Lukpata Lomba Joseph

Link to home pageLink to current issueLink to back issuesLink to information about the magazineLink to submission guidelinesSend email to


The Gospel According to Rasputin
(After The Third Testament by Sara McCracken)

‘A needle fits inside
a camel which
fits inside your house so therefore
you are Righteous
.’-Sara McCracken

And the Nigerian priest said,
when you hear the right words,
you wouldn’t need the bible
to know when god is coming.

The Ghanaian priest said,
the easiest thing to know
is when god is coming.

Two years
into college,
I met a missionary
whose bible bears an extra
In the first page
of the third
is Lincoln
with the face of Peter and the body
of Judas in a shop-soiled shirt.
Then the missionary began in a heavy weight
staccato sentence,
Lincoln was
 a good man,
a liberator
of blacks,
hardly had his
tongue lain flat
when a beast leaped out
of Lincoln’s chest in the well inked depiction
and light faded.

Somehow, god has managed to leave
the world alone,
his concern for Africa remains touching,
does that prick your conscience?
In Africa, a man kisses the land of nods
with the back of his heels and god bursts
into a fight with tall trees;
at dawn
god sends a man with a book.
(god is angry, god must speak his mind)
The tree at the front of the yard is evil,
it’s the home of legions
drumming people’s doom.

And god became more furious
with a dog walking
in the early hours of the morning.
And god said,
be drunk with olive oil at all times,
sprinkle some at a lone dog at dawn,
at least, it’s the spirit of a Sycorax
at the next door,
a shifting aged woman from a long flight.

And god said,
your body is the church,
you don’t need concrete
and iron sheets to build a church.
Just some poles to hoist sticks,
a grass mat to stop dust
and a tarpaulin to stop the sun and the rain.
In fact, staying under iron sheets can be a sin,
I’m not too sure about this.
god is careful with his words,
god needs to confirm from his angels,
god is choked by schedules.

And god concluded,
you don’t need to bog
your life down with a big book.
Just be consistent with olive oil.


Lukpata Lomba Joseph lives in Nigeria. His poems have appeared in Jacar Press’ One, Poetry North Ireland’s FourXFour Journal, Squawk Back Journal, South Florida Poetry Journal, The Collidescope, Caustic Frolic Literary Journal, Still Point Magazine and elsewhere. Recently, he has fallen in love with satirical writing with a deliberate focus on morality. He likes reading Aesop’s fables. You can find him on Facebook through