New songs of a stranger at the smiling coast

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Poetry is Art, an Art for Life

A big drop of tear
by Obinna Chilekezi

You left on my pillow
That your big drop of tear
An indelible mark
Of your smile turned sour

I tried last night to erase it
And it turned red and blood
As it stared colourlessly at me
Drawing out more tears on my face

Let the Niger flow
And the Gambia too
And let us meet at where their dreams meet too
Sharing sunlights of birdsongs

Today’s wind is dry, and cold, and sour
It turned violent without your leaving smile
At your river Gambia smileless at its coast
O’ my jabbar: nama nala

This land has seen many of our fights
It will see more too
But when your smile turns sour
on vacation must love proceed.

Jabbar nama nala (Wolof – Gambia and Senegal): Wife I miss you.
Nwaanyi (Igbo – Nigeria): Woman

Just like an eclipsed sun
by Obinna Chilekezi

Cloudy yet
Woke up and watch
The perforated moment
As the river Gambia flew away
From my feet, staring with the candour
Of an extracted tooth

I thought I had planted taproot
At the feet of your river
And hooked your taproot to my Niger
But look there
The river Gambia is black and drier
Without my tilapia
And I stand
A robot

I sing again of you, Jabbar
With unscanned balladry
As I watch the reeds of your Gambia
Remembering that
She is warmless like an eclipsed sun.

Ungerminated seeds
By Obinna Chilekezi

what a wasted journey indeed
again and again
I have planted ungerminated seeds
At your river bank
As testament of our meeting

but Jabbar
your touch has gone sliding, sliding by
with this your new hiding in canyons dry
your touch slide into the night black sky

as I mourn the ungerminated seeds at your bank.

Like the wind rattling
By Obinna Chilekezi

This morning, a rattling wind knocked at my door
It roared and roared like a rude boy
Raging through the darkness of being without you
I know I have swum in a great grey river
Yes, it was windy at night at the river Gambia

Harmattan dusk
by Obinna Chilekezi

harmattan dusk came early
last year
mixing the day
with dusk and sneazings
there’s a common to the rain,

and each road
in my village
wears the plants with brown
puts period to their growth.

signs are afar
to punctuate the dusks
with nature’s bath
exclamation mark!

As you slide away
by Obinna Chilekezi

I saw your gentle touch slide down my skin
Flowing away as it went by
Too quickly and smileless to hood
I saw you walk away, slide down into another skin

I saw the magma move
It pushes up
It pushes up on the plates
And the magma found a crack between the plates
Then spurt!
I had seen your fiery river too, had waited
Waited for the lava to cool

I called, and called
Your silence an answer to my calling
And my hoarse voice like that of a woman
Mourning her husband

I think I must go home
And forever to be gone
For my Niger beckons me home.


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