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Africa lifestyle Nature Pastoral Poetry

Butterfly

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See Mother Nature’s art
See her paintings, black and white
Behold gift of the rising sun,
The wind a prize to be won
So fly pet of the blue clouds
… and friend of the wind
Break forth from your cocoon
Hit the silky walls wide open
Fly away, you pretty butterfly
Travel farther away, up the sky
Make the breeze your companion
And sweet freedom your own
Shoot into the blue clouds
With your energy and pride,
Up the mighty skies where you belong,
Spread your beautiful, creamy wings
Set sail for the unknown North
Fly, away and find your warmth

Categories
culture/tradition folklore lifestyle Nature Pastoral Series

Music in me

They say you are the reason why they sing, I say you are the song in my heart.

Categories
folklore lifestyle Nature Pastoral Poetry

Muse: Meet me

Meet me at the tunnels end, there I’ll wait…

Categories
Africa culture/tradition Love and Christianity Nature Pastoral Poetry

Muse: Even Though…

Let me hold your hands, look into your eyes & sing,
For even though I fail sometimes, I love you still

Categories
Poetry

Two Poems: By the Poolside and The Shepherd’s Muse

1. By the Poolside
By the pool that stills my soul
I watch the slow tide drift by
My song goes high pitch
When a catfish disturb my tranquility

2. The Shepherd’s Muse
Glad that the night brought pleasant airs
The shepherd lay to recall the day’s stress
Crickets chirp, the night is very young
But dreams come fast to the weary normad

Categories
Africa Nature

Amuse: Slow School Bus

Where’s that slow school bus?

Categories
Love and Christianity

Muse: What I love about you

I love the dimple that grace your face,
Your hearty smile and warm embrace
I love the joy I get when you smile
And those thoughts you serve me
I love the taste of your turmeric and garlic,
Sweet soup that makes my heart frolic!
I love the airs around you,
Roses and lavender, I muse so
I love that for you, my poems may rhyme
And that you are my beautiful dream
I love the way you make me feel
Now I thank God, I love your soul

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Uncategorized

Muse: To the end of the Day

Towards the end of the day

I shall lay my head on your thighs

To behold the glittering stars

Categories
Poetry

Muse: Humble Home

Even when the sun set far away from you

It gives me joy to remember my humble home

***

There’s a place in my mind where my eyes desire,

Where my heart rejoice when I behold her beauty

The mornings bring abundant joy to me

And the evening is a delight I long for

Sometimes our pots are half full

Sometimes they are half empty

But the peace here is fulfilling

***

At breakfast Ma serves the honey bread

And will tell the tales of the stingy bees

And how we must not mess with those!

In the late evenings Granny will start her stories

She told of the countryside, and of the years she lived

I have learned my grandfather fought in Hitlers war

And he loved the things I so much cherished now

Aunt Nena has joked that I was my Grandpa’s reincarnate

It was a good laugh for everyone, nothing could compare to that…

***

To be continued

***

Commentary: This piece is dedicated to my late Grandpa, Mazi Abraham Duruoha, late Granny Uluocha Duruoha Chinyere and my late Aunt Nnenna Stephen. God bless their souls. Amen.

Image by my little brother: Chijindu Favour Iroegbu

Categories
Poetry

Muse: Teach me

Lay me by the side of the brook,

Closer to the brown colored rocks

Make me see the waters tumble over

So teach me how to be your lover

Categories
Poetry

Muse: Setting Sun

I wonder why you hide behind the hills and clouds

Shying away from the approaching airy evening

Birds fly in echelon, calling a farewell as they went

Trees reflection on the waters hung like a rag on the rail

As frogs resumed their croaky songs

Hundreds of bass voices singing, in harmony

The cream colored clouds melt before the retreating day

As queer images are drawn across the skies,

At the distance the shepherd calls to his sheep

For the solemn day and his entourage has packed up their caravan

And soon the clouds will bury them all in her warm embrace

Categories
Poetry

Muse: Love

First, meeting you was a play of fate

On the straight road, which drove West

Then you were my companion

But now you are my destination

Categories
Poetry

The Rains lullaby

I can feel your presence each time you flash through the skies

Blowing raindrops on my window panes

The rain drops beat the drums, you sang wordlessly in support

Now I see you draw images behind my cottoned curtains;

