Poets’ Thursday: Another one

You clutch the clothes to your skin

Cold Nostalgia chills you to the bones

You walked away again

This time the mallet hit the wood

Arrogant tears traipse down your skin

Regret and pain encircle your bosom

As you nod painfully

Your thoughts walk back in time to

When you sold your soul to lust, intertwined with desire

You saw blur but you walked through

Through forbidden territories and boundaries

He whispered words and took a flight in you

Sailing through bones that became still

You laid down mistakes and buried a dusty Bible

Now yours walls are cracked and evil eyes see through

Your lips part and you can still make a sound

A sound of healing from within

A music that heals and a voice that soothes

You are back

Again

hurt woman

By

Deborah Nwanguma

Are you feeling poetic? Does your poem need some polishing?

Is there a poem inside you awaiting some prodding?

All roads lead to ojukwumartin@gmail.com; attach your work in a mail titled ‘Poets’ Thursday’. We shall ensure that your poetic muse does not divorce you, now or ever.

Poets’ Thursday is powered by Words Are Work.

Advertisements

Twenty Fifteen

A brother was telling me just this week about how in Nigeria, we are more about beats, and nada about the lyrics of our music. I agreed with him on a lot of his points, after all how many words of Terry G and even Davido lyrics can I comfortably write down. Yet, I’ll gbedu anytime to ‘Run Mad’ and Davido is fifth on my phone’s ‘Most played’ artistes.

Yet again it pays once in a while to hear something different. And refreshing.

‘Twenty Fifteen’ by Khafeel is one such piece.

You know how recently, the mornings are very unfriendly to go out in, but we have to for daily bread. So you just boarded the bus, the window to your left is blank – no glass, you can’t shut out the biting cold; the lady to your right is F.A.T and as if the Israelites didn’t suffer enough, she balances this humongous basket of cocoyams on her laps; the conductor is eating your ear out about the one thousand naira note you gave him, ‘kosi change oh‘; you stick your ear plugs in your ear and your one prayer is for a track like ‘Twenty Fifteen’.

Made by rather conserved but extremely talented and budding producer, Kinsu, ‘Twenty Fifteen’ by Khafeel is a poetic piece to set the new year on a path of excellence, pomp and ceremony.

Listen here…

http://goo.gl/Vc6J4z

You may find the transcript below. Best enjoy it.

AND SHARE!!!


Twenty Fifteen

May our barns be filled with yam
And the tubers be long and fat.
May our cellars never dry out
Serving newness with the passing of each new day.
May our fields be green
So they can graze, our sheep and cattle.
May we have meat in abundance
Enough to feed even the needy.
May we drink and never thirst
With merry hearts all the days of the year.

Twenty Fifteen.
We call you by your name
From years we’ve seen, we ask you change the game
From whence we’ve been, grant us a new fame
The fat and the lean, let the showers fall on same
All the babes we wean, let them grow and not be lame
Be void of sin, and the wild, we pray you tame
And when finally your light shall dim,
let men not forget that you came.

We bid you to spring forth new waters
From patched lands scorched terrains
Fresh and salty, as the need may arise.

Send the rain and end the pain
As we free our hearts and set our minds
To Conceive the unimaginable
Gather our acts to do the impossible
Tirelessly pronouncing the unpopular
And living life that is void of mediocrity.

Cloth us in apparels of shimmering stone
Emeralds and diamonds, refined to the finest tone
Make us dazzling babies as we savour the late night moan
Grant us the best of wheels, German prides bought not on loan
And tastefully built abodes situated in the world’s choicest zone.

Twenty Fifteen.
Answer by your name
Prosper don’t play safe
Let men their joys resound as we proclaim thee the year of the ornaments.
With trumpets sounding on C
The drums rolling with such ecstasy
The people dancing stamping joyous feet for all to see
A perfect complement to the soft wind blowing over land and sea
Even as tinsels sway and cling to the rhythm of the harmony that we oversee
Giving us a goodly heritage and a perfect legacy.

Twenty Fifteen.
No I’m not eighteen
But yeah I feel like a teen
For love don’t cost a thing.

We pray thee to spread abroad the love that we men need at a time like this
We ask that your arms embrace us, that your lips kiss us, and your warmth enclose us
Giving comfort to all that despair and hope to the ones who cry in silence.

