Okwy Obu venerates Ikhide Ikheloa in this awesome and well-deserved piece. I love it. Beautiful. And apt.

(I)

autumn is the season

when the trees clothe their forms
in lovely yellow

time for schools to start again
the young ikhide-lings
abandon their hearth-comfort
in search of laurels

and the old man with the
bicycle sips his coffee
norma pearl and adunni
a-resting snugly beside him

he dreams of home
beyond atlantic’s vast
blueness and
strokes his white beard

and then reaches for his
americanah beside the
walt whitman

(II)

the ploika was a dream
which kept him restless
in the year of shagari’s mess

the ploika was a dream
it a-guided his steps
and led him on to ole miss

and now the ploika is
a-resting in his home
conquests all done with forgot

he shakes his head
strokes his beard
the ploika was only a phony
Image
(III)

now in the autumn of his life
he dreams of home
of the maze of madness
he calls fatherland

of the edge of darkness
but how transplant a tree
that has grown to maturity
how uproot a mountain

(IV)

the chime of the doorbell
it is the wasp neighbour
across the street
cometh to remind old roland
of their golf date

he asks of madame
ominira
and the other kinder
he pats old roland’s belly
such pot-esque beauty

there is an e-mail alert
some writer from Nigeria
seeking a review
but he ignores it dresses up
and goes off with sir wasp

(V)

exile
such a bitter-sweet
stuff

home
never leaves you however
hard

you try
it sticks like the smell of
skunk-juice

on skin
it never leaves you home’s
melodies

(VI)

only once in a year does the
masquerade grace fatherland

it is always a big eventImage
prepared for meticulously

a draining experience fat
pockets sucked dry by die volk

it is kept brief of course
and then it is back to medina

(VII)

but is the world no longer
a small place thanks
to mark and the rest

papa keeps abreast
of the happenings at home
pens nuggets

sends missiles
homewards
to assist in the task

of slaying the dragon
stomping about a-wrecking
homesteads and farmlands
Image
(VIII)

a good round of golf
over and done with

he returns to his hearth
there is no one home

bills are stacked on the table
beside an american flag

he flicks on the tv
a-seeking for the latest

on obama’s folly
he sips a glass of juice

and stands by the
window a-watching

the autumn leaves a-falling
on the grassy ground

Ikhide R. Ikheloa is a blogger, social and literary critic who writes non-stop on various online media. He has been published severally in books, journals and online magazines. He was a columnist with Next Newspapers and the Daily Times of Nigeria where he held forth and offered unsolicited opinions on any and everything to do with literature and the world. Ikheloa is notorious for having strong opinions about the literature of Africa. He refuses to write a book because he stubbornly insists that the book is dying a long slow death. Here is how Ikheloa describes himself on Twitter: “I am not a writer. I am a reader who writes. Highly opinionated to the point of distraction. Prediction: The book and the library are dying. Ideas live.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR;

Okwy Obu is a prolific writer – who consistently engages our minds and titillates our senses with his beautiful poetry and prose, a social commentator, a trouble-maker on social media, the lover of one woman Abike Mohammed who has given him koprnormi (a Nigerian love potion popular {they say} among the south-south people of Nigeria) and he has swallowed it. He is a gentleman, except when he is not, he is a colleague and he is a dear dear friend.

Advertisements