Spring Song

by

Noel Ihebuzor

 

as with the season,

so, with the poet,

seasons come

and seasons go

seasons that freeze

seasons that free,

seasons that foul,

season that flower

 

seasons for sowing

seasons for sewing

seasons for saving

seasons for singing

 

The season of singing

Voices springing

Moon winking,

Grasshoppers jumping

Kids bleating

Blades rustling

in the gay glades with

crickets chirping

the sun smiling, greeting

the happy season

which sings its coming

 

listen now as

songs well from within

they spring forth

at the first ring of spring

as poet, pen and

keyboard warm

to the rhythm and reason

of the season of renewal

to sing songs

that unfurl like a corolla

awakening, unfolding and stirring

drowning unhappy pasts

in their awakening and renewing

melodies

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“tion” words – emotion in action

By Noel Ihebuzor

 

Seduction,

words, glances, gestures

and signs all singing innocence,

guile innocently garbed in see-through lace, wonyosi,

seeds laced and laden with suggestion

of slow gentle adduction

consensual abduction,

mutual attraction, prehensile and  tensile,

O youth, shine your eyes,

read the small print

approach with caution, resist acceleration

to end points and end games

steeped in action, multiplication, addition,

and deception and substraction.

Stirred Muse – in response to SLD’s “Muse Ridden”

By Noel Ihebuzor

 

The touch key stirs, stretches, awakens and moves

humming, stroking and caressing

 

Soon, it blends notes and nuances,

stirs, nudges, and then steers other senses to move and dance

all awakening now, gliding, sliding, slithering

like anxious limbs aroused by the teasing inebriating tones of Alija

like nubile hips swaying involuntarily,

stirred by ekwe, ngelenge and udu laced by ele mminri

suddenly the soft shadows of a new song emerge

fleeting, inchoate

 

Some further loving touch and brush by the potter,

and the new song explodes

reason, rhyme and rhythm join hands

skipping along, speaking words

spraying flowers, some red, some rose,

some raw and raging,

some purple and crimson, some weeping,  others laughing

but all carrying deep messages

that touch our aroused eyes and ears

and seep to the soles of our searching souls –

the beauty of Susan’s poetry

 

*** Susan Daniels, a superb poet and my duet partner, wrote a great poem “Muse ridden” http://susandanielspoetry.com/2013/02/14/muse-ridden-2/

which prompted my spontaneous comment on her blog. Stirred Muse is my attempt to polish that spontaneous response – so here!  I am still left with the feeling that the spontanoeous response reads much better!***

Hush the voice

nothing can
ever hush a voice,
not force
nor noise

nothing can
neither philistine jaws
nor grubby grouchy claws
not even green clammy creepy envy
nor raucous hollering of the loud mouthed

can choke
the delicate dimpled
dance steps of a voice
strumming, sometimes
fluttering, then prancing, now leaping
soft, delicate, yet piercing

rich in energy
strolling with poise
overflowing with force
brimming with sense

like joyful water jets
from a dam
fresh, full, gushing,
flowing, freeing and renewing,

inventing and reinventing
For Obinna and Susan, two talented voices!

Wrestling with one’s chi – a duet

By Noel Ihebuzor and Susan Daniels

my chi is a muse, impish
invisible fellow lurking
behind my ears and my tongue
whispering when I am not ready
sauntering away when I am

mine whispers words in woven gold flights
spiraling from blood to my ears
as my eyes open; dream-writing, I call it
and the words melt in daylight like mist
before I have reached for my pen

quicksilver, erratic
unpredictable, nagging like a stubborn dream
on those days when fresh minty words stream
down my running fingers
and then only to turn off the faucet
when incipient joy in showering in the deluge
of singing is huge

they gift us in fragments, suggestions.
if they gave us the keyed music
of the harp strung underneath particles
always vibrating, could our ears
hold the whole song?

then those days when in mischief
it fills me with words in riot
words that rage at thought
thoughts that resist rhythm
lines that refuse order, grating
words, thoughts in drunken stagger
limping clubfoot, clumsy clod

those words that sound like beginning poetry
that go nowhere, or spiral into nonsense:
pretending I am a tree/transmission shock
jamming the frequency/my head
is a crowded place to peek into.  hum the words
my personal goddess, and I will follow
blindly, my pen scribbling your joke
and this poet the butt of it

the seasons come and go
leaves sprout, bloom and drop
but my chi remains unchanging
driving, firing, inspiring and
sometimes tiring and
despairing me

ridden and driven by laughing children
impossible to catch, and should we try?
no, better to sound the songs
of invisible fingers strumming heartstrings
like mandolins that sometimes fall flat
for their amusement

