Categories
Poetry

A Tale of the Wildwoods

Once upon a Time
It was winter
And a night of bitter cold
The snow lay thick upon the ground
And upon the branches of the trees
Two Woodcutters made their way home
And when they came to the Mountain
She was hanging motionless in the air
For the Ice King had kissed her
So cold was it that evening
That the animals and birds
Knew not what to make of it
‘Ugh!’ snarled the Wolf
As he limped through the brushwood
With his tail between his legs
‘This is perfectly monstrous weather!
Why doesn’t the Government look to it?’
‘Weet, weet, weet! Twittered the crickets
‘The old Earth is dead
And she is laid out in her white shroud’
‘The Earth is going to be married
And this is her bridal dress’
The Turtle doves whispered 
Their little pink feet were quite frost bitten
But they felt it was their duty
To say something romantic about the 
situation
‘Nonsense’ the Wolf growled
‘I tell you it is all the fault
Of the Government
And if you don’t believe me
I shall eat you’
The wolf had a thoroughly practical mind
‘Well for my own part’
Said the philosophical Woodpecker
I don’t care an atomic theory for explanations
If a thing is so, it is so
And at present it is terribly cold’
Categories
Poetry

Don’t mock the humble life

Do not laugh at me because I live in the countryside,

Far, far away from civilization, your civilization

Or because I live in a mud walled hut, roofed with thatch

So that when it rains, I could fetch the water from the leaking roof

Do not laugh at my inability to speak or see things like you do

Don’t be amazed that I wear a barefoot as my special sandals

And I may use rough and crude means to provide my food

These are the extent I can survive, so please don’t mock me

Do not laugh at me when you see my breakfast without meat

Or my garden without great beasts, huge birds and red roses

I grow my seeds in the toughest of lands, where I must bend to till

And the weeds and grasses are sometimes stronger than my palms

Maybe, my pants are patched and you can see through my soul

That the waters I dream to drink are unfit for your consumption

So I am wild, I am crude, dirty and to you poor

Well, let me prove to you why I am not what you think…

***

Do you know though I miss out in your city merriment

That I savor the smell of fresh air and freedom?

That I can hear the wild teach and talk to me about life?

I have streams to cool my feet when the sun is at her worst

They wash my stress away and will let the small fishes play in-between my toes

I sit on the shed of mango, cashew trees when the heat is unbearable

Do you know that they fan me with their leaves as the birds sing a lullaby,

And in times of their fruitfulness they throw me a snack, costless and fresh?

I see the sun rise, not as a call to business but as a spectacle to behold

So when I touch the flowers that grow wild on the dusty road

And smell their wonderful fragrance, I feel much much alive

So please don’t laugh at me if you will not trade places with me

Categories
Poetry

Like a butterfly for Ma Lucille Dowell

Like a butterfly, you flew

Painting the skies with your love,

With your kind beauty

In the darkest of nights,

You shone…

Illuminating the dark

Making your light a pathfinder

*

Now you have given us the path

And will only watch us spread the light

****

Commentary

I learned of my friends passing. I am convinced she rests peacefully with God. Rest in peace Ma Lucille. I wish you could read my poetry one more time.

Categories
Poetry

Retelling a Troubadour’s Story

I traversed…

Through the North of Nigeria

Rushing through the forests that hid caves and great hills

Watching the clouds and the sun sail with the fading day

Evening took the cakes and made it sour

And the bananas riped on the baking sun

But the wind was lively, blowing fine dust and

Gathering soot from the burning bushes far away

At some points we engaged the Fulani and their cattle,

They march with their livestock through the thickets

Cockroaching through the dark floor of thickly greened forests

Waterfalls, bridges, the sound of pebbles hitting the water

And birds flying in echelon above the fast moving bus

Ushered us into Abuja… Nigeria’s center of unity

Abuja was welcoming, she told me a lot of stories

Ones I may never forget in a hurry!

***

Bridges brought land over the water

And we rode quickly through this land

Benue seemed dull, her tributaries glowing

In the strange heat, in the great sun shine

Now I found two goats fighting savagely

Somewhere near the city of Lokoja

Their horns locked, with no intent of separation

Granting deep wounds upon each other,

Drops of blood, a struggle near a river

While another goat drank peacefully from the water

Categories
Poetry

Try

I thought about not trying because others failed what I intend trying

I compared my style, my methods with the others’ and found theirs better

And if I was better than any of them, it was not significant in any way

So, I think I am the class bottom

However, I must try

I must try to leave the class bottom

What if I decide not to read because those who read failed?

Will that make me a saint or a careful, wise person?

The prospects of the business might be risky

Surely, Mr Tom* can relate to failure in the business

So I, Mr Dick should not venture into such business

Isn’t that an intelligent and shrewd decision?

But wait, let’s see…

First, others had tried, they have the experience

So why can’t I?

In the process of trying, they failed. Great!

Wait, not so great, right?

But they learned ninety-nine ways not to make light bulbs!

They are neither cold nor hot. Slightly lukewarm I say

But hey, they tried

So I reasoned I should see and feel for myself how it is to try

How failure can teach me patience or how success can inspire me

And what if I actually failed, my mind questioned

Then fail honorably. So you can gather your unique experiences

Use it to set up a plan with the experience in hand, try again!

Now, what if those who tried before never got what they wanted?

Will that have been tagged failure, unfruitful, wasteful?

In the event of failure they build character and knowledge

And if Knowledge is wise as she is portrayed to be

She teaches one how not to do the same thing twice!

Now, I think the greatest disaster is not trying at all

***

Commentary

Happy New Year everyone. Welcome to 2019! I believe we will have a better Poetic year!! My message this new year is try something new. Start that farm or laundry business, get tuition classes, take cook lessons, do something new. Try something!

Mr Tom, Mr Dick: imaginary figures. No reference made to anybody regarding the use of the names.