Tuesday, 2 April 2019

IRENE 2

02 April 1






Both Ehi and Blessing were at Irene's funeral last weekend. Clad in sparkling white knee-length gowns, hands folded across their chest, they stood by her graveside.

Blessing was crying- no- wailing so loudly that Ehi was beginning to feel like her heart was hewn from an igneous rock, especially as her eyes could not shed even a droplet of tears.

Perhaps it was the shock that the reality of a lifeless Irene lying stiff in a casket with wool in her ears and nostrils that left her feeling numb.

Ehi flipped through her writing pad. On the last page was a micro poem, a tribute for Irene. She read it again and again like she did the night before.

"Irene, this would have been an elegy
but many tongues drip dirges already.
This pen is drunk with sorrow & grief
it staggers from the furrows of my fingers
I can't write- I can't write!"

The priest was up and about his business. His robe getting stained with red earth by the lips of Irene's soon-to-be new home. "... God gives and takes. May the souls of the departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace and even in the bosom of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen."

As the pallbearers lowered Irene's remains, her mother let out an ear rupturing wail. Tears rolled down her cheeks, a puddle of mucus had formed on her upper lip. Her wrapper loosened and fell to reveal her long black gown.

"God!!!!!!!!! Take me too." The woman screamed, broke free from the hold of two women and ran towards the grave.

Tears welled up in Ehi's eyes. It was only then that she began to see what pain there was in scooping sand grains with the same hands that nursed a child and feeding it to the child's grave.

"Irene should have taken pity on this woman, the same who death rendered a single parent over a decade ago. She's been everything to her two children, hawking sometimes and doing some unwomanly things.

By now Sam, Irene's only brother and sibling was kneeling before his mum. His gestures seemed to say 'mum, stay here for me, please!!'
His red swollen eyes overflowed again as they both, in a warm embrace wept.

But suicide is not what happens when a man walks into the arms of death- it takes a lot of courage to do so. On some days, death tiptoes into a person's room, becomes another copy of the person, kills him/her and goes away unnoticed. Death does not always make noise!
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Sunday, 31 March 2019

IRENE

31 March 2


-
To hold a pen bearing the world's weight- this is what it takes to be a writer.
-

To easily detect the footprints of tears blurred out with many layers of make-up and see a person's sincere hunger for laughter is a familiar scene in her dreams.


As Ehi laid in bed last night with her petite frame wrapped away in a blanket of gloom, this scene replayed again in her head. She imagined she'd successfully convinced herself to visit Irene two nights ago.


This thought gave way to a soliloquy.


"If I did, I would have talked her outta depression and we won't have lost her! But no, I wanted to be indoor all evening. Listen to country songs, write a poem or two and catch up with my online guitar classes. Ehi..."


She called her name as a tear trekked down her cheek.


"But you cannot give what you don't have, my friend" that was Blessing, she must have been eavesdropping. She always does that.


Ehi did not remember to bolt the door. She didn't even realize when the door creaked and delivered her nosy flatmate.


The two, do not talk often except when they had to clean the apartment or something that required synergy.


"Don't say that Blessing, I replied, "a kerosene lamp illuminates a dark room but it cannot see it's base for its base is enveloped with darkness."


Blessing had by now pulled a chair and made herself comfortable. She didn't say one more word after my illustration. That meant only one thing- affirmation.


They both knew Irene. The girl would visit them with packs of home made vegetables with plenty of fish and pomo. She'd ask us to make eba and have us eat with her.


After which Irene and Blessing would talk movies and fashion while Ehi was lost in an anthology of poems. But she always knew that the glow of Irene's light skin and the smiles which sprout on her full lips did not have a taproot. Somehow she felt that even a not-so-strong wind would root it out completely. Yet Ehi did not go out of her way to help.


Irene asked her to her place on the same night, what seemed like minutes before she gulped the contents of a bottle of snipper and perhaps writhed in pain till she passed out. But Ehi was quick to make an excuse,
"Irene, I have a deadline to beat tonight." She lied.


