Poetry

Melody: Poems by Wazani Adamu Ijarafu

Image: Erich Ferdinand via Flickr

Image: Erich Ferdinand via Flickr

MELODY

There is a melody
In the song of a mad man who lost his lover
To the romance of broken bottles

He sings with the old woman’s tongue:

You can’t know the beauty of a face
By kissing a woman in the dark

You can’t know the height of a kiss
By standing atop Mount Everest

You can’t know the depth of a love
By swimming into the deep sea

A kiss from my woman in the moonlight universe is romantic
Like the smell of air at rainfall
Before the falling of dry leaves
Like the quietness in caves
Before the chirping of flying birds
Like the last striking note
Before the end of a fading song

A kiss from my woman in the moonlight universe is wild
Like the patches on the trouser of an urchin
From his grandmother’s old curtain
Like the writings of a mad genius
From his scattered algebraic equations
Like the creaking of metallic beds
Before the tearing of weary mattresses

Listen to this mad man

For there is a melody
In the song of a mad man who lost his lover
To the romance of broken bottles

————–

THE STREET CARTOGRAPHER

At dawn
Classroom boy
Goes for his bag, ready for school
The almajiri boy goes for his empty bowl
He is ever ready to be schooled in the streets
He sets out chanting
Songs that carry the weight of the night into morning
His daily meal is dependent on how good he is with the street map

In the day
his bowl is a cracked calabash
from which he eats crumbs
Gathered in the sun
As he drinks the brown well water
To endure the heat of the Northern sun

At night
His bowl is a drum
He beats away the pain
Gathered in the heat
As he watches the lone moon
To endure the harsh whips of cold

When it rains
His bowl is an umbrella
He covers his head from the water
Gathered in the naked cumulus cloud
As he chants the sage’s mystical songs
To endure the icy waters from the heavy downpour

When it’s dark and the street lights go on at dusk
He quickly sets back to his territorial corner
He knows the bend to every corner
He is the street cartographer
—————-
Poems by Wazani Adamu Ijarafu
Image: Erich Ferdinand via Flickr

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