Nigerian Poet

Poetry: Living Is A Fire By Ben Okri

Living is a cross
That any one of the rock-faces
Comprehends.


We are drawn
To many seas.
We drown wholesomely
In the failures of confrontation.
The rain
Drenching
Our doorsteps
Has nothing to do
With the simplest desires
And lacerations
We bring
To the smallest acts
Of living.


The child
On the broken catwalk
Hearing the sounds of our hunger
Without understanding
Throws echoes back
To the earliest abandonments
Of love.


Minor devastations preceding
Horror
Resonate the ineffable.
The mothers that wake
At the slightest sound
And the fathers that
Smoke all night
And the rest of us who are
Vigilantes from the demons
Of oppressed sleep
Find at dawn the clearest
Images of bewilderment.
Even the best things
Collapse beneath the weight
Of ignorance.


Living is a fire
That any one of the wave-lashes
Comprehends.

Source: Ben Okri, via Hello Poetry.

Image: Eloghosa Osunde.

Poetry: Abiku by J. P. Clark

Coming and going these several seasons,
Do stay out on the baobab tree,
Follow where you please your kindred spirits
If indoors is not enough for you.
True, it leaks through the thatch
When floods brim the banks,
And the bats and the owls
Often tear in at night through the eaves,
And at harmattan, the bamboo walls
Are ready tinder for the fire
That dries the fresh fish up on the rack.
Still, it’s been the healthy stock
To several fingers, to many more will be
Who reach to the sun.
No longer then bestride the threshold
But step in and stay
For good. We know the knife scars
Serrating down your back and front
Like beak of the sword-fish,
And both your ears, notched
As a bondsman to this house,
Are all relics of your first comings.
Then step in, step in and stay
For her body is tired,
Tired, her milk going sour
Where many more mouths gladden the heart.

Source: John Pepper Clark via African Soulja.

Image: Prince Twins Seven Seven, “Dream of the Abiku Child” via Material Culture.