Posted in Poetry

Time and bitterness

By Noel Ihebuzor

I, Time will take bitterness
and make it history
in my time

a gentle wand
will erase the scars
left by the barbed lips,
in my time

my breath soft smoothens
that hard tongue,
formerly sour and metal acerbic
and fills it
with sweetness
all in my time,

***Susan Daniel”s wonderful poem this link prompted this response

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 Poetry

A song for onye obi omam

 by Noel Ihebuzor

Do you know you touched me when you did not mean to

Did you know you saved me when you were not looking

And because you were not looking

you failed to feel my heart leap at that moment of rescue

missed to see my soul drip with honey, my body come alive

and soft warm flows gently fill me my being


Do you know how deeply you touch me with your warm voice,

and how with the slight touch of your hands you speak to my despair

how and so often with your soft touch you stop my hard fall?

Do you know how much you soothe my soul

with your warm voice and the reassuring beams of your smiles?


Can I sing what you do ……

When you hear my silent sobs even when you seem not to be listening,

When you feel my unspoken words and decode their deep syntax

When you read my silent lips from across the distances

When with a single glance you read my pain and

with a soft touch share my grief


How warm your kind gestures must boom to the deaf woman

When with your soothing and tender touch you speak your care

And stroke her famished spirit and stimulate the eardrums of her soul

And rescue her from the loneliness of silence


How colourful and full of bloom your touch must shine to the blind dancer

as she surveys your kind face in the flow of your hands,

when the love in your soul that your touch speaks

fills her mind’s eye with pictures of beauty and bliss

and rescues her from the agonies of the dark,


How warm and welcoming your keen eyes must sing to the deaf mute

When they follow and read his every voice and their modulations

and share in the labours of his limping speech

your compassion lends and restores dignity

warm as cover cloth in the harmattan night


feel his sweet thank you song

in the moisture that crowds his grateful eyes

in his subdued shy smile which celebrates your attention


How you deeply you touch me when you speak my words,

when you speak soft words

and when you lend me your voice and speak for me

and speak for those without voice,

when you listen with care, when you care to listen,



Do you know how deeply you touch me

when you speak words that only the eyes of the heart can see

the eyes of the heart sees deep and clear

the ears of the heart hear even the softest footfalls of footless spirits….



Soft words touch hard

Gentle kindness holds fast and bond

Unreflecting and unselfish gestures strike deep

Human warmth oozes solidly

And multiplies, even when we know not

and even when we are not looking

and even when we mean not


look over there and see a bridge of rainbows

listen and hear the strains of soothing music

and see the angels dance and sway


all because with a gesture, with a thought, with a word

without talking, without thinking

you touch me, you touch others

and you link and connect

and love flows…and grows…and soars

and multiplies …and liberates the soul, the body and the mind

and the echoes of your silent actions sing loud and smell sweet,

rising higher to the clouds


did you know you touch me when you did not mean to?


Noel Ihebuzor This is a song of gratitude for all those who rescue others from despair, depression, sorrow and gloom by generous acts of acts of love…..often without knowing it.