Irene replied with a cold 'okay' and hung up.


The next day, her phone rang and it was Irene again. Ehi hissed and cussed in pidgin "this girl noh know say mouth dey heavy me? Which kan' early mor' mor' call be this?"


"Hello" She said with a feigned warmth when she answered the phone.
But it was a man on the other side. A familiar voice that was, perhaps Peter's, Irene's next door neighbor.

"Yes... Good morning Ehi"

"Where is this Irene of a girl?" She asked.


Then silence hit her. She took her phone from her ear and checked to see whether the call had ended.


"Ehi," Peter said softly, "Irene is gone"


"Jesus!!!" Ehi screamed and immediately went silent.




To be continued.
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Monday, 25 March 2019

THE FLAME HAS LOST HER LIMBS

25 March 7


The moon in your eyes,
I remember how it glowed
Before the winds came
& put out its flame


The fireplace in your heart,
I remember the warmth
Before its coals became ice.
The way the fire crackled,
Resonating with the music
in my heart,


I remember, I remember everything,
But love is like sweetened gall,
An alloy of pain & pleasure,
& a reminder that poisons
Are not always bitter!
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Thursday, 21 March 2019

For Poetry & All The Things It Is To A Poet (World Poetry Day)

21 March 1


Tonight, I recall those nights when poetry sat with me in a dark room and whispered in my ear; "darkness is a song- dawn is its last note."


Tonight, I recall the cold mornings when poetry served me a steaming cup of tea, sweetened with rhythm and imageries.


Tonight, I recall the days when poetry mobilized metaphors to tow my worries away on the wheels of lines and verses.


Tonight, I recall the cavern rooms I found in poetry when termites ate my home and left me to roam homeless.


Tonight, I recall when an allegory ferried me away from the shores of vulnerability and delivered me on the island of imagination.


Tonight, I recall the days when poetry became my lift and took me to the 7th floor of fulfillment.


I recall, tonight, all the things poetry has been to me and I am thankful.

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Tuesday, 5 February 2019

THE FLICKERING RAY BECAME A BEAM

05 February 0


Chi is wedged between a wooden table and a leather chair close to the window of her self-con apartment, down the ever-quiet Engineer Kitchener’s Street. Raymond, her boyfriend was keen on getting her an apartment on this street because he knew the serenity would mean a lot to his hyper-introverted sweetheart.


This Saturday, like all others in the last five months- since she began working on her debut novel- she is clad in a loose fitting blouse and a pair of shorts. Her hair is neatly wound up and held in place with a ribbon as she nods to Christina Perri’s “I don’t wanna break”- a song which found its way to the top of her playlist since she met Raymond, about a year ago. The chorus not only mirrored what she wanted with Ray, as she fondly called him, she seemed to connect more with the lyrics each time she listened, because Christina Perri, didn’t tuck in the rough edges of love like many contemporary singers do.


But as she gradually came to the end of her story, each tap on the keys of her laptop brought a degree of anxiety. She thought, “Am I writing a story that has already been written by someone?” Then she paused to cross examine all her characters- beginning with little Ezinne who was a reincarnate of her paternal gran and had such powers as could stop her father, Okey from hitting Vero, her mum.


Chi thought of how many goats a grateful Vero sacrificed to the goddess of fertility while on the flipside was widowed Uloma, who did not let a day pass without begging the same goddess not to bother with returning her to this earth, except barren. Uloma just couldn’t get over the fact that her own son could slit his father’s throat and drag her to widowhood.


As the dialogues replayed in Chi’s mind, she tried to run away from the voices in her head. She stood up, removed her glasses, placed it on the table and went to fetch herself a chilled drink from the refrigerator. She poured out one full glass and began to sip it all-so slowly, as she walked to the window, where she leaned and stared at the trees with huge branches, entwined like two lovers- like her and Ray- dancing to the slow music of the evening breeze. She smiled.


