts. I’ve been working on an ABY: The Story story for a year now and hopefully it will occupy THIS SPACE!
These are the two poems written by me which got published in the anthology.
If she were an element she’d be Land,
Because like her, all other elements spring out of Land.
If she were a time, she’d be Dawn.
A bright yet gentle surge of colourful emotion,
Splashed across the sky like a promise to be claimed
The mere manifestation of her presence foretells hope.
If she were in the Bible, she’d be Esther.
For beauty and grace make her remarkable.
If she were a tree, she’d be a palm.
Fearless and brave it stands out in the open,
Subjugating adversaries in the Winds, the Rains, the scorching Sun.
Priceless is the expression on her brimming face,
As she looks over a wooden crevice of burning hot kernels.
Crushing each one of them with the strength of a thousand Jaels,
Releasing from within the sweet aroma of palms that’d feed her young.
If she were a colour she’d be a deep dark forest green,
Bursting with potentialas she embodies its natural beauty.
She’s the woman who would go to war and take her household out alive.
And when she finally hands over that baton,
Mamazon will soar like a star to watch over me.
And it is not a gravestone I shall place over her head.
It shall be a Crown.
First Snow In Africa
It came when nobody expected it,
When all in Africa was green and fit.
It first fell in Egypt and then spread.
The young were excited but old men feared;
For this snow came when Africa was at its peak.
Destroying all the beauty and pride of its green.
At first the snow drops were slow and weary.
Then they came in their numbers; fast and dreary.
Like the frogs invading Pharaoh’s palace,
It covered most of Africa’s surface.
This winter was tragic and devoured all of Africa.
Save for two that survived the snow- Liberia and Ethiopia.
It was Africa’s first and last snowfall,
Famous for being the longest winter since Adam’s fall.
It came just once, but has left unforgettable scars;
Traces and stains that’ll forever be in every true African heart.
Okay, enough coming out of the closet for one day!
I’m off to cower in the corner.
Love & Light