Please help the Black Earth Institute continue to make art and grow community so needed for our time. Donate now »

a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society

Tim Fab-Eme


Our cows and fowls are householders

and the nanny goats, like fools,

sit with us by the fireplace

and forget that we eat them.

Mom plays with dogs than me

and lays hay beds for cats;

the old bearded sheep envy me


and often snatch my soup and

when I raise my hand mom

wraps my wrist like a wrench

and says they need it too.

Dad knows I loathe the hogs,

I cry whenever I bathe them,


I remind him bending my head

that they would become soiled again;

he affirms they need it too.

But people are outside quivering gnashing

panting dying cursing God chasing humanity


brazenly showing kids what adults hide,

I pray we bring them home

I know they need it too;

mother and father snarl as panthers


that they’re not part of us

that they can’t wear our rags

or lie on our unused mattresses


or cup our dregs and leftovers;

the thunder taunts and torments them,


nobody shows they need it too.

Blues from Earth’s Swollen Lips

I’m Earth. I’m pale. I’m pinning.

I’m abused by my own children.
For several years I’ve been whining

like things on a place barren;
when am tired of living so
the day I’d tell humans no

I’ll blindfold, tease and flatter them
like they’re my only beloved gem,
they having no place to go
will become debris in my phlegm.


Tim Fab-Eme experiments with poetic forms; he writes about exploitation, identity and the environment. His work has appeared in The Malahat Review, New Welsh Review; FIYAH and Magma, etc. Tim often turns to reggae and jazz whenever the news weighs him down. He studied engineering at the Niger Delta University, and when he isn’t working on control instruments, he picks a book and buries himself in it. Tim is presently pursuing a BA in English Studies at the University of Port Harcourt; he lives in the Niger Delta.

Other works by Tim Fab-Eme »

©2024 Black Earth Institute. All rights reserved.  |  ISSN# 2327-784X  |  Site Admin