Sketching trees sometimes and a phantom with huge pitchforks

With the rains you came, searching our bodies,

Lifting heavy curtains high and blowing soft airs at us

As the rains fall, you followed her unsteady drift, here and there

Causing the candlelight to dance her merry heart out

And to the townsmen a reason to snore away their days stress

Categories
Poetry

Life: A Walk in the Park

Life is like a walk in the wooded green park

Where strange fine flowers and plants grow,

And pests; rodents, bunnies and insects abound

On the roadside will be mistletoes, thorny roses, even cactuses

With so much of harmless weed plants sprouting all about

They hurt if one touch them and won’t

If one will let them be,

There will be rocks and stones which will make the walk

Much tougher and insufferable for many

Yet the scenery is one of extreme beauty

But a walk through life itself will reveal a lot

Ups, downs,

Plains, hills,

Earth, water,

Love, hate,

Joy, pain,

A concoction brewed out of both good and bad

There must be a sort of balance, wearing the joy and pain away

And a device cloaking the lurking evil among the pretty green

The sun will normally shine, assuming he is good

And won’t burn everyone to death but grow the greenery

The rain will fall as usual, demanding a fair share of calamity

She might decide to flood the plains or fall in drought lands

There will be twist and turns all about

Rainfall, sunshine,

Smiles, tears,

Hopes, fears,

Bends, straight lines,

Rich, poor,

Every step seem to have a taste of two opposites

Swinging like Galileo’s pendulum, letting malevolence

Or benevolence swing, left or right

To fall, anytime on the guilty or innocent

One thing is that Nature has a way to console everyone

She either lets the tears of joy or pain dry in the suns heat

Or allow the soothing cold rains, wash them away

***

For Kofi Annan.

Categories
Poetry

Poetale: The house outside the city, Part 1

In a tiny house on the hills of the East

Far, far away from any town or village

A poor man and his seven little sons lived,

The house door opened straight on to the hillside

And all around were moorlands and huge stones

And swampy hollows, never a house nor much human activity

Wherever you might look, for their close neighbors mostly

Were the fairies in the glen below and browned grass

*

The man kept ducks and planted shrub yielding spices about the house

He had a meek donkey which knew nothing but eating hay,

When the man looked outside, through the house windows

It was winter and other times summer…

So times changed before his eyes, and he knew not what to do with his little sons….

The snow was thick upon the ground and on the tree branches in winter

And when it was summer, the yellow sun was high up the cloudy sky,

Now, the house had many strange visitors

The grey and white barn owls came mostly in the cold winter,

The rats, of course deemed themselves co-owners of the house,

Gophers only came during the hot summer with some stray scorpions

When it drizzles, though it seldom rains the centipedes find their way in

The most vile among the visitors was the coyotes which prowled

About the house and the mountains around it in the dead night

So when they howl at night, the little boys shivered under their bed covers

And the other inhabitants of the woods take care not to cross their path

In the morning, the boys saw claw marks on the wooden bench

And when they told their father, he wished it away, asking for breakfast

To be continued…

Categories
Poetry

Musing: Countryside 

                         

                              

                                 1

I am hidden in the thickly wooded forest land

Tucked away in a pocket of land in the countryside



Green paradise, constantly drenched in the Rain; 

The august visitor, which comes when she wills;

And desires to make the clouds dark, the day solemn

To keep the warmth from all the hamlet, farm and hill


                                    2

The sun is hidden above the tree leaves and branches 

Underneath the woods; life goes on, life continues


The airs are sweet, amazing, a healing surge

Fires are made to keep the treacherous cold away

In clear contrast of it all, heat or cold, not to dodge

Admonitions, words, messages are never to go astray



For the countryside can be a darling or a demon 

A companion or a disaster, with or without

Tucked away in a pocket of land in the countryside

Just underneath the woods; life goes on, life continues 

Categories
Poetry

Rain on the Window 

I love the sound of the rain when it hits the windows
When the multitude descend down from the Heavens

