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Wanderer by Obiajulu Nwodo

Wander-man, Tiger-man moves; sipping from different fountains overflowing with milk of life and death

He hops;
From Jagua Nana to
Annan Wanger
Never satisfied with his own wife and life
Hannah
Who
Kisses empty sheets
Droops and sags in
Jeans
Eating Bullshit

Wander-man, Bat-man
Fly!
While Hannah cries
High five!
Wine!
While Hannah dies
You tell her lies to cover up your crimes

Why?

Away with it wander-heart!
Retire so your palm won’t catch fire.

Obiajulu Nwodo is a versifier and a short story writer. Some of her works has been published in different platforms. She has some unpublished works to her credit and she is a good friend of mine.

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The Painter

Once I met a painter
A fine and petit young man
At the corner of the street he lived
Working away, minding his business
And living so solitary, that I wondered

“Hallo sir! What do you really paint?”
I must have sounded sheepish
For who won’t call a pen, a writer
When you know the pen writes?
“I paint ALL things! I paint you
I paint all you feel and care for”
He answered, hiding his resentment
Or yet, perhaps he didn’t get my jeer
I shuddered, strange it sounded
“My feelings and cares, hmm” I grunted
“But now I am carefree, how can you paint that?”
He looked at me, abandoned my talk
And turned the board he was working on
A magnificient picture stood before me
Some hues of blue, suggesting the skies
A tint of greens surrounding the lower board
And a yellow ball which I called the sun
Then on the middle, was a lonely Elephant
Raising his trunk high into the sky
More like, he was saluting someone up there
And I asked why he painted a lonely Elephant
“Shouldn’t he be having a family, sort of?”
He shrugged, smile and brought the image down
“He is lonely, only to his thoughts
He owes no one, he fears no one
He cares and loves himself, as he is” he replied
Perhaps the world had been crude to him I felt
Like he understood my mind, he smiled
“Now sit right there, Im gona paint you”
He said excitedly, pointing to a seat
His head will stuck out
Now and then to peer at me
I put up my best smile
Something inbetween a tear and innocency
He was’nt bothered at my look
My sister would have blurted out
“Ugh! Please change that face, Oke!”
Well, I tried to enjoy it, while it lasted
When the boredom tried to come upon me
He then was finally done; with a sigh
“Okay, and here we go; your portrait”
He carefully, turned the image to my view
I saw the image stare at me in confusion
Or was I the one confused; anyhow
Someone, somebody was truly muddled
Havent noticed my jaws were dropped
Till when I had need for talking
“Uhm, okay. I can’t explain the connection
Of I and, and eh… Him” I pointed at the image
“But deep down me, that guy, that painting
Feels like a part of me, feels like me!”
The painter laughed, enjoying my confusion
“Well, painting is like the revolving Earth
Each time you try to look at it,
Each gaze seem to be the very best
At certain point, at the age of the youth
Things, reasoning come to you different
But for your confusion and the Elephant
Do you now understand why I paint?”

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Poetale: The old man and the Garden

Once upon my little hamlet
When the mornings are quiet

And the villagers all move out

Some to the farms, some to the rivulets,

Even though it rained the previous night

I went to the garden in the morning

The clouds were bright and sunny

The wasps and bees were out hunting

I saw an adder with her hissy warning

Also at the gate, a weary figure kept standing

So the plan for some tomato stew failed

And in my heart of hearts I joyfully wailed

‘Heem, Hallo there!’ he must have noticed

My approaching presence towards the board

He tried to move slowly, but almost stumbled

‘Hello sire’ I greeted when I saw he was old

He looked up, wearily his mouth smiled

He had grey hair upon his bard head

He wore a pretty fanciful black sun shades

So the smile in the glass made him look wild

‘Can I help you sire?’

‘Oh no no, your fine gardens I admire

In an innocent relieve I sighed

Trying to recall when last I admired

My own fine veggies, again I sighed

‘Do you mind if I came to have a look?’

‘No, I mean yes’ I remembered the snake

‘Well, I have got some seeds of Artichokes’

I looked into his face, it wasn’t a mock

Why must this adder spoil this, for goodness sake?

‘Uhm, sir would you like a cup of tea?

