The basket weaver

Soonest Nathaniel


My mother weaves baskets in Cameroon,

for grass she uses boys’ pubic hairs

and for rush, the thicket of their eyelashes.

She twines into wicker baskets,

men’s beards and moustaches, and stores in her womb

beer, grains and the skulls of decapitated dreams.


She sings as she does her weaving, her song says hope is reed

which forms the spokes and staves of ambitions without base.

It says lust and greed are weavers to fill the insides of nothingness.

It says sweet lies are peddled best on the lips of ‘honest men’.

She chants a savory song; the fool’s ear refuses to eat.

It says love is cocoyam, patience is oil;

and all you require to enjoy this meal,

is to sprout again your milk teeth.


Soonest Nathaniel is a Poet and spoken word artist. He is the author of “Teaching My Father How To Impregnate Women,” selected as winner of the 2017 RL Poetry Award. He was poet Laureate for the 2014 Korea Nigeria Poetry Festival. His poems appear or are forthcoming in Rattle, Silver Blade, The Pedestal Magazine, FIYAH, Silver Blade Poetry, Northridge Review, Praxis Mag, Raven Chronicles, Wiki Column, Saraba, Loudthotz, Northridge Review, Reverbnation, Elsewhere, Scintilla, Erbacce UK, Kalahari Review, Sentinel Nigeria, and many more.


Back to Table of Contents