Posts Tagged ‘poetry’

TO HANNAH’S SON

Posted: January 31, 2015 in Poetry
Tags: ,

by Soonest Nathaniel Iheanyi

Brother
I now wear rags,
But these rags once passed for regals of royalty.
I pay now in empty bags,
The prize of making a case for infidelity;
Perhaps I should plead for prayers and psalms,
Other than ask annoyingly for arms,
Though I doubt
I’m still too young to kneel.

A Nebuchadnezzar
I, thought myself a god,
But here gods die
So here I am
dying at your feet.
Flowers feed on flesh;
They now grow teeth,
But I on the leaves of grass now feast.
Lost sabers,
Lost claws,
Lost canines;
I chew the cud
And tread on cloven feet.

Please treat me as unclean,
Follow your Leviticus order;
To touch my carcass is sin,
I doubt my prize was paid at Golgotha.
I long though be redeemed,
On Rudolph’s philosophy weaned,
But ungodliness roams the holy night.
Lead me friend,
Lead me to the waters.
A bathe in Jordan,
A taste of Bethseda;
Its ironic,
But John’s baptize in gutters.

Unworthy,
I say to you,
prophet please don’t touch
The strap of my sandals,
But you say church
Is a courthouse for radicals.
I see them all,
I see them now,
Court whores and camp jesters;
We are all sinners,
Righteousness is a crime.

I’ve done my time
Life a nasty mix
Of lemon and lime;
Find me a quick fix,
These junkie moments are sublime.
Perhaps tomorrow I’ll rise
A Naaman made unwhole,
And beyond poetry
A crow descend upon head;
And a loud voice say,
These is my rejected son
In whom I am displeased.
O! Let Gehazi bear no more
the curse of my leprosy.

Liberty of Creativity

Liberty of Creativity

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A Jasmine Flower; Picture Courtesy of Google

A Jasmine Flower; Picture Courtesy of Google

by Okoye Chukwudi Ezeamalukwuo

(Inspired by “Mandela; a Biography” by Martin Meredith)

Pick a Jasmine, my love
Pick a fresh, white Jasmine.
The flowers are more lovely this year
The bird’s songs are sweeter than before
And the sky is the bluest I’ve ever seen.
But the fallen dreams of Africa,
Lie un-blossomed still in the desert soils of our hearts.
The sower will sow once more before the year is done.
The heavens will smile, and rain will surely fall by dawn.
The farmer’s boy will till the Earth
With a village song on his tongue.
But the lost hopes of my people;
Those black seeds left un-nurtured in the ground
May never know the blooming light of day,
Though I pick this white Jasmine
Though I plant kisses on your lips.

Listen! My love, Listen!!
Listen to the sound of the wind on your hair,
The chirping of the crickets in the wood,
The clapping of the wings of butterfly,
The buzzing of bees on flower petals;
Listen! My love. You will hear it surely;
The cries of infant, the wails of women,
The clash of spears, the drawing of bows and thrust of arrows,
The noise of battle and marching of tribal warriors,
The voice of pride and the words of prejudice,
The groaning of a people down and downtrodden,
It is the voice of Africa calling. . .
And I must pick myself up and go.
From the North to the South, To the East and West,
She calls; ‘My people; what have you done to yourselves,
This is no manner to live; a stranger among friends,
Knives sharpened; ready to battle,
To draw blood from kindred veins.’
Listen! My love. Listen! She calls,
Give ears and hearken.

Somewhere in time; I believe
They will be singing the Nkosi Sikekela*
And the ancient rhythms of our land,
And there I shall return;
With love for you, and time for me.
But today; the voice of my people calls;
And there is no joy yet for us to reap
Though I pick this white Jasmine,
Though I plant kisses on your lips.