I wouldn’t mind if you spent sometime with me’

The culture around here, adores hospitality

I knew he needed some warmth and cosy

So after a little while, he followed me

Once inside my quiet and fine sitting room

My little citadel, pen fortress and home

Where all my wildest fantacies are tamed

Everywhere; Pen, paper and poems

And I believed he must have thought me lame

Well, I offered the tea as I promised

And left him, knowing he is relaxed

I made sure all the windows were opened

‘Ehen, ehen, ehen’ he sneezed

I turn to see him clean his and nod

‘Come, let me tell you the secrets of the garden

Trying to draw my attention

‘Make your heart a beautiful and green garden

Full of flowers, shrubs; sweet smelling and fine’

He laughed at my confusion and lay again

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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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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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Musing: To a Future…

(i.)
“Open the windows of your heart
See the wonders outside; besides you”

I like to write this for you, dear
For memoirs of what we share
And as the last days drew near
A moment of truth, I can swear

I care for all which come to me
The butterflies which fine colors I see
And the Sparrows which fly to the Sea
And in all; to me, I will always be me

(ii.)
“The clouds are blue up the Heavens
A fine prize for those who care to love”

Within, without but my love is for charity
I will never claim any right or authority
I get all muddled at times, love is also piety
For it does not come from looks or prosperity

I always have very little to say
I have found it, now I know the way
Strong winds flush about, on me it plays
Scoffing at my face when I try to look away

(iii.)
“Say always words of encour,
Save the young hydras’ neck”

I keep trying to reach and talk to you
Each time you seem to be busy Iroegbu
And then you told me you will be good
I went my way, so I hope you would

Not for me, nay, no, not anymore
I dislike inconsistency, it’s an eyesore
But faith, believe, trust and care all allures
Talk to me, but do not hasten to my door

(iv.)
“Do not fall prey to the Bear
For her manner of dinner is queer”

I felt your heart beat happily when we hugged
We complained for it lasted only for a few seconds
A memoir, desire and longing that in my quiet self, long ago lived
But to my books and future, to You Jehovahs word; I lovely wed

But then I will always be myself in the end
And to these bright future, flowers I shall send
For I have seen it all, I have seen the Lions den
And I shall say goodbye, just by the rivers bend

I muse from this quietness in my soul and the comfort of my dear bed…

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A duel inside

Most duels are fought without,
Some, more important, in us,
What kills is that element of doubt…
Let us unravel the journey first!
I wait, hoping for a smile from you Its not that hard, if you give it a try,
I know you have battled pain,
I know your dreams were always high!
Let me play the clown a while,
Let me journey on and try,
Wipe away your tears and see, Its just not worthwhile to cry!
I cry too…often hidden from sight
We are all here, in this plight!

Written by a good friend Arunav Barua…

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Beautiful days stay unseen

When the dark clouds come upon the clan
All grow dim, sobre and quiet
The stars are hidden from sight
But the dark cloak holds all down
The stars, the hopes and good dreams
The fireflies cast a minute light
On the stormy and windy night
The clouds bear a weird apparition
Confused at his very own face

When the days light come
The strange feelings of loneliness
Evaporates like dews upon the tree leaves
Birds wake to sing, gladly even with sweet voices
Multitudes of fluffy nightingales weigh down
The strong branches of the Teak and Gmelina
The sun rays are bright
Upon the clans stream waters
It glitters with pretty light
Hues of green, yellow and purple
Swaying dregs of falling dusts
Fall from long farm rakes
As they pull up the dried hay
The tree leaves are ever green
For the previous nights darkness
Took this beauty from mens vision
There is abundant joy and bewildment;
Astonishment come on the clans glare
The wheat fields are golden and pretty
The ears of grains waiting to be picked
Dancing happily to the beautiful day
The sun shines
The clouds blue
The birds play
On happy trees

Beautiful days are not come yet

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Musing: Crickets

Crickets are my best insects
But why? I know not
They stay under my bed
And cry out till I have an ache up my head
But what they say also I know not
Though I think they talk about broth
Wonder why little insects
Grow even beer intent
They growl, some bark
And all these come to my back
‘Stop’ I would shout
‘No way, you are talking to yourself’
I wonder if they cared if I was asleep
‘Who does he even think he is?’
They squeak behind my hearing
Not knowing my elfy ears pick all
‘Yaaay! Let’s shriek more!!!’
They stubbornly seem to say
When they seem to hear me snore
Come what happens or may
The shrieks and strange crickety talks
Come to me as disturbing lullaby

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The Crow and The Rabbit

A Crow was sitting on a tree
Doing nothing all day.
A small Rabbit saw the crow,
And askd him, ‘Can I also sit like you
And do nothing all day long?’
The Crow answered: ‘Sure, why not.’
So, the Rabbit sat on the ground
Below the Crow, and rested.
All of a sudden a Fox appeared,
Jumped on the rabbit and ate it.

