Circles and cycles

By Noel Ihebuzor

 

Eyes buried deep in hollow round sockets,

the sagging sack of bones speak for bodies

clothed in loose fitting tired plastic skin buckets

drooping like tired jute bags, brown, crumpling floppies

 

Buttocks shrivelled and feet

Swollen ungainly, dragging weeping frame around in now ending cycles

the circling flies, whirling after twirling running tummies meet

mums in panic, running around dazed in dizzying circles

holding on to and hoping, slowly hopes withering

yet stubbornly clutching to withered hopes, wilting and dithering 

 

Close by, on well manicured lawns, watered

tenderly by cycling swinging sprayers,

in circles of encircling and overflowing affluence

Pastors, prophets, politicians co-habit

preach, pray, praise, and pontificate

in voluminous waffle, clogging spaces with sterile volubility,

consciences clogged, hard hearts twisted,

greed terraced mindscapes and bodyscapes, carousing

in convoluted cavorting

 

Waste dances indecent

in the wining and dining,

want swells, ballooning

sweeping fragile frames and staggering souls

their mother whining,

along to painful grinding end points

 

a procession preceded by a small wooden box

announces the end of one cycle,

the prolongation of the circle,

the festering sore enlarges

speaking the language of a cycle of infamy

and a dooming narrowing circle

closing in on the undying hope of mothers with dying children

their throats and lives throttled by the plump hands

of greed, callous, grabbing and choking

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33 Responses to “Circles and cycles”


  1. 1 Susan L Daniels July 5, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    Oh, Noel. How do we live in such contrast, accept it, allow it?

  2. 4 Susan L Daniels July 5, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    I am FB-ing this…this needs to be read.

  3. 7 Rhonda July 5, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    Noel, I feel pain and frustration and outrage and a need to move. There is so much more to do. What can we do?

  4. 8 Noel Ihebuzor July 6, 2012 at 4:36 am

    Rhonda, thanks – we just keep on calling attention to these glaring inequities and sins agaisnt God and humanity. Once the critical mass of consciousness is there, people will demand change!

  5. 9 Ian Moone July 6, 2012 at 4:58 am

    Very strong piece

  6. 11 Fiona July 6, 2012 at 8:20 am

    This is amazing – truly amazing. Rhonda showed me the way here and I’m thankful she did. You have a new follower here. Such a heartbreaking reality in this. Thank you.

  7. 13 Emmanuel July 6, 2012 at 8:36 am

    You make the pains real; especially in a place like Naija. The “shouting” is getting louder as poems like yours indicate. When the shouts cease, the “shooting” may start……my eyes are are getting “watery”.

  8. 15 Alex Ihebuzor July 7, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    Very Nice piece Dad.

  9. 17 Nsisong Effiong July 8, 2012 at 8:19 am

    This is Nigeria: The rich – affluent and corrupt, the poor – down and hopeless, the middle class – comfortable and indifferent.
    You have captured the alternating cycle of grief in the pervading circle of ‘greed, callous, grabbing and choking.’
    Noel! Which way now?

  10. 18 Noel Ihebuzor July 8, 2012 at 9:36 am

    Nsisong, Thanks for reading and commenting. Awareness creation targeting the millions of Nigerians who are not on FB or on Twitter is step 1. Telling them of their rights is step 2. Informing them of the responsibilities of duty bearers is step 3. Sensitizing them on how to hold elected officers and public servants to account is step 4. And note that the rot I point out in this poem cuts across all the governance structures – federal, state, and LG – of the federation!

  11. 19 Seyi Onabanjo July 12, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    Oga Noel (emphasis on “Oga”!), I find more and more to think about when I read this poem. I did not think you could possibly sustain the emotive opening sentences but that third stanza is pure magic. That alliterative attack 🙂 on pastors, poets and politicians should be inserted into the watermark of their cheque book (at least they would read it then). Many many thanks // Seyi

  12. 20 Noel Ihebuzor July 13, 2012 at 6:36 am

    Thanks, aburo mi Seyi! That part of the poem with its alliterative and indictment force will be stressed at any public reading of the poem. Your comments are very encouraging.

  13. 21 Raymond Eyo August 15, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    Great piece, Sir! I’m particularly enthralled by these lines: “Pastors, prophets, politicians co-habit, preach, pray, praise, and pontificate in voluminous waffle, clogging spaces with sterile volubility, consciences clogged, hard hearts twisted, greed terraced mindscapes and bodyscapes, carousing in convoluted cavorting…”

  14. 24 zebbook August 15, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    Okay, maybe I should forget about the sociology piece and focus on other things, such as this, that the blog, and indeed the man, parades. This is poetry in its true form.

    • 25 Noel Ihebuzor August 15, 2012 at 9:22 pm

      Thanks for the kind comments, Zebbook.
      Would also like to read your comments on the “sociology piece”.

      • 26 zebbook August 16, 2012 at 3:19 pm

        I will comment on it much later, after I have done a thorough exploration of the literary goldmine I seem to have discovered here, or maybe I choose to ignore all the while. I give myself up for knowledge, knowledge over sentiment. With humility, I enter the this temple to explore the vision, voices and views.

  15. 27 Noel Ihebuzor August 16, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    Zebbook, many thanks. Please explore – I look forward to reading your critical comments/observations.

  16. 29 feathersproject December 2, 2012 at 10:07 am

    Circles and Cycles indeed! The eternal bent of doing the same thing and expecting a different result. The unfortunate reality of contemporary Nigeria that simultaneously drives one into despair and yet bounces with so much life. Good and evil co-existing… Nice one Dr!

    • 30 Noel Ihebuzor December 2, 2012 at 10:49 am

      Dalu, ezigbo nwannam Nwach. Our situation is heart rending, ezi okwu! There is no truth in the mouth of most of our politicians and the unending cycle and circle of death and avoidable waste continues. Onye ka anyi ga agba kwu be?

  17. 31 archcardinal December 2, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Welcome to the life we life. Abject penury affacing stupendous wealth. Praise and promise occasion the stark realities of an unequal world where the poor debilitate further, and slide into uncertain future and death. And even in death, the poor are fed on the same flies that pick at the leftover of sumptuous banquent of the rich…. It all gets maddening and we ask: when does this inequality end?

    When can the poor have and enjoy the decency of at least being human? I love this piece even in the sadness it portrays… It stands as an indictment of the imperfect society we live in today and jares the mind back to our greed as humans…. We have a lot more we can do to show we truly care: religion and leadership has been found wanting!

  18. 32 Noel Ihebuzor December 2, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Obinna, your comments are so on point and touch at the heart of the matter.

  19. 33 Rosemary Nwangwu November 25, 2014 at 11:42 am

    Yes, I see poverty., I see greed and I see deceit! How is this possible? The alarming bit? Politicians, pastors and prophets cohabiting!

    Noel, you’re setting a pace with this graphic image in words. Perhaps we need to redefine Negritude as suited for our times.

    God bless you as you work in this mission of will without the way!


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