Posted in Poetry

Duet #2: Thoughts on Dinner – By Noel Ihebuzor and Susan L. Daniels

the thought of what to eat is as important as how and where to eat

Yes, what can we feed on to justify
a meeting between 2 continents,
tectonic plates that do not overlap;
separated by oceanic crust

this food must be elemental & necessary as air;
and where and how will arise from the answer

Do we stuff ourselves or should we feel ourselves to a place where we can fill ourselves with us

to this place where fresh palmwine, the nectar of the gods foams and froths and speaks to our dry throats

Here, I speak of earth & water

& tangible things

you whisper a banquet made for gods, of souls, of soil, of fruits
never imagined

from the tree we plant together;
this meal can only be by us, for us, and of us

Come away to this place where the gentle moon wraps the winking stars in the soft velvety mantle of its embrace, embellishing them in generous streams of silver rays
bathing us in its glow,
where we shall float weightless buoyed by the lightness of our kindled kindred spirits,
come to this dinner, the rolling boundless ocean shall be our table, spread out before us, linking us, seamless, rippling like us, full – the waves shall sing and dance for us and with and by us, and drown out the tiring world in its loud songs of approval as it laps and rolls for us and with us

To meet you there, I will leap over the dateline,
like a child jumping rope, or skipping a chip of shale
across the Caribbean;

I will dream this tonight & wrap us in those rays
that I will braid into one light, rays that now touch our faces
a day apart, on different sides of the earth

Let us go hand in hand to this banquet of sharing, of caring across the oceans, bridging distances, the oceans roaring in raucous laughter below us,
the star filled night bathed in the soft beams of the approving moon looking on, let us go to this banquet
where anxious hands trace fine circles that mean nothing and yet are full of meanings, that say nothing yet say everything

You will not have to teach me this language;
I am a woman who knows full well the words you would trace,
the worlds I would sketch: a silence
that sings twinned in our blood

*** This is my second duet with a great lady, Susan – onye obi omam ! It was an honor and joy to sing and alternate my verses with those of  this great lady and poetess whose poetic voice radiates such originality, charm, soul and elan. A poetic conversation with her fills you with such intense satisfaction and takes you to another level – this was and is my experience as we exchanged verses across the broad oceans on cyberwaves.  Incidentally, this second duet between Susan and myself was inspired by her beautiful and well crafted poem  “What’s for Dinner”   –  so in many ways, this poem is actually a plaigiarism of Susan’s original creativity! My debt to Susan is therefore immense!

Posted in Poetry

A song for the false prophetess

 The Alija dancers are now at the foot

of the altar of the swift tongued priestess

and the voice of the flutist

has ascended to the top of the iroko tree

and rustles the leaves there

and on the ground feet move

as the ekwe invites the ogene, embraces it  

their throats and voices now interlaced

in rhythmic throbbings 


The dark eyed priestess

circles of white chalk

around her eyes and ears,

lips coated in dark paint

running down her nose

walks in with slow footed sorrow, regal like

slowed down by heavy copper bangles on her feet

sagged by the séances and sciences of her vision


captive ears, shivering bodies, trembling souls

cower as private and divine wisdom are dispensed

in incantations channeled by invisible forces, the prophetess

a shaking medium spewing revelations

all specious knowledge, empty chants and blank visions,

the vision of bats…..


She was not there at the sacrifice of the innocents

nor at the forced departure of mothers in youth

but now she claims she saw them all, 

before they happened, before they were  planned

but she did nothing about them

told no one


she sees tomorrow only

after they are come and gone

and though she lives among the living

her loyalties are with the dead.

Posted in Poetry

Dry taps



Noel Ihebuzor


Dry taps flood my eyes raw and red with tears

the running noses of malnourished children dry me up

slowly eat me up


Nothing runs now

nothing grows now any more

save the swollen stomachs

severe acutely malnourished children, SAMs

Nothing else but the growing numbers  of kids carrying these  ugly loads

of shame, nothing else  but these

and the swelling bank accounts of officials and politicians

persons of shrinking consciences, stunted morals

afflicted of severe affective deficits – SAD


Ugonma has died of thirst in a land endowed with springs,

Echidiime of hunger in a land over-running and endowed with plenty

in a land increasingly overcrowded by uncaring and indifferent adults

adults with blinkers and going bunkers

adults with contracted souls and empty minds


is there any wonder why the taps continue to run dry

and  I continue to cry for my hopes betrayed and

lament dreams and inheritances sold for a cheap porridge?

Posted in Poetry

lean years

the lean year now grow long

the lean years now swell

fat years now a memory, fading and withering

withering as children, fading as hope

whilst rage roars and soars

and fat indifferent officials and politicians gorge themselves silly

in fits akin to cannibal rage and infantile obsession

Posted in Poetry

communication and communion as bridges across the breaches of time and space

welcome to a new day –
the slumbering sun should shake off its sleep soon
and commence strolling over over to your space
as you roll and journey in your dreams
and dream up fresh songs! 
the sun is here already
it sauntered in hours ago
gently shoving the wings of night eastwards
and feebly greeting me as I walked my morning mile
in my brave effort to work off spread and weight!
A new song wells and swells in my throat as I walked
You should hear it when you wake and
I should buy you dinner since you inspire it-
yes, dinner without that stumbling word in our separated world 
a dinner that will overflow with richer dialogues
dialogues so instant, so sweet that they will
make even the sweetest singing canary jealous of their melodies
but we must yet find a fine time to dine
to commune and communciate beyond keyboard and  
bridge this breach of time and space