Saturday, May 10, 2014

Sometimes on the world-wide web, I come across  poem that makes my own writing look like clumsy scrawls.

Here is the poem by Daved Emaku Kalu

If I choose to go to Lagos

May 7, 2014 at 4:25am

I will have no place to stay
But if I go to my father’s people
There is a house that was red dust before my mother planted a smile
Of sunflowers around it
Even so it will be that kind of stay where I will not drink and put my cup down
Always aware of the proximity of my father’s presence
Used to the city I’ll be looking over my shoulder each time
The old doors creak when my ancestors go past
In that house where even the wind will challenge everything I do
And everyone wonder why I selfishly travel to the moon
Floating between clouds, fondling the stars
Instead of filling the tank behind the house with water from the well
If I go to Abuja in my sister’s house the air my food
My sleep my dreams
Will be saturated by Jesus
And the faces and names of the people she’s unpinned
From the devil’s thorny fence
My sister believes as soon as someone recites I give you my life, Jesus
They’ve turned from a wolf into a sheep
But I have seen the clumpy verdigris
Around the things her converts do not say
A fox showing now and then behind the dewy eyes they peer out of
If I remain where I am if I remain where I’ve been
Then I’ll keep being nowhere (like the hole in a doughnut)
Standing before the gallows of this crossroads, for once
I am grateful to be unencumbered by love
To be beholden to nothing or anyone but that which I do without obtruding on anything or
Anyone though the manner in which I rise to occasions would amaze everyone
As I rise now to the possibility of a devil’s alternative
Turning as from a mine field from the tired creak of the cranked pulley
The water slowly rising in the algae-rimmed bucket
In the mossy well
Of my father’s house

If I go there I will hear his voice saying 29 Regent Street,
Could I have a taxi please?
And I’m not strong enough for that now
With him buried out there in front