Series Editor - Jim Bennett

Hello.  Welcome to the next in the series of CITN featured poets.  We will be looking at the work of a different poet in each edition and I hope it will help our readers to discover some new and exciting writing.  This series is open to all to submit and I am now keen to read new work for this series.


You can join the CITN mailing list at - http://www.poetrykit.org/pkl/index.htm and following the links for Caught in the Net.



Across and wide, above and below

Where rivers met, I went there

My desires sat in a liquid strength

My course flowed into your snare


            from; I leave, River Lone by Jumoke Verissimo





Waiting for the rain



The Fable of This-certain-land (For a place called home)

I leave, River Lone

Memoirs on Lake Ohrid


Vigil for the sun

…Stood up


1 – BIOGRAPHY:  Jumoke Verissimo


Jumoke Verissimo was born in Lagos, Nigeria. She has worked as a journalist, copywriter, sub-editor and editor. Her award-winning collection of poems, I am Memory explores and experiments with the idea of memory on personal and societal levels. She has been a guest poet at the 48th Struga Poetry Evenings, Macedonia and 15th Norwegian Literature Festival in Lillehammer, Norway. Some of her poems have been translated into Arabic, Turkish, Mongolian, Macedonian, Japanese, and Norwegian.






The city lover

In the tales this city would tell newcomers
Yours would have a place, maybe first among
Those who thirst for love but own no lover
Or those who like to make love a tidy piece
And leave passion wandering on the streets
Gobbling streetlamps and sending anon gifts
Whistling at street corners to signal attention
Routing friends as spies and writing letters
Of a city where two should turn into a pod
And in the theatrics of these performance
You find a lover, and begin to woo survival.




Waiting for the rain


I dance naked in the rain

Yet no water touches me.


Agitation makes sweat                           

But that is not rain, like rain is not piss


Each time,

Waters soak the ground. Soak the root,

I remain a dry petal.


Am I the only one under the eaves?

That as earth mops water and drunken soils

Commune with roots,


I become hope waiting for raindrops to stroke my corolla,

Until I glimmer with water drops.


Being thirsty, does not mean one deserves a drink?


Under every tree are

Dry leaves lying prostrate cowered, fated to be swept

By wind or broom or scavenging legs;

I hope for a raindrop and feed on rooted mercy;

Better a petal dreaming to be wet

Than wilted in the sun.






we parted

we met

we parted

we met

we parted

we met

we melted

as memories.








In the cold of its sun, summer slept with one eye

I flow with Lake Mjøsa as it advises the newcomer:

“Strangers are at home in this land.”


Early May is home here where the sun shines warmly

On the land’s teeth.


Where green blows a kiss

Sun rays are inward

Blue night sky winks

Lures hearts into a confrontation with time


“How dare you deny me of sleep?”

I think, awake in sleep

Relaxed in the arms of a land that lights dusk


Small land

Harbouring mountain secrets.

“Do you wish to know what has happened here?” It asks.


Oppland Mountains splash pictures of the past

Steady streams of legs walk into an episode

Of dreams

Heading with vengeance for perfection


Out. In. Out. Almost In. Almost out…


Strangers leave as owners

Here someone else’s memory parts with everybody 

I go home. With you?





The Fable of This-certain-land (For a place called home)


Once upon a time in this-certain-land

there was a stream which served a people

now this stream will not flow its course,                      

for stumps, rocks, sand, shit, held it in a puddle.

This-certain-land was in a liquid mess,

across its borders, as the world turned a village                                       

its stench reached into that of global infamy

This-certain-land rose to the status of a hit flop

as its moon ran a full circle – fifty whines;

their stream’s filth ate up the sun. Dark days

descended on this-certain land.

Years passed, not a soul could stand the stink,

all that was left were a mass of dreamers,

that lived reading the famous Greek myth. One day

they caged their gods and sought the Grecians’

they prayed for the twelve labours of Hercules

and soon they dreamt up a sin for

some man who is a god who would come down,

and as Hercules clean, their Augean stable—(stream).

but there were too many gods to pray to,

for many a man were themselves a god in the land

and so when they came to asking for a

one who would help their stream find its course

they hoped that fate would make their choice

for faith was something they carried as burden

they prayed – hoping some god had open-ears.

They kept praying but were also throwing

more stumps, more rocks, more sand and shit

into that river which would not flow in its course

their own gods – Soponna, Sango, Amadioha, and

a host of others, disowned this-certain-land, and

relocated from the stench that kills even gods.






I leave, River Lone


I have visited many rivers

None has brought me to my knees

Even Styx gave me no quake

The waters of the world say I’m soul


Across and wide, above and below

Where rivers met, I went there

My desires sat in a liquid strength

My course flowed into your snare


You knew my name before I arrived,

Isn’t that why you disowned me thrice

Said without me, you would be deprived

For my boundaries flooded your waters


You wished to keep me in you, I see

Yet you knew we lived in a world apart

Your grip has paralysed my legs

But on these bent knees, I depart.






Memoirs on Lake Ohrid


On this lake one is two: a spent tourist, a distorted dreamer.

Me is a mass blue lake eating sands

drinking mirage of balkanised twitters

bathing suits on aroused shores

memories arriving for departure

from Balkan feuds, uniting into rhetorical bliss.


Lake Ohrid has pretty wrinkles                         

stories en masse with blues                                                                   

episodes of cares floating

paraded like a labour of idleness

Shell pickers bedding tales

One of me is twins, two is one;

Like brows meeting to be untogether.


One of me throws stones into the waters

Into ripples of blues that thaw depression

It’s like a union of all the seas I have never

known, felt or met; sealing me into a wish;

as two of me should be one of memoirs,

nostalgia, ambitions and those things that make Ohrid a Lake.









These are not days women go bathing in village streams

bearing a pot on the head; levelling the shame of seeing

a lover; with the fame of peers applauding a carrier’s poise.


In those times we talked, I’d see granites, washed white by waters

in high spirit. My eyes also saw us on top a tree’s shadow, loitering

for a parting kiss before the voice of mother splits our talk-talk.       


But what am I doing thinking of coconut trees we were forbidden to hang

around, for its owner felt every teenager was a fruit thief.


These days, when I dream of the first time we touched, I’m seeing the

Osun River flowing, meddling with our feet, though we are not there.


I sit back, watching time; knowing a stream is a long way from my longing.







Vigil for the sun


In this gloom                                                      

Owls hoot a calypso

It is cold

Everywhere is quiet

Our eyes wear a droop

We are awake, though

Our beds sink into snores


We gather to pray

For light

When the sun sinks to the east

The moon takes the place of day

There’s near-light.






…Stood up


My soul hangs loosely down

Though no one gloats:

A woman apart: sitting by a table, me and me

Wandering into otherselves

In half-eaten cakes, empty cups

I pick leftover conversations

On ruffled napkins, grains of rice

Soiled plates and

My attention sprawls on the table

I sit still, I don’t order food

As the waiter comes, I leave.




3 - Afterword

Email Poetry Kit - info@poetrykit.org    - if you would like to tell us what you think.  We are looking for other poets to feature in this series, and are open to submissions.  Please send one poem and a short bio to - info@poetrykit.org

Thank you for taking the time to read Caught in the Net.  Our other magazine s are Transparent Words ands Poetry Kit Magazine, which are webzines on the Poetry Kit site and this can be found at -