She liked the thought. She wished it could last long enough to help her escape the guilt of killing Ezinne, the character who held her story from the beginning and pulled it to the end, the same way a tow-van takes a badly damaged vehicle from an accident scene for repairs. Chi could not help but feel that she had bitten the finger which fed her and her eyes soon began to well with up with tears.


While she stood there trying to make up reasons why Ezinne had to go, her phone rang. She rushed to pick it. She had left it on her bed to avoid distractions but when she saw that it was Ray, her face beamed with a smile. She wiped her tears, cleaned the accumulating mucus in her nostrils with a tissue paper, cleared her throat and answered the phone with the plumiest accent ever

“Hello Ray”
“Are you Chi?” Blared a throaty voice from the other side of the phone.
“Yes… Chi” She stammered
“I’m sorry,” said the man “the man who owns this phone was involved in an accident and…”
“Where are you? I meant, just tell me where is he?” She yelled. Anxiety had licked up her last drop of courtesy.
“Gyado Junction, but we are…”


She didn’t let the man finish before she dropped the call, got a change of clothes and ran off to the main road to find a commercial cyclist. As they rode to the accident scene she cried bitterly. “Was her Ray going to get amputated or worse still, die?” “Would she begin again to nurse another love wound?” “Would her fragile heart be able to endure another crack?” So many questions and sadly she didn’t have answers to any.


As she approached Gyado Junction, she saw a small crowd hovering around Ray’s deep blue Camry and her heart sank deeper in despair. “This is no joke” She thought, “Can life get any more unfair?” Tears rolled down her cheeks as she alighted and walked towards the crowd as fast as her feet would let her.


“Chi Chi”
She heard her name behind her. It seemed to be Ray’s, the unmistakable baritone voice and the unique rhythm in the tone with which he usually called her name sold him out. She tried to walk even faster but her feet froze with fright on the thought that it may be Ray’s ghost.


When the sullen look on the faces of the crowd began to give way to smiles, Chi became suspicious and mustered the courage to turn around. And there, just a few yards away, was her Ray, on one knee, holding out a beautiful ring.
“Marry me, Chi.
Chi, be my chi,
The shrine is ready, the priest too,
Please be my goddess”

Chi was sandwiched between excitement and astonishment. She didn’t see it coming. A tear trickled down her left cheek as she said a faint “Yes” accompanied by a nod. Ray, immediately placed the ring on her finger, kissed her and gathered her into a warm embrace while his friends and onlookers captured the moment.


chi- (Igbo) a personal god
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Friday, 1 February 2019

TELL PAPA

01 February 0



Ujunwa, have they told papa that
I am a story wrapped in a parcel,
Held in place by a colorful ribbon of tears?


Did papa believe them when they told him,
That I am the ashes of burnt dreams,
Waiting to be whisked away by wandering winds,
From the fireplace of broken ambitions?


I know Uju, I know that I am the shadow
Of a lost wonder, tiptoeing through
The thick forests of fears,
Without a map to guide me home.
But I hope this secret has not leaked from
The lips of the gossiping evening winds-
That's sits by the window of papa's thoughts
Idling until the break of an unbroken day.


Uju, tell papa that I am the wandering smile
He sought in the wilderness of frowns.
Tell papa that I am the 'female son' who will
Mop the distasteful stare that trails a man
Who has nothing but daughters



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Monday, 28 January 2019

LET US BE ONE POEM

28 January 2


I know my soul is a complex of ballads & odes,
A barn where harvested poems are stacked,
But let me stare into your eyes, my fair one,
For there are sonnets scribbled therein,
Written in verses of infernous passion
& if only you'd affix your hands in mine,
We'd become an anthology of poems,
To be read by our estranged lovers-
The ones who promised to be rainbows
To scare away our flood of gloom,
But left when clouds gathered in our eyes.
The curvy figure(s) of speech may become amoebic,
For I have seen metaphors melt like candle
& oxymoron, made morons of poets;
But if we superimpose & become one poem,
then we need not fear when arguments tear us apart & break us into lines,
For even after enjambments have tried in vain to keep us together,
My fair one, we will surely be reunited by verses.
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Tuesday, 22 January 2019