Moral of the poetale is: To be sitting and doing
nothing, you must be sitting very, very high up…

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The Rat and the Bat

A rat made friends with a bat
And they always fed together
But then the bat was jealous of the rat
When the bat cooked the food
It was always very good
And the bush rat will always ask
“How is it that when you make soup
It is so tasty?”
The bat will always hide in one excuse
Finding a way to do harm to his friend
But one day the bat decided to trick the rat
So when the rat asked after the soup
The bat replied, “I always boil
Myself in the water, and my flesh
Is so sweet, that the soup is good.”
He then told the bush rat that he
Would show him how it was done;
So he got a pot of warm water,
Which he told the bush rat was
Boiling water, and jumped into it,
And shortly afterwards came out again
When the soup was brought
It was as sweet and good as usual
As the bat had prepared it beforehand
The bush rat then went home and
Told his wife that he was going to
Make good soup like the bat’s
He therefore told her to boil some water
Which she did hurriedly
Then, when his wife was not looking
He jumped into the pot, and was very soon dead. When his wife looked into the pot
And saw the dead body of her
Husband boiling she was very
Angry and reported the matter to the king
Who gave orders that the bat should be caught
And made a prisoner for misleading the rat
Every one turned out to catch the bat
But as he expected trouble
He flew away into the bush and hid himself
All day long the people tried to catch him
So he had to change his habits,
And only came out to feed when it was dark
Perhaps that is why you
Never see a bat in the daytime.

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Angels

It becomes heavily cloudy
The Lord lets it rain
On the bosom of the rich and poor
The suns ray beat us all this while
Scorching she is, but our vegetables grow
In the heat of sleepless nights
The Nights calm airs come upon us
They give the warmth we desire
Sometimes the cripple on the road
Waves to the passing crowd, crying
“Please feed me sire, feed me ma-am”
Faces reddened on the Suns ire
The drops of tears and sweat, costless
The child barefooted, left alone,
Lost to the race ran by the world
Desiring a little comfort someday
Caught up in pain; raped, maimed
The old woman without her sight
Sitting under a huge baobab
Waiting for direction or hope?
Leaving her fate to the worlds vanity
The tears of infants brought to this world
Without a glimpse of what it shall be
To live on this world full of abandon
The end of love here proven always
Oh blessed Father Abraham!

Sometimes angels thread our pathways
And we do not know of it

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The Old Man and The Bulb

I met an old man
Walking down the lane
Passing thru the barn
With a face, bold and stern
He dropped his stick
And I watched him stoop
His body rattled, weak
And down the steps, I took a hop
“Hello sire, lemme help you”
He looked up, a bright smile
“Oh, goodness, my son, bless you
i had been on the road for miles!”
The evening was cold
A storm was on its way
“Please do come inside
And I shall bake you some cake”
The face brightened the more
And thru the steps I led him
Taking our time as we head to the door
The sun sets, the clouds dim
And then the winds blew
Snow balls fall in drunk circles
And the road was full of white hue
I set the little brown kettle
And soon it was whistling
“Sire, you can stay the night”
I saw the hope in his eyes, dwindling
“Thanks for your hospitality”
He smiled again with some pain
The bulb up the ceiling kept shining
And I see glares of the old man
Take a side look, once and again
After tea and very hot shower
He lay on the bed, with his eyes on the ceiler
I sensed the unease, and made for the bed
“Sire, is anything the matter?”
He grunted and calmly shook his head
“Nah son, but I kept watching
This little light shining up there
I prefer to sleep on something
Afar off this little Sun up there!
I dont know what holds that”
He pointed to the bulb, carefully
Trying to let me see
Why the bed should be moved
Fearing should the hand
Holding the bulb decides to let go
What might become of him

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Natures cruelty by Emeka Ogbonnaya

In a forgotten land
there was a forgotten bird
who spanned the length of River Kyle
longer than Nile.

In a forgotten land
there was a forgotten fish
who swam the nooks of River Kyle
longer than Nile

The forgotten fish fell in love with the forgotten bird
For several full moons
Through fatal storms
And lethal waves
and their love?
was longer than Nile.

Such height of love
But they couldn’t build a home
They never would

And their tears?
Were heavier than mine.