We pray, that your mornings be filled with joy
Exceedingly great, even past the time of noon
And the eve and the morrow shall ever speak of tranquil peace
Economic order and societal bliss.

Twenty Fifteen.
Arise never to fall,
For on your wings we soar unto limitless heights and sights
Strapped and saddled fast and firm
We ride to the place of our victory
Diving into the world’s deepest depths
We uncover treasures locked beneath the floor of the ocean.

Pregnant you are
Midwives we shall be
Walking you safely through timely delivery of the blessings that you have stored up for our use.

Twenty Fifteen.
With arms stretched all out
And smiles that melt the heart of the broken.
We bid you a grand welcome.

Chisom

Goodnight, Ijeoma

“EXPLOSION rocked Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), on Wednesday, when a car loaded with bomb device exploded at a popular shopping mall close to Barnex Junction, Wuse Central District, leaving 21 people dead.”

That was how the news reported Wednesday’s bomb blast. 21. /tuwenti whan/…ashirin da daya…iri abuo na otu…okan le ogun…21. Very easy…try it. Twenty-one dead. See?

And the ones before them…ninety-seven, 60, two hundred and thirty-four…or thirty-seven. All numbers. Just numbers.

 

Only they aren’t. They are 21 men, 21 women, 21 babies, 60 children, 234 girls…all human. Just human.

Human enough to eat, and drink, and sleep, and cry; like you. Human enough to feel their hearts thud heavily, one last time before it all turns to smoke; like you would have. Human enough to hiss very sadly and feel sorry for those that had gone before; like me. And human enough to circle their hands over their heads, snap their fingers and say “It is not my portion in Jesus name”; like us. Human enough for all of that, but now, mere numbers. All numbers. Just numbers.

 

Ijeoma is just one. Just one, one sister, one daughter, one friend, one Ijeoma. To us, one matters. One is all. One is everything. All one. Just one.

The sorrow you will read in the following lines flow raw from the heart of my pal, blackINK whose pen did the writing. Its sorrow is exactly equivalent to the sorrow felt for every one loss to the manic rampage of Boko Haram; its sorrow swells for every one person lost, every one PEOPLE. People, not numbers.

 

Goodnight Ijeoma

The sun’s gone again
Call it shame or fear
The point’s still the same
Night has yet again come to stay

The wind has left with its warmth
The night’s cold and the stars are alone…

The owl’s wet to the skin
It’s raining heavily tonight
There’s a sadness in earth and sky
There’s a shiver in the owl’s cry…

No message was left
And her goodbye was not heard
If she cried, I hope not for long

We would meet again soon
When the skies would know no night

Tho’ you left so soon
I know you are only asleep
Your dreams we shall all live on
One day we shall all meet again
To yet again part no more

Yesterday if we had known, you would have slept all day

1604831_342599729225935_7781689158447071527_n

To Ijeoma and all the victims of the Barnex bomb blast

By blackINK

 

Shamelessly and undeservedly, I share in your sorrow, brother. And like you, I insist that she is not just a number. Goodnight, Ijeoma.

 

I am @0jukwu_martin on twitter

 

UNTIL I DIE

If I am old, it is because I was young.

If my muscles ache, it is because they were firm

If my eyes blur and strain, it is because they seen plenty

old04

My skin is wrinkled

And annotated with lines and spots and rings

But only because I have walked beneath sunny skies

And bathed in the chilly salty sea

My fingers are gnarled and knobby

Because I held on real tight

Every time, even when it did not matter

My steps falter and my bones creak up the stairs

The same stairs now worn weary from years of my steps

old03

I have grown and lost, filled to the brim

And burst

I have sulked, talked, worked and been shocked

I have laughed and cried, cursed and smiled

I have made my bed with flour and flowers

The flour baked me a pastry, crunchy and sublime

The flowers

Roses, pretty and prickly with thorns that tore

At my skin as I made sweet love under the handsomest stars

 

I have lived

It matters not how long I have walked the earth

It doesn’t

It oughtn’t

It won’t

But

It matters how long a second lasts that I have lived

It does

It ought

It will

 

old05

It is folly to measure time by the weight of it

Because as the sands fritter down, vacuum in their wake

Eons and centuries skitter through, and to their heels take

The beauty of the moment

Is the true measure of time

The beauty of now

The pleasure of the present second

Pleasure that stretches its tick to last a whole day

 

Let me live, truly live for just that second

One second that will deny me fear of the future

One second that will not worry for the long gone past

Let me live for just that second

Let me live as best as I can

As long as I will

 

Let me live until I die

old02

 

THIS IS THE 50TH POST ON ‘WORDS ARE WORK’ AND MY GRATITUDE TO YOU, MY BEAUTIFUL, TOLERANT AND RELENTLESS READERS COULDN’T POSSIBLY BE MEASURED. ONCE UPON A TIME, I WOULD NEVER HAVE IMAGINED…I MEAN, WHO WOULDA THOUGHT?!!

