January 26, 2017


I was first drawn to the leaves -
the leaves, brown and layered out on the ground
Occasionally they would rise and fall,
rise and fall, rise and fall
In continued obeisance to the harmattan breeze
I looked up see the tree
And whatever would have been left of its glory
That was when I saw her, skimpy clad
and bathing under the glow of the street lights
Her skin did glow and had a certain appeal
But I'm sure she didn't realize
It also shone through her soul
A collage of crumpled
and sweat stained sheets

How do I speak
when I'm so numb and
the tears which flow inwards,
chokes my voice and drowns my soul
already tortured by the pain and tears
of those who are crying

How can I sing
when neither I nor Gorecki
could find the words or symphony
deserving of a dirge for the passage
of so many dreams -
In an instant!

How do I open the curtains
When all day and night serves today
Is a harsh reminder of
The inconsequence of
Our frail human existence
In this overwhelming world of hurt

I want to be angry
But when I look in the mirror
All I see is every duplicitous hand
That nailed down the signs
Which led us down this dark road
And how every time our fleeting outrage,
Lasts only long enough to cry and rail
But not to burn the hand that held the chalk nor the shovel

I am so numb from all this pain
and the place I would have gone for some peace -
just yesterday, we turned it into a grave.

I wrote this poem the morning after a church building collapsed in Uyo and killed hundreds of worshipers who were there for the ordination of their Bishop. It was a sad morning, my sun did not rise and I was angry at everybody including myself.