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Colourless Rainbow: Poems By Senator Ihenyen


…the ink of this pen
splashes a song – not of the seduced screams
that blazed in the soul of nights under the fire of the moon,
melting the melodies of dance,
so nostalgic! But of our dying voices!

The ink of this pen splashes a song
not of gods and goddesses; ancestral rituals and spirited masquerades
of the glorious past! A song, not of prides of lions and black leopards
that roared on ancient hills and mountains; not of graceful gazelles that leaped to drink
of blue waters and hunters that brought elephants home on their heroic shoulders!
But the fire that kindles the spirit of the moon in its virtuous fullness and awakens the drums
of the heart for a new dance!

The ink of this pen
splashes a song crowned in thorns! The song of the tears and the blood drowning hearts!
Drowning our dreams! The song of the arrows of blood tearing our world apart!
The song of butterflies kissing dunghills and pigs grunting on the blossoms of our dreams!
Leaders in their gruesome generosity drinking honey and licking palm-oil
from the broken caabash of the hungry
whose mouths feed on their own ashes and drink their own tears for peace!

The ink of this pen
splashes a song of a lost race yearning for identity
in the darkness of a moonless night!
The song of a race who does not know who she is!
a colourless rainbow!
…and so, if the pen of this poet pierces
like an arrow to the heart and words of truth wound your pride,
I plea, let your boiling blood rise and gush! Let your trickling tears burst and flow
down your eyes like the ink of inspiration
splashing a song of peace
a song of love
a song of dignity
a song of hope
to paint this horizon of a colourless rainbow
with the colours of our undying dreams…



I know your faces, splashed by the threads of light against the shadowy
walls of death! I know those eyes! Those dark devilish eyes staring at the spirit
of a struggling soul, held behind your bars of brutality! Tortuous tyranny and poisonous peace!
And do I not know your footsteps?
Those brutal boots that crunch aloud along the corridors of death and terror!
Take my soul! Take my soul!! Feed my flesh to the vultures! And splash my blood in your
democratic skies to paint the rainbow with the colours of a legacy
you never believed in!

For this spirit shall blaze in your darkened dawn
like the fire of the sun! Rekindled, this voice shall be the cockcrows
Of your voiceless dawn! These tears shall splash on the earth,
washing away the dabs of blood still dribbling in its unstained innocence!
Still struggling! Still hunting you in your sleepless nights!

This heartbeat shall thump again not like the gongs of a dance,
But like thunder in the ears of those who shed crocodile tears
And shoot bullets to the sky in my days of dust!
Listen! Listen to the throb of my blood
For like palm-oil, it washes the land from the cold blood of your democracy
Born by tyranny! Baptised by brutality!
Crucified by truth!



Countless cowries have been tossed and tossed
on the shrines of earth; Countless kola-nuts broken and chewed
between brown teeth; Countless splash of palm-wine poured beneath palm-fronds
to know your place in the hands of destiny!

And countless times,
We have seen the magic of the moon in your eyes
twinkling with that silvery illumination of love! Countless times,
We have seen the motherly milk of your breasts flowing sweetly!
And we have heard, countless times, the music of your heart titillating with the thrills
of tranquil nights! Countless times, we have seen the glow of your soul,
rise like the fires of a dance blazing in the womb of the calabash,
and like the throbbing blood in my heart
I have felt the rhythm of your drums deep down inside

But tell us!
Tell us why widows sleep with bereaved brooms in the mourns of midnight?
Tell us why we cry out from this cage of captivity
like wounded leopards? Tell us! Tells us why it is blood that flows
from your breasts when your children run to your lap? Tell us why we love to dance
to the rumble of guns and canons under moons that cry blood?
Tell us! Tell us why we hear no drums of thunder
when the lightning flashes in your skies? We see no rain, after whirlwinds
and dark clouds
rage the earth…Tell us!

…and this pen shall bleed the last drop of its blood,
finding its way through these labyrinth of lines with solitary lamentations-
for I am lost in the images of you as yet another cowries is tossed
to unveil the black face of my virgin and bride whom I made love to in the moonlight
and found no blood on her garment in the dawn…



I see bloodbath bursting in your eyes and
    splashing in the thunderstorms of your nights! It is not the lightning that flashes
in the sky on these frightened faces, but the rage of our endless strives
    and bloody battles in our drunken earth, drenching our wings of dreams!

It is not thunder that thumps in the deafening sky!
    And neither are they the echoes of our drums under the
moon drunken with the palm-wine of our dances! They are the bloody bombs
blowing our hearts to pieces in violent explosions,
drowning our innocent lamentations!

These are not the colours of the rainbow that I see in the sky
       rising above our hopeless heads! But ribbons of our blood
gushing and rushing like a horrible nightmare in our arch of hate f
rom our hearts of plagues!

It is not rain that rushes with pain
    down these wounded eyes and swollen faces! They are the swords of our tears
tottering down in heavy

…it is not ink
    that pours in the pen of this poet with pain…
       but our innocent tears and blood! Bath of blood!! Bloodbath!!!



Masquerades dance to the drums of dawn to the twinkle of twilight
and weave in the soul of night under the melody of moonlight
Yet, no emissaries from the gods;
no words of peace in the wind as the masquerades weave with deceptive delight
and no words of hope in their dazzling dance-steps;
and our tomorrow is so gloomy even as they toss and toss endlessly!
The masquerades swirl and twirl with whirls of colours,
painted with our blood, yet there is no joy in our hearts…
no promises for our hopelessness!

When the dance is over
and the last buttocks have rippled away with the last laughter drowned by the wind
and heads lie hopeless in their huts with grey emptiness
The masquerades need water to wash their ungodly faces
But our wells are empty, our rivers dry, our calabash broken
and our little lives mad with misery…

but with our tears
With these torrent of tears on our swollen eyes,
we shall splash our sorrow on their heartless faces and bath them with the blood
of our stabbed hope and dreams,
And maybe these marauding masquerades will be unmasked,
and we shall see the rays of the sun in our darkened huts again
in the blaze of tomorrow…



I see the
Rainbow rising from the horizon
As the enchanted eyes of earth run to the hills

How many colours it would take to paint the world
with such beauty
such harmony
such love…

If only we could
Look into the eyes of the living around us,
And see
that the rainbow lives there too

Poems (c) Senator Ihenyen

Senator Ihenyen
Senator Ihenyen
Senator Iyere Ihenyen was born in Lagos, but hails from Esan-West L.G.A., Ekpoma, Edo State, Nigeria.  He writes poetry, short fiction and engages in literary research. Recognised by a U.K-based organization, Outspoken, in 2006 as 'one of the significant voices in Africa pushing the boundaries of contemporary African Literature.' The late and respected Nigerian editor and critic, Okey Okpa, had described the young writer as his 'future Poet Laureate' in 2008. While some of his poems have been published in local dailies such as the Daily Times, New Age and Business Times, his early works have also been featured in international anthologies published by the U.K.-based Anchor Books, Poetry Stop, Canada, and the U.S.-based Voices Network, where his poetry has been given special international recognition. Currently in a full-time Law Degree programme in the University of Benin, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria, he has been serving as the Campus President of Golden Minds Centre, a youth-focused organisation. With an inveterate interest in Literature, especially creative writing, Colourless Rainbow: Poetry of My Childhood is forthcoming from Coast2Coast, Lagos.


  1. The poem by this poet tittled COLORLESS RAINBOW is touchy. Though the poet has the words and the language and the massage but I did not see the DANCING or RHYMING tone in it. I was only moved by the poet’s statement when the poem was bout to finish. However, it is a nice work………

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