OTHER RENTED TEARS
Rev.Fr.Michael achile umameh
A CITY PEOPLE
Now in a city where people care too much
How they look
Bogged to a Narcissistic level on what they wear
Less Bordered on how they speak
Less Bordered on who they are
Careless on who and what they are becoming.
As thwarted the hair they wear
So their minds, so their psyche
In lethal bath for a Mask, semblance of a face
So their plastic courage, so their mystique image
Unaware of what devilry, beauty overstretched becomes
The soul of the city people is being haggled for
Amongst the loins, groins and palate of their hawked desires.
Beauty external, yet decaying from the infection of time
Numb in feeling, sightless gazes and lips
Unable to form words
The city people are fast becoming a wordless echo
Of a voiceless word, a Broken Asylum
Groaning, Yet unborn, a city people worth
OGUGU: VALLEYED GARDEN OF HEROES!
Ogugu the land of Mountains, Valleys and plains
Curled around seas of nature choicest givings
Rising from the ashes of the past to a resilient future
Life defiantly surging as the unrepentant ubele
From the root at Unyi-Ogugu to the Hilly Ikem
Vegetable sprawl in fertile display
From the sandy beaches of Iyono to the rocky plateau of Ileke
Resilence simmer amongst the harsh contours of nature
Ogugu the land of genealogies and pedigrees
Despising the bubble popularity for a Uniqueness unmatched
Summon that impartial judge, Agana-Ochi-Ogu
A sharpened spike in the loom of humanity
With her pillared palaces of watchdog gods, Ibegwu
With burst of unquestioned powers and rulings
Tethered to the biting strings of immortal traditions
Secured your chastity belt traditions
Ogugu, Hub of the criss-crossings of languages
With her Sabbath keeping Ede Market
Full of natures’ plentiful fruitfulness
Has the heavy balls of ikuliku disappeared?
Like the groundnut pyramids?
Let your victrix receive the salutation: Agede ma pete
And your victors anthem; Ame wewe tu wale, Awa n’edo t’umele!
Challenge darkness to a wrestling contest in the arena of day
And win in your own place
And Rise again above the soft sobs of the forgotten.
Mark! I heard of a death
Your death! And How you died
How your Kinsmen
Soaked you in your blood
And drank with furious hilarity
Of an Olympic champion
I foamed, fumed and fret
And my mouth wide shut of word
And my eyes desert dry
In search of fears
To honors, the grounds you made Hallow’d
No word came, No tears dropped
I have shed them too often now
That I ran out of fresh tears
That the drought of my eyes, may not betray the torrent of my heart
Mark! I have rented these fears to shed for you.
(To Fr. Mark Ikpiki )
I am here! Again a reluctant prodigal
An outcast among the runaways
Scooped from the slough the other night
Now I come to you at dusk dirtied
Searching for a new dayspring to bath in
May these late bird eat the early worm
And bath in your Dawn long enough
And know the difference.
KENTY IS DEAD
Death has robbed us Again
That God may have the gain
While we have a while the pain.
This tall tolling bell
Thaws at Hamarttan for Kenneth
These thunderous whispers
We are scared to believe and Echo
Thy content is true: Kenty is dead!
His finite beak rivals the Angelic host’s
In praise and worship that coloured your wings
Fly now: over your mountains, valleys and straights
For I know now: why the caged bird sings,
Rage roars untamed in all of us
Like a yatch powered by a tempest of wind and water
The sea, mighty and muddy rude surges
In a tangled web of solid waves
Angered by every wind
And here I stand on the calm bank of serenity
Doing my dance in my own way on the way of Christ
Basking in the gently caressing aura of breeze
Like a prince fanned by a thousand tender virgins
Like a seething volcano I rise and rage still
Am raging through forest of dreams to a goal
Terraces of inertia cant Hold me still
I am Raging on with Powers channeled
I leave a foot print on the rivers of life
And leave a name on the ceiling of the cloud.
ODE TO A DISSENTING PRIEST.
I shall be telling, this with a sigh and a groan
Of a man who has given God’s powers back to him
And no more worry about God and His Heaven
That beamed palace of Gold seem a Mirage
I will tell the story with a dignified caution
Of a solitary terror and bewilderment
At the junction of a man’s life
Who has chosen a devil hewn path
I with its tips and trivia
Of the sketches of pain and unowned ceremonial splendor
The forbidden man among men
Whose discontent barks relentlessly at God
A tale of Haste and waste
Oh God, how hard, to bear, too much of your silence
And this self deprived pelt pleasure of the Divine Dew
I come with a question, a key and Hold out my Hands
Are you there?! Open this gate of Silence;
8.THAT I MAY HAVE HIM TOO
If the everywhereness of God has ever been more concrete
It has been in your presence
As you make yourself wholly and totally present to him
A divine aura encases and traits you
The color of your smiles exudes unassumed truth and sincerity
Your openness, would mend myriads of broken personalities
Your life epitomizes furnace of devotions
Opening doors, bringing warmth wherever you go
The spiritually frozen thaws at your presence
And the religiously lukewarm, fired at the odour of your sanctity.