Splattering, hitting the Earths crust, smashing the clay 

Throwing up sweet scents, one unaccustomed to man

The sounds create a regular rhythm which sings a lullaby

Soothing are the rains words, mild are her amazing airs

The waters fall on the glasses, merging into balls which sigh, 

Silently, they rush off the glass in ecstatic and joyful haste

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Muse: Love

Times change but in your fine eyes I see
A million reasons proving you are true,
You, your sweet love has changed me
And in all I like to be I am given to you

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Muse: Your Love

Your Love is like the sweet grape wine
The taste, a mixture of black liquid in steel
A banquet as one made when the Kings dine
And to explain it naturally, it is unreal

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Muse: Midnights

Midnights are caricatures of dreams
Like the quick mist upon the morning
Licking the forest tree lines and city skylines
Sometimes it stands like a smoke phantom with a dagger
And mouth wide agape as like a dying strangled cockerel

Sometimes they come airy, with mild words, softer
Maybe with some rain, which makes all even milder
The lullabies play on the roof top, the rain drums

It celebrate the nights quietness, the rain and her wind
And mostly, to the fatigued and snoring worker,
Who in the rains benevolence, a solace find

Categories
Nature

Darkness falls

Darkness falls…

The cries of night wolves and wild dogs
Rent the airs far away deep in the forest
The wind grew milder, the moon light brighter
And the sweet lullabies ring out from homes
A tradition, one which the little ones adore
The evening simmer into a deep darkness
As the African tales went on, on bedsides

So went the day, in this quiet hamlet

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Okechukwu’s Haiku

The night came and went, but we are awake to Gods call
Though the night brought darkness and bricks of wall
To everyone, men and women, great or small
Yet the love of God wakes with us to perfect us all

Good morning from Africa!

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The Shepherds Tale

The day ends with a big stress for David
But to him, this was not any challenge
As he walked thru the hamlet, near an inn,
‘Hello David! Come have a drink with men,
Come and have some fun , will ya?’
A soldier yelled as David passed by
‘Oh no sire, I will be late for dinner.
My brothers just came back
From the ranks for some family time
I better be going for night falls…’
The soldier grunted a good bye,
‘Alright, anyone seen this huge Philistine?
They say he has got two heads…!’
The soldier was talking with his colleagues
And Davids ears picked that up… two heads!
What manner of man will he be?
David shrugged, he wasnt meant to fear
David called out to his sheep, whistling softly
As they gather together, running towards home
Bleating joyfully over a full stomach of rye
On the door of the caravan…
David could hear his brothers voices talk
Happy memories flood fast back to him
And he quickly locked the barn doors
Patting his favorite sheep, as they nod
‘Halo there! Look at you, all grown!
Aww, is that a moustache, is that?’ Elihu said
‘Come here, little brother… Come have a sit’
The taciturn Abinadai said happily
David bowed before his brothers
And walked in, leaning his shepherd stick
Upon the wall by the window side
‘Tell me about your sheep and eh everything’
Elihu said, looking mockingly at David
‘Oh the sheep! They are awesome!
They are cute and absolutely pretty
I like most the feel of their grey tongues
When they lick off the grass from my palms
I have killed a hungry bear and scared off a lion
When I take the sheep grazing, the sun shine
Look brothers, I learnt the harp while at the fields
The smell of the grass in the early mornings, ah!
That I can not equally describe’ David rapped
The look of disgust fills his brothers faces
As they looked at each other over the table
‘Well I must commend your efforts David,
But we missed your absolute nonsense
Hope you become a man soon enough
And here is a toast to our little brother!’
So saying Elihu raised a mug of wine
And the brothers joined to drink to Davids health

Laying on the bed, David clutched his pillow
Looking thru the window towards the barn
Up the dark skies, as the moon shone
To where his humble sheep lay asleep
He dozed off, smiling at the thought of his sheep
Dreaming that one day he will care for his people, Israel
The same way God made him tend to his fathers sheep

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…To memories

Now I smile back to my paper smileys
Re-living my hopeful memories
Life sometimes may seem confusing,
But you just have to smile and live on
And on my books I draw for myself happy faces

The memories of pain or joy;
Are part of human existence
Why is there love and hate,
Why is there sugar and salt,
Why is there water and earth,
Why David and Goliath,
Why victory and defeat,
And why is life and death?

