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’
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
Like a butterfly, you flew
Painting the skies with your love,
With your kind beauty
In the darkest of nights,
Illuminating the dark
Making your light a pathfinder
Now you have given us the path
And will only watch us spread the light
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.
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
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
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.