Brother [Poem] by Issa Dioume

I Write This For You

My dearest brother, for you I do grieve
As a days’ light was stripped away by night
Wrongfully, bereaved
Leaving you many a hurdle in sight
And your garden-tears briskly mourning eves.

Our Lady Fortune, this whimsical goon
Veiled by a jet-black restless cloaked-sky
Mindlessly, before noon
Coating our dear world’s hair, a darker dye
Has wrongly robbed one of life, much too soon

In what was pilfered lies what is gifted
Where fire has passed, so too must there grow ash
Salt waves, and sand below
When it’s dark and there’s no moon: you thrash
Yet wind still does blow and has just shifted

Therein lies hope in absence of hope-thoughts,
Therein lies sweet life in absence of life
Joy devoid of scope
Toils betwixt you and the now over strife
Beseeching brother to view past blue knots

Which ’round your hands dangle like wrung bangles
Woven with flows of thread binding you to-
– Your blue mind-street angles
Hiding from your sight red-roads where cows moo
Which all good memories do bespangle

Tear that grief away, let it fly today
And beneath souvenirs of him grinning
Like the cold heated-snow, you are brewing
Let it atrophy, and then I will say

My dearest brother, for you I do smile
Knowing you had the rarely chanced upon
Friend to rest on even just for a while
A most indissoluble truth beyond –

…. – even time and space,  now life’s breath is gone

Style Training With Ursula K. Leguin, Exercise.1; Part.1

The following written piece which you will read is a result of my first attempt at testing out an approach to writing advised by the exceptional Ursula K. Leguin. For the first exercise, Leguin chooses to focus on the sound of prose and its importance. Reminding us that prose does not have to be poetry to sound great! She gives a few examples of texts where the sound of prose aids greatly to make the reader feel what is going on and to set the entire atmosphere of the piece. How for example, certain sounds or alliterations are used to translate ideas of sadness or of  joy or of action. And explain the intricacies of the ‘movement’ of prose.

Here is the result of my first attempt of the first exercise of  
Steering the Craft
[…] by Ursula K. Leguin, she suggested two plot possibilities to try out the learned techniques (Climax of a ghost story or Inventing and Island and events which occur on it) :

Georges, Shipwrecked

On an island in the far-off ocean called Pumpernickel, a lone man washes ashore.  Time passes unperturbed until, finally, he wakes.  George was this man’s name.  And George was a man of little words.  He had been a fleet admiral on one of Her Majesty’s many vessels when suddenly, a storm broke out, sinking his ship and throwing him along with his crewmates overboard and to the mercy of the oceans capricious currents.
And, as George rose from the sandy beach to take in his surroundings, he wondered how he had survived and whether any other survivors had been carried to this little piece of land.
George was a tall and lanky man.  He often stood a head higher than most of the men he had come across in his lifetime.  But now, George had no one to be taller than.  And the absence of other human beings was a feeling quick to wash over him as he circled the islands’ coast for hours before returning to the same spot having met no one other than, his own shadow.
He was left with no other option but to accept the unavoidable:  He was alone, and he was lost and soon he would be hungry too and in dire need of shelter.  He knew he had to make a swift decision as the sun was dimming on the horizon and its light would slowly dwindle until naught remained but the afterglow.
So, George opted to build a house first for rain might come during the night and without a roof he would get wet and getting wet would give rise to sickness.  Which would in turn leave him in no state to be rummaging around the island for nourishment.
George built himself a small hut out of palm leaves and sticks in front of the entrance to the islands’ forest.  As floor and bed, he used sand which he brought from the beach.  And in the comfort of his improvised hut, George lay comfortably resting on the sandy floor.  He employed carefully the time before sleep arrived to take him away from this nightmare, by trying to guess where he might be.  He had been sailing on course for the West indies and had just about completed half the journey before the storm broke out.  But, the storm had carried them way off course for a while before the ship sank.  So, he could not ascertain where he had been.  And putting his memory through hard and strenuous work he attempted to recall all the courses Her Majesty’s vessels took when heading for the West Indies. He hoped one ship might pass by the island on which he was marooned for provisions or a quick rest.  Then, perhaps, he might be rescued.
George shivered.  Not from the cold.  He knew how unlikely that scenario was.  Yet, he hoped all the same for a miracle.  But he was tired, and his bones still ached from the ocean waves his body had been rumbled through.  So, he went to sleep hoping that night would bring him many a solution.

