Banjul this afternoon and other poems

beautiful view of the Gambia beachside

Banjul this afternoon

by Obinna Chilekezi

I can’t comprehend the weather
as the sun goes laughing in this cold
around the town.

The skies are songless, but
the roads are black-white
with people-mix
While blades of grass seem all flattened down.

This cold
imprisoning me to my jacket
is killing, yet
whites and blacks celebrate it; same with the birds of green and yellow throats,
the hens uncertain of their notes.

Ah! this weather tells of Naija*
and its distant blessings.

Banjul, 5/5/19

*Naija is short for Nigeria

Ramadan in Banjul

by Obinna Chilekezi

The street is cold as the season
everywhere is half empty,
like the marble head
the ladies covered up to the eyes
the bliss of music off, no more bliss
Al roads begin and lead to Ramadan

This can’t be the Banjul, I know
lifeless, without the usual colour;
drink houses dissolve,
the beach is without water
as in dreams fraught
with gestures…

Yes the street is cold as the season
tis prayerful and peaceful too

Banjul, 5/5/19

The birds at it again

by Obinna Chilekezi

pictorial image of some of the many birds of the Gambia

This cold fastin’ early morning
The traveler weighed down, with
mind’s burden and travel
lay half asleep,
beside half empty busied roadtrack

But the birds, with warn songs
sweet and comforting songs
of these feather creatures of Serrekunda*

the traveler rose, with his burdens
and began to walk towards the sun
O’ birds with your soul healing songs!

Banjul, 6/5/19
*Serrekunda, Gambia

Without a blanket

by Obinna Chilekezi

stepping out
in the street
this noon time

cold breeze
fights heats
of the non smiling sun
and the ground is cold

here am i
a witness
without a blanket
and in outside
we have teardrops of cold

11/05/19 Serrekunda, Gambia

My Niger calls

by Obinna Chilekezi

aerial view of the Niger river

This call in this strange land is heavy
The coast around smiling, in this land of smiling coast.

Here I am a strange treading the smiling coast
like the flow of the River Gambia.

But my Niger beckons me now –what a strong call
Of my land, my people and my own.

The River Gambia smiles, and sparkles with it smiling coast
But the pull of the Niger is stronger than her iles

What? The Niger calls and beckons me, its water waters my veins
And it calls and calls as I watch the Gambia flow

I must home go
I am bound by my land by the waters
And the butterflies of this river, and its smiling coast.

Will not my presence steal, am bound to the Niger by blood
And its invincible presence flow in me to home

The Niger beckons me home, a stranger in a strange smiling coast
Sleepy, I exchange the River Gambia for my Niger.

Yes, it is really time to go back home.

13/05/19 Kololi, Serrekunda


by Obinna Chilekezi

Light fades away
Like hibiscus flower
We fall back to sand.


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