“Hoofs part the sky”: two poems by Tares Oburumu (Nigeria)
Posted: September 2, 2014 Filed under: English, Tares Oburumu | Tags: Nigerian poets
Just My Feeling by Edrisa Jobe (born in The Gambia, 1968)
He saw in his eyes,
Paper-dreams folded in a basket.
Leaking roundwinds leaving him, leaving
Fisichella’s ways to Fishtown.
The tears there are like rivers
that never fill their brims in February.
Drifts of sorrow begotten in loneliness,
flowing the petty life of the sea to full.
Before butterflies go the gallops of white horses.
Go rose-thread; beauty flying an airplane past changed seasons
seasoning changes that stifle their own climes,
Turn a painted lady into British intelligence: A kite
in my hands flown frabjously close to the sky
Above gravity clasped between Iguana’s fringes.
A thousand Lynslager-blades fell
on the gods’ umbilical cord.
Saves the boy in the Queen’s recollections
to see the birth of death poised to conquer
a politics of waters in Annie Pepple House:
A hell burning out in the dry sun.
Fold flagpole painted green on a white flag,
Tamp it into a faded pocket of futility.
Come to red tarmac, slowly.
Softly come round a box of airplane
sprawling in the open.
Fly into the future that awaits you in an orphan,
waking the Sahara with keener cries,
To be let loose in the winds.
Another Saro is dead.
There is death in killing a triplet.
Bring sweet Slessor from the Englands,
In your return flight back home.
Ogoni child seated on uranium laments…
And when you come, slowly,
Softly, touch down on a grave and dearth
of funerary voices: the shooting stars,
Who seemed to have willingly walked past the Redemption Gates.
Seeing you are wrapped in a coalsack nebula,
Silhouetted against a feel of eyes
in the beginning.
Hatched from eagles’ eggs. Crushed below
the underbrush of insects and arachnids,
Collected in a waste-basket.
. . .
Chimes – Before and After
Hoofs part the sky;
Riders—Horsemen of the sixth year,
Riders come into view covering their faces: feathery clouds
of angst, made from fabrics weaved in a furlough.
Who is he that comes to this candidatural boom?
This patented-grimace snuffing fresh badges
In green garments tugged at,
In an exercise hushed in a Damisa.
It frayed the nerves of an apocalypse.
Sheathed its sword in crimson where
a coat of arms laments.
He is an Angel—Light-bearer against profiteers.
He who rides on dark nimbus marching before
a slew of cherubims in great bowls of thunder and lightning.
He is an eastern grail,
Announcing a republic with Hitler’s counter-tenor.
The militia quells. A beauty to behold, mighty to hear.
Iron-ears wired to the wind listen
to music raised above the Mansion Gates,
A garden tended to by a Pam-swindling Bello,
dead in a blue colure, drifting eulogies to eleven saints and ties.
One Maimalri in the tack fastening
Largema tailored his rank
for the funeral of tribes,
the tribes that died awake. Counter-vailing drums
beat out a storm.
East crashed its airplane into the North.
An arc forms in mid-air and descends stairs for a West
stained with lifeblood of cows, wooing a Southern rebel
seated on shore fishing in the dark
walled off a world to be redeemed.
Loosened from paradise grip, a
thousand bowels of death-coloured dragons fell
on a fleet of ships flown beneath a day-crescent.
A human face at the other side of a war-mountain
leans on a tree and judges half of a sun
blown into smithereens.
A surgeon’s skill hurries to the battlefront,
Picks bone on flesh. Yet the tribes are lost in a new body:
an Angel of presence who flinches at vultures
fondling carrion under its wings flying without lead among eagles
Death is in the call…
From behind dark, I call.
From behind the flourescence of Tafewa Square,
I am that war gone awry.
Voice – from a deserter’s whisper – calls
for Shodenide’s night-rousing owls to accost
a foliage dressed in carom-silks, carom-greens. Shaped as bats
bouncing back into darkness, merging with wings of eagles.
Under them the horses come to war-brook.
There, a certain redness has transformed fishes into blood.
Nibbling at doubt; the health of another war at rest,
Waiting to tend to the wounds of reeds on broken reefs.
In their motions a flag is drowned.
Homespun pledges fixate on the tongue
Cast on a stale air. Fasten an azimuth to a bounty
stored as sand in hourglasses, sprinting to find
statecraft where they may meet stars,
Lawyering in the hands that rock the cradle.
In a planet calcifying blood of votes.
The soldier in me rose from dead war-dresses
to skewed apparitions. Hearing his own call,
To share the upper chambers among worms,
That ate Akintola’s bones in his grave
—mark of a century in need of bone and flesh,
to stand a skeleton against deads
coming to rend the cities in hundred pieces.
. . .
Tares Banigoe Oburumu is a poet from Delta state, Nigeria. He holds a B.A. in philosophy from the University of Benin. Currently working on his first fullscale collection of poetry, he also released this past July an e-chapbook (A Breath of Me) published through Green Griots Literary Consultancy / Poetry Mill (under the editorship of Senator Iyere Ihenyen).
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