I Could Have Raised the Walls But I'm Out of Bricks

22 January 0



How many more shots of you will I need to drink before I am drunk enough
To stagger from side to side and crumble in  a heap by the sidewalk of love?
Tell me, when this tipsy-ness would mature into a war in my bowels
And make me puke all the hurt and hate in the depths my soul




Will I stare long enough at your curly hair
Before the walls around my heart
Melt like candle wax and erode the memory of the man
Who planted tears in my eyes and left shrieks on my lips?




I have tasted the sweetness of your soft
whispers,
I have read the love notes in your eyes
But why is it written in the handwriting of my ex?





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Friday, 18 January 2019

A Letter to Dawn

18 January 10

As soon as mama weaned me
Papa stood by the corners of my mouth
With a gourd, full of wisdom
And told me; "Drink, my child, drink!
For life is a journey through a desert
Where there are no oases."



My feet are dusty with age
And soon my ghost would sit
On the lips of my grave;
But a man as me, who at boyhood
chewed the smoke from his father's pipe
should not go down, bland and unripe



I am writing you from the fireplace of nostalgia
Where memories melt me into tears
For our friendship with the rain is severed-
The same lightening which aforetime,
Guides a lost boy into the bosom of his home
Invites thunder to rain lethal blows of death
On the same.
Dead are the days when the shrine was
but a post office where each man
with stamps of libations, sent letters to nature
and received correspondences from the same



As the sickle of time bares my head
I am become a mirror of experience
For the young to stop, stare
And see how well they have adorned
Themselves to meet their future,
But will haste let them?



It is true that many an old man’s mind
Is a street littered with carcasses of
Decaying dreams (a dance floor for maggots)
But it is not true that they all look forward
To nothing but death, ‘cause tonight,
I and my walking stick will keep a vigil
To receive you, dear Dawn



Not even the sore throat of the cock
whose crow announces daybreak
Must stop you, ‘cause you are
The help our stuttering meteorologist needs.
For like a talking drum, you bite not your tongue
When you remind us that nature is roaring
And soon she'd shoot bullets of earthquakes
From her nozzle-less riffle of disasters.
Then the smile of rivers will melt into a laughter
Of floods and epidemics will mock us
When our own ridges produce tubers of death
That’d make our hair drop, strand after strand
Like a deciduous tree sheds its leaves



By then, men will hold guns for boys to pull triggers
And we will begin afresh to sing dirges
For still-birthed crayons and dead pens,
Like we did when Okigbo’s thighs,
Were as grilled chicken, laid on the plates
Of peace for the chewing pleasure of the war


Dear Dawn, you’re paraphernalia
For our masquerades; your bare chest is
The divining tray on which we must throw cowries;
You are the town crier of the future,
Please when you arrive the village square,
Halt the loud music of urbanization, at once!
And tell the people not to wrestle with shrubs
And break the necks of trees,
Tell them not to spit refuse on the face of our rivers,
Tell them that the sun in the eyes of the star is dimming
And a corrosive tear trickles down the cheeks of our sky
Tell them…



Dawn, I implore you to drive carefully,
For our road(s) is a bait on the hook of death
And a reckless driver, its sinker!



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Friday, 11 January 2019

How Girls Become Butterflies

11 January 3



In between gloom and bloom

-

A girl is afraid to keep the flower she picked today,
She thinks it would wither
Like the last one she picked-
Because,
She remembers the way its petals
curled inwards and browned into
a dry ugly hate which stunk so badly
that the memory of its fragrance died
almost immediately.