NB: Nkosi Sikekela is a Zulu song usually regarded ad a national anthem by Africans south of thr Zambezi. Nkosi means the King or the Lord; and the phrase means “God guide the destiny of our land!” (Culled from “A Selection of Africa Poetry” by K.E. Senanu & T. Vincent ed. 1988)

Lyriversity — Liberty of Creativity

Image of Maya Angelou, courtesy of Wikkipedia

Image of Maya Angelou, courtesy of Wikkipedia

by Chime Justice Ndubuisi

A tribute to Maya Angelou (April 4 1928 – May 28 2014)

I hold it up again today; the world,
Pregnant with magical dimples
Of a child’s reckless abandon,
And look at the face,
Then I look at the deep cut
And the pain it inflicted
I look back at the unpaid ransom,
The whips, hands chained to the back
Faces buried deep into the cold wall,
The so-called wall of the world, soaked
By the tears of our raped eyes.
I have seen the world through and through;
The sweet bitterness of living and dying,
The joyful agony of getting and losing;
The memories come clear like crystal
And the weak world whirls by unconsciously
Taking us down its untrodden alluvial depths
And scattering silence nearby and abroad:
Those are the world’s worth!
Who amongst us does not have a story?
The world is killing us, thinking, perhaps
That there is sudden rebirth in each death
But those we lost are gone forever
And we bite our lips and rub our eyes,
Alas! Another phenomenon has been lost.

Like a cherished effigy
I hold it up again, the wild world
The nuance feeling surges like thousand waves
And I listen as different sharp sounds
Of cries, nay, moans pierce my ears,
The tears fall in torrents like a waterfall.
The earth, our unconcerned world is killing us,
Like little ants…it kills us with sledgehammer,
Hypothetical villain lurking by street corners
Waiting and waiting, almost impatiently.
But we love the world, and so much so
We cling to life, despite the odds
We want to live, love and be loved,
We want to experience and explore the depths.
We have been heartbroken again and again,
And each time we heal
We lick our wounds and clean our tears
Trying to protect our battered ego.
We hold it up again and again
Like a cherished effigy, smiling
Notwithstanding our heaps of unfulfilled dreams,
Our not-to-clear future, our unheard cry-cracked voices,
Despite the rigours of the trite rituals
Of our religions, our creeds, our norms;
Despite the guns, the bombs, the blades
That cut us clean and shatter our unborn hopes,
We still cuddle our earth like a cherished effigy
Dressed to pattern by virgin children
While it takes us down one after another
Jubilantly like a well trained military marksman.
Alas! Another phenomenon has been gone.

Lyriversity — Liberty of Creativity

I BRING SONG (Poetry)

Posted: October 15, 2014 in Poetry
Tags: , ,

by Oluwatosin Lion Oni

I bring songs, not prophecies of seers
of indefatigable hope when men bury heads in brain
of indomitable optimism when we Steele minds in thought

Song may become prophetic, or the prophetic; songful
and who will tell the mid-points?

I bring songs, not prophecies of seers

farmers sing when planting
workers sing when working
creativity is song…

I bring songs, not the prophecies of seers
songs may be prophetic, and the prophetic may be songful
but who, who can tell the centre?

I bring songs to make sweats easy,
I bring sweat to make after-song sweeter.

Lyriversity — Liberty of Creativity

PAWN SERIES (I & II)

Posted: September 30, 2014 in Poetry
Tags: , ,

by Anene Francis

I
Here we are, fellow seamen lowly paid,
In this ship, another sea to invade.
The wind’s beating cause the sails growl in pain.
Underneath, I hear more– your muffled wails.
Not for equal division of labour
But same proportion be used for honour.
The winds we battle to tame night and day
And in turns keep watch for bergs and pirates.
We know who takes the credit– the captain
That savours the comfort of the cabin,
Spout orders and inspect with folded arms.
Who remembers the name of a seaman?
They say we are the most crucial at sea.
Not me, not individual you but WE!
Don’t be fooled by the badge on Captain’s chest.
We touch land, we breathe same air of success.
Hear and cheer up. He too was once here, down.
Pawns. Indeed, that is what we are– for now.

