When are we going to see again

by

 

Noel Ihebuzor

 

When are we going to see
she asked, her dreamy voice
dripping with desire
and he replied
his voice sober and still
When the sea sings
and seals swim rapids
in slow sweet sync
when the slowest miler
becomes the sweetest smiler
and the time keeper
beckons on Air clad snails
to breast the tape
for the diner of the famished to commence
Yes, when the sea ceases
her never ending swim
in circles of seamless curves
after mermaids hang their laundry on ropes in the sky
And the sky empties its
voice into the willing  sea
We shall see, and sing and swim
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A Song for the Naive

by

Noel Ihebuzor

 

 

I will laugh with the greenness

of young blades of corn

thrusting forward, green and bold

in a land where virgins are

two for a grand

and impotent randy men

roam wide spaces

in quest of unstable risings

 

Do you hear the whispers

of the blade of corn,

young and talkative

as it sways to share its secrets?

and sell its prophecy?

 

The secrets of the farm,

its short tales, of staggered truths,

tales of men with huge trumpets,

elepant egos and stiff backs

tales of the empty baba rigas

are not told on market days,

nor on farm days

 

songs of noisy plantings

the flapping and chatter of leaves, empty

but full of naivety,

an empty harvest follows

and the once wet song

soon turns dry, wilts and withers

leaves, once green,

now brown, twisted dry,

now cry.

 

 

 

 

A song for the Girl Child

By

Noel A. Ihebuzor

 

Ekwe, ogenes and udus

from a dawning new day

play a sombre serenade,

whispering and suggesting

new worlds, new possibilities

 

and on the waking skies, words inscribed

on a rainbow-ed horizon hum

your amazing qualities of universal verity

 

Sister, daughter, seed carrier,

Future assurer, energiser, builder,

Calmer, softener, sweetener, peace maker

 

The tunes stir and wake you

 

you rise, a flower about to blossom

and gaze in sober silence at the signs scripted

in golden sprinkles on the aprons of  a dawning day,

your smile of innocence splays the sky

salutes the dawn and sprays the new day

with fragrances of hope and possibilities

 

And the rainbow-ed horizon hum on their truths

 

Sower, harvester, protector, shock absorber, sufferer

Nurturer, Nurse, first responder, stabiliser,  

Keeper, organiser, model, inspirer, teacher,

 

And I thought I saw a new smile kiss your face,

saw in that smile the dancing hopes

of glow filled futures for all

if culture and gender

do not suffocate the seeds you carry within for all

 

and in this dawning morning,

where hope sang to my anxious ears

and possibilities danced and beckoned

I prayed in silence for the world

to nurture and cultivate

the generous seeds of transferable greatness

that nature has richly embedded in your bosom

and your fertile and supple mind

so that we all could harvest from it

a future of gladness and greatness

 

**Adding my raucous voice to those celebrating this year’s (2013) day of the girl child.  Not the best of songs, but the intention should redeem all its imperfections

Noel

Stirred by anger

By Nwachukwu Egbunike

sadly those sired by anger
are boiling with hate
to lose their commonwealth
they look at all with grim

 

sadly they take the same path
falling into same pit
those dug by their patriarchs
step siding the truth piously

 

the ping of their bb
rings with curses and malfeasance
roaring with disgust
for the pooh-pooh sprawling on their mats

 

they tweet all day
not as stewards of truth
but slaves of hate
passionately greedier than their dads

 

same short cuts taken
same mistakes made
shying away from the facts
sole path of breaking the curse

 

wishing to change the tide
with same tools that caused the flood
without rationality that paves the flow
wrapped up with sentiments that blind the face

 

but we’ll still hope
though we see none
but knowing that greed last not forever
by truth we’ll change this land

 

it might tarry
it might delay
but one day, despite the delay
it will mighty arise

 

(Nwachukwu Egbunike, 12/12/12)

***Nwachukwu Egbunike is a Nigerian writer, critic and social commentator. His book “Dyed thoughts, a conversation in and from my country” is a collection of critical articles on the challenges of nationhood in Nigeria. He lives in Ibadan.

Destruction and healing

by Noel A. Ihhebuzor

 

The pounded flaked skin

of earth floats scattered wide by

nature’s raw rage, slashed

 

gashed by savage blows

stabbed and pummelled she bleeds tears

littered with debris

 

amid bobbing wrecks

here and there, hope stands stubborn

 set to heal the earth

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! 

 

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

A 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 whoses 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 though you be still

 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!

Haiku on Wisdom 2

By Noel Ihebuzor

 

Slow to grow and glow

wisdom’s seed once blooming soon

the soul with peace fills

 

its bright rays flow deep

reflections expanding thought

making it richer

 

richer minds then reach

rainbow outputs, clean thoughts, peace

world and soul happier

A song of Faith and Hope

By Noel Ihebuzor

When you find yourself before the day, a day 

darkened by crisis

your road blocked by obstacles, slippery and forbidding

…blinding and obstructing

the path of faith

will lead us to the fair and feast

of supreme joy

that God prepares for us.

 

Be confident

No need for despair

Believe in His cross of wood

 

Even if sleepless night blight your path

Even if ferocious dogs bark loud

And cold freezes your soul

And warm bitter tears of despair

prepare to unleash with the force of a tsunami

and anguish inundates and threatens to wash you away

 

Even if the terrors of the night seek to drown you

as they frighten your dreams soaking them in clammy sweat

even if the world threatens to fall apart

and suck you in and under

be confident child of faith

stand up, child

say No, and kick back the incipient despair

re-conceive your savior

your king, his laws, so simple

faith, hope and charity

be strong and steadfast and believe

be steadfast and re-launch yourself

upright on his path

your eyes fixed on heavenly things

contemplate his light that illuminates

in the rays of the sun

His reassuring caress in the soft smile of the moon

the shining stars his priceless pearls

 

Behold His glory, drink from the endless bounty of the joy

He freely bestows, without limits, across and beyond borders,

Without equal

on this day born of faith

this joyous day of Easter and for always

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