I CHOOSE TO CELEBRATE THIS 50TH POST WITH A TRIBUTE TO ALL MEMBERS OF OUR SOCIETY AGED 50+

with all the moons and skies you have lived through, my prayer for you is that the labors of your youth may not be in vain. Amen.

 

Mention me on twitter @ojukwu_martin

it rained again today

I came across this poem and fell in love, not just because it’s a well-crafted piece of art but because boy, I PLAYED in the rain as a kid.

Its writer is a wonderful young man by name of Alyazid Alexander Osinachi Okoli who writes under the pseudonym, ‘The BlackInk’. (Ghen ghen):) When asked about himself, this dude only says “I am a graduate of the great University of Nigeria, read pharmacy…that’s it!”

Hmmm…this poet pipu can like to talk short short shaa. 😉

I’ll drop a little warning before I stop blabbing and post it already; Don’t read this poem as a grammar-savvy intellect or a grown person for that matter, read it like a child, through the eyes of the little boy or girl you used to be.

So! Here goes…

 

IT RAINED AGAIN TODAY

childintherain

its raining again….
my little com-com is set
i can hear its drum play
atop our zinc,…chidera lets go

slippers would bar my flow
bare-footed i set for the door
jumping like a milking goat
i scream out loud in joy

its raining again….
My little legs,dangling
held close by my dirty pant
arms spread wide, i soar in the rain

nne went to the market
as usual my plates are unwashed
but maybe she would understand
it afterall rained again, today

its raining again
legs dancing in the mud
sliding up and down the dirt
with absolute reckless abandon

what other fun beats playing
not just it,but also in the rain
screaming,”rain rain go away”
but wishing it poured down

more more and more

it rained again today
mama’s Cain awaits my bum-bum
but right now who cares
tell her it rained again today

– the blackINK.

Mention me on twirra @ojukwu_martin

Every Sunday

church

This poem is about love

And it is very long

It is a long poem that tells the story of a kind of love

Not the kind of love you read about in romance series

And not the kind you see in soppy soaps

With dark-haired men and yellow-haired dolls

Who never have children because then what color would their hair be

This poem is about love

It is a long poem that tells the story of a kind of love

A love you will not recognize

A love that is disrespectful and blasphemous

A love that does not know its name

I don’t expect you to understand

Don’t understand

I only wish that you would pay attention

No, don’t pay attention

Don’t pay anything

Only listen

It is yet one of the harder requests ever requested

Requesting that one listen

Because we all like to hear our own voices most of the time

But still I wish that you would listen

Only listen

 

This poem is about love

Love that started in the church

In the house of God where the devil worships on Sunday

Every Sunday

And the demons burn incense and bath in holy water

This poem is about love

Love that started in the church

Between a boy and a girl who sat on either side of a man and woman

He was a chorister

Join a choir today

But he did not sing in the choir because he was too good a singer

So he sat just behind them and sang aloud

Sang better than they sang on Sunday

Every Sunday

Every time he sang so that they could hear that he was good

He was singing aloud when the man sat beside him

And a woman followed and sat beside him

And a girl followed and sat beside her

And he was singing aloud just like he sings

Every Sunday

 

She was not a chorister

Remember, join a choir today

She just joined her father and her mother to church on Sunday

Every Sunday

Every time she dolled up in Ankara and silken wraps

She blow-dried her hair with a hand fan

A souvenir from a cousin’s wedding

And she tied it with a yellow headband

A souvenir from a broken heart

And she got in the car and went to church with her father and her mother

Every Sunday

Her father sat down and her mother followed him

Her mother sat down and she followed her

And sat down

Just like she does on Sunday

Every Sunday

 