II
Onward we march, fellow infantrymen
From hostile force our frontiers to defend.
Armed with rifles or less and boots for treks.
Head and torso guard of helmets and vests.
All around me your jaundiced eyes I see
Sick with envy, cast at the cavalry.
I too desire the comfort of horsebacks
And assurance within the fort of tanks.
I wish to wield awing power of bombers
Or artilleries that taunt from afar.
Thank goodness that wishes were not horses
For they too would wish no rider exists.
If all feathers were to be beaks and claws,
How would Eagle sour the skies she now lords?
I look at you, I get huge morale boost.
That which I lack, I find in multitude.
No surety in base support or supplies
But ourselves– I watch your back, you watch mine.
True. The Grim Reaper may claim some of us.
We’re but pawns fighting for a noble course.

Lyriversity — Liberty of Creativity

MY OCARINA CALLED TIME (Poetry)

Posted: September 26, 2014 in Poetry
Tags: , ,

by Enyinnaya Marachi Ofoegbu

Things just don’t feel so right
In the dark long alleys of my heart
Peace and quiet just does not reign
In the deep corners of my soul
I try to calm myself but the more I try,
The worse it gets
Who can save me from this pain
Who can save me from myself
The alleys of life do not tell you where you are going
The alleys of life do not tell you what you are doing
Each day you awake to uncertainty
Each night you sleep with uncertainty
Every minute of the day the chords of my heart
Are struck by uncertainty
Every second I wish I could turn
Back the hands of time
Each day I beg for forgiveness for the things I’ve done
For all the mistakes I have made
For all the wrongs I have done
Though time heals all but I sit and ask Can this be washed away on the sand of time.
My soul despairs not, but everything else does
My intuition tells me its over,
My inhibitions tell me its not
What am I to believe, what is there to believe.
Life unfolds or so I am told
But impatient I have become to see
What happens in the end
I hope and pray and beg that all is not lost
For my hearts sake
As I sit in this theatre called life
And listen to this Ocarina called time.

Lyriversity — Liberty of Creativity

YOU ARE HERE

Posted: September 26, 2014 in Poetry
Tags: , ,

by Nancy Ewurum Chibuzor

I
You are here
But not here
Roaming the deserts of nostalgia
I reach out to touch you
But I catch the rushing wind
I whisper your name
But the echoes fling it back to me
I walk faster to catch up
But your fleeing shadow cast night upon my path
Like a blind man with no guide
I grope about for a steady hold

II
You are here
But not here
Swimming about in confused waters
I try to call your name
But the watery talons hold back my voice
I kick against the tide of frustration
But my flailing legs are indeed no match
For the currents of your absence
I cling to the reeds singing your goodbye
In hope of strangling that dreadful song
I succeed only in magnifying your vacancy

III
You are here
But not here
Sliding down the ice glaciers of life
I feel around for your warmth
But your footprints have long been erased
I listen hard for your returning footsteps
But I hear deafening silence
Like an avalanche plummeting hastily
I rush through life’s blizzards
In hope of finding the ‘still waters’
Amidst the death valley of life’s turbulences

IV
You are here
But not here
Levitating on the illusions of loneliness
I conjure up your imagery
Like Leonardo, I wake up still dreaming
I see you afar off
I pinch my nose and dance in circles
But I’m quite lucid
I steer towards your fantasized form
But with the mist; you elope
Grieved, I touch down and taxi into firm reality.