my chi and I are Siamese twins
linked at the junction of mind, soul and heart
chasing our wants amidst chi’s obdurate wonts

yes, linked and bound, but not by a short thread
she tugs me awake, jumping rope
with the cord that feeds us both, but I cannot
wake her, cannot call her to me–no, I am her dog
leashed by that link,
sometimes running at the snap of a finger
begging for strokes and scraps

chi, your hands will not choke my throat when I proclaim
your wandering and meandering ways
twins are equals, social and spiritual
I resist bullies, and I call you that not
but can the palm no matter how large blot out the rays of the moon
my truths about you stand erect, an iroko for all to see
and despite your sobering entreaties,
these truths I cannot not hide nor suppress

I have no proverbs to suggest urgency
better than these; but yes, let us call out
trickery for what it is, and play each other
without binding, in a dance
instead of a chase, so we both smile in victory;
not a rout but a tie, in a game well-played by both

but though I rage, I fear that in the end
you and I shall meet at the junction of road
where compromise and conciliation habit
productive, just like I wish for us
for you need me and I need you
and the world would be poorer if our voices died
or we choked each other in moments
of well deserved rage and resentment

***This was great FUN!  Our two chis (Susan’s and mine) were at their best today in terms inspiring and sustaining inspiration. That is the only way to explain the fact that this duet took less than 90 minutes from conception to finish. Persons familiar with Igbo cosmology (I am igbo) will recall that one’s chi represents a personal god who is seen as playing a determining role in that individual’s life chances, creativity inclusive. One’s chi can thus then gift an individual with beautiful poetry/songs.  Presented in this way, one can read the chi as a muse!  Sometimes, the chi can also be stubborn and block creativity – here we find an igbo explanation for the western concept of a writer’s block!! As in all our duets, Susan is italicized, I am bolded.***

Close encounters with education of the bad type

By Noel Ihebuzor

A song on bad education

Anxious open minds, eyes ablaze and shining

all gaiety and laughter at entry

to an environment, structured, neat, calibrated and ordered

 

most exit, heads crammed with knowledge, morose, twinkle gone

minds closed, vision dimmed , imagination dulled and diluted

 

a perceived empty vessel, trapped

and held hostage in an unequal dialogue

with a pedagogue

who suffers no dialogue

outside the book log

austere professional who decants chunks of assured unquestionable knowledge

in unmeasured torrents to be imbibed and returned

 

the death of the imagination in minds once so active

learning to learning suspended, dangling knowledge

with no anchor nor roots

dampening spirits, sad, sore and dour

the emergence of one dimensional thinking

fostered by methods that shackle rather than free the mind

 

and a mind that was once so free to roam

and loved to run, roll and tumble

 now stalls, staggers in tatters, strutless

and a  flicker that was lit at birth,

slowly dims, dims and dies…..

Haiku – Processor

Unformed, yet present in all things

I wait breathless, for a vision with voice 

to find, process  and liberate me 

 

**** Imitation, they say, is the best form of flattery. This poor attempt at a Haiku (whatever that means) is a response to SLD who attempted to under-emphasize the poet’s role in birthing good poetry!

The singing stream: A Duet

By Noel Ihebuzor and Susan Daniels

Susan:
How do I hold the strength
of this spring that sings
and streams;
waterfalls roaring against the shutter
that struggles to hold them in
and back, wrestles to dam them?

Noel:
What good is a spring,
if it simply wells inside
unseen, unfelt, untouched?

Susan:
Untapped and untasted
captive sweetness this strong
can nourish nothing;
only drown what holds it.

Noel:
Springs seek release
to leap and spring forth
surge to find release
(and release us)
to feed the parched earth
a destiny we call escape.

Susan:
In release what was hidden
silvers through sunlight,
a sung arrow that arcs
and returns to its source
softer now; to trace our skin
and the earth gently
with cool fingertips.

Noel:
The released waters unchain,
unbind and wash clean
and deep.
Voice fuses with vision
in the singing rainbowed fountain
defining potential, outpouring possibilities.

Susan:
An outpouring of this significance has a cost.
Within the core of this yes
that must be shouted
as it is brought forth
sleeps power that can shake the earth
and wear down mountains;
let it be heard,
let thunder be its echo,
let the sound carry
to your ears.

***What can I say, besides it is always a joy to write with Noel?  Because it very much is. (Susan)

**** To which I add that it is such a pleasure to lace and intertwine my voice with that of Susan who sings so well and with such distinctiveness of voice!

Drinking and Breathing: A duet

 

By Noel Ihebuzor and Susan L. Daniels

Noel:
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.

Susan:
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.

Noel:
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.

Susan:
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!