What it means to betray your God
It was, perhaps, through gossips or from other opinions
of the story,
hidden from what breaths life inside us,
that we learnt the ritual of gifting a body eternal peace:
More flowers to your body heading to the cemetery. More closer
your body to eternal rest.
On a rainy night, I kept a bottle of liquor on an old desk
& called my father’s ghost for company, papers filled
with rejected poems scattered around us.
Together, we danced to the sweet memories of young age
buried under a burning tree:
a sociological means of luring a wild horse to the grave.
You should have seen the beauty lying under our footprints;
the wild joy travelling with our voices the wind became jealous.
In an old park,
a song reincarnates from my father’s Volvo car
stuffed with heavy luggage of loneliness and old memories.
I think the dead always want to say something
the way a butterfly flutters around our tousled hair
till it breaks the wind into beautiful rhapsodies.
art of grieving
the way walls were created to carry our shadows in darkness,
grief with its heavy wounds draws us closer to sleep,
war reminds the earth the beauty of peace, death teaches us
how to appreciate God.
i have erected a new home beneath my mother’s crowfeet:
say memories are reducing to echoes: a body stands on the bridge
& admires itself,
say this boy testing his faith with a knife is afraid to die young, say this is not a poem:
this is a song bruised by frequent visits & i am not & can never be alone.
i am not alone. i am not…
say the boy tames his demons, say tomorrow gives life for itself.
if an ocean with its outpouring mouth still admires
the sky heavy with rain,
tell me, how much more a body not to desire happiness?
Okeke Onyedika writes from Ojoto, a small town in Nigeria. His works have appeared/forthcoming in Eighteen seventy poetry, Brittle Paper, Deluge Journal, Rockvale, Praxis, African Writers, Tuck Magazine. & elsewhere. Currently, he’s a final year student of Sociology /Anthropology in Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.