Posted in Poetry

A song for Amebo

by Noel Ihebuzor 


Speak softly and of the dead
Speak slowly of the stiff and still
Of those whose voices stilled now into permanent silence
suffocated by depth and stuffed with sand
yet refuse to be still
Speak softly of the dead, of those
Whose silent tongues tug at the sleeves of our conscience

Speak softly of the living, slowly speak
Speak softly of their wrongs which you see clearly
With your assured lenses and your clean sanitized soul
Speak low, softly and slowly of their follies even as you have none
Speak softly of their wines, wenches and wives
Of their waywardness, of their wickedness and their weaknesses
Of their wiles and woes, of their filth and their follies
and their unworthiness even as you are clean

Speak softly and slowly of the dead and of the living
For so too shall the living dead speak of you
When beneath the sand and earth
Eyes open but blank and not seeing
ears though open yet deaf as wood
you see them and hear them
You struggle to re-speak the wrongs you spoke
When your tongue was free and swift and slippery
And your pen was quick and easy, broad and loud
Wild and wicked

Then shall you recall and regret the twists you gave to life
The lives you wrecked and the nerves you wracked
the shreds and tears you wreaked on the fabric of souls and persons
whose causes you loved to hate
and the smears and smudges you made on lives and those
whose histories you mangled

Speak softly of the dead
Since in death, your eyes free of life’s jaundice,
Your soul purified by the freshness of the grave
and the fresh scent of the raw sand
You may struggle with tongues then stiff as steel
And hands heavy as timber
To revisit the past present, to right the wrongs you wrought,
And in vain
To heal the hurts you may have caused

(Note for the reader: Amebo is the gossip and character assassin, who rejoices in and finds fulfilment in the failings and shortcomings of others, and derives intense pleasure in narrating/painting these and blowing them up and often out of proportion)

Posted in Poetry

Dreams, desires and departures

by Noel Ihebuzor 

I dream in bright colours

of gold, silver, and all the colours of the rainbow

I dream of the fresh scent of the dry earth

in the kiss of the first rains

I dream in colours of children’s  voices

of beautiful music painted in a kaleidoscope of colours

I dream of you

I desire souls that sing with the agility of nimble athletes

of serenades, where lion and goat,

goat and yam commune in bliss

I desired you

I dreamt my desires

and I desired my dreams

Dream and desires met

and as I savoured this meeting

in undreamt melodies

They parted; departed


Their meeting was so brief

but their memories are eternity

Is this parting for ever?

Will they never come together again ?

Why ?

perhaps my sins,

perhaps my desires were wrong,

perhaps my dreams were done with eyes open

perhaps it was not your will


Beauty does not reside with sinners

pearls do not fit swines, nor furs the wretched …….

perhaps what I now suffer is thus meet –

an expiation for sins committed in the past

but unknown even to me.

Posted in Poetry

Short lived gifts

 by Noel Ihebuzor

Confess it and it is yours

and like Thomas, he doubted.

but time, loneliness and hunger conspired

and so with breath heavy and hesitant

He did and it was,

and he remembered your promise

anything you ask in my name, I shall give


He held on to your gift

with strong and firm fists

his heart was a rainbow,

his person a song as the days

flew bye, and the stars sang and every rustling leaf

sang to the chorus of his singing soul


Then the gift slipped through his grasp

Silver through his clenched fists

And his heart leaked

His soul drained, parched

his groan from deep down tore the

Soft curtain of the silence of the night


Should he shout his despair

on the crest of the ZUBA?

Should he mirror the broken spirit

of the savage whose sadness permanently

encrusted on ZUBA Hill incites

the sorrowful and the gay to pity?


And he seeks  to soothe his pains with lavish

Portions of potions and balms of forgetting but

remembering becomes more acute the more he gulps and rubs of these


Should he now shout himself hoarse

in rages of hurt and despair?


and in between heaves and deep sobs

he longs for  an anaesthesia for this tortured mind

a potion to change this jelly soul to stone

that can feel nothing, and therefore not hurt again

Every night now,  he wrestles  to release his frame

and his soul from the grips of  his overpowering  sorrow

 mornings in well -rehearsed smiles  he repeats 

in a hollow and breaking voice

“Thy will be done”

And he breaks as he struggles to manage his pain


Posted in Poetry

A song for onye obi omam

 by Noel Ihebuzor

Do you know you touched me when you did not mean to

Did you know you saved me when you were not looking

And because you were not looking

you failed to feel my heart leap at that moment of rescue

missed to see my soul drip with honey, my body come alive

and soft warm flows gently fill me my being


Do you know how deeply you touch me with your warm voice,

and how with the slight touch of your hands you speak to my despair

how and so often with your soft touch you stop my hard fall?

Do you know how much you soothe my soul

with your warm voice and the reassuring beams of your smiles?


