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Mind Anarchy: Poems by Victor Ehikhamenor


No sign of rain
As the night is accentuated
By fireflies, illuminating
Never long enough
To observe the blindness
Of baobab bats
The very messengers
Of hidden gods not
So far away this night

It is a full moon
The season
For untamed madness
Has arrived
With twinkling eyes, illusions
Play tricks on the mind
Making believe that spirits
Are flying and perching
On iroko trees which
Are the menacing husbands
Of this nights and many others.

It is a full moon
The recipient of a thousand
Folklore told by toothless griots
And matriarchal grandmothers
Here is the history book
Where warriors and heroes
Become myth and martyr
Also the laughing canvass
Where eunuchs are painted with mockery
And their balls hung dry like
Dry fruits

It is a full moon,
Ripe breasts and beaded
Waists of the village maidens
Salute the nights with their purity
While sonorous voices
Croon the moon
And serenade their men with
Songs woven in tiny colors and bleeding
With yearnings,
Songs of forefathers and conquerors
Tensed the night with ambiance
Songs of planting and songs of harvest
Songs of creation and songs of death.
Dance to the rhythm of the palm trees

It is a full moon
The fireflies are selfish
With their touches
For hidden lovers playing
Hide and seek,
Why the spirits mix
And match lovers
Men surrender their will power
To the lure of clever jezebels
Seeking treasures under calicos
.A story waiting for it’s ninth month
To be told by mating
Toads  in a near by pond.



Upon return from beyond the seas and mountains of foreign terrain
To my earth, my own very earth now baked and serrated by naked sun/
And ruined by hungry gun, driving the forests
to further desertion/

The air gripped  my throat like a wrestler’s fist
And put a sack round my head like a devil’s halo,
I had to beg for air from a foul atmo-
sphere that had non/

Moving skeletons and dry faces welcomed in labored
Laughter with long faces drained of dignity and saturated with ashes
Faces painted in anger and decorated with
hues of hunger/

Like Lenrie Peters, I have paced the world and returned home to
Hollows of sorrows, tales I have heard from far away land welcomed me,
Stare me in the face with much audacity and turning tribal marks
to question marks/

In every junction empty bowls grow in feeble fists, clenching
Dry morsel of suffering than they were promised, Sodom has suddenly
Crept on a land that flowed with
oil & Peak milk

Memories of my youth refused to let me grasp the present, the dilapidated shrine
Occupied by destitute goats in a bed of excrement now, last I remembered,
Was a shrine fierce with no-nonsense gods feasting with
thunder and gunpowder/

Though farmland became bare like baldness, I still felt the pause of my earth, I
still feel
Mother’s pot, and father’s toothy laughter of wisdom.
There I found succor to pronounce that I am home, with
a tear-stained face/


I stumble on faces with no eyes &
Hurrying faces of spirits with icy looks
Spirit with stolen faces and dead eyes
I stumble on them in a seven-junction road
During my escape
Escape from time past
Running towards a river
Devoid of water/ like a frying pan
Without oil this river has been dead.

On every face I stumbled
I see images of Guernica
Very distant faces of bones
Without flesh/ of skulls without brains
Of bigger cows devouring smaller cows
And the wheat of the field
Withered in my eyes, the fulfillment
Of foreign policy
Or is it prophecy?

Everyone is escaping
In one swirl of a hurry/ no one waited to
Answer his brother’s call
Earth seems deeper than it was yesterday
Fresh graves redden my eyes like
A smoked rabbit, lonely mourners
Stare with hollowness and distant distance that
Stretches miles down empty farm roads
And deserted market places filled
With goat shit and carcass of the unknown

The strong farmer I dreamt of meeting
Became a ghost/ ghastly in greeting
Me with an attempted smile, he
Did not go farther than his sinking heart
He evaporated through his tired brows.
His soul was as dead as the soil
Now caked like a smoked fish.
And his hands melted
In mine as he told me strangulated tales

Before conclusions were drawn like knives
The owls were bowing
Vultures and bats were
Scavenging for termites’ and locusts’
Then I realized supper
Was now a taboo for no market women returned
But kwashiorkor became a renewed fad
In a land that washes her face
In abundance. the farmer with a flickering
Voice patted my back weakly and faded
To another spirit roaming garbage and
Struggling with rats for their poisons.


Last time I looked up in
A hazy horizon
The sun promised to be up
Unhindered with the usual
Arrows stinging
Unshielded heads

            To illuminate the plateau
Of Jos
            And the burdened heap
Of Lagos

Not to be wasted on merry-go-round
Rhetoric that reeks in the parliament
Like unburied corpse littering streets
After tribal clashes

Now when I looked in
            The dark eerie eyes
Of the oracle of the hill,
darkness beclouds me/
it’s already midnight
            Midnight at noon
the gods became
Dead dreams
Revolting rivers
Barren barns
Stale tale
And caking lakes/

Melancholy echo
The songs that welcomed
                  A forbidden moon
            In a denied noon

            It is midnight at noon
A sudden eclipse of time
And the acolytes have
            No oil for the priest’s lantern
As we wallow in the wilderness
Of carnivorous cannibals
Not knowing our head nor
Parliament is busy dividing its loot
Like the Europeans dividing
Africa in Berlin abattoir.


Great fuzz over
Hazy times,
I hulled stones and rocks
Puked fire,
Just to make my face menacing
Enough, so I could
Pass through without
Feeling the acid ting
Of your bladed tongue
Stenciling lies on my back.
Rudiment of road blocks
I have to cross,
I need the torch of past
Pugilist that have seen the
Ghost danced naked around
Cross roads of human furnace
This is my place,
This is my face
Though full of gallows
That gallop skulls and
Cross bones/ I need the
Fearless unicorn to ride me
Across your Red Sea, why you
Feast on golden eggs
I hold the parchment
Of your iniquity and thread
Gingerly like a sore
Nosing around a ripe face/
If I jaunt catch  me if you can or
We shall swim in excrement.


Scissors my sense
Your last scent
Sent my feet walking.running
Like a deity you were made, strong
Heart turns jelly upon your eyes
Making minds look like cooked cabbage.
The elders are scrambling for libations
And sacrifice
To the rivers you swam last.

The cellar of rare wine
Belongs to your green vine-
Their bread
They said is from your fertile earth.
You are the rain
You are the thunder
That sent men seeking refuge
Under the Baobab tree.

But why the anarchy
Why the chaos, when did you become
A time bomb taking it’s time
And brewing like an overfed embryo.
Getting bigger as dawn turns dark?

I stretch my tongue today
And close my eyes,
Awaiting the taste of your sacrament.
Let it drop gently
Like the last bit of rains
And may it cool me.and these
Burning desires.


(c) Victor Ehikhamenor

Victor Ehikhamenor
Victor Ehikhamenor
Victor was born in Edo State, Nigeria, and grew up sorrounded by the folk traditions, spiritual festivals and art that now flower in his paintings and poems. He says of his works, "I am looking beyond the surface of everything?to commune with the spirits I have to look beyond the surface. And if we all do we will be surprised at what we see." Oddly enough, Victor who obtained his degree in English and Literature works as a UNIX Systems administrator, the interesting mixture of art and technology that the need to gestate the creative spirit until it can support itself fosters in many artists. Victor who currently resides in Maryland says the late poet and literary critic, Dr. Frank Uche Mowah, was his mentor. He is the author of Sordid Rituals, a collection of poems.

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