Gabriel Akamo – PDP Poet

-4And the Poetic Debaters Pop Up team is near completion. We welcome Gabriel Akamo!

Gabriel is a young poet and performer from North London. One of the winners of SLAMbassadors slam poetry competition by the Poetry Society in 2012, Gabriel has performed alongside Joelle Taylor and Dizraeli at the 100 Club  showcase night Performed at Literature Along the Thames, Tongue Fu ,  Keats’ House Festival in 2012,  Rich Mix, Portcullis House in Westminster for Parliament Week and at  the Poetry Café in Covent Garden. Other performances include recording classic love poetry and an original work for the  Peace Camp 2012 project with Fiona Shaw CBE.

Gabriel’s  keen interest in theatre, drives him to develop his writing skills and experience  for theatre stages  He has performed an original theatrical spoken word piece inspired by the 2011 production of Doctor Faustus at Shakespeare’s Globe. He is currently taking part in the NT Connections  Festival at the Artsdepot, North Finchley (and hopefully at the National Theatre). Some of his influences are  Great War poets such as Owen, Rosenberg and Sassoon and recorded an original piece  Goodbye Piccadilly exhibition launching in May 2014; the exhibition is by London’s Transport Museum as part of their First World War Centenary celebrations. Gabriel’s Christian faith and upbringing is a key influence on his work and a constant source of inspiration.


Israel (Exodus 19)

Before we crossed the desert
And arrived at the river,
The red sunset left our beaten brows ablaze with brazen cries,
For Moses had not descended.

Frustration folded our foreheads;
Sun damaged furrows reminded us of
intricate irrigation networks we’d designed in better times,
before hell froze over and the rising heat seared our soles.

Our souls sank beneath our feet,
For though our fathers promised pristine pools,
Nothing but nothing: An endless expanse
Peerless pasture, we saw
Until our sight hit the horizon and our eyes followed an upward curve,
Until, above the arid earth, they arched in the firmament
Until they neared the sun
and our lids were forced shut.

We dare not look on heaven,
Lest we remember our ascended master,
For we cursed the very memory of God.

We stood on parched parchment
storing the scrawlings of stories our lips would not speak,
For fear they’d split.

Instead we had inky feet:
Line by line our journey stretched behind
a staggered saga, slurred speech
Smeared each rejected sacrifice,
summarizing segments
until we’d stand,
stanzas later than expected
at Sinai’s foot,
with our prophet on the summit.

written by Gabriel Akamo

~ Zena


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