Posted in Poetry

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….

and ignoring hopes now 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 overflowing affluence

where grass lawns are fed with grace

from the proceeds of illicit deals and heist of disgrace

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


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

33 thoughts on “Circles and cycles

  1. 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!


  2. 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.


  3. 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”.


  4. 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?


  5. 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!


  6. 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


  7. 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.


  8. 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…”


  9. 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.


      1. 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.


  10. 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!


    1. 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?


  11. 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!


  12. 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!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s