Posted in Poetry

On the road to Makete

By Noel Ihebuzor


At the exit of Mikumi park, a green country side

peopled by boabob trees

huge baobab trees, their naked branches raised in surrender

to the heavens, to a harsh sky begging for rain

standing majestic and proud rushed past

meeting and waving us on as we left them

standing where they have always stood

greeting the wayfaring

and we rolled on, rubber and tarmac

meeting and their interaction pushing us forward  and on

past chimpanzees who surveyed us

with amused indifference and who then grudgingly got off the road

to let us progress, and we soon came to a brown river,

which decided to followed our convoy,

rustling and foaming as it rolled towards the waiting confluence

always running ahead till we outran it

outrunning and overtaking slow moving trucks

long and sluggish like overfed millipedes

driving between hills with grey patches on their tops

their cut portions looking like angry reddish dandruff

on the lush green slopes, still standing proud

the face of the hill, gashed and chewed up

by hungry earth eating equipment

The giant teeth of technology biting and transforming,

reaping, ripping and raping


And into the pass and into the mountains

their crests crowned by the floating clouds

the clouds around and above us

floating and drifting like smoke filled amoeba

shapeless balloons hanging on invisible threads

balance of particles and matter held by forces far above us   

between earth and the open skies, heaven smiling

the soft palms of the cloud gently brushing our car window


And looking out of the car window

to below to behold the giant snake on which

we rode, this road that wove around and clung on the torso

of the mountain like a lover in the throes of passion


 And then the slow descent

dotted huts, dotted communities

scattered among hills

children dotting bellies on tiny limbs,

in their cracked shoes

walking long brown distances on red mud roads

that cracked and spat dust and pebble

to schools with cracking walls

and cracked floors  


The convoy drove into a school

a chorus of Karibus and Shikamo

rent the  air, as teachers, parents and pupils

came forward to greet us

and as I shook their hands

images of the hills that jogged to meet and greet us

of the winds that laughed and sang for us

and the tall trees that swayed and waved  as we passed

receded,  replaced by the reality of these young hopeful faces

 hungry for education, hungry for life and full of hope for the future



***I jotted these lines down on my first field visit last month to a district we will working in in our current country programme!  I am not sure it qualifies as a poem – more like prose and random jottings sitting in a four wheel drive as we did the ten hour trip through a very pleasant country side tot the district! 


Posted in Poetry

Haiku Heights Prompt: Vital

By Noel Ihebuzor

Haiku on Vital


From “life” in one tongue

though often lost sight of when

we clutch wild at winds


blinkered by trifles,

we chase blank shadows and let

essentials slip by


The true essentials

touch deep, eternal truths shine

bright, stars on dark night


Vital, life giving

energy laden, bubbling

healthy and vibrant


clear eyes and clean hearts

find you in the complex and

hug your cool calm warmth

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

Posted in Poetry

A good bye song for Santos

By Noel Ihebuzor

Surveying his still and lean frame

I still and steel myself

trying to dam the hot streams seeking release

I lean back in time and spare tear drenched thoughts

to visit with his past before his still present

and survey a future without his comforting presence

The little boy besides me clutches my hands

all grief and bewilderment, suddenly thrust into adulthood yet a child,

struggling to be brave and I too struggle to be brave for him

holding his hands as we both struggle to suffocate the pain that seeks to suffocate us

and my thoughts tumble, my words stumble,

my mind wobbles as do my legs on this walk of farewell

a slow walk of love, honor, respect and remembrance

molten waves of sorrow scorch me as I walk and gaze

As I gaze on him and remember, and recall and re-live….

Santos, Santos the gbogbo di gbogbo

Dimkpa asa, okunrin meta,

“One Naze man at a time”

Okunrin dara, nwoke obioma, ome nwanne….

O very very Santos Achuku

Not you to enjoy the spare rib

when ribs stare at one from withering rib cages

not for you the lean prime cut

when the world bulges in the middle with the

withered frames of lean children,

soon to be cut off in the prime of childhood

lean as thin drying and dying sticks

stick children with sagging skins

which cling like dirty sack cloths to the tiring bones

Oh, Santos , how often did we rage at a deaf drunken and indifferent world

and for you, Santos, action was also soothing

and so, willingly at Lekki, Tere-Ama, okorieukwu and beyond,

he lent his throat to voice their pain

with no thought of gain

save to soften their pain and to soften his too

and soothe the pains of separation he bore

gladly he lent his time, his mind, his voice, his frame

that theirs may grow

that smiles would grace their faces

I sing for you Santos

You who now sing no more

For you Santos who loved life

but for whom songs for others was

vital for the vibrancy of your own songs

and for the voices you missed so

I sing for you Santos

I sing my sorrow and your grief

I sing for those voices,

voices whose touches you missed and still miss

those voices who are unable to sing,

suppressed, silent, sad,

subdued and sullen

I sing for the hard of heart, haters and hatters

hard nuts, twisted and knotted

I sing Santos knowing that that your charity beams on them,

your arms of embrace still open to welcome though you be still

Chi anyi di nma, Uchechi ga eme, Chi anyi ji oke and though some may think it is dark, bright days await you….

Gingerly tenderly, I caress your presents

this endless present,

a past that lives, heaves and breathes

and a future that glows and beckons

The three time frames, yet a continuity, endless

O very Santos, you came, you lived, you loved and you live on

the road you walk is smooth, your path is good, Uzoma

no stomps graze your feet as winged creatures lift you

lead and accompany you to the warm welcome of His bosom and light.

**** This is one of my clumsiest songs. I wrote it in 2009 for my late elder brother and friend, Valentine Uzoma Ihebuzor – ( I called him Santos and still do! ) after we had committed his mortal remains to mother earth in my father’s compound in the village! Santos sleeps right next to his bedroom window and the sands of my village lie gently on him! Today is three years since that committal! Up Santos!

Posted in Uncategorized

This is a beautiful piece – distilled concentrate of sheet beauty!

eulonia country

when you put trust in
the river good things start
swimming toward your outstretched finger-
ferns reaching digging pulling up
mud by the root. do you know
our names are written
on the tongues of earthworms
kept deep down inside
their cavernous bellies and
in the morning canaries
find themselves unable to speak
for mouths so holy fruit-full of earth?
do you believe me when i say
we must become this breathing
the riverbed we make must be our own
though wrought from the colors
that made us- murky browns blues and pale
woolen soft grays spilling upward
into caves
which are neither cavernous nor dark,
warm small brown furs of rooms
with a few spots to lie down
and rest?

my body is young for love but old
in the wanting
it measures itself by lengths:
blades of grass,
the iridescent trails of decollate
snails and snake skins,

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