Note.
This is a second poem am borrowing from outside my work. Written by a good friend Chukwuemeka Ogbonnaya

Oiroegbu Halls

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A Tale of Fantasia

image

There’s a land far far away
Somewhere any good traveller can reach
A strong march thru fields of green and yellow wheat
Which on it hides, flesh eating Ostriches
And undisturbed monitors fighting to get a bite of flesh
A sky that changes apparitions when stirred
Across the long deep oceans
With sea monsters, cucumbers huge as a baby whale
And fishes with huge eyes and teeth
Hunting and scaring, even the bravest of men
And thru the vast lonely desert
And dangerous dunes of the East
Lays the gigantic sand scorpions
With poisonous and alluring cactus
Along its way lay tracks of seductive women
Who tie hijabs, like the Arabian ladies
Mocking the travellers with black painted eyes
Luring them into the lairs of great slave owners
All march and seek, Fantasia
As an old drunk sitting on an inn
Sings all day, telling the tales he had seen
Of great deeds of merry men
Who had crossed all odds
To see this enchanted land
To behold the land where ladies dance
Laughing as the men call out their desires
Allowing the rhythm of the song move their hand bracelets
And enjoying the attraction they get from all
This man sang of a very proud cloud
Which is benevolent, and caring
Rains when there is a heartbreak on lovers
Shines brightly when the cold hands of the Wind comes
And allows the green to shed the lands and fields
Fountains of waters lie here and there
The sweet smelling fragrances of Lilies
The crawling Vine showing off her yellow fruits
White cattle with udders heavy with milk
Stray about looking for a handy help
And all across the land stand all kinds of trees
Life given shrubs, well groomed and grown
The bees make honey, and cares not who steals it
The sun is mild, at least till the Windy villain comes
The land is naturally terraced, built with a touch of magic
And beauty that beats human doings by fringes
The black clouds rain strong ale,
And the snow are soft raisins
The streams are flowing wine
Which invites the drunks to sit by and dine
The banks are lined with strange bread cakes

And if a traveller happens to come by
With his company, horses, men; wary and weak
Then all their journey miseries they forget
For a taste of Fantasia, relieves the mind

Oiroegbu Halls

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The Legend of Wawadomea: The Blue Horizon

The sunset drew a picture
Which had lived with me
For all my younger life
A strange uproar heartfelt
It was aye, very strange
That aye, I mean I
Will be amongst this lot
This people forsaken kind of clan
Living the life of a sea pirate
Out in the weirdest part of the ocean

The blue horizon, carved on the skies
With birds returning, to their homes
And we, in a strange-looking island
Somewhere off the vast ocean
Cautious and seldom willing to prowl about
A fading horn sounded, not so far away
All looked up, staring at each other
“I afraid, I wonder, what may that be?”
Pirate Tusky, wanting a left hand said
He must have spoken so loud
That even the half deaf Cronorie
Swiftly swerved around to look at him,

The Lifnante was glad we were off sea
I felt so, on an errand sent from Sundjata
The Lifnante was high on bottled spirits
“Git here boy, havee som rhum, will ya?”
I could feel the uncalled-for excitement
He was at the extreme end of the camp
There was a group of rocks
Bordering the beach and the forest
And he cared for less
“There’s a horn sire, a sort of bugle sire”
I delivered my message, but he
He waved me off with the hand
And grunted as a pirate filled his cup

The night was stormy, but all was calm
Just lightning and flash all the way
I was awake, I was scared all the time
But then I slept when I knew not…

To be continued…

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Poetale: Storm

It was evening
In a little hamlet
The skies were dark
With all frowning grey clouds
Gathering together for a talk
But always when they do gather
It only leads to mayhem
And total disaster
Because they would never agree
To any discussed matter
It all began with the rain
Accompanied by a very strong wind
The rains stayed for a while
Letting the breezes flow through
Pulling trees, wringing the brushes
To and fro, the foot path
Then shouts rang out
From here and there, fleeing rooftops
The clouds darkened the more
And the pines sang out loud
A strange cry from the skies
A crack of the thunder
And his cousin, the lightning
Taking obscure pictures
Of his siblings toil
The wind blew up the sands
Into curious eyes, grinning
As she push all about
Bullying all daring to stand on her way
Kissing the window panes
Playing a drum of rains
On the rooftop of houses
Blowing out smoking chimneys
The dark clouds conceal
All raindrops waiting to jump
To come see the green Earth
The noises behind those homes
As the storm shakes thru the forests
Birds hide in cracks everywhere
Huts, rocks and tree barks
The night was chilled
There was nothing up the skies
But dark clouds and its armoury of rain
Another mother Natures pranks