Nancy Ewurum Chibuzor is a project manager, a graduate Federal University of Technology, Owerri. You can reach her on twitter: @nansyie

Lyriversity — Liberty of Creativity

by Oyin Oludipe

(Written on a Harmattan in Epe)

I sit on shadows, strange
Flights on crosswinds shred
On rust fingers. Through wheeled craft
I sit an earth’s labour to reap
A dance of leaves, newsprung –
Then to sudden dearth –

Is the shrill echo of life
This broken robe of dust cannot tail…
Behind a misted shelf of waters, paint all,
An amber row of roots, air-threads cut
On gale interstices, watching
Clouds that drop as lone prayers
Of mariners they…

Voices new circle
Ghost pastures to the realm,
Terraces of heat to bush prances.
Awaiting silver reins, I sit
A season’s storm to watch
The story of the rot

Oyin Oludipe is a poet and playwright, runs the blog, Hairy Diary (oyinoludipe.blogspot.com). You may contact him on twitter @Sir_Muell

Lyriversity — Liberty of Creativity

FOR BIAFRA (Poetry)

Posted: August 12, 2014 in Poetry
Tags: , , ,
A starving Biafran Child

A starving Biafran Child

by Okoye Chukwudi Charles Ezeamalukwuo

(Inspired by “HALF OF A YELLOW SUN” the movie)

The labours of our heroes past,
The blood of our heroes past
Spilled upon this rolling stone,
Poured from this earthen urn
Runs still from these broken skulls
To the earth in vain…

And yesterday’s rain still beats us today,
The passersby still mock us on the way…

They ask:
Why does the shadow linger still after dawn?
They ask:
How long before these haunting dead are dead?
They say:
A lifetime of wailing will never stir the dead.
Half a century of mourning should be enough
For the bereft to weep & forget.
They say:
Look! The gateman has closed the cemetery doors
And the late mourners have all dispersed.

But the river still charts its course
To the embrace of the sea
The cage secures but the heart craves still
For the danger of the tree

Blood, bombs and betrayals
The lingering tales of hollowed eyes
Of dreams stifled in infant sleep
The celebrated cases of kwashiorkor
Of Air-raids, Genocides & Refugees
Of Brothers against brothers
The blackness of our race.

We remember these, we remember…

Our voices cry out from the Earth,
Not out of vengeance or malices.

Our blood cries out, not like Abel’s,
Not for reparation or retribution…

We speak in memory of our dead
We remember them, because we are human,
Because they were human.
We remember because they were our fathers and our mothers,
Our friends, our neighbours, our brothers and our sisters.
We remember because they were our heroes, our comrades, our soldiers,
Our scholars, our leaders, our poets and our teachers.
We remember because they were Biafrans,
Because they were Nigerians.

We remember because they were our own;
Those who now rest beneath our feet,
Who dwell in the trodden ground, eternally silenced
To prolong the still fading whimper
Of a self-conflicted Nation.

Lyriversity — Liberty of Creativity

by Tim Nwaobilo

As conformed to normality as poems go, the first line of every great poem must hold its reader captive suddenly, for however how short a moment. It must catch the reader unawares, sweep him off his feet, without a doubt, no matter the familiarity of the poet and his writings to the reader. Charles’ piece is not a disappointment in this regard.

“The awakening of the sun at dawn” Line I

Personification here is apt where the sun is set as a living being, a human. I find the choice of “awakening” and not “waking” or some other synonym as something sacred, something lofty, and at worst significant. The “awakening” possesses a strong detail to duty. Probably the sun’s revival holds the key for some deeper mystery to be revealed, some inner workings unseen to be materialised. The sun here is given enormous power as is seen within the next lines of the poem.
The sun is clearly no respecter of person or creed and serves both the “base” and best just as its “awakening” causes the stream of a man’s mind to bubble with freshness—
“…calls to my mind” Line IV
—and then a whole new world is opened up to us, a world due for exploration and adventure.

One striking theme is the “ordinarily-ness” of the events and yet filled with so much sarcasm.

“…indifferent cock crowing…” Line VII
“…pilgrims calling to a form-less being” Line VIII

These events and those that follow are deceiving to the un-discerning and may most likely be passed by when traversing the length and breadth of this poem, except for maybe a quick personality check by the reader to see if he can picture himself within the events. The fact that they look ordinary serves as a red light: HIDDEN MEANING! How virtually the totality of mankind is captured in these circumstances is itself quite amazing.

