Sleep, Seduction and a Poem

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I.

You see the beautiful lands there?

I’ve ploughed those fields

The hilly hills and warped vales

I’ve been seduced by lush earths

By rich scents of pomegranates

Like bees attracted to nectar,

Have I been lured to walk those hips.

***

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II.

You see the velvety skin sprawled there?

I’ve worked through those curves;

Turned those mounds over,

Tiled and moistened those grounds-

Rich loam- in vales of luscious greens.

It’s temptations splayed over king couches

Forced me away from serenity of quills.

***

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III.

You see cleavages under sheets- there?

I’ve fondles those bubbly breasts.

Even, rendered in innocent fetal poses

I’ve felt bloods rise- even in darkness,

The allure of supple bosoms lie in my past

This night; I shall ignore their invites

Instead, I’ll write a boondoggle poem.

************END************* ©Poet Razon-Anny Justin, January, 2016

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TREE OF LIFE

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THE TREE OF LIFE

She wanted light
She loved the light
They made a glare for her sons
From shadows of dark, her eyes were plucked
From her were kaleidoscopes borne
She wished for light
She hoped in light
Her lenses birthed aeons
As soon the rays, had beamed her face
A flare of blindness flashed the birth of day.
He lived, he died
He lived and died
His love for life, unequaled in death
Death: An allergy to living,
Life: an elegy for the dying.
They reached to hades and stole a cross
They stole the sickle, the angel-of-doom
From the pith of hell, was life being made
From graves were flowers sprout
That gave him life as a new curse to course

It grew on trees; the trees enjoyed
It’s growth on trees brought joy
For out of seeds and roots on branches
Has health been found for man.
Her eye for light was dead- to live,
All for the price of one.
That when a tree is born on a tree,
A kind of paradise is reached:
That light has brought the knowledge of life…
And man has found some drug.

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©Poet Razon-Anny Justin,
Paths of Ecdysis,
September, 2015

THE CLARION CALL (written in my NYSC year)

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O! Clarion call, I hear thee
The Beagle-call upon which Flags are hoisted
My Lady-in-Green is woken from sleep
By the same Song, I was awakened;
To serve my Nation, Hours ago
I am willing to serve
For in service will I be served.

 

March! March- on!
Rhythms of Jungle boots- Left, Right!
Today I did my Share
Today I marched my fears away
Every anger, every pain
Every exasperation, accumulated in the Citadel
For in Nation Building, have my temperaments burned-out.

 

Now, weathered I stand
A budding Spectabilis Flower
Hoping I shall not be trampled by their Hooves.

 

©Poet Razon-Anny Justin,

Picture Crédit: NYSC year, Mallam Sidi, Gombe State.

LETTER TO OUR HEROES PAST

ngyLETTER TO PAST HEROES

RE:
Take a message, I beg of thee
To the slumbering gods of my land
“Prepare a better place”
For home is where the body rests- in peace

I.)
Tell Zik and Macauley
Who planted flowers of freedom.
The spectabilis has been trampled
By cabal boots on plunderous sprees
It’s colourful blossoms have withered
To wreaths fit for graves of beggars
Nnamdi’s was the last revered generation
Of which, for graves we dug the earth
Now, we seldom till the lands
We use neither graves nor farms
There is a better way to cremate our citizens
In fires of genocide and systematic cleansings.
Their souls blaze to a better place
For home is where their bodies rest- in peace

II.)
For Tafawa and Awo- let them know
That the rivers of oil and the confluence still
Flow backwards from south to north
Their mighty sheild of silver is fallen too
The horses are romping the wild
Dazed in confusion, still the toddling child

The kites have taken over heaven
Our crested Eagle has gone to roost
Now, vultures, owls and ravens
Scavenge our festering intestines for food
Nobody stands gaurd over nothing
Since the horses and eagle have gone their way.
They too, seek some better place
For home is where their bodies rest- in peace.