I know heaven is powered with stars, to light and warm
So, everywhere God sends, in human guise, a meteor
To show the way, pave the way, go the way.
Oh incredible universe in this desert of worldliness
You stand a spiritual Oasis, a geyser of Holiness
Irrigating spiritual deserts with God, for God and to God
Herein creatures have for you a collective gaze of attestation
A collective testimony of God dwelling with us
Radiating in the spectrum of your devotions
For God in the choral hymn of devotion, God reveals
To your heart, welling up a fountain of unending joy
That joy you shared disinterestedly too
What an invaluable privilege for the lads in your nursery
Oh pardon my symphony from the deeps
Perhaps, I peep into the rent in the canopy of heaven
To see and compare, those who live on earth as in heaven
Am no prophet or visionary, just a lonesome nomad
Probing the earth in my verse
Weaving rhymes with the thread of your activities
To see God
Here I find my fullness, fulfillment and wholeness
Seeing God In others
That I may have Him too,
9.ALPHABETH IN BRUTAL EMPATHY!
Abah, Abuja, Asaba
Slums of culturally uprooted people
Benin, Badagary, Bissau
With their stinking infirmaries
Of distinguished gateway of elected neo-sex slaves
Lagos , Kano, Jos
And their, Hmmm
Whirlwind inferno of sane disorders
Lugard house, Dodan Barrack, Aso villa?
Tell it with a furious comedy
Seething conclaves of covenanted kleptocracy.
10. AND I WILL RISE!
You may write me down in the rubble of my past
You may set my name among broken tapestries
You may chain me to a mirage driven chariot
And I may be an effacing anthem of your flute
Still I rise Resilient
You may trap me with passing sarcasm
And mingle me with the dust of death
And I may be an echo of your yawn
And I may be a blink in the Archives of your memory
Still I will Rise
I will rise on the crest of your turbulence
I will rise on the epicenter of your tsunamis
And rise still on the ashes of your volcanoes
Whatever the time and tide
Still I Rise!
Ekunfunku who are you? I stand to challenge you
Be thou a man of granite
A compound of strength and weakness
In the loom of humanity you belong
An orchestral of dust and divinity
The flaw on thy granite, your bubble popularity
I challenge your bloated pride
With my daringly pointed youthfulness
That others may not shiver at your shadow
I stand to today, a willing sacrificial lamb
Paint your bath with the redness of my blood
And all will come to a willing death, to defy you.
And be a wall of flesh around your pride!
In the household of grief
Self –pity came with trophy of an injured pride
Laced with the sparkle of unforgivenes
With endless processions of lamentations
Without empathisers or sympathizers
He alone was the grieved and empathizers
My tears were the sweet libation that I long for
Grief was so exciting, so rewarding
It was a private solitary, pleasure
Earned tears for a god I did not owe
Pain was a sweet burning incense
So insistent, so sweet, so emotionally rewarding
Synthetic, pathetic eerie silent screams
Plow the borderless inlay of my psyche
On this enraged sea rode gallantly, self-pity
To a crown Hewn by itself for itself.
To cross to the other side or Die?
And night like a proud unstoppable chameleon
Crawled all over me like a dripping sweat
Was it a chill of cold or shriek of fear
When dawn surprised me with its gentle light
And chirping birds prop me to wake
14. FOR LOVE
What is life and love if full of twigs and thorns
We love and search for love’s bait
And we strain and pain to win love’s labor
We rave and pant in search of the kernel of love
And we harvest chaff, starve, and wind
And fears and grief beckon all night
For love, love that will last, that never dies
15. TO BE
Be at rest my soul the lord is on your side
Whenever the turbulency of life brings despair
And the world around shun God for secular funfair
Be for God what he wills and the world aside
For the lord of care
Shall set sweetly how you fare
Be calm my heart the lord rests in you
When health and wealth makes you scorn
The godly pleasures of life, let God’s be fun
Be for God whatever tides brings, an icon
For he, whose death is your appeal
Shall your table and stable fill.
Be happy my spirit God lifts you up
Whenever your efforts seem in vain
And sin of youth gives pain
Be for God, all you desire to be
For the world groans to revive
And you shall the devil-tricks survive.
Then be at rest my soul the lord on your side
Be happy my spirit, God lifts you up
Your triumphs comes as sure as the rising sun
Today , I will pluck my lost place
By a newer plot
Not asking for a pound of coins or of fresh flesh
My vases of tearful verses I break today
This late fate is not stale
How you hung on us, a pendant of pain
I dream and scream of your peppered plugging
Making me an outcast among the runaways
The soft sobs of forgotten men
Wields blunt edges of its fears
At you ! I shatter your frozen Ego.
