Three Poems

Lillian Akampurira Aujo


we wonder how to un-tether
from the wreaths of our pasts;

what weaves the sea,
the waves together

where our tears gather
in dirge

bewailing the heft of loss
& sinking


wishing to unlock
the noose of un-fitting

eye of the celibate women

in the eye of the celibate women
lies a dancing rainbow-ed cloud
and a garland of beautiful-legged men
lean and clean as celestial stags
no hunks of hearts
hanging on strings
no haunted cries
clanging the air
only the green thrum
of buttercups pinked
& witches’ tits tight as drums
coming alive in fields & streams


believe it or not
I keep a lithe gnome
in the cup of my bra
who nips at my spine
all day and all night
I pay him in milk
and he leaps like a lark;
a frisson to my nerves
zapping tablespoons
to clinking frenzy
What such luck! My mother cries

& I slip my good tongue
into the red cave of my mouth

Lillian Akampurira Aujo is a poet and fiction writer from Uganda. She is the winner of the Jalada Prize for Literature 2015 and the Babishai-Niwe Poetry Award 2009. She has been shortlisted for the Gerald Kraak Award 2019, the Brittle Paper Anniversary Award 2018, and longlisted for a Nommo Award 2018. She is a 2017 fellow of the Ebedi Residency in Nigeria. Her work has been published by the New Internationalist, Prairie Schooner, Transition, Jalada Africa, Omenanaand others. Some of her poetry has been translated to Malayalam and Italian. She has been a mentor in the WritivismAt5 Online Mentoring program. She has co- facilitated a creative writing workshop for South Sudanese women with Oxfam Kampala. She is one of three editors for ‘Go Tell Home’, a 2019 poetry-poster anthology by FEMRITE (Uganda Women Writers Association); a collaborative work with poetry interpreted by Ugandan visual artists and translated into multiple Ugandan local languages.


*Image by Tim Marshall on Unsplash

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