So she enters into herself,
Becomes a larvae of silence.
She doesn't stop there.
Pain pushes her further
And she crawls into a cocoon of solitude,
grows wings, becomes a butterfly.



These days, she is the garden
inhaling fragrances
And getting drunk on nectars-
she'd stagger from one flower
To the other,
But one, two flaps and her wings
Returns her to where she started-
In between gloom and bloom.


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Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Death is Not Another Color of Light

02 January 2

                                     


Do not tell me that death is an anaerobic sleep,
And like the whale which swallowed Jonah,
It'd spew my son at the tideless shore of bliss,
Just  to muffle my mournful wail!



If you must, let your coffin first sail on a sea of dirges,
And you, with the blade of curiosity,
Have slit open the belly of graves;
Then you can wag your hope-coated tongue
For on my bed, lies unclad grief and death- seductively becks
And I hang on, because you speak of a nightmare,
Awaiting folks who by the lullaby of suicide, slumber sweetly.



Wait till we regurgitate your last words and of its cud, chew, 

Wait till you have watched the barren black night, birth light,

And confirmed that the grave is a footpath to eternal delight;

Until then, do not tell me that death is a luminous darkness.


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Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Come Watch Me Dance Naked

26 December 15


Jaachi, I am the tree which died in the seedlings you refused to tend. I am a memory you cannot drown in a keg of palm-wine, for like a feather, I will float upon the rivers of your thoughts till you recall and regret the night when you abandoned a broken flute at the village square, for I am that flute and wholeness found me in the hands of a drummer boy who lost his drumsticks.


They say the pen is the only wingless hen which shields chicks from preys, but your lines were baits on the hook of heartbreak.  It was from you that I saw that love could be conceived by virgin words, delivered in a manger of lines, wrapped away in swaddling clothes of stanzas in a place where muzzled emotions bleat noiselessly in furred imageries and poetic devices. Jaachi, all there was to your love was poetry!


So each time a man strolls into my daughter’s mind, turns his heart into a scroll and writes a verse with his tongue, I take her by the hand and lead her to the small room on the tip of my tongue. There I melt into a calabash of soliloquy:
“Child, the currents of the heart is not measured in ohms, maybe in pain, too vast to be calibrated. Every wrong I did is a wrung on the ladder of my counsels. If you climb them, you will not elope with the moon like I did, only to see the sun crawl out of the clouds with all the brightness I’ve always wanted. I realized too late that darkness is an egg, when placed in the incubator of patience, hatches into a bright light.”


Jaachi, come to the village square tonight and watch me dance naked and unashamed of the bliss which became blisters, for they have become painless scars. Come, Jaachi come and nod your head to the music of my waist-beads for this is the ritual  a woman must perform to escape being burnt by the smokeless fire in her nostrils.


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Saturday, 15 December 2018

WE WILL WALK THIS CONTINENT AGAIN, WITH PRIDE

15 December 0




The fire crackling in my eyes has a rhythm,


which resonates with the storms we wrestled,


before we lost our paddle & before our boat,


broke into pieces. Tighten your grip, my kinsmen,


on this flaxy wind. Let every man ask his chi to


place him in the hollow of our ancestors’ skulls,


Let us all plead with the gods to make for us,


another paddle from their bones, for we must


get home, even if home is a land trapped in


the closed eyes of the dream which sat beside


papa’s bamboo bed when he told us about


the two rivers on nnem’s forehead, from which


we will never again harvest fishes, fattened by


flesh bits of a Benue boy, who chewed a plate


of bullets for late dinner. My kinsmen, let us


glide thru’ these waters. Swim we must, sail we will,


but sink we shan’t! For we must get home, even if home


is a dream, the blur dream of a famished lad whose eyes


were invited for a salad in Aso Rock while his drooling


mouth is tucked away in a blanket of darkness, as he


spends another moonless night under the Lagos bridge.