17. Diamonds are Forever.!
Diamonds are forever
Though, found Amongst stones
Have dignity and intergrity of a star
And you are a diamond
I feel and I know
If only, you know
How intelligent you are
How elegantly beautiful
How much you are valued
How much you are a prized pride
How much the future holds for you
How great you can become
And you will
Hold your Head high
You will walk with pride
You will mingle with great ones
You will commit your love and heart
Not to any riff raff but to solid men
Desire them to remain Diamond
An eagle, for greatness
Is lying dormant in you
Rise up, it is waiting to happen to you!
18. In Christ Event!
In Christ I confide
The devil do me main
Hell devils for me aims
In Christ is my fame
At sunset darkness looms
And me thinks am doom
And Dark imaginings shelves my gloom
In Christ alone is my bloom
From Gabatha to Golgotha
From Eden to Gethsemane
From condemnation to salvation
In Christ event is my redemption
19. WE ‘VE GOT ONLY OUR PAST
We look back just to say Bye
We’ve come to the end of the Road
And we must now bear alone the Load
Of love, of care and starve on he chaff of absence
We both looked back and those twinkles met
And none could hold back those tears
That starred the look prematurely to death
And we could only peep at each other
Lacking now, such courage to state a gaze.
Oh parting, curse is you to leave us thus
Such Pyrrhic victory, love had won and lost
Turning such confident gaze, to stolen peep
And those tears betraying fragility our hearts
Will we meet again? evermore shall the parting be
God’s knows why, he set such a hurdle for love
Only to run the rung, and fall the hurdle
Yes we looked back and the gesture froze
And that look, that gaze is into eternity
That frozen gaze, Dear, is a birth mark of love
Engraved in the heart, that is whispering thus
Silently soft and tenderly true, Good Bye!
When the wax hardens
Lay it, cool in its forge
In the hearth of earth
To melt quietly back
To the ultimately neutral
Without noise,without sobs.
Should the earth probe thee for an epitaph let it b, being too noble for this earth THAT INDIVIDUAL has thawed upon the Heavens of unending Jubilation.
21. This is Nigeria of Resiliencies!
This is the Embassy; to everywhere
I sat so long waiting; I fell into the state
And ran so hard hiding like a mirage
I woke to a bleak nightmare of frozen dreams
Like a charging bull down the slippery slope
In every direction there is a place to hide and die
This is Nigeria
On the sidewalks full of famished pensioners
A protesting procession of underpaid workers
In the canopied distant, an orchestral of Prepaid political thugs
Darting like bloated bugs in the sun
A discordant army of hawking children
Ranked virgins hawking pleasures
Would this be the Nigeria of Our heroes past?
Is this the Nigeria that calls us to obey?
Anyway and in everyway
This is Nigeria of excellent resiliencies
My country! How I love you still!
22. Aged Oj’aba.
Age like Half- Dead ritual tortoise
Crawled all-over Oj’aba, my grand mother
In a mysterious cascading terraces
And she now wore variegated sagging wrinkles
Like a gem of corals
Bent over, from the heavy pendant of Age.
Echoing ageless sagacity
In her costly counted calculated steps
Engulf in gazes of living flames and sparkling nostalgia
That had slow down the haste of youthfulness.
With tiredly dangling pendulum of breasts
In a discordant mimic of a ticking clock
With discreet patches of grey hair
A fierce mimicry and mockery of the brutal harmattan
Of deep thoughts and fixed pauses
A bitter rage of permanence of time.
Thawed to life is my arrested wakefulness
Like buzzing bees and busy spiders
Age like a constrictor gnawed and gnarled at me
And like Oj’aba, its has cloistered my plump youthfulness.
23.CRY, IF YOU MUST
Cry, if you must
Cry, for the path chose you
And someday, sure someday
You will be thankful.
Dance, you must
For the Drummer has chosen your steps
The Drums gave you the rhythm
And you are faithful who steps in His steps
His steps in the Mire, in the sand and on the rock
For Grace is Everywhere
On the tiptoed path of a rustic Hunter
On the lavished path of a city dweller
On the dreary path of an unsung preacher
On the reluctant path of a homecoming sinner
Grace sits emblazoned with expectancy.
And I cried, Danced, and still, grace found me!
24.A Continent Blue and True
I have a continent within Me
A continent blue and brute
A continent of raging seas, valleys and hills
Tears and fears are its siblings
Its markets mad and true
Its fields smooth and sick
Its eaters blue with gloom
Its soul, sits on a waiting volcano
Its Heart surfs in a rattling geyser
Its Head, combs my hair in its whirlwind
Would this continent find a space?