Help the people in your life
Expect nothing in return
Love, care, provide for people…
Let God use you to wipe tears
To be an angel to someone
Do not let go, this may be your gift
Be contented- look to the brighter side
For in doing this, you will find joy

I have realized that in my stay with self
That ideas filtered in more easily
And mercies and dreams grow bigger
There is a great power directing me,
Giving me the strength never to lose faith
The power of my loving God
I have never achieved this with the crowd

An elder friend once told me
‘Never belittle yourself to any man or woman’
Surely, my hopes rise when I do it all alone
‘People always want to eat their cake and have it
And as for love that comes in several bundles,
Do not let anyone play with your feelings…’

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The Messenger, part 2

The dark evening is serene and calm
Though the vampire bats hover up the skies
And the little crickets quiz all around…

Many sat for dinner for it was a long day
The farms, the ponds and the big market
The smell of dried cod soup pass thru the air,
It was a favorite among the villagers
And this smell always gave away people
For the village longthroats, a feast is imminent
But it is a pleasant smell, one I savor so much
Now and then, we hear someone yawn heavily
From nearby compounds, I assume it was out of tiredness
Sometimes the moon came out, sometimes it didn’t
When the moon came out, the children gather for moon-lit plays;
Hide and Seek, Sand games or a nice folk tale
To be told by the most elderly in the gathering

Soon the blast of a metal gong goes off
”Kookokoorokom… Koorokoorokom…!”
The hamlet retires to great silence
Crying babies stay put suddenly
For the masquerades of which Maama
Always spoke of has now appeared!
Even Maama was quiet, perhaps scared
For she also paid attention to the intruder
”The people of Amaigbo, the elders, the men
The women, the youth, the boys, the girls, everyone!
Listen, I have come oo… I have come again oo!”
The messenger will call out, loudly
Waking sleeping dogs and the heavy sleepers
With those words the messenger struck again
Mercilessly upon his metal gong, two more…
Then he settled into his long message…
Beating the metal gong on intervals,
It could be about the new yam festival
A special village or Kings service request
Cleaning of the nearby streams and rivulets
Or when a group of peoples attention is required

When the messenger exhausts his messages
He leaves quietly, hitting his gong noiselessly
Allowing the hamlet to go back to her life,
The women to return their attention to the soup
The men to continue sipping their palmwine
The boys and girls playing under the tree shed
And allowing the infants to resume their crying

Commentary.
This is a continuation of a poem I wrote some years ago. The messenger or town crier, as commonly called is an agent of the traditional society or kingdom. His role is to pass information across to the people, just like the duties of the modern day TeeVee or Radio.

KoKorokrom… A sound made by hitting the metal gong.
Amaigbo… An imagined place

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When night falls

When the night shroud falls across the land
The stars glitter like the tip of a witchs wand
The moon wakes to the tune of the crickets
And the people dress themselves into jackets

The windows creak with each push of the air
The mighty wind just came with her wares
To the dark clouds, a streak of lightning shine
And the tall Whistling Pines set to whine

On the rooftops, the vampire bats congregate
For any stray insect and rodent they quietly wait
The moon light gave her fluorescent light
While the surging wind swept the hamlet

The nights are like firecrackers
To the sweet dreams of a laborer
The sweet recall of the days work
Come back to one as in a snore

Once again, to the warm bed we will retire
To count glowing fire bugs of the quiet night,
And all those beings that litter the dark firmament
A time for some joyful carnival and amusement

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Color 2 for Uwakmfon Ebong and Makabongwe Luphelele