Please lift your heads above these ebbs & read the words


on my tongue, for it is Ala’s scroll & Agwu‘s map, 


both will lead us home, to the land where the rain of love


will fall on our fathers’ backs & erode the scars of the


Biafran War & make the lushness of our lawn to return with


all its elegance, till we walk this continent again with pride.




nnem- my mother


Ala- an Igbo deity of the earth, fertility, creativity and morality


Agwu – an Igbo deity of health and divination, and one who explains good or bad.




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Tuesday, 4 December 2018

BROKEN SHIPS (2)

04 December 2



Vivy recalled how she stood there shivering as her wet black dress dripped water while her boyfriend, blinded by his insecurities went on blabbing.


“What insensitivity!” She thought as she removed her shower cap and freed her massive braids and began to peel the wet clothes off her skin.


Nonso realizing his insensitivity hurried to get her his towel, a robb balm and a cotton sweater.


“I.. am sorry, Vivy” he pulled a hair strand from his beard as he spoke and mopped her body with the towel.


“I love you and I don’t want to lose you to any of these guys.” He put an arm around her but she wriggled out of his hold and collapsed on a couch, wrapping her body with the large blue towel.


He stroked her hair and pecked her.
“Let me get you a cup of tea. I will be back.” He disappeared and reappeared with a steaming mug and a few slices of bread. He begged her to stop being cold and unresponsive, so they could enjoy the evening together.


Vivy drank her tea, mouthful after mouthful and soon her body warmed up but her heart remained cold. She was already dozing when Nonso lifted her as effortlessly as he’d always done and took her to his room. Vivy had to wait for the heap of clothes on the bed before she crawled into bed, shut her eyes and went to sleep immediately.


He cuddled her and whispered into her ears,

“No bedtime kiss?” and his warm breathe teased in her ears.

“Just because I let you hold me, right?” Vivy asked.
“You mean, you would not mind if we slept on either extremes of this bed?”

Nonso asked in a mild irritation; before he went on to apologize again. “But Baby, I said I am really sorry.”


She sighed, rolled her eyes and pecked him. However hard she tried, she couldn’t stay mad at him

Nonso caressed her body gently and softly.  She found herself melting under his touch. With one swift motion he straddled her. He began to plant kisses on her forehead as he cupped her face for a kiss. The kiss was warm and soft. It did many things to Vivy.


It seemed like his tongue was searching for a treasure chest in her mouth. She just knew that that kiss was nothing like the ones she’d always gotten from him after each date, when he walked her to her hostel, gave her a long hug and gave her a parting kiss. This one was deep, long and hard and it was a pointer that things were going to get steamy.


It’s a few months now and Vivy can still recall how Nonso peeled off the towel she had wound about her and began lapping on every inch of her body as though she was a goddess. She still remembers how she had wanted to ask him to stop but her tongue cleaved to the roof of her mouth, maybe because she wasn’t sure if it was the right thing or because it felt so good, so sweet.


These days, when she looks back, she cannot but say that that night marked the beginning of her sexual adventures. Her sex life steamed up and she just wanted to explore, to move from the shallow waters of pleasure to the very depth. But romance is like cycling down a hill, any attempt to stop midway is impossible. So Vivy could not help but watch her morality grow wings and flutter away.


One night she was hanging out with Nonso till 11pm, the cold windy evening and power outage stilled the campus with an unusual silence. But Vivy had already asked to hang out with Nonso earlier and not even the cold would stop her.


She sat on his thighs and they talked about a number of things; from school work to his family and their relationship. Nonso talked about her beauty and her mannish traits which added immensely to her sexiness. He reassured her of his love and she could not but smile as he spoke. She also professed her love, touched his beard and pecked his dimpled cheeks.


Nonso soon began to caress her back with one hand while the other drifted under her sweater. Everything happened so fast; the tight hug, the wet kiss, and all the things that happened in between before they heard a clap behind them.


“Don’t dare move an inch from there” It was the voice of a security officer.

“If you do, the patrol van will come right after you!” He warned as he advanced towards them.


