Recent books

Theaters of War

216 pages, $14.95.
Buy this book from Amazon, Plain View Press

Whispers on my Pillow and other poems
178 pages, $ 25.98.
Buy this book from Amazon, Booksurge.

Selected poems

Pictures of Fire

At seven
a plane dressed in green camouflage
glided across the screen
and touched down in the Amazonian forest
and green berets rushed out
aiming their guns at a crowded marketplace.

Wrangler jeans
charged at bushy chins
unleashing an arsenal of smoky pebbles.

Our eye lids disorganized
we grimaced as veiled women in black gowns
thumbing shackles on their bruised ankles

To its bottom right
lying prostrate was a long white gown,
its clenched fist
resting on sandy ground.


Darfur is dying

Brown earth patches interspersed with stunted trees
dotted across the wilderness.

Dusty tracks, gray roof tops
branches of cracked brooks,
helicopters peopled with guns.
arrows aim at dying Hutus.

Darfur peace agreement
Sudan liberation movement
Comprehensive peace agreement
Minni Minawi partalyse abyei
mangling free words to cameras.

Out West
dirges about farms filled with bodies
as the Janjaweed blow off sparse huts.

Child soldiers recruited yesterday
comb the wilderness
collecting family teeth and legs for cash.

Don’t go there!!!

The City CARE Forgot

The people that FEMA did not find, and
the hamlets that sang blues better than King
are here no more.

New Orleans is a bathtub.

Ignored by passing helicopters,
frightened black men sitting on rooftops with blistered buttocks,
wave their stained white cloth
like freed Palestinians arriving Ramallah in a loaded bus.

Vein-mapped faces yell at wanton-faced police.
Wet t-shirts,
torn pants remain stranded in deserted streets.

With belongings strapped to their backs they trek away
to places unknown.

Tired legs tarry by a scanty store asking for ice.
Mucus-nosed children standing on the floor of roofless homes
cry for milk and mom.

the Mississippi river rages in
swallowing up homes and bones.

Take them
back to
the Promise Land.

Still Waiting

As we watched in horror
as wicked waters swept away trees and houses
a toddler eyed the camera
and cried.

We raised our coarse palms toward the heavens,
praying aloud,

Send Ogun, Orunmila here.
Send us our ancestors.

and Rita uninvited
stormed their barns,
uprooting seeds
like the northern slave traders in Saharan villages.

For once
broken bodies
with the funk of 400 years,
crawl out from dismal tombs
to meet the world,
before crying themselves to sleep again.

Selected reviews

In this collection of poems Emmanuel Ngwainmbi brings together the reality of violence and its impact people’s hearts and lives in Iraq, in Africa and around the world. Theaters of War should be read aloud in juxtaposition to the blare of world news broadcasts, to appreciate Dr. Ngwainmbi’s grasp and illustration of the ironies of our daily acceptance and condoning of hostile tribalization of modern mankind. The book is a treasure and must be appreciated as a mirror of our times. (Hank Daidone, Lt. Colonel of US Army, Retired)

Emmanuel K. Ngwainmbi’s verse is crisp yet full of imagistic details. His rhythmic pulse, enforced by love and war and a yearning for peace, and his fragmented references and repetitions have shock value, as well as delicious intellectual content. The mixture of these elements is powerful and appealing. (Dr. Leonard A. Slade, Jr., State University of New York at Albany).

In an era when war for many in America presents itself as a rolling screen of names at the end of the nightly news, a voice speaks out strong and clear. Emmanuel K. Ngwainmbi’s anti-war feelings include expressions of goodness — the virtues of life and love. He superbly contrasts every day life with war-like descriptions, thoughts and feelings to unmask war’s absurdity. His use of the commonplace makes every war, our war. The life he creates is so real — so ours — it is worth protecting. . . .the reader can’t help but see the hypocrisy in killing for peace’s sake. (Mary-Ellen Riddle, The Virginia Pilot)

Emmanuel K. Ngwainmbi brings us inside the fear, the sweat, the darkness, the breath, the heart and spirit of the warrior. In love, war, and peace these poems teach us how the heart is taught to aim, fire, surrender. (Jaki Shelton Green, Recipient of the 2003 NC Award in Literature and author of Dead on Arrival) For those of you who experienced his last book, Whispers on my pillow and other poems, you’re in for a powerful, endearing journey via the poetic route taken by Emmanuel K. Ngwainmbi. (Timothy F. Crowley, Poet/Editor/

Emmanuel Ngwainmbi is in love and he lets it flow throughout his poems, which yank us out of our reading chair and into the horrors of war, quiet contemplation of nature, and the human yearning for connection in desperate times. (Doug Stuber, Editor, Katherine James Books).

Cameroon, African native Emmanuel Ngwainmbi brings a breadth of fresh air with Whispers on My Pillow and Other Poems. His poems are simplicity at its best. The language isn't flowery, but straight - forward. Because it's written more as a stream of conciousness - though not too wordy - it is easy to read from one poem to the next, from happy memories of Miami Vice" heroes and children in caves to feelings of anger and lost hope because of war.

Ngwainmbi is particular with each word he uses and easily paints a picture readers will quickly grasp. Because he uses concrete locations readers naturally connect with - like Baghdad and the World Trade Center - he creates images that will stick in people's mind.
(Angelique Moon, At Ease Magazine,

Ngwainmbi's poetry opens up windows onto different worlds - the lyrical, the mystical, the magical. His imagery is lush, his compassion all-embracing. (Nessa O'Mahony, Editor, Electric Acorn, Dublin Writers Workshop, Ireland).

This collection of poems makes the reader revisit what one thought was obvious, and look at life and its characters in a different manner… makes the reader want to pay more attention.(Dr. Beccie Seaman, History Professor, ECSU).

I could actually visualize messages in the love poems. They made me reflect on past relationships. (Cheryl Bogue, School Teacher).

The author has presented an outstanding interpretation of our innermost feelings. Well done. (Executive Director, Elizabeth City Pasquotank Public School Foundation).

The love verses are magnificent insights into the human soul. Their phrasing and timing draw vivid images of the deepest and most intimate aspects of humanity, the ability to love and to communicate that love. The art and imagery here is absolutely magnificent and must be read to a true soul mate. (Hank Daidone, Former Commander, 2nd Battalion, MDDF, Lt. Colonel).

The visions touch the soul …and…outline a cold, oppressive world, controlled by an overwhelming distain for the individual, unconcern for the lives of the many and the powerless and an obsession with death. (Former Director, Aerospace Division, DoD/NASA).

An upfront, original perspective concerning the impact and ramifications of war in the world. The poems are thought provoking, moving, and climactic. The poet has the ability to correlate biblical anecdotes in a unique way. (Beverly Cain, Ed.D.).

Although there is a bending of the rules of more rigid forms, the poet use(s) sounds and meanings of words that create a challenge. It is this part that makes the poem a work of craft as well as the expression of an idea. (Daily Advance Newspaper)

The poems are so powerful. The words just grab you. It’s unbelievable. Unbelievable! (WHAT Radio Station, Philadelphia, PA)

As I read the work I saw vivid images, intriguing combinations of words---inorganic things completing tasks---words dancing across the page inviting you to hear, see, and touch the essence of your meaning. (Dr. Gwendolyn Remsen,

The lines short, powerful and moving testimony from the viewpoints of eyewitnesses to war's pain, worlds far away from America. Poems in this book...contain good riveting imagery. (Sensations Magazine)

The author is at his best when he depicts war with passion, compassion and precision. (D. Messineo, Publisher & Poetry Editor).

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Sunday, August 30, 2009