Oiroegbu Halls

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Lullaby

I will write a poem for you tonight
Close your eyes and let your head rest
Lay close to me and listen to my tale
Do you feel the breezes shove our hair?
The Fireplace refuses to loose out on the tale
There’s only one explanation of this
A light rain will help strike a beat for me
Let me pull your hair softly
While you hear my poetic songs
And as the curtains shiver
With the touch of the Airs
And the awesome Crickets
Which hide in all the cracks of the house
A tap-pattering outside the cold night
Some Frog choir behind the fencing
My croaky poetic voice singing away
And the smiling Fireplaces warmth
Let me sing you a lullaby

Oiroegbu Halls

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A Tale of the Lakeside

Once upon a quiet lakeside
Where blue skies stay
And very thick fog dwells
With tall Figs hiding in them
Hanging like towers
There’s a riot of colors
Down the valley
When the sun rays fall
On the forest below
All turns to gold
The clouds are not left behind
They shine gloriously
The water drops fall
Slowly from the waterfall
Washing the pebbles
As white waters rush in haste
And the solemn rocks
With green forests all beside it
Keeps watch in mute
There’s a rainbow up the sky
And a host of Egrets surfing the wind
The white mountains stand guard
With patches of green here and there
The winds blow the sweetest breezes
The bears growl all about
So beautiful, so charming
All about a quiet lakeside
And that’s Natures gift

Oiroegbu Halls

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Poetale: Story of Faith

Once upon a time
In a land separated
By a peaked hill
With clouds gathering
On its highest tops
The other side of the hill
Nests the only stream
Which serves all, cattle, man
The villagers must then
Climb the hill which was hectic
A whooping half days trek
To get to the stream
To walk around was easier
But then the forests weren’t friendly
It reared beasts
And people do lose their way
There lived a young man,
Always praying and asking
Believing that a miracle
Must come one day soon
On one night he thought
“What if the hill moved
What if it moved away
From its position?”
He was full of hope
On the morrow,
He was already at the town centre
Crying out to townsmen
To come, gather for prayers
A strange prayer, it seemed
He told of his plans
And people wondered
Pondering on the dreams
Of the young man
“I believe there’s One
Who hanged the hill
Up there, who kept the stream from us
I believe that he can
Take it away from our way!”
“Oh foolish one, oh foolish dream”
People ranted openly
Jeering at the young man
“I shall pray
Even though you won’t with me”
He courageously declared
On that night he stayed awake
Praying, calling unto God
“Oh master, hear my voice
Hear my voice…”
All his broken soul could say
He slept off after, peacefully
As the birds twittered
The next bright morning
He heard shouts outside
And knocks rammed his door
Shaking its hinges ferociously
He got out, and all about
Where people raising their hands
Shouting, all talking at the same time
Pointing towards the hills place
He ran off, swiftly towards the hills
Breathing hard, pondering
And lo, as he raced
He saw governments bulldozers
Ploughing the hills
The government was to build
A road through the hill
And so God truly answered him!

I needed to say a word of  encouragement to someone tonight. Tonights piece is straight forward, and self explanatory. The poetale talks about Faith and Believing in yourself. Take sometime and always ask God for all your needs. Trust not on human standards, or back talk. Some things might look impossible, unrealistic but God works in mysterious ways. Believing and positivity(faith) decides if you will succeed or not in lifes struggle. Prayers might be all we need for success after a hard work done. Stay safe, pray always.

Oiroegbu Halls

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Poetale: The Tortoise and The Dove

Before I tell this poetale let me describe the nature of the Tortoises character in African cultures. The tortoise is a reptile that lives on land. In African tales the tortoise is perceived as a cunny creature that finds a way to trick others. Now in Africa we sit beneath a trees shade listening and looking up anxiously to the tale teller on a moon lit night. Now your task, dear reader is to pick the moral(s) and make sure you don’t sleep off before the end of the tale. Nice reading.

Once in a land far away
There lived a Tortoise and a Dove
The two became friends
Living together, feeding together
And the friendship grew more
Now, it came to pass
On a quite sunny day
The tortoise made a law
“Before you eat, you must say your name”
Now the dove was a stammerer
And for this he couldn’t say his name
So the night came
And it was porridge
The tortoise called out his name
Rushed to the table and started eating
The dove tried saying his name
And it came out funny
“Dovovo, dovosk, dovod and all
“Oh try harder” tortoise jeered
Till he ate up all
On the next day
The dove came with his own law
“If one must eat, hands must be washed”
On the night it was soup
So the dove washed and flew up
To the foods stand
The tortoise rushed to wash his hands
He did, but alas!
He soiled them as he walked back
He tried again and again
But all was the same
He sat back and cried
After that day, they lived peacefully

Oiroegbu Halls