Thursday, April 29, 2010

Welcome to Motherhood

Welcome back!
May you delight in this new found world
Where the magic of childhood and motherhood
Becomes one and the same
Each day you'll bask in magical moments
Short spaces of time before morning comes
When the earth is still fast asleep
Stars flirts shyly with the skies
And the clouds smiles between moods in rest
Rejoice in the child that suckles
still at your breast
Lost in sweet soundless sleep.

Welcome to a new world
Where the magic of innocence and wisdom collide
And the mere touch of tiny little fingers
Bursts a dam of love within your soul
And finally makes your world whole.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Night The Soldiers Came

The night the soldiers came
In the harmattan of '68
Brandishing machetes, guns and slaughter knifes
Crude accessories for the task at hand
Grown men leaking in their pants
Afraid to stand up to fight
For the birth of a stillborn nation
This doomed land of the setting sun
Women screaming and wailing to a God now unknown
Begging forgiveness for whatever sins beget this horror
Heads and limbs and eyes
Severed and plucked from neighbours and friends and kinsmen
Our sisters already dead from the shock
Of having babies snatched from their wombs
That night the soldiers came
In the harmattan of '68
Asking for the blood of the Biafrans
I, gangly teen that I was
Chose to speak a different tongue
And bowed to an alien God, Allah
And so they let me live
But killed the living spirit within

The night the mob came
In the night of '98
We heard them at the gates
Brandishing machetes, guns and slaughter knifes
Crude accessories for the task at hand
Our young men stood tall and proud
Draped in the colours of the rising sun
They sang accompanied by the voices of their ancestors
"Nzobu, 'zobu, Enyimba, 'enyi"
I stood there and remembered the harmattan of '68
Visions of heads and limbs and eyes
Severed and plucked from neighbours and friends and kinsmen
Our sisters already dead from the shock
Of having babies snatched from their wombs
And so when they approached
And asked for the blood of the Biafrans
I spoke the proud tongue of my fathers
And lifted my head up to Jehovah
We fought till the last man stood no more
And reclaimed the lost dignity
Of our defiled maidens and emasculated sons
And when I drew my last on the enemies sword
And whispered 'Ozoemena! ozoemena!'
I knew I had been reborn to live forever
In this new land of the rising sun.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Waiting For the King

My work is done here
I am free for I know no fear
I am alive and I dance in ecstacy
To the music of the heaven's choir
I leave my right hand behind
With five beautiful fingers from the King
Four gleaming swords and a sharp shapely arrow
They stand strong, tall and proud
As proof that I was here
They are the gifts I leave behind
My essence poured into the blood of their veins
You will find my laughter
Hidden in the crevices of their dimpled smiles
My pain lurking in the tears that never fall behind their silken lashes
My beauty radiating in the love that resides in their hearts
And I will always be, I will never end
Because these fingers will mould their own fingers
From the clay of our earth
And breathe life into them
Yes, my work is done here
Every breathe is but jara
I wait patiently for the coming of the King
And the glorious dance as the angels sing
In this banquet of eternal life.

© ‘Kego Onyido

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Widower.

An ordinary full moon
Not a whisper of warning
No signs to alert me
Night came in stealth, so suddenly
As I lay here in sleep
Beside the keeper of my heart
And in her womb nestled my unborn seed
Night came at that pregnant hour
When dusk and dawn meet in embrace
And like a coward, it scurried away before I awoke
It left long before I could catch my breath
Night came empty-handed
And left with both hands full

And so when she died
The music died with her too
And as they put her down
Beneath the udala tree
I sank to my knees and cried
And mourned for the loss of two
Seasons have come, seasons have gone
And yet the keeper of my heart
Holds on to it still
I feel her breath fanning my skin
In the rustlings of the cassava leaves
She sings a lonely melody
With the lost creatures of the night
And once and again
She comes with the rain
And as the waters touch my lips
I weep, for I taste her salty tears
And on every night with a full moon
I go to sleep and pray
That tonight be the night
That night comes again in stealth, so suddenly
And finally takes me to the keeper of my heart.

© ‘Kego Onyido

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Daughter Of Eve.

He first saw her under a silvery moon
And stood transfixed watching from afar
He mustered enough courage to call upon her
But only by the next noon
For she was fair as she was fine
With a pretty lone dimple and eyes that shine
With hidden dark mysteries of winter's night
And the warmth of summer's sunny delight
Height like an amazon, a figure defying age
The kind that drove boys wild and their girls to rage
She was Eve's daughter, and yet so shy
And like an angel, in innocence, she could fly.

She's enthralled by him and he tells her tales
Words of flattery so sweet she fails
To see the spear that would fiercely pierce
Her sweet nectar with razor-sharp speed
He had his fill and quenched a need
She had a bitter thrill and is left with his seed
And many moons after she welcomes her daughter
And whenever there's a silvery moonlight out in the sky
She holds her baby to her breasts and croons a haunting lullaby
Of a woman-child in the very beginning
Long, long ago before original sin
Who was fair as she was fine
With a pretty lone dimple and eyes that shine.........

© ‘Kego Onyido

A Journey Into Madness.

This descent to the abyss

Is not at all an unwelcome state

For my senses have never known peace such as this

It is but a fitting fate

For a mind drugged for ages with unhappiness

It did not come suddenly in a flash

My journey was like the welcomed approach of sleepiness

It came gently, gently, none too harsh

An exciting spiral through a dark tunnel

Like a pretty twister forming an earth’s funnel

With no beginning and no end

No surprising turn or bend

Just an eternity of free flying motion

With the whispering winds

Blowing away at the wings

Of my unsung sanity

I will stay here for a while

And journey on for a thousand and a mile

Until I forget all my nightmares

And the crippling fear disappears.

© ‘Kego Onyido

Monday, May 18, 2009

A Lost Immigrant's Prayer.

Across rivers and oceans,

Through clouds and skies,

We journeyed from the old world to the new,

The mystery before us, beckoned like a seductive sorceress.

And yet, even not knowing, we dared to embrace it still

We fled a land of hunger and despair and pain

We loosed the cobwebs of chains that held us in bondage

And wept with hope at the freedom of a new age

And slept with the painful memory

of how we were called efulefu.

And so we came, freeborn all

To begin as neither masters nor slaves.

Rather we start again as nothing.

We live day to day on graces,

Showered from the lands of our birth

We refuse to give up

We shall make a home here yet

A home for the little ones, yet unborn

We shall work the fields

And stand in line like robots

Yes, we shall be called only by numbers,

Remaining faceless and nameless.

We shall do these things

So that one day

Our children shall proudly bear our names

And none shall ever be called efulefu.

We shall teach them well, our children,

Of the old ways from where we fled

For we see now, the beauty

Clearly hidden in the grotesque shadows of the old world.

We fled diseases and now are plagued with diseased minds.

We fled poverty and now see the sins in plenty

Nothing is sacred, even old age is defiled

We see the lights everywhere

And the darkness that lurks a breath behind

We shall teach them well, our children

To marry the old worlds of soul with the new one of steel

And create something uniquely theirs

For only with this artistry can they conquer

And be kings of these new dynamic worlds emerging.

Remembering always the land from where we came

So that none shall ever be called efulefu.