Posted in Poetry

A song of rejoicing and hope – celebrating the demise of FGM


Noel Ihebuzor

No more shall a million songs be dimmed

and muffled by the shutters of tradition,

no more shall we remain silent

before the stunting of the living

to humor the dead


no longer shall we remain mute 

in drunk like obedience

to hollow and hollowing echoes from the past  

before the snuffing out

of ten thousand and one voices,


no longer remain silent accomplices

when rich possibilities are denied

in deadening numbing initiations,

where blind tradition visits violence

on the present, 

dulls, dumbs, blunts

and limits it 

no more be partakers of a tragedy.



For is it not tragedy

when the crusted boney hands of the past

trap and choke the present

and deny its petals and potentials

from unfurling and feeling?


We sing the voice of hope,

we sing a new dawn,

our voices affirm the present

unbind it from the rusty manacles of practices

that hurt, humiliate and harm,

our voices tear down blinding practices

as we shake ourselves free

from the shackles and tyranny of  some past imperfect


we sing, lips full, voices now vibrant

rejoicing the beauty of petals that will bloom,

the radiance of the bud of the flower

that embraces the open skies

free to feel, unfurl, unfold as endowed


“tragedy is defeated,

the present lives and heaves

rescued at last from the choking grip

of an ossified past

the present celebrates the joy of living

the future unchained”



Our daughters’ voices take up our cue

and sing your demise,

their full voices and lips

announce and chant your death,

chanting it to the four winds

on the four market days

in the gentle glow

and soft smile of each passing moon, happy

the stars winking, decorating the skies above

with a thousand sparkling flowers


our daughter dance,

they dance in agile steps,

limbs and life freed

of the weights of your deadening

heavy lead bangles,

they leap and prance as the melodies

from  their full lips and uncut voices explore,

explode with joy, celebrate

and drown the pains we felt”


Posted in Poetry

The first cut – a song against FGM/FGC


by Noel Ihebuzor 

I wait eyes half closed stilling myself,

seeing all around dimly,

heart pounding and racing,

sweating, shivering.


Then the blade flashes fast,

tears down, biting

deep into loose flesh, full lips

my body all tense,  

uncontrollable shivers and tremors,

another slash, the lips are gone,


a spurt, a splash

then the gush of running wet red spreads slowly,

and swells and swells, emptying me,

stunting me, marking and hurting.


The pain in my head stings, stuns and swells,

throbs banging,

pain plays discordant persistent jarring strokes,

hammering pounding,

my flesh now raw, red and ragged.


My sobs of pain and bewilderment

are drowned in the jubilant ululation of aunties

while mother looks on,

sharing my pain, not speaking,

lips trembling as I tremble, lips sealed,

recalling her own past and initiation,

an unwilling accomplice to a stubborn slow to die practice

that slashes, gores, gashes and stunts portions of life of the living

in keeping with the hollow voice of an outmoded moribund tradition.   

Posted in Poetry

A song of love and hope


by Noel Ihebuzor  

Run your agile fingers gently through the tired strands on my head
Trace your sleek fingers softly across the soft surface of my heart
Move your tendered nails slowly across the tender folds of my soul,
softly stroke and massage the raw furrows of my mass,
run nimbly and softly across this feeble frail frame of mine

Many before you have been here
Many like you, your co-travelers
With their bright commercial smiles, their well tendered fingers,
their soft solid soles and sweet smooth lips have journeyed here,
and have traced patterns of calluses and circles of weeping weal
with the wheels of their fake forced love
on this anxious soft soul trapped in its eternal cycle of hope
this soul, a willing and wide canvas for the etches and sketches
of sojourners with agile fast grabbing fingers,
their sleek tongues and quick feet.

Careful now, my love,
Nwayo, jeje, hankali
careful now that you do not scratch too deeply
Careful now with the tracks,
with the deep, soft, raw and weeping red lines,
Careful with this frame, careful you do not break it
Gently as you speak, spin slowly your seamless tales
slowly softly stroke this heart lest you cause it to break and stroke

and remember to make me no promises
and show me no heights as I am now dizzy of heights
phobic of heights I fall from when smooth sailing parachutes take you away
as you glide gracefully away, leaving me ailing as you sail away
leaving me clutching at memories that run through my numb fingers,

spin me no new tales,
spawn no new hopes,
sell me no more of your new dreams,
dreams you and you co-travelers in and through me
drummed up with your clever eyes wide open
and mine shut in the soporific of all your tall tales

And when you go my love,
my resource excavator,
My gold digger, my strip miner,
when you have taken your fill
leave me gently, leave me carefully,
leave me hopeful not hopeless,
beaten, bitten, bent but not broken,
broke but not broken, used but not useless

Leave no sudden splashes of red and
let no new tell tale weal be your parting stroke
on this soft canvas of my soft soul,
on the drained and draining edifice of my person,
on the now raw and ravaged tottering frame with its red,
weeping and collapsed arteries,

Dying, slowly dying, I who am so anxious to live
I who placed so much hope on you,
Hope as high as the iroko tree
I who welcomed you with a fluttering heart,
with open arms and trembling limbs….
as I did with many others like and before you,
and will do, all in the hope that one day
before I breathe and heave my last
my true love will come through
and liberate me and liberate my potentials
and the plenty in me would then overflow,
and the greatness in me unleashed .

Noel Ihebuzor This is a love poem. It is a song of love and stubborn hope by a country for her sons and daughters who have systematically robbed and looted her with their sweet tongues, their rabid creed and poorly concealed kleptomania, and left her in tatters and tottering…yet she still hopes that one day, she will find true love, liberation and fulfillment. I mention no country and leave my reader to fill in the blank spaces.

Posted in Poetry

Certain lines


We walk with sure confident steps on border lines

with assured steps on our frontiers of truths

Bravely stamping our correct feet on lines

where others tread softly,

where others weave with stumbling hesitant toes

on those gray hazy areas of life and living

Ageless angels, amused smile from above  

at vain volubility, at clutchings and colonisations of truths and certainties

at manifestions of frailty disguised at strength

acts that separate the sage from the stupid

the clever from the crafty

the persistent from the pigheaded

the strong willed from the self willed

the steadfast from the obstinate


We do not fumble, we do not stumble

Others do

We walk straight and correct,

riding our high horses

on our moral high grounds

as we plod on in quest

often of uncertain certainties

revealing our core, our true essence

by the frequency and the duration of our swings and shuttles

to one side or the other of the border

by our predilection for certain points, our assured truths

by the constancy with which

we hold to the single light,

to our single right,  guided by our perfect sights

to those truths which we see

and which million others fail to see

so miserably, so pitiably