Three Poems by Uche Ogbuji

Night under Sopris

The ridge-rebounded moon from here,
Is blue how d’you do;
The trees
A green how’ve you been;
Under which the ground,
A brown come settle down.

Mt. Sopris viewed from this crow’s cradle
Waves white palmed good night;
Her sisters dim cinders on the caldron rim,
Albino moles through neck-holes of needle-knit evergreen shifts.
They light the valleying work of the Roaring Fork.

I see her offer–miracle aubade
But I’ve made of kisses promises
Which never had been mine to keep.

The ridge-rebounded moon from here,
Teases out in aspen distance
My space to inch before I sleep
Against the claim on my body’s inches.
Under ghoul-glow horizon she slings bait
Shall I resist till a subsequent date?


Thief Valley Echo

Over the ridge into flank of Wallowa,
We traverse flat bottom centerline,
Five old trail days short Umatilla,

Courting the heartland of Niimiipu;
These mountains fluted the full tin round,
All Rockies folded into the Blue.

Rock Creek for roar, Wolf Creek for wail,
The charmer bend of nearby Snake,
Piped on long old Oregon Trail,

We west looking eastly to Wallowa
Beyond Hell’s Canyon but afore
Columbia where the Snake draws lower,

Whence Newe weave oh weave Shoshoni,
Regaling the trappers of The Dalles
For easement through dry-snap a-lonely

To storyland springs of Umatilla,
Rung-up the hunt with call of Liksiyu
At high headwaters, Walla Walla.

Over the ridge into flank of Wallowa…


Pourallé Lieu

North Africa through Europe and The States,
Then back in staged sweep across Nigeria,
My parents whisked me wending on their rounds;
These stations flash by, marking my worldly
Claim over mythic forests of ancestry,
The passport stomped with harrow marks aground.
The child to recall, the people to forget
Is this new ritual of beating at bounds.

There’re some pains condign of normal passage,
A parish boy’s agons on worldly show,
On which the village annals redound.
Like ghosting on old tape, these scenes, embellished
With border-post whippings, and trophy
Scrapes from being dragged pell-mell by frenzied hounds.
The child to recall, the people to forget
Is this new ritual of beating at bounds.

Pushing towards the surface a dark Oceanus
Cuts into sylvan tell-tale and enchantment
With swift, muddled water that surrounds
The earths of my spirit trove, modulating
The blood carrier signal of my words with
Input of far-flung tastes and sights and sounds.
The child to recall, the people to forget
Is this new ritual of beating at bounds.



Uche Ogbuji, born in Calabar, Nigeria, lived in Egypt, England and elsewhere before settling near Boulder, Colorado. A computer engineer and entrepreneur by trade, his poetry chapbook, Ndewo, Colorado (Aldrich Press, 2013) is a Colorado Book Award Winner, and a Westword 2015 Award Winner (“Best Environmental Poetry”). His poems, published worldwide, fuse Igbo culture, European classicism, American Mountain West setting, and Hip-Hop influences. Among other editing projects he runs @ColoradoPoetry on Twitter. A selection of his poems was included in the Best New African Poets 2015 anthology.