There are many colors, nice and cute
Dull and tiring, fainting and mute
Some fall by the bronze roadside
More on the greens of the field
The birds fly across the cerulean sky
With the jade hued beetle buzzing by,
On the empty dusty rocks words echo
And the ever warm and cuddly yellow-
The offshoot of the golden sun
Bring men, black or white to tan
The waters of the ocean wash the shores
But colorless are words that teach the lores
The skyline is charcoal black as night falls
The clays of the farmlands a dull sorrel
The color of a fine fish, silver
And the sweet honey a burnt sienna
The beautiful color of a cold bubbling Coca Cola
Poured out on a glass mug to create a wonder…

When we are ired we turn red
On our face and all about the head
When we get jealous or envy
Then we are said to hue green!
Now, we talk of blood and strife
When we mistakenly got cut by a knife
Or when the sons of men go crazy
And take up arms, strange and grey
We are loved when we share flowers
Amber, rose, turquoise and lavender
And what if I make a pick, one for me and you
What would you like best, an orange or an ultramarine blue?

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The Gardeners seed

Saint-Ligoue Street

This was the idea born to me
Sometime, somewhere, August or May
The streams of thoughts come to me
The ones I may not all, say

I met a gardener down the road,
Gracefully adorned with a hat on a pinafore
Smiling, he sat on a wood log spreadagled
And I thought I met him somewhere before

Upon his face was a mix of different men
Hewn out of a stress of thousands of times
A thicket of nerve upon the facial line
And to a moustache burnt by strange climes

On his shaky hands he held a pitchfork
Letting his strength drain down the pole
“You see these hands, them work’d on the docks!”
He began as he beckoned me to a seat of wool

“I have seen the warlds greatest seeds
And the warlds best of weathers…”
He broke into a small laugh and grunted
“O yea, I have seen the Earth and her barders”

I sat down to think of it,
My mind telling me to relax into this
And listen to the fellows wit
Once I heard myself hiss

“Tell me sire, about the little growing seed”
I finally let my curiosity get the better of me
He looked at me, shrugged and loudly laughed
I smiled, though the reason for that I could not see

“Naw sit tight” he began after a deep breath
“The sammer times I go to the Seasides
Where the sun goes dawn to the Earths belt
And the walk on the sands of the shores mild

The birds; seagulls, pelicans and storks
Bathered the tranquility of the queer scenery
I faund myself, a tedious sun tanning wark
The turtles glide about the beach lazily

But I cared little less for the stray animals,
Drawing pictures on the wet sand I found a seed
Which I became fand of, and around it I made a stick wall
And all marnings I wake to attend to the weed

The warm nights grew to days
And days begat other nights
So my little seed came to wake!”
He nodded, shielding his eyes from the sunlight

“You see the golden sun over there son?
She woke all day to tan myself and the seed
For she took the seed as her own son,
Provided us with all the warmth we need

The seed grew not just for planting it
But for the love sown into every soil it lay
The beetles and weeds came to attack it
But I would let none of those spoil her

All about the soil I greatly kept,
And so is the seed of life and loving”
He smiled warmly, and allowed me feel it
“Only the seeds know the joy of growing”

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Colors: the first part

Colors are very beautiful
They tell a lot about all;
And a little about this and that
The ocean, the sun
The mice that live across
The busy street roads
Or the golden corn field
And the wild, the deserts
And the ice of Antarctica
Colors describe our feelings
Red with rage
The royal purple…

Each day wakes with colors
Take the flowers as an example,
Some grow so pale like the purple
And some, like the blessed color of harvest
Gold, the suns’ face upon a field of wheat

The soft and mild wind move about, quietly
Up the great green trees where the pretty birds live
And on the grey soil where the mushrooms thrive
But none is able to paint her till this day
Why? I wonder, but none can truly say

Okay let us paint a color, a fair one
Just any color which comes to mind
Flaunt the blues, make a little mound
Of nice sweet dreamy hue of orange
With a bunch of hogs walking to forage

Okay, let us talk about the eye hues
About the red that signifies danger
And the blood-shot eyes of the Hyena
Brown, that makes all images muddy
And to me seems a lot more nasty

What if there was a color of feelings?
Now let us try to paint a color of love
Like a surge of water upon the wharf
How amazing it is to add a drop of ruby
A humble hue, just for you and me?

