Celebrating East African Writing!

The Beast vs Two Men – Two Poems; Two Poets

Before you run:

the beast

she was pretty, he was rugged

she was sweet, he was broody

she was naive, he was worldly

she was a dreamer, he was grounded

she was fragile, he was hardened

she was a believer, he was a cynic

she loved, he…well he lived


their meeting was coincidental

their attraction was inconceivable

their love was undeniable

the outcome was inexplicable

she was his Bonnie, he was her Clyde

he was her beauty

she was his Beast!

©cornelius okello

And the men, what have they to say, or do?

Two men, too different… by Nigel Obiya

This man stood in the dark(He stood in the light)
This man had no idea what to do with the light(He had made it through the night)
For so much time had gone by since dusk(He was free… a seed, ready to grow, that has shed its outer husk)
He had spent one too many hours in ‘fright’(Not to be confused with being ‘about to flee’… he was ‘about to soar’, ready to take flight)
Too much time had gone by since he’d gotten lost in the night(And it all came naturally, everything just sort of… felt right)
He’d taken the same wrong path he swore he would avoid(He’d avoided a path that he knew so well, one that was… of all serenity, devoid)
That same mistake over and over again, he was frustrated… annoyed(Some would call it a ‘near miss’, he calls it a ‘near crash’… because he nearly crashed and missed, he was overjoyed)

The previous man… a broken record, a repetitive mistake, an irritating stutter
Just for the record, the previous emotional clutter… seems much less appealing than the organized latter
And the obvious better option for me… for you
Is to work extra hard at being guy number two.

©Nigel Obiya


9 comments on “The Beast vs Two Men – Two Poems; Two Poets

  1. Peter Nena
    April 24, 2013

    Concerning The Beast: This is not a poem; and I am hurt that read it. Its theme is simplistic, if not commonplace. It lacks definite imagery and the emotional feeling that are requisite in a poem. The author’s attempt to employ rhyme and antithesis and allusion is so despicable that I am left with an rancid taste in my mouth and a rancorous load in my heart. The author is a poetaster; and he must learn poetry before he is allowed to post here.


  2. nigelobiya
    April 26, 2013

    peter… I quite enjoyed the beast… why do you feel the need to use big words to put down someones work? I think you are confusing critique and insult… let me put it this way, it doesn’t matter how ‘eloquent’ you try to sound unnecessary insults are just ghetto… you know i’m right…


  3. Peter Nena
    April 28, 2013

    Buy a book of poems and read some, Mr. Nigel Obiya; or visit I have a collection, by the bye, should you search in vain; and I am willing to share with you. The insult is your presumption upon our shared interest in poetry to refer to me by my first name. I do not know you.

    Mr. Nena.


  4. Nigel
    April 29, 2013

    I still stand by my opinion Peter. You need to accept the idea that you’re not the poetry Guru, state your opinion, but try to be a little courteous when doing so… or don’t, I could care less. However, it may be to your future benefit if you heed my advice…

    Regards Mr. Nena…


  5. Nigel
    April 29, 2013

    just visited deepunderground and there is no one on it by that name… why don’t you post the link to your work… better yet, allow me to start this off… find my work on hellopoetry, sample this…

    or get on my blog

    Knock yourself out…


  6. Peter Nena
    May 2, 2013

    Why do you pursue me so? With such vehement hurtful passion? I criticized a poem that was not yours. I must express my sincere doubt upon your stature as an artist in view of your vicious and vindictive response to my critique. I doubt that you have ever encountered a critique of a work of art. I doubt very many things about your literary skills.

    I visited your website “Hello Poetry”. Please, do not vitiate my taste any more than you already have.

    Thank you.

    Mr. Nena.

    PS: Harass me no further. You have never come upon a work of poetry that I have developed. If you should find one, then your critique shall be most welcome.

    Mr. Nena.


  7. Nigel
    May 2, 2013

    Let’s allow this exchange to rest. Gladly.