Pause

Rewind to the last stanza

Not this last last one, the one before the last one

He was singing aloud when the man sat beside him

And a woman followed and sat beside him

And a girl followed and sat beside her

And he stopped singing

He stopped singing aloud like he used to on Sunday

This Sunday

 

He stared

And she pretended not to see

Still he stared

At her full head of dark natural curls

Bound up in a mellow yellow bandana

Grow some dark natural curls today

Buy a yellow bandana, a mellow yellow bandana

Her eyes were hazel and hazy

As if they struggled to cover up mistakes done by, gone by

Her eyes were set a tad too far apart

As if they struggled against their own chemistry

Her nose was a slight button of caramel-tinted flesh that overturned like a fancy W

And her mouth was full with lips lusty and lined

Sun-dried tissue peeled off here and there, like roasted bundles of human phloem

Roasted and ready to eat

And he stared at them too long because he wanted to speak to them

No

To her

He wanted to speak to her and hear them speak to him

But the man and the woman sat between

Garbed in white and unmoving

Like the seven seas and seven hills

Where the seven dwarfs lived with Snow white and the princess, Obeledu

The man and woman sat still

Garbed in white and unmoving

Holding hands

Whispering and pecking when everybody else shook hands

 

The girl stood and made for the altar

Her offering bunched in her hand

She walked like the answer to a charmed human prayer

She walked like she knew she was the answer to a charmed human prayer

The man sat still, the woman sat still

The boy sat still

But only for another second

Then he stood and made for the altar

His offering bunched in his head

He walked like a charmed human prayer

He knew he was a charmed human prayer

He had no money in his hand but there was a song in his heart

All things bright and beautiful

All creatures fair and caramel

All hazel eyes and hair plentiful

The Lord God made them all

 

He waited on the stairs and she never came

Till he dusted his seat ready to give up the game

But then she came and she was the same

Like he had seen back in the pew, just the same

I think I know you from somewhere

It was the dumbest line ever

Learn some suave lines today

No, I mean it

Learn some suave lines

No you don’t know me from anywhere

It was the straightest jab ever

True, I don’t. Give me your number

Smile

Let’s go downstairs

So they went

Down the stairs

And they talked on the way

Down the stairs

About crying babies and praying adults as they walked

Down the stairs

 

Give me your number

No

I shall return here, same time, same pew on Sunday

Every Sunday

Just to see you again

Smile

You are wrong to assume that I will be here, same time, same pew, on Sunday

Every Sunday

Sigh

And they talked some more on the terracotta

A few yards from the gate of heaven

The huge narrow gate to paradise

They talked about foreign languages and strikes and campuses abroad

Then the mass was over

And the din of shuffling feet and bustling voices rose to a fever

Pitch like it did

Every Sunday

They poured forth from the gate of heaven

The huge narrow doorway

 

Give me your number

No, you’re a stranger

In the church we’re one, almost like family, not strangers

It was a suave line

Remember, learn some suave lines

Smile

Give me your number

The dark curls shook no

With the mellow yellow headband in tow

Remember, buy a yellow headband, a mellow yellow headband

The boy smelled the man coming

The girl smelled the woman coming

Give me your Number

No

Aaarrrgh

I shall return here, same time, same pew next Sunday

Every Sunday

Just to see you again

The curls rejoiced in the mellow yellow flames

I hope you do

Smile

Sigh

Give me your name

Smile

And they lived happily ever after

Every Sunday

 

This poem is about love

I warned you that it is very long

I warned you that

This poem is about love

A love you do not recognize

A love that is disrespectful and blasphemous

A love that still does not know its name

I did not expect you to understand

Don’t bother

I am just glad you paid attention

And you listened

 

Her name was Omoye.

 blacklove

I am @ojukwu_martin on twirra

 

 

 

NYANYA BOMB BLAST

Nyanyabomb03

Fellow Nigerians,

The Boko boys hit again, early this morning while men, women and children milled around the bus park in Nyanya, eyes still gritty from sleep. What can I say?

Eternal rest grant them, O Lord.

And for us who watch from the sidelines,

shamelessly commenting and taking pictures

writing poems and being grateful ‘they’ are not our family or friends

yet…

Please, have mercy.

Nyanyabomb02

Nyanyabomb01

Signed,

Chisom Ojukwu,

shameless Nigerian.

P.S: I hope you enjoy the poem or maybe the pictures enough to drop a comment. The more infuriated it sounds, the better…we’re really good at that stuff.