By Issa Dioume

Division Revision- [Poem] by Issa Dioume

Sometimes the water flows
Sometimes the water stills
Stilling my hopes in crypts

Sometimes it rains on my face
Sometimes sun radiates off of it
Burning men like cigarettes

Sometimes I care.
Sometimes I don’t.

Sometimes I share.
Sometimes I won’t.

Blue birds fly unseen in the sky.
Only perceived when poked in the eye.
Manichean Mannequins of wonder.

Wanderers under a flattening roof
Unimpaired by water. It’s Rustproof.

Look yonder to cross the border.
As we are: birds of the same feather

Written by Issa Dioume

Author’s website:

Issa Dioume’s writing

A TUMULTUOUS VOYAGE, Part. 5 [Short-Story Series] by Issa Dioume

They docked in at Gravenfall bay early that morning. The city was still sound asleep and not a soul could be seen creeping around its long-winded roads. At the docks, however, fishermen were getting busy as they prepared to head out with their trawling nets and fishing lines.
The fishermen eyed the Braided Maid quizzically as it reached the dock. They wondered why such a tiny ship had sailed at night in the Branock waves and how it had made it here. “They probably have a Windwhisperer, no one dares sail these waves by night without.”, proposed someone.
As they geared up, Bramin and the crew got off the ship and took what felt like their first steps on stable ground in years. Bramin then took the time to help the crew tie their ropes up and clean the deck. On this perilous journey the adventure he had lived with these men, had created a silent bound of trust and understanding between them. Each had had to rely on one another wholly and this had given way to a very strong form of trust. I am going to miss them, he thought quietly in the silence of his heart as he pulled a rope and tied it up on the dock.

A few hours later, the time for departure came. He bade them all a good farewell and thanked the captain endlessly. This one, as response simply gave him a “No problem lad” and a smile showing the gleam of his golden teeth. Then he proceeded to boasting about heroic he was and how he had challenged and conquered the Queen of the ocean. “This will make a riot in the taverns! A tale to tell for the ages!” He seemed to entirely have forgotten about the pangs of remorse he had felt before the wave.

Turning his back, Bramin walked away and did not look back. He knew that if he were to do so he would be tempted to stay with these men aboard the little BraidedMaid and spend his years sailing the seas and drinking beer. But, no. His destiny awaited him elsewhere – he would not let himself be cut short, not here. He would head for the wild jungles of Azerkah where he would find its long-lost treasure and sweep all the glory away from under the feet of other explorers. He walked on, bringing with him fresh happy memories and taking his first steps towards new adventures awaiting him.

[…To be continued]
– Written by Issa Dioume

Author’s website:
Writing, Improving, Coffee

Silent Falling Bird of A Flock [Poem] by Issa Dioume

…Hiding my emotions like an enamoured prostitute.

Or an actor, trying to make his debut on this twisted scale.

Harloting my way through life, a simulated masquerade, trying not to ‘fail’.

Beneath, this masked trade hides a performer. me.

Outside lies the judging audience, silent observer. THEM.

Only one believes the performance matters and fears judgment; from THEM:


Icarus with his smouldering wings.

Burning in an ocean of inexistent flames.

Written by Issa Dioume

Author’s site : Writing, Improving, Coffee

A Tumultuous Voyage (part 4) #shortstory #writing

           […] Bramin and the crew ran left, right, straight and back desperate to get some of the water off the deck as quickly as possible. Frantically trying their best to avoid sinking to the depths of the ocean blue – pausing only to throw panicked looks at their captain, waiting to see a sign of hope or reassurance. And he- at the helm of the ship- displaying only a uniquely resplendent face of dread. The kind of dread a man shows when he thinks his time has come. The kind of dread that instantly sends chills down the spines of the crew.
The little boat its laborious attempt at climbing to the top of this perilous path; much like a David against a Goliath. But, with an aggrandized exaggerated disparity between the two.
The climb was proving increasingly exceedingly strenuous for the little boat as the great wave steadily coiled in on itself, unhurriedly- much alike a giant king cobra or a shark with its wide-open gaping jaw- covering the little ship.

~ Badoom ~Badoom ~ Badoom  beat the captains’ heart, as he steered his Braided Maid up this tortuous path. And as the ship slowly neared the top his heart threatened to stop as he looked down and saw how high he was but notwithstanding this, to say the least, ‘complicated’ situation he steered on even as the ship scowled under the pressure of the wave and its planks growled in pain and the ship floated at a perpendicular angle menacing to fall off the wave at any given moment and sink to the deepest corners of Davy jones’s locker. He prayed to the sea gods to let him sail the sea another day. The next time, he swore, I will not tempt fate and sail without an Windwhisperer.

