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Ohikhuare Isuku: Let’s Keep a Tryst


Let’s keep a tryst
beyond where human sights extend;
far from where billows of flue gases
spoil the beauty of the world.

Let’s seek an abode
amidst fragrant flowers and trees;
or on a vast shore bounded
by delicate palm trees with green stems,
bending to the wind that travels
with the waves of the sea.

There, I’ll let you know
how the moving clouds
dance slowly to the rhythm
of our burgeoning love.


I think I am a ghost;
my disposition, the whole of my being
churns up this claim
like an earth troubled by a plough,

For alone in the void,
attended by birds’ chirps and plants’ rustlings,
I mine greater warmth in my company
than in a gathering of laughter,
of warmth and brotherhood.

Discordant sounds wear me out
like an eroded earth;
even the ticking of my footsteps
turns rapture from my holding.

And when injustice thrusts out
its hideous fist like a volcano,
It’s a heavy pang I feel on my chest
like a blacksmith’s blow,
because like ghosts,
I idealize a utopian world.

Thus, if this claim
of me being a ghost
survives truth’s stringent test,
then there are more ghosts on our streets
who are oblivious of their state.


When we clasp our palms tenderly
in our moment of lull,
and when our eyes lock together
in seamless harmony,
I see the stars rise across your face
like a permanent constellation.

Thus, come closer to me,
you who are the foliage of my dreams,
let us make our love an eternal monument
which shall mock time’s gruesome whip.

Let us soak a white piece of cloth
with our florid blood
until its colour vanishes,
turning into red like rose’s petals.
This shall be a testament of our bond.

Thereafter, we shall fold this fabric
holding the secret of our affection;
force it into a metallic vase
and throw it far off to drown
in the calm evening sea.

As long as this testament of our bond
lay beneath the vast sea,
hidden from men’s raillery
and the sun’s bristling gaze,
so shall our love remain extant,
prospering even at death.


Love didn’t find me;
I hid away from her presence
which stirs up smell
like incense smoke
swung around in a thurible.

I had forsworn her appeal
because her cloying taste
upsets the stomach
a million times before dawn.

When she called at my abode
dogged by her intimidating ambience,
I found solace in my cellar;
and had she not gone away,
I would have hidden there forever.


The maiden moon is out
like a ripe banana finger,
resting on the western sky,
gliding with the moving clouds.

Threads of clouds
like spool of smoke unfurling
from the mouth of a chain smoker,
shields the moon’s light from us;
but the dark nights won’t
tarry in our midst for long.
In the coming nights,
this moon’s light shall grow beyond
the great skeins of darkness,
and we’ll hold hands on the sawdust square
relishing the miracle of its light.
Poetry © Ohikhuare Isuku
Image by Hans on Pixabay

Ohikhuare 'Emmanuel' Isuku
Ohikhuare 'Emmanuel' Isuku
Ohikhuare 'Emmanuel' Isuku is a Nigerian writer. His play – The Ballot and the Sanctuary (released under the pseudonym Emmanuel Isuku) – was published in 2014 by University Press, PLC., Ibadan. Currently, he is at work on a full length novel.

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