Posted in Poetry

Drinking and Breathing: A duet


By Noel Ihebuzor and Susan L. Daniels

Throats, though they may parch, never rust,
wells never really run dry,
below the dry beds arteries of spring,
sleep, rustle and wait to sing
all wait the call of the season,
the internal stirring,
the stimulus outside, a connection
then the dam bursts
subterranean waters surge forward
liberate the messenger, the medium
the surging song both release and reward,
reward for the seed carried and faith kept.

If inspiration is a spring filling our wells
with new sweetness, let us drink from them.
Let words somersault and cartwheel from us
frolicking, yes, let them play;
but swift and dangerous as the rapids of Niagara;
and, like Niagara, let these songs pour into us
and through us, and from us
with the strength of one great lake
falling into another, heedless of the drop.

Any song that rises from a seed nourished from waters like these,
and tended by our constant certainty
should flower quickly into being, unfiltered and joyous.

If sleep is a fallow period, then let us lay still
ideas steal and sneak past our shut eyelids
meander into our beings
waltz with ideas and songs that sleep within us, unknown, such that
rising to a new day, wakes them up
Let us hope that rising will raise the shutters
open awakenings,
awaken seeds that lie drowsy
drugged with sleep
ideas with roots groping for soil,
waiting for space to  dance
A place to anchor,
anchor to grow and glow,
DNA of growth
etched indelibly in the seed,
even in dormancy,
and soon in time and with time
the seed sprouts
hungry groping roots push into
the unbonding receptacle of mother earth,
nourishing, warming,
causing a stem to elongate,
a trunk warms up,
walks on the invisible staircase of the air
weaves its way upwards, skywards, proud
reaching out to embrace the open skies,
flowers singing beautiful and soon to seed again
and scatter new seeds,
which though silent now
will one day each burst
to announce a new season of planting,
of birth, of becoming after a season of rest
a hibernation that worries but which
restores, refreshes and renews
in the creator’s creative cycle of creativity.

After dreaming, my eyelids open to flesh resounding
like a clapped bell calling the hour, my mouth opening eagerly
to incorporate air to feed the fire singing in blood, in bones;
that first deep-drawn breath before our song rises
from the belly, past lips and takes flight.

We call this process of writing inspiration,
but it is the art of both taking in
and pouring out.  Let us call this cycle waiting within us
and moving through us simply breathing; incorporation
and expression too closely linked
to ever separate.

******/co creating with Susan and weaving our voices to sing of dormancy and creativity, a beautiful experience for which I owe Susan one more dinner!


Development and policy analyst with a strong interest in the arts and inclusive social change. Dabbles occasionally into poetry and literary criticism!

4 thoughts on “Drinking and Breathing: A duet

  1. Hi this is the second of the duet of Susan and yourself which I have read.They are simply amazing!it will be such a shame if this literary talent of both of you is restricted to a very limited circulation of your blog.Do more duet and compile into a book for consideration.But when the dollar starts rolling in please remeber me in your kingdom.


    1. Victor, this is very kind. I agree the duets with Susan are really wonderful and they owe a lot to the quality of Susan’s voice which mine then tries to respond to. Yes, the thought of having a book of duets is a great one. Already Susan and I have submitted two of these for an international poetry competition. Pray we win! As for being our marketing agent in the event we publish, Susan and I will certainly keep this in view. Imela, ezigbo nwannam


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