Posts Tagged 'duet'

Words: Before and beyond words – A duet

Susan L. Daniels and Noel A. Ihebuzor

before Babel

maybe
there was a word
for this me you raise

not from anything dead
but sleeping
& deep

this me that answers
& opens

throating
every word
ever spoken
in any language

before and beyond Babel
that silent voice bubbles on
bounding and bouncing
in bundles of beautiful
babble that unbundle, bare
and bond me
with no words spoken
not needing nor heeding
any spoken word

simply

because your silence speaks
more than all words

it undoes me

my unfurled feelings
amplifying the unspoken,
filling my being with soft echoes
of sounds stronger than words

***Another spontaneous duet this week.  Susan (italicized) and I (regular text) had a conversation in poetry following my comments on her poem. The result is this wonderful and warming duet!  Thanks Susan–as always, a pleasure to volley lines with you!

Arms and Voices for Peace

By Susan L. Daniels and Noel A. Ihebuzor

there are arms we lay down
& others we hold open

there are tongues we must still
and others we loose;
the barbed tongue that howls like a howitzer
we have to leash and rein in
some arms raise to embrace.
others crest fists in tsunami rage, or balance hands
that shape silos tilted skyward, curved metal calculated 
and conducted to maximum strikesthe tongue that coos

softer than the dove,
sweeter as beautiful rays splashed
on the wide bosom of a waking beach
i would plot the curve of a cheek, rested
on my shoulder, lay down
what holds us at arm’s length
and instead open–
a gesture with a bell’s resonance
that tongue whose voice melodiously flutters
under a blue sky,
let her reign,
let her caress and conquer
the hardness of our guns and melt our swords 

these arms, these hands
could  pull needles from softened metal
that was swords
and use these tongues to tell it– 

let us close the gaping wounds
on the face of the earth
caused by the savage rage
of raw us clawing at things we never can ever own

let it begin, this stitching together
of something torn

 

***Susan(italicized) and I (regular type face) decided, on Susan’s prompting,  to blend our efforts for the Dverse prompt today, which involves truce or armistice.  As always, this was so much fun to craft with Susan–a wonderful, inspiring co-creator, poet and friend!

Noel @naitwt on Twitter

Song of a Child Bride – a duet

By Susan L. Daniels and Noel A. Ihebuzor

I am a girl.
Eleven years ago
I came too early for you,
but I was yours
as nothing else was,
and I grew under love
brighter than the sun.
I am still growing.  I am green
& unripe fruit, unready

I am a girl,
I long to play, feel
and unfurl.  I run after butterflies
I wave after birds in flight
I dwell in innocence
I harvest smiles and stars in all I see

I am a child
my eyes carry hope.
I feel.  I dream past this body
and carry in these bones
a life that hums promise
and walks joy

I am a girl,
body, soul and spirit,
and human
not a piece of flesh
not an object for peace
not an object to be priced

I am a girl,
though lately this body bleeds
and these breasts can make milk
I am too young for this business of women
my hips are too narrow to balance a child,
too slender to push one out;
my mind too new to mother another
and I will break beneath a man’s need
my young body if forced to yield will only hurt,
weep in pain and shame

I am a child,
I long for safe spaces
to draw and discover my dreams,
to live them, and to sing, joyful
as I discover the marvels of the world,
my world expanding

I am a child.
I dream of books I have not read
and the only seed I am fit to hold now
are those of the mind, scattered to work deep;
not the body choked with seeds of a man
I must accept but carry in fear and bitterness.
Death will bloom inside my body, not life
if I am planted now

I am child,
not a wife
marriage at my age will drown me
twist my bones
pierce my body
and break my spirit

Mother, father
I am your child.
Your flesh made and fed me;
to send me to a husband
is to send me to a slaughterhouse
where the floor is stained
with the blood of so many cattle
listen to my words, words
eyes speak but mouth cannot;
words my body shouts in trembling
your eyes can hear if they open.
I beg you to answer past my fear
and shield me with your arms

Father and mother
ignore the clutter of culture
spare your daughter this chain of torture
Ignore the clatter of the appeal of gain,
remember our  bond of blood
before you cause me pain,
before your decisions tear and shatter my developing body
and eventually spill this innocent blood

 

Intro to this duet by Susan  on her blog – >

**You guys had to know this was coming, right?  Noel (regular text) and I (italicized) have created this duet, using the voice of a child.  Though it was, as always, a pleasure to weave lines with Noel, the subject is not one that leads to much joy…no matter how talented your duet partner is.

