ON NUPTIAL NIGHT
The moon comes, bearing a cask of honey
And we must eat and be filled
Taut knots of kept vows
Must thus untie
If there are no graves,
We shall not both die
Through vales of fertility
We shall walk
We shall sing a song,
A mellifluous harmony
Which shall be heard by gods
And rehearsed by nocturnals
Don’t let it quit-
We shall not, till tomorrow comes
If you brought a flower
In a passionate embrace, it shall be crushed
And we shall say our graces thus:
Let there be no sun till the paradise lost is redux
I was once a vagrant. But I return,
Tonight, it is Homecoming.
An ephemeral uprising;
A brisk garnering of carnal clouds
Soon to descend fair rains,
And waters for the seeds
Borne by nature in
An arm of the uterus.
A golden and moist pleasure
Though not endless; fleeting
A climb up twin mountains
Down the valley between:
The abode of pain,
Pleasure and all that both bear.
The summation of all rising;
The genesis of all creation.
The snare of many,
A looting of our innocence.
Two souls, like pied hibiscus
In Passion’s hands
Crush, blown away like pulverised earth
By a whirlwind of carnal desires.
The sound heard
The song of two souls
In corporeal entwinement
A melody thus formed;
A harmony of voices.
The end of the honey
And the return of the moon. Now
Muscles once at taut tension
Must thus detumesce.
Down the valley of decision,
Both return. Up the mountain,
On the leeward a child is conceived
Enwreathed in their mutual pleasures
A witness to the mating.
Lust, this harbinger of many ills,
Like wormwood has been
Found in this river that once flowed
In sincere serenity and silence.
The man-prisoner has become a victim of
Mental flagellations and lunar obfuscations
A taking of night dreams
Grace, gone and stolen by this passer-by.
A travesty of benevolence,
The man- a giver of his freedom,
Wealth and many great goods to
The exigent warder of his emotions.
A blind goon he has become
Beauty has blinded the eye
Elusive desires have enslaved him to absurdity
And has taken him all he has given that once made him a man.
SONG OF DEATH
Songs sing. Byronic preludes
To animal mortality. Drumbeats in
Accompaniment and we must dance, move
Our sandhouse and bones to this end.
Through metamorphosis to dotage and to demise
A bland and pitiless mean-modulation to
Mortality. There shall be no escapees
No criminal evasion of passage through these portals
To this mean ode, we must all dance;
As our ancestors sing along. Calling earth-children
To Heavensgate, to bare-footedness, nakedness
To the animatory of man’s appetency for Jehovah-hood
Dead drumbeats; skin of a fair gazelle
Kadoom, kadoom. The sound is heard of fun fare
Of grey hairs and of funerals. We must go
And commingle. The circus has arrived circus town
Song of Death. Drum beat in accompaniment
Let us move our sandhouse and its rafters
Like expert Agbor dancers to the rhythm
And we shall find warmth for the winter within.
(c) Frank E. Achebe