A raging feeling offered throughout this poem is that of mystery. Firstly seen in—
“..calls to my mind the doubts” Line IV

The succeeding lines to Line IV tend to serve as an explanation to it, and something looks awkward, attesting to my idea of mystery—
“…I hear clearly” Line VI etc.
There is an assurance of the clear hearing and good sight, but the un-assurance of unseen things “beyond this world” poses a question—why the mystery if so much is clear? I guess we’ll never know. This feeling is also expressed when the poet talks of the world in Line V. Beyond this world is the mysterious, something he might be perceived as dissociated from. In Line XXI he “steps into the world”, now associating with the world, probably for want of no other option, a necessity, a compulsory action. Little wonder his fears and ironically faith require some masking! And yet in Line XXX, he is “in the world but not part of the world”. The unnerving spike of uncertainty added to the pre-existing mystery only serves to put the reader’s mind at edge.

Prior to Line XXI the writer is merely an onlooker in the happenings around and beyond, but now offers the reader the chance to view him within the realms of the poem—

“…and step into the world” Line XXI.

This is bold, courageous, daring; allowing himself to be evaluated within the confines he has earlier mentioned. He however permits himself be humoured and I find it amazingly comical—

“My heart in my hand, my hand on my head” Line XXIV.

Lines XXVII and XXVIII seem to portray the writer as a sort of zombie, a clock-work mechanism, winded by some stronger force or will, bidding him toil a journey devoid of his intellectual or intuitive input—

”Journeying equal miles in equal breathe”
“Equal grass in equal grace, drifting still”
Lines XXVII-XXVIII

I say this because this strange equality in affairs may antagonise the “ever-elusive dream of …equality” offered in Lines XI and XII. Life and its courts are deliberately positioned as unequal and unstable by the writer, thus the sudden equality of steps seems unnatural and unreal within the frames of the ”world”. If inequality could be festered by will or non-will, this new-found equality in life actions must be non-will, a mightier will surely. Or probably he is “In the world but not a part of the world”. If this zombiesque status was previously in doubt, Line XXIX does justice to such doubts—

“A log in the ocean, adrift at sea”. –Line XXIX

Also—

“I cannot will myself to run freely
Nor break from travel, I’m bound to this path”
Line XXXVIII-XXXIX

Lines XXXI to LXVII contain more of the workings of life and a dark blanket of gloom, sadness, tragedy and ill-fortune hangs over that portion of the piece. An almost tangible gloom that rotates and revolves in an unending circle.

One thing is certain, amidst all the prevailing uncertainty: the writer searches for answers, he needs answers. Answers to questions that lead to more questions as evidenced in these camouflage lines—

“Ploughing the bellies of earth for answers
Answers which lead unto more questions still”
–Line XXXVI-XXXVII

—questions borne out of a sense of reason. It’s unfortunate how these questions seem not to have found their right answer. When the writer offers—

“Perhaps there is much more beyond this life” –Line LXXVIII

—he is not just trying to be funny in a poetic manner, he is standing right at the root of a tree man tries to reach the summit of, at one point or the other. Knowledge is akin to life, and no knowledge of what lies “beyond this life” leaves the poet resigned to eventuality. He decides not to bother about the aftermath of life and its journey and is content with striving for the bread for today. He doesn’t feel sorry for himself, not in the least, nor for his present achievements. In the words of English-man D.H. Lawrence: “I have never seen a wild thing feel sorry for itself. A little bird will fall dead, frozen from a bough, without having ever felt sorry for itself”.

This poem escapes my technical criticism—unusual as it may seem—because it doesn’t deserve it. Much kudos must be given to Charles for a poem this long, tasking his pen give full expression to his thoughts. If no-one noticed, each line of this poem consists of 10 syllables, a feat not easily juxtaposed with intelligent writing.

TO READ THE FULL POEM CLICK HERE
On The Meandering Pathways of Life

Lyriversity — Liberty of Creativity