UshieJoe: Lambs at the Shrine, Poems (Ibadan: Kraftbooks, 1995)

About the Book

Money is our god we kill for it, we heal for it – Niyi Osundare

Like a cancerous growth, the craze for money has crept into all facets of our national life. Nigerians strut the nooks and expanse of this country in “Badagry chains” reminding us of those days of slavery and colonialism
Famine, natural disasters, wars loom large in our consciousness as “we bemoan each month-end’s failure – each lifelong arithmetic that narrows to zero”. “The new governor will ruin the state’s economy”, as Abuja, a symbol of unity lie like a golden lie in the heart of a chronic lie”.
As the preachers remind us of the second coming, “we fear the messiah is drunk with honey…And the sheep died yelling from the jaw of the lion like justice from under the boots of an invincible General”.
Joe Ushie offers us rare insights into the world of Lambs at the Shrine, a loaded collection that is highly prophetic, serious and threnodic.
The poet teaches at the University of Uyo, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.


The news
Badagry chains
Evening tales
Month-end blues
Bat echoes
Fate of the sheep
Tropical rain
Better life
The politician’s tree .
Guests of earthworm
To him in Liberia
Uyo ravine
Dark light
Mt. Ulanga
Passing wind
Oracle of the night
Onion kernel
AKTC terminal
Fall of the iroko
Lambs at the shrine .
Song of the season