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My Love Song

Glittering stars.
The night is alive
Airs of the day
Fireflies of the night
The grey moon;
For all had gathered
And to see this love
They have come

Waters rush in haste
Upon the little tide
Of the Stream
And her waterfalls
Sweet spring!
Pulling the stubborn fern
And the stray crabs

The cymbals clash
As drumsticks beat
The leather of the drum
The trumpets sound
Crickets of the wild
The silence of the heart
And the quietness of peace

Such was me
Such I longed to be,
Such was my love
Such was my passion
Such was a moment
Ever perceived as magic
Which must not last
For a thousand years
And such must be life
Nevertheless.

But I know…
Even as the beats go slowly
Yet my fine songs still sing
And to the night…
Were my memories clash
A fond goodbye I say

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I am: Three poems of Okechukwu Iroegbu

(1.)
Hail the sun rises!
Down from the hidden hills
And up to the white clouds
The rains has come upon us
And Mother Natures romance has begun

(2.)
I am a rainmaker
For the days are stuffy and hot
And to the cold rains we must go
I am a painter
For each morning my mind is awoken
To the wonderful hues before me
I am a farmer
For my passion for the Wild
Can’t be imagined or measured
I am a singer
For I sing songs in my heart
And when the Wind sings, I with her
I am a tale teller
For these stories are mild
And in the night, a lullaby it is
I am a poet
For each day turn to nights
And I realise that the pen has got a might
I am a lover
For nothing else spoils the world
But uncontrolled love…
I am Okechukwu Iroegbu
A common man of many deeds
But to Jehovah I owe it all

(3.)
The sun sets before my eyes,
Night throws her veil on earth
The breezes travel south
And on their pathways
They play lyrics of sooth
And within, without
I see how lucky I am
To have your unfailing love

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Musing: I wonder

I wonder if it was a crime to love
Or yet a sin to even try at all;
But then memories sift into time
Amazed to the worlds littleness,
The world seeks after lust
A shrug I must to this vanity
To love oneself is true happiness
But as the nights turn to days
And the days into past memories
It comes to me that love ain’t for everybody
I will continue to try to love others, genuinely
As God has loved me…

I feel absolutely nothing right now…

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March’s Night Rain

“Oh goodness it rains!
The windows clap about
And the curtains dance
To the wooing songs
Of the sweet airy Night”

And I can feel the rain drops through the window
And the smell of the new rain upon the dusty roof
The curtains blow up and down my weary face
All is cold, all is warm, all is truly entertaining
Oh, lullaby; mother Natures’ drum keep playing…

What sweet sleep the shepherd observes
For the Days toil has come and gone
And I upon my bed listens to a song
Which no voice or choir can ever sing

But to my bed sitted by the window
I lay bare-chested tossing about
From one end of this cold bed
To the other side by the window
On this beautiful rainy night
One of blessed airs and wild winds
Tuning in high pitches, sweet rendition;
A lullaby I can not find elsewhere…

I must say a good night to you all,
Oke Iroegbu

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Oke’s Poetale: The Duck Tale

Once upon a blue quiet lake
Beside a green florishing forest
Lived a Duck and her chicks
All day they waddle about
Enjoying the peaceful serenity
But a day came and the Duck
Brought her chicks all around her
‘Quack quack Daak’ she began
Turning to the nearest chick
‘You have been friends
With the old grey Turtle
You know the Lakes’ waters
More than your siblings
But I pray, tell me
How many times would
Something happen to you
And you would learn?’
‘Quack quack mother
Sure I would learn, but only
When it happen, and all times!’
The first duck answered
Mother Duck nodded thoughtfully
And turned to the next duck
‘Quack quack Duuk, come closer
You are not scared of the weeds
You even fought off the black Eels
But tell me, my little brave one
How many times will you learn?’
‘Quack quack mother
But I can only learn
If it happened to me’
Mother Duck nodded thoughtfully
And she turned to the last
‘Quack quack Little Deek
You are scared of all ripples
And the neighborhood fishes
You have made only few friends
I wonder, but let me know
How many times will you learn?’
‘Quack quack mother
I won’t learn from any misdids
I shall learn from others mistakes
I shall watch the Eels movements
And all crafty ripples upon the lake
That are not made by my kind
And I shall always be careful
For to survival, there is no friend’