  8. Storymoja Africa
    May 5, 2013

    Dear Mr. Nena and Mr. Obiya,

    As editor/moderator of this forum I chose to let your conversation continue so I could see where it would go. There was a moment when I doubted the wisdom of that choice. The Storymoja Writers’ Blog was envisioned as a forum where writers new and seasoned could have a chance to showcase their shorter works, works in progress and poetry with the hope of an interchange of useful critique.

    Now critique if it is to be honest, will analyse the work in hand from various angles. It is true that when the critique highlights an author’s failure to execute or capture his audience, it can be painful for the creator of the work. One way to deal with this is to assume Roland Barthes stance on a principle called the ‘Death of the Author’ – That the author’s identity — their political views, historical context, religion, ethnicity, psychology, or other biographical or personal attributes are separate from the author’s work. Therefore as an author, you must never stand to defend your work as your work is ‘eternally written here and now’ with each reading or re-reading.

    The theory of the ‘Death of the Author’ is in itself troublesome because our experiences invariably affect our writing, and our writing often has intent. However, it can offer sufficient comfort to the author if he takes critique as a judgement of his work and not his self. Even then, this is still a thorny front because works of art are such precious parts of an artist’s psyche that an attack on them can often feel like a personal affront.

    The interesting thing here is that, you Mr. Obiya, were not the creator of the work of which Mr. Nena spoke so scathingly. (Unless you were writing under a pen name.) So your comments were not really in the defense of the work but rather as to the manner in which Mr. Nena chose to execute his critique.

    My assumption is that Mr. Nena is not acquainted with the author and therefore his comments were directed at the work and were not an attempt to rile or insult the author. Taking it as such, Mr. Nena is entitled to his feelings and opinions towards the work as well as the right to express them. Whether he is right or not is in fact irrelevant. If another reader was to disagree with him, then they would in fact be free to counter-critique the critique (but not the critic.) A reader with a different opinion would also be free and probably well-advised to formulate a critique of his own in the light which he better favors.

    I believe that if the art of creative writing is to grow to such standards of excellence as we dream of, both voracious readers and valiant writers must learn to support each other. By support I do not mean overprotective and indulgent forms of praise such as seen when ‘friends’ comment on Facebook poetry to the effect of ‘nice’ and ‘That’s my girl.’

    By support, I mean that readers should read, think and analyse what they have read, how they truly felt about the execution and what they think of the issues the author may or may not have succeeded in addressing. Once readers are done ‘reading’ they can chose to be critics or not. Not everyone is a good critic. By ‘good critic’, I mean, equipped with the ability to study a work of art and not only judge it on its merits or demerits but also have the ability to express the success and/or failures in a clear and concise manner.

    In exchange for this kind of honest judgement, writers should provide such pieces of work that will entertain their readers, inform and educate them (if that is in fact the purpose of the creation), and do it in such a manner that readers have hope in their hearts when they think of the kind of writing that they want to read.

    This conversation has gone on in the recent past, with readers who aspire to be critics veering from one extreme to the other. I am constantly saddened to see such promise of cultural and creative talent either crushed or treated with such indulgence that the only kind of work that we see on the book shelves has no reflection at all of the real talent that does in fact exist.

    And so to Mr. Nena and Mr. Obiya, I choose not to insult your intelligence by pointing out where either of you went wrong. Instead I hope that both of you will return to these pages, to showcase your work, as well as be part of a new culture where we can engage in honest, intelligent conversation about our world and our stories without stooping down to be thugs in the bushes.

    Blog Editor.


  9. Alexander Eichener
    May 5, 2013

    Obiya’s poem is impressive.
    Truly baroque.
    And it shows that baroque forms and mannerisms can well find their place in the modern world.

    While Okello’s piece is indeed quite as bad as Nena stated initially.

    And I think that placing them side by side highlighted that fact even more.


Comments are closed.


This entry was posted on April 30, 2013 by in Writer's Blog.
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