****Let me only add to this intro that Susan’s talent is infectious, and that it has been my luck to be so infected by it! 🙂 

http://susandanielseden.wordpress.com/2012/10/06/duet-for-the-girl-child/#comment-12719

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.***

Seduction – A duet

By Noel Ihebuzor and Susan Daniels

seduction is best when done softly, slowly

and yes, subtly–
to lead entranced
an entrancing partner (not necessarily
all that innocentintent and consent in a closet slightly ajar, and ever opening)
to fascinate, to suggest, but all so quietly
to the point the seduced
owns it as their idea, not yours

when it seeps slowly into anxious fevered body,
when the pores, the ears, the eyes, the lips, all sip it,
inhaling its suggestive velvety boldness like ripe brandy

Armagnac, please;
or perhaps something scented
of late summer; like pear, apple,
blackberry, but intoxicating
and strong, sweetness with heat
swimming into mind and body both

exhaling and uncoiling
in recognition of joint and multiflavored complicity
saluting coyness and salivating and waiting

yes, art.  art spun by two.
a peacock has nothing on us, love,
fanning feathers to dazzle, but that’s all he has.
you bring and I welcome that drunkenness,
that reeling magic we stumble inside

and going with the flow, each new seduction
increasing flush, gush..and rush,
cascades beckoning and willing rowed to

seduction is best when done softly, slowly

*** Just back from a one month vacation where I visited family and friends in the UK and Nigeria. Back to base in Dar, it was fun to get to chat with my duet partner, Susan  and to exchange views on life, literature and living with her. This poem, a duet,  came up in a spontaneous manner during our chat this afternon on facebook, completely unplanned and we agreed to upload as is – hope you like it.  Susan is italicized, and my words are bolded.

Duet Defined

Amicabe duel

of giving and taking

lines,  ideas, voices

colliding and colluding,

sometime skipping along gaily

sometime contrasting,  sometime complementing

always enriching,

wafting and walzing with mounting additionality,

perfuming the sky with rhythm!

Fizzy Feelings and Fuzzy Physics #3: Motion (1) – By Noel Ihebuzor and Susan Daniels

Three balls dancing in space
in place lace us to the larger cosmic circles
of perpetual motion

The blue pearl spins on its toes
in never stopping rolls like a top
held in space in distant but constant hug
by the sun radiating
surges of magnetic and force fields

Locked in predictable patterns
but always surprising us;
the times of sunset known
but not its colors,
the exact flush and spectrum flash of sky
as the axis spins and shifts it to night colors

Rotating and revolving
centrifugal and centripetal discourses
neatly balanced as ordained though slightly inching
imperceptible

Our mother an eye, soft and smiling
a constant blue gaze unblinking,
but kind, a glowing awareness
logical in her turning;
her light beguiles and seduces
in its soft sparkling
as the moon, her hills, and blue seas
use their pulls in equations
to twirl, whirl, and swirl

Caressing and awakening the sleeping ocean
stirring, causes waves, tides, and surges
three balls hanging apart in space, moving
yet linked by invisible forces flowing from them
and causing motions and emotions to rise and ebb

And you and I, also
feel the pull, the irresistible forces
that draw our blood beneath skin,
that grasp our hands to lift and turn us
so we also spin and dance like these,
hoping that our weaker movement  too
will birth waves
and pools 

***Once again I thoroughly enjoyed braiding lines and interlacing voices with my duet partner, Susan, whose beautiful voice shines here and who succeeds to breathe life and plenty of movement into a difficult topics in physics – motion! Susan’s voice in italics and mine in bold!


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