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Showing posts from August, 2012

WIDOWS OF WAR

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The land is bare, the men have gone to war ...silence takes the greeting at the door. Time and again in the past some have gone ...here on these biers they were borne. So after the gun and the bullet have made passed their message of death and the field are painted in crimson, all is still that roamed under the sun. ...then the women dance the tune of sorrows, as they roam among the grave rows. The daughter and the mother, who shall console the other? Are they not now the daughter and the widow, looking into the past from tomorrow's window?

UNTITLED (Love is too pure to be labelled)

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I stand here, lost, Gazing with love (lust?) Into your face. A slap from Sango’s calloused palm Would not invade the calm In which my soul basks. Yes, I would an Iroko uproot That I may carve a lute And make sweet music; From the lyrics That float, like boats in the creeks, Down your spotless nape! See, even rays of sunlight Dance, prance and fight Wanting to berth on your skin. Please let me stay, For I have seen, today, A future in the Crystal of your eyes.

ENI BINU MI

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Eni binu mi, bi eni nfi omi ata weju! [He that hates me bathes his face with peppered water!] Shall your wrath scald me? I, Son of Ife, that swallowed whole Sango's lightning stone And spat out only white spittle. Emi ni pasan tin yo were ninu omode! [I am the whip that cures the errant child’s madness] Was it not the rain Of ceaseless hard knocks, Falling on Gangan's bald head That cured his muteness? Apere ko gbodo binu igi ope. [The basket shall not begrudge the palm from whence it came] Do not be foolish, Like the demigod That let his tail wag him In the presence of Eledumare. Emi ni ina tiin jo lori omi! [I am the fire that burns on water] Do not let my wrath flow For no one shall Tell the chameleon to sprint If the forest is on fire. Emi lara tiin san pa Erin! [I am the lightning that strikes Elephants to death] I laugh at he that holds an umbrella And says, 'I fear not the threads of rain.' Let him not run At the stroke

BEAUTIFUL POISONS (by Edwin Eriata Oribhabor)

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We plied a stretch of rivers- Rivers of Delta lacking livers- From Tuomo to Ojobo rivers, Drenched in sickening smell of oil, Gold that sealed the hopes of many, Abuse of nature, the economy and culture of a people richly blessed, to eat at the table - As Kings and Queens - But struggle and crumble for crumbs. Oh! This system! Building paupers and hungry lots - The myopic favoured is blind, The big picture is never their lot. Why live by the streams and wash with spittle? Why should iced-fish replace fresh fish? Where are the Canoes and Paddles? Forgotten the beautiful rivers are poisoned? Oh! I saw them aplenty! Rivers poisoned by us to keep us back in all; Young men scamper from different directions - ''Area boys'' that live on anything that comes their way - Their eyes speak readiness to bring back yesterday Of arms, bad creeks, ammunitions for dirty actions. They have lost touch with the fishing tradition; Don't you k

ARE WE STILL SLAVES? (On the South African Massacre)

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Are We Still Slaves?! Black men bleed dead on Zuma's ground No more to hear the piercing sound Of white man's bullets flying by Nor shake their head, or breathe a sigh! So I ask, are we still slaves? When... Once and again on running track Bolt beat them all, a tall man black And did you not all clap with glee For all the watching world to see? And... Black Barack kid from Kenya's hill He rules sure at Capitol Hill; Did not your wives and young'uns Blow loud for him the victory Horns? Say... Did not black Ben with coallike skin Make a miracle no eyes have seen? Did Ben not share the Binder boys And let them both to pick their toys! Yes... I'm sure you know Emeagwali And sure you fear the black Ali. What would you say of Luther King Or Soyinka of whom we sing? So... Would Maya Angelou not weep And Stevie Wonder purse his lips? What would you say to Jesse Jack And every great one with skin black? Please tell me, are we s

IN THIS CITY

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In this city, Where bricks and glass Poke their fingers Into the eyes of the sun, One roams- Dog with no kennel. In this city, Where bins beg, Seeking to be emptied Of fleshy bones, scorned, A stomach groans- Embracing naked ribs. In this city, Where men chew His name Like tough cud And whisper prayers, A beggars' sheep is slaughtered- To serve the bloated king. In this city, The sons of men- I, You, Us- Have made a climbing ladder Of heads and shoulders And from their sweats Brewed wine.

IN THE ARMS OF FAILURE

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Failure pulled me to her, Into her bosom. She forced her breast Into my wailing lips, And gargling, I sucked in her bitter milk. So I have cried, Tears hard like rock. My tears left their ports, Laden with unspoken grief, And docked here, On this bearded face. ... I know now, Failure's bitter milk Gives' the great man teeth To chew Success's sweetened meat, Bones and all!

QUESTIONS (ON A THIEF'S BIRTHDAY)

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Did your father jump with boundless joy when you emerged in bloody hands? Were there smiles as your bloody cord was that night seeded into mother Earth’s womb? Did they drink and dance, passing frothy jugs of wine and steaming plates full, the day you took a name? Did you breathe our air, drink from our rivers and crawl on four before you walked on two? Did you put blade to jaw, find the missing rib and sire mortal seeds just like men do? Why then do we water plants of curses with tears, while you smile before your lit cake?

HEAR, GODDESS OF LIGHT

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Can a heart melt Like a blob of frozen wax Lost in the awe Of a candle's flame? But you are Unlike the wax consuming flame. For in you, I am refined, Not consumed! Yet, like the wax, My will is liquefied And my wall is but molten stone, As I stand before thee. Oh goddess divine, Stalk, crowned in petals, Whose fragrance makes a sheep Of the lion in me; Cast your sunny gaze At this son of Ife, That his darkened heart May know light again!