III.)
Inform Murtala and Wellington Bassey
We raised a demon that feeds on our lives
Hausas and Igbos, Christians and Moslems alike
It steals school children; blows them to bits
It is our rapture. It comes when no one expects.

Tell Fela and Chinua
Their prophesies have come true
Things- our nation’s- have fallen apart
It’s a marvel how they already knew
Villians are leaders, our heroes long dead
Fela was the Isaiah whose voice we failed to heed
But while we are here hoping
Our forebears will send some rain
With inks and intercession, we pour libations to them
May they continue to rest- in that better place
For home is where the body rests- in peace.

©Poet Razon-Anny Justin,
Paths of Ecdysis,
July, 2015.

Photo Design: Emykpe Media Group

HEARING SOUNDS (for South Africa on National Youth Day)

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I hear them Whisper
In strange languages of death
Other than Zulu and Swati
I hear their prophesies
Across un-marked, un-celebrated tombs
I hear them sing deep tears
Recitals of a Germanic song
Even at the tail of Africa

I hear them mourn
Slouched over an “ɐˈpartɦɛit” mis-education
I hear them gurgle
With streams of tears flowing
Cascading, tumbling down Dutch fountains
I hear disdain in their voices
Sung in indented-Xhosa, Ndebele and other N’gunis
Rainbows and “Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika”
Suppressed to the shallow hunger caves
Dug out of mines in their hollow bellies.

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I hear them chant rebellion
Only in Tswani and Sotho
I hear the police boots matching
Crunching over calcified bones
Crushing every beacon of resistance
I hear loud silences in wailing sirens
Dompass gripping fingers throbbing
I hear Hector and Hastings
Humming “Morena Boloka” tearfully
A soulful dirge emanating from Avalon

Today, I hear something different
The world singing their elegies
From Soweto to Lesotho
In joint choruses of English and Afrikaans
Celebrating the Children of Africa
Lying muted in unmarked graves
Their names etched in foreign languages of oppression.

I hear them all.

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©Poet Razon-Anny,

2015, June 16.

THE RAINBOW

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I never loved the arc
The multi-coloured bow
Hued in blended colours
Splotches across a wet- dry sky.

I hated the rainbow
Its look of racist shades
And smells of aparthy- and freedom
That is never fully gotten
Even in America of equal opportunities.
It reminded of unblending colours
Off-whites and tan
In Steve Biko’s mugging
Peaches and cream coursing
Malcom X’s soul splayed on the crossing
Even Martin’s jet-black denied hard
With a single bullet to the heart.

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Colors were coloured by the vogue people
In magazines, tote- bags and runway fads
Of fashion: Gucci, Prada and needle-like models
I hated the colour bow till yesterday
Yesterday: a past of changes
when Peru, Chestnut and Beaver
Ebony, Charcoal and Onyx
Refused to be shades of black or brown.
So Kiwi made a new bow
An off-black with War and Fires
Buffed in Zulu and coloured water
Black, Brown and Xenophobia
Are the new colours of today.

Now, I’ve learnt to love the rainbow
For our war is not with colours
But with creed and persuasions.

©Poet Razon,
2015, June.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Morning Masturbations

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The Catechist taught me well
On this art of dawn clad masturbations
Loud moans to awaken the morn’s meditations
Ceremonial call of candles, chalices and chaplets
In wakes of serene paths and hamlets
With utmost care, said he
With cautious legs each, clambering
Against every strewn vein- still dangling
A midget across bared groins
Strung against a huge giant’s loins
Stretch! The catechist had said
Stretch and touch by the thighs
Before time, won’t he scream? I asked
If ye Careful, it shall not give thee fight
So, to the dull of slumbering countryside
Bid I, all cares and phobia
Of Darkness and Wind; Acrophobia
One. All other cares flung to wind
All, but one care; a careful lean
To be focused on romantic arts of fondling
Feel his huge ball? He asked first day
Nods. My father’s smile didn’t sway
His son had the giant by the ball
In mid-masturbation. Unashamed, tall
Apprehensions: as I fondled more
Feeling cold in his passions, trickling slow
Pulse against pulse- his against mine
His: silence of sleep, awaiting signs
Mine: tic-toc of slowly winding clocks
Clock signals ahead of insomniac cocks