Commentary:
Well said Little Deek Duck! You would say with me, I guess but I think she is the wisest duck I ever saw in my life!
Sometimes, it is better to follow events with wits… Not falling victim/prey to what comes our way. learning from peoples past mistakes and not trying to repeat those. Being friendly and brave might not be enough to cushion challenges/problems/issues we face…

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Musing: The Cricket and I

“Weet weet weet… Weet weet!”
I hear the screeching of the little cricket
Calling to the quietness in my heart

1.
As the light of the lamp fade slowly
Then time brought back my memories
For in my sweet and lonely reverie
A desire come to me for some poetry

2.
Left with the screeching of an insect
Which has turned to become a friend
Quietly in solemn patience I wait
To the crickets call I humbly listen

3.
And when the nights are lonely
I stay grateful to God Almighty
For blessing me with this gift that makes all happy
And for this little cricket which sings me a lullaby

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Tradition: The Rainmaker

“I ask for the strength of the rain…
Bring down the dark heavy cauldrons
With all the gross, stalky condiments
Maka agam eme ka miri zo n’ebe tata!
(For I am about to conjure up a rain today!)”

Chukwu Nnam…
I want to make some rain today
That is why I call upon Your Name!
Biko, listen to what I have to say!

I am about to make a deep well
For I desire to call upon the Heavens
I scratch the dusts with my finger nails
Staring up the clouds for a clear sign

I chew the raw leaves of the cassava
I spit into the burning fire, raising a fragrance
Hear me my God, send the rain with thunder!
For I seek now to watch the skies turn dark grey

I call upon the clouds and winds
Come about, push your little cousin
And upon the dry lands,
Now let it heavily rain!

Hearken to me, for I am but a little boy
Part and parcel of mother Natures’ dolls
I have kept poultry, I have tilled the soil
But now I seek to hear the sound of the rain fall

When it rains, let it flood the drought lands
Let the people come down from the hamlet
With calabashes and all sorts of bands
To take this rainful blessings, You brought

Let this rain fall both on the good and the bad
Upon the farms upland and down the valleys
Let it wash away the sorrows of the land
And let the green fields yield bountifully

I feel the airs gather around the Cloud
And the Cloud, herself gather above my head
I feel the wingless and graceful surge of the wind
I knew You would always uphold my words

I sit on the young leaves of the cassava
Humbly, I squat and nod at the chalked circle
For only You Lord I call Owa ra mmiri na ozara!
The One who separated the sea with Moses’ mantle!

Note:
Chukwu Nnam… Igbo language for God, my father
Biko… Igbo for Please
Owa ra mmiri na ozara… Igbo for He who makes a water storm in the desert

Commentary:
I paint a picture known to Africa. Some people are known to make rain fall at their will and to also stop the rain from falling. It is purely an imagined piece. The Igbo is a Nigerian tribe situated on the Niger Delta.

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The First Rains

“Tap-tap tap, tap tap… Tap!
I hear the pat-pattering of the first rain drops
As they fall in quiet, indifferent but solemn grace
… From the comfort of my warm dear bed…”

The heavy wind blew up the curtains
Sending papers and nylons flying high
The skies are grossly dark and faceless
The wind blew even more harder
Bringing fine sand and dust to the door
And upon the dark horizons; come the lightning
Flashing lightly, showing off hidden silhouettes
Of trees and houses, which stood here and there
As the pat-pattering of the rains continued

The neighborhood grows cool and quiet
Wandering night birds find solace in cracks
The strong winds sift into peoples homes
Driving the heat as the Masai drive the cattle
As mild as the rains has pledged to be
The heavens stomach rumbled, but not loudly
Just a grumbling, one of a whistle-blowing
The breadths of the clouds echo after it
Belching in corners, raising a sequence
But the pat-pattering of the rains continued