The Braided Maid crept up the wave and to the top of the wave. When it reached the top, the crew breathed a sigh of relief – as if they had each held their breath through the whole ordeal. As Bramin looked around he noticed that everyone looked weather-beaten and aged; this experience had likely taken decades off their natural life span.
However, the captain kept his focused as he knew that the descent could prove just as dangerous as the wave came crashing down on the other side- he used the momentum created by the wave and steered right into the currents, following them; as water splashed and swayed the boat. The boat dashed on the water surface at full speed, quickly escaping from the jaws of the Queen of the ocean.

Bramin joined the captain on the upper-deck of the ship and starred off into the distance with hope and adventure already gleaming bright in his eyes. The weather had suddenly settled and the sun seemed to be on the cusp of rising in the horizon.
And, Bramin thought he could see what looked like the cliffs of Gravenfall, the city of the dead […]

Written by Issa Dioume

Author’s website:

A Tumultuous Voyage (part 3) #shortstory #writing

… The wave came, surly, bringing with it a vivid silence. Except the soft creaking of the boat slowly being pulled closer by the wave.

Small sea waves lapped about the ship. The sea captain, with a qualm heart, chose wisely – fighting the sinking dread urging him to steer the ship against the ebb- to let the currents guide the boat instead of opposing them. The planks of the ship rattled madly, but nothing moved besides the ever-closing wave; and the soft lapping of its offspring’s. A general state of inertia seemed to have settled in.

The drummer aboard the ship understood immediately that the time had come for him to play his role. As he began hitting the drum – slowly at first then gradually increasing the pace – the heartbeat of the men returned along with the drumbeat.

du-dum du-dum du-DUUM du-dum Du-DUUM DU-DUUUM

Spirit seeped into the bone marrow of the men each time the sound of the drum echoed. The once restless sea now appeared unresponsive as the only visible movement for miles in every direction was a little ship climbing the giant belly of a beast.

Above the men, a square sail -white as the feathers of a dove – flapped and fought ferociously the unrelenting wind. As the little ship slowly made its way up, dark clouds hung in the sky – drifting in vast mournful veils foreboding a sad end. Tears of rain came spurting out from their eyes. The rain hit the deck squarely, the sound of the droplets echoing loudly in the air.

As an ultimate insult, Bramin thought he saw one of those overhanging puffs of water particles eye him with pity.

The pull of the water ceased abruptly. And, the wave came crashing without warning sending the ship flying into the air. With the swaying of the ship Bramin’s grip slipped and he was sent hurtling through the air into the mouth of the raging sea. But, by pure happenstance and rapid reflexes his leg hit a stanchion which he grabbed thereupon.

The ship, pulled back by gravity, descended. Brutally landing onto the surface of the sea. Water came in from the sides inundating the deck and pushing some overboard. But still, the drum DUMed on. […]

A Tumultuous Voyage (part 2) #shortstory

…Under the dimming stars Bramin, the captain and the crew steeled themselves as they saw approach – a single wave that could only be best described as – the ocean’s queen. It lifted its peak high into the sky, almost caressing the clouds above; casting a colossal shadow over the ship and the rest of the sea as far and wide as Bramin could see. It stood there, imperial, and at that moment for the men on the ship it felt like time had itself had stopped breathing as a heavy silence took over the air. Nothing.

Just twelve men, one captain and little ship facing off against a titan of the ocean. Bramin looked to the captain for reassurance but when he saw the stunned frozen look on his face, all hope was lost in his heart. Bramin tightened his hold on the mast as the mastodon looming above slowly began diving face first towards the ship.

Destiny, you fickle temptress by the old sea gods, I damn you! Thought Bramin sourly.

He had embarked on this perilous journey seeking glory, honour and adventure. Had he known that it would end up with him sinking to the bottom of the ocean two weeks later, he might have advised himself otherwise.

” Well curse you! Now that I am here, there’s nothin else I can do! Come you overly fat oaf of a wave, give me all you’ve got! ” he roared loudly much like a madman would, feeling like a dwarf armed with a toothpick to kill an armed giant carrying a colossal trident spitting out lightning serpents.

The captain of the ship chimed in tearing his lungs to shreds as he howled at the indomitable giant ” Let’s see who will get the best out o’ the other! Come, I will tame you and the oceans along with you if I must!”

The crew gathered their courage as they joined in the clamor and each yelping their own challenge to the waves like new-born pups challenging a wolf


silencing their voices and brave hearts instantly,

come it did. […]

-to be continued

Written by Issa Dioume

Author’s blog for part 1 and more writing:

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