Today! I stand, a masturbating man
Non- altophobic, in a Cenophobic land
Atop these chill of morning dews
In-lieu with ticking time- a dutiful cue
Drawn breath and fearful heights
I rammed the scrotum against cold thighs
With a loud moan of sexual invocations
Consciences have been woken to devotion
By repeated chimes; ringing of bell-sex
Our faiths in time-keepers kept in God’s safe

I am the ringer of church bells,
I am he.

Ten Years and a Day

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Gone: A day and ten years
I long for the warmth of our skins
And get stung by the cold of satins
Do you not feel the cold?
Rammed into the stone’s foothold
Tattooed with deeds on your crown
Far from touch, can I reach you now?
Swimming in the river of reeds
Is that your hand or breathe?
Lapping liquidly against my bare back
Is that your soul wrapping me- in bath?
Are you the twitter of twisted fate
Or the song of the eerie river bird
Is it the rain or your tears?
Am I disillusioned still- through ten years?

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Ten years and a day

The impression of the golden band

Still etched on the finger of my left hand
At the river of reeds, tides and swings
I feel you in the cold harmattan winds?
Dangerously suspended words dangling
In imaginary dialogue boxes, hanging
Misty fogs voiced on silent cones
Still hearing your ecstatic dreamy moans
Whenever the randy wind rides the trees
Gushes sing your name and pleas
Ghostly trebles pitched over tree sex
Across orchards into our mind sets
Bouncing apparitions, crying laughter
Ten years yet, and a day after.

HeadstonesIn two deep slashes have I been cut

Once and again, ten years short
In spilling the oil of emotions
And shattering balms of dissected affection
On the hard floor-boards of a lonely grave
So have I been sentenced: a lonely slave
I still snoop to see you sleep, calmly
And wish we’d lie together as family
In romance of floral wreaths and still bones
In coldness of tombs and headstones
A day left to cure this plague
Many more, in the moist and calm dark
Being spent of tears and clue
Tomorrow, I’m coming home to you
Wearied and spent, in winters of ten years

MARCHING HOPE (for the Nigerian Child)

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Ikenga marched today
He who was clad in shreds and rags
Crack on lip-corners, twitched on woes
Whose rib-cage danced like the lizard’s
Ikenga! son of the kwashiokor war
Ward of the Biafran beriberi
Belly swollen ghost soared the ranks
Cranked over soft greens of trampled grass
Graced in ironed uniforms of the nursery eye
I saw his trampled spirit march to every drum-beat.

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Hadija paraded with them
Theme-songs of the abduction stuck in her lips
Leaping across the scars of Chibok
Child booked over a thousand Harams
Harams exalting religious masochism
Masochist arrayed in a spiritual fear
Fearsome ghouls of abuse and rape
Draped in insurgent radicalism traits
Treading over soft grasses of Sambissa’s high
I saw her mutilated soul march to every drum-beat.

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Elizade could have swayed with them
Instead, in holes of discomfort, she wastes
A waist not fit to be desired by men
Mended beyond wholeness by circumcision blades
Bled not on face but in the heart, deep
Deepened in discomfiture of perpetual sit-in
In circumstances of clipping buds
Butts of reduced feelings in graft-skins
Skin bearing scars and fistula
I saw her broken hopes dance to every drum-beat.

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Neither on parade grounds nor marching fields
Not in Elizade’s leak or Ikenga’s hunger
In Hadija’s abduction, even the unmentioned
In their lack-lustre and piteous living
In refuse bins and cold street- corners
On backs of pretentious charity- peddlers
Merchants feeding fat on exploited helplessness
I see the Nigerian Child marching to every drum-beat
Armed with a non-erasable past; unfathomable future
Hoping tomorrow will be better- than yesterday.