In the sheltered calm of Heaven
Bid not a place, in that provoke fire place
For I rue this continent, for a New.
25. I Come to you Lagos, A passer by.
Where Money and Meaning comes together
People are always arriving, always leaving
Traffics busy buzzing bees
Traffic of galloping snail speeds
People hoist their anger on their hoots
still paintings, still faces
Mimicking faces of overstretched beauties
Those atop the bridges to elsewhere
And those below, to no where
I, a jubilant rustic champion
Suffocating on your diet of speed and screeches
In a deafening cacophonies
Of shuffling, mumblings and grumblings
Not even the crosses and crescents
Brought me quiet solace and calm
Frantic Belching anxieties and shadowy fears
That seems unnoticed and unattended.
This bystander not guilty of speed, shrieks but a glee
I come to you Lagos, A passer by.
26. SO YOU DID
As giant fallen frees do
So you did
You left a big empty place in the sky
On the ground, on our mind and our psyche
A withered bud and ragged queen
So we come, we stand, we lie and die
Of intergrity, Authenticity and sincerity
As giant fallen trees do
We have breathed all the air of the spheres
We have transverse deep beneath the strata
We have weathered all the seasons
And we come to this at long last to all that, all trees do
Lured by an incurable nostalgia
To this place, for a space and slake
That I may stand and die still
Never leaving a place in the sky
Nor an empty place in the psyche
What giant trees do, never to join.
27. THE THROES OF THE NIGERIAN CHILD
Whose child is this?
That age like a cloistered constrictor
Has gnawed nectar out of
Aging prematurely and
Sheltered in this web of perforated rags
This is the Nigerian child.
A Nigerian child ?
Heralded by these entourage of encircling flies
With back like a sickled mould
With this balloon size belly hoisted on those pins
What burden of gargantuan head that neck carries
Like His country’s
Overburdened by Her self-inflicted recurring maladies
Must this child share in her burdens
Whose term is innocence serving?
And for how long shall we
Follow naked, the naked gods
Of our country Nigeria.
28. TO JOS WITH MIX FEELINGS
This primordial animal instinct
Like a latent landmines wakes, a noonday devil
Like an extinct volcano wilding its liquid sword
Laws lure this monster to act an art
In a sweet glowing coating of religiosity
Reinforced with a base instinct of brutality
Feigning to cleanse Human’s diseased mind
With a steel and an anvil.
To the cross and the switchblade, Hallelujah
To the crescent and the Sling stone, Al-Akbar
What a waste of Brain, waste of pain
What a waste of Blood, waste of brother hood
What a waste of grace, waste of glory
What a Rape of God, Rape of mankind
Proud of your pyrrhic victories
Heaving a sigh of relief in the shade of death
Cultivate grapes and dates on the terraces of graves
For your children will harvest poisoned fruits
Paints this Benevolent God, with malevolent colours
Poisoning the milk of humanity with the lethal scum of religiosity.
To Jos, I come forth, with mixed feelings!
30.The ingredients of the cup of sorrow
I Hold dearly to my heart
Has flown in by the conveyors of Niger and Benue
The immensity of the Nigeria pot of collected Tears
Only matched by the Monstrous wickedness of her leaders
And have: left a Heritage of a tough row to hoe
Have they not turned our bread to stone?
Have they not given serpent, for fish?
Have they not turn water, into miry clay?
And our roads into yawning quicksand?
And licked our rented fears with cruel lips?
I am a defiant passerby. Going ahead
To the Nigeria of Our Heroes past
This is not the Nigeria they died for,
This is not the New and resilient Nigeria gestates in me
The embers of these pained years and wasted ways
Hasten the Nigeria of Our dream to Birth
Her term is ripe and heavy laden
Before the midwives of still birth arrives
A soft sob of New Nigeria is heard
On my knees, with a cup full of skimmed goodness
The New Nigeria shall have its fill
31. Titles like Turtles.
See how they hurled it at each other
Ho how, empty and inflated mutual mockeries
Ochinawanta!! Onigbelegwu!!, Akperi Olubadan!!!
What a solid empire of illusions
Built with a devalued moral currency
Have your feast of embalmed ego.
Your emptiness asks, more! More!! More!!!
While lady cruelty gnaws at your elongated pride
And these titles , like tattoos are taboos
When the symbols, figures are mismatched and misplaced
And the cure of cultural constipation
The healing for cheap volubility, comes handy
In the sanitary shade of valued integrity
Where, titles like turtles are rare in shallow waters.
REV.FR.MICHAEL ACHILE UMAMEH
ST.ALBERT CATHOLIC CHURCH UNIVERSITY OF BENIN
P.O.BOX 10380, UGBOWO, BENIN-CITY
© Copyright 2016 AchileUmameh. All rights reserved.