Vivy had never been more embarrassed; she wished she could just disappear. She wished this wasn’t happening to her. She wondered how she’d walk around campus if this made it to the authorities.


Nonso buckled his belt as fast as he could, grabbed her sweaty hand and tried to run away.
“I’m scared.” Vivy whispered.
“Don’t worry, I have things under control.”


The man came for Nonso, held him by his jean and pulled him towards the van. Vivy stood a few feet away and watched them.


But not long after the scream of the furious security man was reduced to whispers as Nonso slipped his hands into his pocket and gagged the poverty-stricken man with some naira notes.


Only a few weeks after this rather embarrassing incidence, Nonso and Vivy had a date and he came cold and would not even hug her. She didn’t know that he had stumbled on a picture on her Facebook page; a photo of her and Ken, her high school best friend, in matching outfits and he confronted her.


“Isn’t this Ken?” He showed her the photo which he had saved on his phone.
“Why are you both wearing matching outfits? What was the occasion? I have asked that we should wear matching outfits and it hit a very hard resistance from you. Why is that? And you keep telling me that I am the one you love yet you are holding back, treating other guys in a more special way. You…”


“Nonso…” She interrupted.
“What you want to hear is exactly what I’d say tonight; I don’t love you and I just want to play!” She said sarcastically and went on.


“See, I am tired of proving myself to you. Your insecurities will never let your trust (in me) germinate, let alone allow it grow.
I am tired of you stalking me and meticulously searching for loopholes and strong points to back up your suspicions.”


The argument escalated and it became an insult hauling spree for Nonso. Vivy talked back too but her boyfriend’s sharp tongue was no match for her and soon she broke down and began to sob. It was amidst this sobs that she told him off.


“I won’t let you tear me down anymore! I am done!!” She said and walked away from Nonso who showed no remorse until after a couple of days, but it was too late.  Vivy’s mind was made up. She didn’t want to get back with a man who verbally abused her at the slightest opportunity.


What Vivy had with Nonso is not different from what a termite has with a piece of wood. The termite eats all the substance in the wood and fills it with frass. Everyone who sees the wood would think it is alright until it suddenly collapses. It is unwise for any woman to stick with a man who stitches her two inches and tears her down three inches.


These days Vivy would cycle to her favorite park on campus and watch other love birds, wings entwined promising each other to fly to forever. But forever is a mirage, the closer a person gets to it, the farther away it moves. She still remembers all the warm moments she had with Nonso and how it crawled into a small hole called memories.


Although time is healing her wounds she has learnt that the hardest part of breaking up is returning alone from love’s hike in which a person sets out with their special someone and did not feel time pass or think they have walked so far. It is sad to set sail in a ship with someone who meant everything to you and then watch distrust break the ship into pieces and you have to wear the lifejacket of courage and swim to the shore of healing all alone.


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Monday, 3 December 2018

Musings, Monologues & Madness

03 December 2




"…which is not really a poem.//But if I call it one, may I be allowed//a small measure of madness?”                  

  -Jose Antonio Rodriguez


I

we do not know how many calabashes

of fermented incantations the gods 

must drink to get drunk; but we know 

that wisdom is not something the gods

give in exchange for kola nuts!

sometimes they melt it into verses & 

allow it drip in lines, from a poem.


II

but a poet’s mind is a muddy stream.

himself cannot tell you when to

come scoop a drink of clean water,

for his lingering darkness is a (night)mare

which he rides & gallops till dawn.

even on nights, when he sleeps with 

stars under his eyelids, he awakes 

with tiny pieces of broken dreams 

in the corners of his mouth.


III

so when you see him at a park, 

having a conversation with a statue, 

& laughing real hard; when you see

him sip from a glass of solitude or

catch him in a romantic dance with his shadow,

understand that a poet is a wild man,

& you cannot tame him,

for no one suckles the nip

of curiosity and remains sane.





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