Lambs at the Shrine
Ushie Joe: Lambs at the Shrine, Poems (Ibadan: Kraftbooks, 1995)
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.
Fate of the sheep
The politician’s tree .
Guests of earthworm
To him in Liberia
Oracle of the night
Fall of the iroko
Lambs at the shrine .
Song of the season
Prof. Joseph Ushie
Joseph Akawu Ushie is a Professor of General Stylistics and Literary criticism at University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State Nigeria.
He is the current Vice-Dean, Postgraduate School, University of Uyo, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. He was born at Akorshi, Bendi, the hilly Obanliku Local Government Area (which houses Nigeria’s foremost tourist attraction, the Obudu Cattle Ranch) of Cross River State, and he attended St. Peter’s Primary School, Bendi, Government Secondary School, Obudu, and the University of Calabar, Calabar, where he studied English and Literary studies, and was the Secretary-General, Student Union Government in 1980-81 session. He subsequently obtained the M. A. (1988) and PhD (2001) in English from Nigeria’s premier university, the University of Ibadan. Professor Ushie had served as Head, Department of English, and on several boards and committees in the University of Uyo. He had also been Chairman, Association of Nigerian Authors, Akwa Ibom State Chapter, Judge, ANA national literary competitions (2009 – 2010), Juror of the Canada-based International Poetry Competition (2017) and a Co-Editor, Montreal 2017 Global Poetry Anthology.
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