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Emmanuel Idem: On Chaos


I was five
When I first attempted it
On the balcony of a three-storey building
My heart in my mouth
As I let go of all encumbrances
My little body floating through the unrelenting air
To collapse into a pile of unrepentant existence

I survived

I was seven
The second time
My heart in my eyes
Walking in the middle of a busy school road
Turned 360 degrees by a rushing motorcycle
Onlookers screaming to a heedless God for help

I survived

I was twenty-one
The third trial
My heart fed up with this unfruitful existence
My life a series of choreographed chaos
Dictated by an unseen force that unrepentantly rains misery upon my bitter soul
I jumped down a three-storey building in the middle of a silent night
My soul finding freedom in the blindness
Practising death


A poet has risen among us,
A convergence of fiery memories—
A clueless boy raised his voice above the ground,
The sound reverberated around the mountain’s side
and so they called him poet

There is dirt inside my fingernails,
You want to know how I got it:
I planted simple sentences in my mother’s garden
The village heard the echo;
I planted complex metaphors on the mountain
The rains washed it downhill, and new poets
sprouted hence. Selah

A poet has risen among us,
A diluent of preserved experiences
Metaphors are his playthings
And adjectives are his playmates.
I live on the side of ignorance

Where battered men exchange a pot
Of soup for the fleeting succour to be
Found in the bottom of a fiery poem.
I live on the outskirts of intuitive ignorance,
Where men readily accept the prattle
Of dying boys
as words of wisdom

Not all poetries are poetry,
Neither is mine

I look to the west, or is
The east,
Where the sun sets, there is a
Shadow sprawled out across the mountain:
Another friend becoming a poet


Poems © Emmanuel Idem
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Idem Emmanuel
Idem Emmanuel
I'm Idem, Emmanuel. I have an addictive love for poetry and cannot resist reading any poem I find. I try to use my poems to understand the intricacies of life and to search for higher love. I also enjoy playing chess in the day and taking long solitary walks in the night. I write from Calabar, Nigeria.

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