All is wet, the roofs, the greens
And all that makes life beautiful
The rain comes in a grande style
This is his time, the time for some spoil
The smell of wet clay filters in
Nothing compares to the life
Which the first rains brings to all
The pat-patterings sing a lullaby…

The greying cassava leaves and stalks
The moonfly, the bats, the owls, all that can fly
The farm cattle, the birds and the shepherd sit quietly
Waiting for the morning, for the time the sun will rise
Hoping to see how bright the clouds will look
For the rains has washed the dusts and soot off
Even so, all live: faun and flora
And the nights ferocious shadows;
Quiver at the touch of the wind
A romance come from heavens
As a sweet and fresh smell of earth rise
When the pat-patterings fall upon the dusty soil

Now the weather is clement
For the terrible villainy heat
Has gone with the winds strife
The heat battle the winds upon the skies
The nights innocence and fate has been proved
Humans and cattle relax, so also all that is winged
The rains come slowly
The farmstead grow happy
As the rains pat-patter down the roadside

The joys of the first rains has come!

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The Violins of the Nights

Now let’s have some evening breeze
And with it let a tale about it be told
Always the night is cold but noisy
Creatures of the dark and creepy places
Move about, bothering the peace of men
The sounds of the night is strange
But to some, it is a great acquaintance
A reunion of two different worlds
One, the quiet and the other, the unquiet

The Night plays several lullabic songs
She is skilled with the strings of music
The sides of her mouth sings gaiely
She wakes the black and brown crickets
Letting the streams of queer music flow
Unified beats and rhythms of the night
With the spectators watching, the stars
And their grey solitary cousin. the moon
Watching the procession of quiet hymns

Nature stay smiling upon her providence
The drama that unfolds when man watch her
Mother Nature plays the strings of my heart
She sings in a sweet alto voice, confusing me
And with her fine soothing breezy touch
She plays her fingers upon my hairy arms
Like the soft caressing skin of a snakes velvet
She lays by my side to whisper her tunes
Cupping her hands into my long ears

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A Muse: The Locust and the Ant

Now the Locust played about
The comely sunny Summer, he minded not

The Ant gathers leaves, grains and nuts
For the clouds slowly but steadily go South

The Snow Queen and all hue turn bright,
All the land then become immaculately white

No more grain, no more fun, no tall and sweet green grass to hide in
But the stores of the Ant stay, for he the signs of Winter had seen

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The Tale of a Shepherd

When it is time to leave the hamlet
To leave the vales and the thornful paths
To seek fresh and sweet grasses
For the little bleating lamb and sheep
The shepherd wakes from his slumber

The roads are rocky and mountainous
Filled with stubborn stones and quarry
The mistletoe grow on the roadside
But the herd march on, happily to other places
Minding the bushes and hare traps

The morning is mild, the sun not awake yet
The clouds heavy with dew and mists
And when the herd sees the gliitering stream
They rush forward for a splash and cold drink
Gulping and disturbing the little fishes

The shepherd bends to wash his sooty face
A young lamb rushes to him, nudging him lightly
Then he stretches his palm, touching her face
Running his hands up and down her neck
And in that delight, she bleats excitedly

The noon comes with the suns heat
The trees provide shed for the shepherd and his herd
He sits on a rock to watch the amazing sight before him;
Lovely lamb and fine sheep grazing humbly
On a vast green valley, full of life

He looks up to the tree branches
As beautiful plummages sing joyfully
And the humming bees that stay on the tree
Smiles draw across his handsome ruddy face
For this lovely sight he sees each day

Even so, the airs become milder as the sun set
The herd walk up to him as he whistle to them
In a few minutes, he has called all to himself
And towards the hamlet behind the hills, they went
Happy again to splash through the waters of the stream

In the evening when the sun is finally set
The happy shepherd returns home to his fluffy bed
For a quick modest dinner of warm milk and bread
And on his bed he turns and tosses to find some rest
Counting the sheep in his mind, and smiling in his sleep