Poetry

Demise of the Town Crier: Poems by Nnaemeka Oruh

Death Ward

The cloth is soaked red by
Blood flowing from
The mutilated body of,
A man, reduced to a bleeding piece of earth,
By the actions of reckless drivers.

“To the hospital! To the hospital!!”
The voices of concerned citizens croaked.
A Good Samaritan provides a car,
And the bleeding piece of earth is whisked off.

White walls, nurses dressed in white,
White sheets, a sea of whiteness
As if one is among angels and,
The bleeding earth is carried in.

The dumb receptionist,
Having extracted a compulsory card fee,
Indifferently points to a room.
The bloodied form is wheeled in.

“Doctor! Doctor!!”
The god does not hear,
He is busy fondling the breast of
A nurse in skimpy gown.

Blood flows out,
Breath flies away from,
The bleeding piece of earth,
And the doctor climaxes,
In an office with table for bed.

Then,
Frenzied efforts at,
Attending to the dead form.
Scissors, surgical blades, stethoscopes,
Gloves, and all, are hurriedly gathered.

All actions are late.
The soul flew away,
To meet its creator
Where at least it shall;
“REST IN PEACE?”

============================

Demise of the Town Crier

The town crier is dead!
Broken our gourds of tears.
Raining like pebbles in a pebble war.

The town crier is dead!
Why did he die?
The town crier is dead,
Does he deserve his fate?

The town crier is dead!
Broken! Our gourds of tears.
Raining like rain on a rainy day.

The town crier who reported how
The Elephant traffics in drugs
The town crier who said
That the Elephant did wrong,
In squandering the nation’s resources.

The town crier is dead!
Does he deserve his fate?

The town crier who said
That our lord the Elephant,
Should not impose himself
On an unwilling populace.

The town crier who was to reveal
That condemned Omaonwea,
Had received hidden clemency
Because she lies on her back
For the Elephant’s services
And for the town crier’s troubles,
The Elephant sent him a letter.

The town crier is dead
Through a letter bomb.
Gene is dead,
For serving us well
In his grave he lies,
Together with his bell.

Empty! Our gourds of tears.

Karma! Karma!!
Catch up with the Elephant,
And post him like a letter,
To his grave!
To Jeho With Love!

With tremulous steps,
We hurry to church.
Clutching in our palms,
Naira notes-our offerings to God

At the church entrance
Stands a man with decayed eyes
Begging for alms
And as we passed him;

We clutch our notes tighter
Lest thy fall off our palms
And be picked by the blind beggar
-Oh! They are our offerings to God!

In the night,
Oswald Mtshali called;
Son, there is no God above,
God is that beggar by the street corner.

============================

Jungle Justice

A dark cell
Punctuated by intermittent blinking lights.
The stench of urine and faeces
Intermingle to produce unpleasant smell.
A coarse hand,
Brandishing a *bulala
Is called to action
The bulala dances in air
And descends.
Thunderous roars are heard
A crescendo of roars,

And pukes are emitted
By a slobbering mouth
A human body crumples,
Wincing in agonizing pain.

Chima’s crime,
Is treasonable
As a squirrel
Has no right
Questioning,
The brutal dictatorial decree
Of the almighty lion.
Now he suffers
For agitating for his rights

Apply dose twenty-five!
A hungry in-human master ordered,
Dose twenty-five,
Promised to be,
A mixture of bulalas
Sex starved **crabs and
Hungry batons
A finely textured hand,

Presses a knob,

The crabs come to life.
Hungrily making for,
Chima’s sex organ

An inaudible shout
Escapes Chima’s throat
As the near breathless body
Clings thin air helplessly
A fat baton descends
Breaking in two a fat head,
Red water splashes everywhere
And a human mountain slumps,
Lifeless on the floor.
Justice has been meted out.

*Cowhide whip.
**Metal clip

============================

The Mourners

We wail inconsolably, gnashing our teeth,
Twisting our hairs and rolling in the mud.

“This death is unbearable,
This loss irreparable”
But our attitude does not
In the slightest of ways
Befit that unbearable loss.

Let us start by
Cutting our bodies
With knives
So that bathed in blood,
We shall have in the right way,
Started the mourning

Befitting an irreparable loss

And to sum it up,
Let us take axes,
And hack down each other
So that dead,
We shall have proven,
That our loss,
Was truly unbearable!

============================

The First Sin

Dark and long,
Pulsating and bubbling with life,
It throbs stubbornly,
Elongating all the time,
The serpent danced,
Below a black bush,
Even as Adam bathed
And Eve watched,
She became desirous
As the serpent lured her.

At night while Adam slept,
Caressed by Eve,
The serpent stretched
And guided by Eve expertly
Entered the apple.
Adam ate diffidently
As Eve urged him on
While his virgin serpent,
Burst its dam
Before fully in!

In the morning the voice called;
“Adam! Adam!
Why have you eaten that
Which only I eat?”
So out of Eden they were chased,
For gaining creativity.

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Poems © Nnaemeka Oruh

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2 Comments

  • I like the rawness you showed in this collection. My favorite was To Jeho With Love. Isn’t it so true I look forward to reading more from you. My instincts force me to tell you to polish your work up in terms of subtlety but I’m not going to because it is great as it is.

  • the delivery is sui generi,the outlay is contemporary and typical of african poetry,the theme is well conveyed with passionate use of tone.