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©Poet Razon-Anny Justin.

The Taste Of Vengeance

No sooner had Ekene alighted from the sweltering heat of the Marcopolo bus he had boarded from Onitsha to Maiduguri sixteen hours ago than meet a crowd dorning ankle-length sutans, jalabias, khaftans and jumpers. They trooped towards them shouting and whistling in Hausa. While most had wares to sell, others were taxi-drivers and motor-cyclists hustling for passengers.
Few of them tried to engage him, but he ignored them and walked away.

Then came the flies: in thick buzzing swarms, settling on his jet-black hair, back and even face. Ekene wore a beautiful perfume, so it seemed like some of the flies on scenting him went to invite others. Such a horde trailed him, but he walked along unperturbed.
In Maiduguri, like other parts of North-eastern Nigeria, flies abounded and the inhabitants became used to it.
“Any attempt to swat the flies or drive them away will sell you out as a totally new visitor to the city”, the Igbo bus-driver had warned as they approached the bus terminal. Ekene had a deathly mission and didn’t want to be sold out before he executed his plans, so he walked on, silently listening to the song of the horde flying behind him.
At some point, he could swear he heard what their buzz was- a terrible gossip like those emanating from market women. Those flies were chattering away, behind him as if he didn’t exist.
One was singing about how he would be perched on his corpse by late evening. Another said he was very concerned about the his deep southern blood. He wanted to get there immediately after he was butchered, before his thick red flowed into the gutters and congealed away.
“His blood will smell of the Atlantic and fishy too”, another quipped. The others hummed their chorus of agreement. Fish was in Ekene’s blood.
“Let’s watch what our Boko boy’s will do to him, for soon he will be lying at the open street; very dead”, buzzed another.
One bold fly even took his feathery wings to his ear and screamed: “You are already dead, Sir!”, then flew away.
Ekene smiled. Patience! Patience is the ultimate virtue, he heard himself mutter. Though his blood was as hot as a gorilla’s and his anger was burning in his veins, he let it fly away. The fly was entitled to its view, he thought.
He walked on, he could see a Fulani boy of about fifteen stalking him. In his mind’s eye, he could see the boy’s feet soaked in blood, treading lightly behind him. The blood was that of the thousands of easterners martyred by Boko Haram.
“I have to purge these streets”, he reasoned.
“By evening, bodies will be lying -very dead- on these open streets of Maiduguri, those flies will hover and feast on them; but with certainty, such bodies will not be mine”.
“I didn’t travel hundreds of miles across the Niger and Benue, over thick forests and across rivers to the savanna of northern Nigeria to die on the open streets”, he soliloquized.
“That must have been Ikenna- my late elder brother’s fate, when he was brutally butchered by Boko Haram blades two weeks ago”, he muttered on.
Ikenna lay dead for days on the open streets. The flies perched, buzzed and gossiped. But nobody took the ill-news across the Niger and Benue to his people at home. The news eventually came last week and Ekene was sent to retrieve the cadaver from the morgue it was dumped in and transport it home. But Ekene had another mission- a secret one: to avenge his brother’s death, before he brought him home.
Seven carcasses will lie on these streets this night, their bloods will gush and flow, their heads will be cut-off, the buzzing flies will hover and feast over them; and afterwards, by morning tomorrow, he shall collect his brothers’ from the morgue and proceed home.
“Ikenna was destined to die in their hands; I was destined to avenge his death and I will not sleep, not until I accomplish my destiny”, Ekene boasted to himself.
They Northerners will taste Vengeance!

Epilogue:
The sun came out early as usual. By six-fifteen in the morning, it’s rays were already beaming strong. Yet, it failed to wake up the usual bustle around the central part of The city. There was a fight at night near the Zological Gardens along Shehu Laminu Way. It is rumoured that an Igbo-man, a christian started the fight and butchered a Hausa man. He killed two more, both Hausa- Moslems, before he too was killed. The locals had fled the area over the night.

©Poet Razon-Anny Justin