Can I sing what you do ……

When you hear my silent sobs even when you seem not to be listening,

When you feel my unspoken words and decode their deep syntax

When you read my silent lips from across the distances

When with a single glance you read my pain and

with a soft touch share my grief


How warm your kind gestures must boom to the deaf woman

When with your soothing and tender touch you speak your care

And stroke her famished spirit and stimulate the eardrums of her soul

And rescue her from the loneliness of silence


How colourful and full of bloom your touch must shine to the blind dancer

as she surveys your kind face in the flow of your hands,

when the love in your soul that your touch speaks

fills her mind’s eye with pictures of beauty and bliss

and rescues her from the agonies of the dark,


How warm and welcoming your keen eyes must sing to the deaf mute

When they follow and read his every voice and their modulations

and share in the labours of his limping speech

your compassion lends and restores dignity

warm as cover cloth in the harmattan night


feel his sweet thank you song

in the moisture that crowds his grateful eyes

in his subdued shy smile which celebrates your attention


How you deeply you touch me when you speak my words,

when you speak soft words

and when you lend me your voice and speak for me

and speak for those without voice,

when you listen with care, when you care to listen,



Do you know how deeply you touch me

when you speak words that only the eyes of the heart can see

the eyes of the heart sees deep and clear

the ears of the heart hear even the softest footfalls of footless spirits….



Soft words touch hard

Gentle kindness holds fast and bond

Unreflecting and unselfish gestures strike deep

Human warmth oozes solidly

And multiplies, even when we know not

and even when we are not looking

and even when we mean not


look over there and see a bridge of rainbows

listen and hear the strains of soothing music

and see the angels dance and sway


all because with a gesture, with a thought, with a word

without talking, without thinking

you touch me, you touch others

and you link and connect

and love flows…and grows…and soars

and multiplies …and liberates the soul, the body and the mind

and the echoes of your silent actions sing loud and smell sweet,

rising higher to the clouds


did you know you touch me when you did not mean to?


Noel Ihebuzor This is a song of gratitude for all those who rescue others from despair, depression, sorrow and gloom by generous acts of acts of love…..often without knowing it.



Posted in Poetry

A song for Ndawi – Judge me well

A song for Ndawi – 1 – Judge me well

by Noel Ihebuzor  

for Ndawi, who sleeps silently and softly in the shadows of His Love. so many years have flown since I wrote this song….

Judge me well

As you see me through this great glass divide
frosted by tears, through this dim glass of infinity
that now divides us

As you now survey me from up above
Be not too hard, nor too harsh
judge me well

Remember me on the day of your resurrection
On the day when all still bodies shall rise,
their soft sleep ruptured by the genteel warmth
of rapture, the glass dissolves to reveal and reunite and
You and I meet
You in your beauty and me different, frayed, strained

For I strain under the weight of a cross
the cross of your flight
your flight from family to infinity
I stagger, I struggle
I sway and retreat
to the limits that you have crossed
like an orphan out of time and place
waiting for the boatman
but with no coins in my pocket,
and even unwilling to board the boat
because of the obligations to your fruits and love

Remember me well
on the day the curtain shall split
and the separation line broken
and the still quicken,
on the day that the veil of separation
shall split and be flung aside
to reveal all in light so bright

Remember then that I never sold our dreams
not even for seventy in seventy tons of gold

Remember me on this moment
of your liberation and our reunion and nod….
I shall delight at that instance
in the light of your approving gaze that would
reveal your soul’s joy and delight
in the care I have shown to the four
fruits of our caring and sharing
Four full seasons and and a month
have filtered by, whittling and
frittering away at the edges of my soul
but your fruits are fresh, full, firm and free
tendered by the same love and care
as always

Remember me well
for it is only in this garden of your labors
and the Eden of reminiscences
that I now cherish you

Remember me well
I grope around in unfamiliar groves, hills and valleys
But not in betrayal
I venture out not to forget
but to remember
I am in search of balance and equilibrium,
I am in flight from an anguish I feel since
your unscheduled flight on a one way ticket…..

Remember me well on your day
I have clutched to memories to support me,
I struggle to keep my memories fresh and free
for the moment of my own flight
All I now do is to be able to travel fully, healed
so that on the day of reunion
you may recognise me

Then as we rush in embrace,
at the blast of the last trumpet,
clothed in linen bright
remember not to judge me
rather remember to look over
and beyond and thank
and not judge all those who may have hurt me
and shower thanks and smiles
especially on those who have
helped me, helped heal me, helped me carry on
since you left.

Posted in Poetry

A song for Ndawi – visions

by Noel Ihebuzor  

A song I wrote some twenty two years ago


Your charm suggests the smell of fresh hibiscus
of the red rose, the taste of the ripe udala fruit
You hum softly in my ear
Your beauty drones in my head
Your absence makes you present
Your presence makes me absent-minded

I see nothing else
hear nothing else
feel nothing else
wish nothing else

How long will this be ?
How long will visions of you haunt me ?

How long will I carry the
cross of your presence,
now so strong in your absence
so pleasant to remember
and so painfully sweet to carry
How long?

Posted in Poetry

A song for the uncertain

Noel Ihebuzor 

In search of certainty

do you feel me when you feel me
the way I feel you
like gentle rains on the dry thirsty earth
that sizzles with joy at each drop
and liberates a humming scent
which explodes, expands and then swirls around
everywhere and all over
humming softly like a delicate bouquet of flowers

I feel, I float and fly
when you feel me
you fill my person, body, bones and being
everything, everywhere and all over
when you feel me
and my eyes search your eyes for answers
your bright darting reveal nothing, speak nothing
to quench my thirst to know

whether you feel me like I feel you
when you feel me
Do you fool me or
do I fool myself
like the fisherman casting his nets to catch a full moon
as it floats on the indifferent surface of a lake
like the optimist hurrying back from the village stream
a raffia palm basket filled with water balanced on a wet head

tell me – do you fool me as you feel me
or do I fill a time bound need?