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Silence of Lambs: Poems by C. Uche Onuora

Of Hares and Hounds
For Keorapetse Kgositsile

Riverine fevers clutch – primed
Below my mind’s raging estuary
As sedate recollects rest securely
Indelible, as camwood dye nestles
Then runs, from ducts at passion’s edge

Outcasts ply grooves of sun worship
Eager to clutch at feet of pseudo-deities
Trade of gossip idles, then plunges its roots
Into burrows, to uproot ideals of faces saved
Devoid of Ichi cuts, deep in our history’s fate

Inedible candor breathes slowly
Sallow on beds, eases into bated rest
Lifelines cede control as life’s last chime
Ebbs in loamy fissure of heaven’s footstool
As gentrification succeeds my scarification

And so the bumper thresholds churn
As truths hummed before come unstrung
New truths as minions’ uproar; a pendulum
Swings hopes to a newer side by an uber tide
Ushers upturned fortunes; one against millions unsung


(For the one coming)


There was a time before
When the gods looked on
With favor drenched in fervor

Now he sips brew by moonlight
From calabash of our experiences

There was a time before
When our fathers’ fathers
Gazed down upon us in awe

How she savors lewd moonlit tales
As custodians consider our condolences


There was a time before
When we touched a regal canopy
Hoisted on celestially-strung rafters

Now he salves our hindsight
For the ripening of coincidences

There was a time before
When we strode on firmaments
From Nkwo to Nkwo; between and beyond

Now she saves sad moonlit tales
For admonishment of our progenies


But then we ate our rotten vomit
Drank the bile that was their stale blood
So the hoary interpreters bid us farewell

And the witnesses bit their tongues out
Waiting for ripening of graying Upstarts

And the vanguard tore their hair out
Burnishing a bald patch in an aged heart

There was a time before…

Before virtuous memories receded
Before ancestral sanctities yielded
Before communal gnashing acceded

Thus, I beseech you – swear this oath
Of sacred paean refuting doubt’s corpuscle
In full view stridently vow; “…now is no longer before…”


Silence of Lambs

See me standing, head bowed
Sunken to hollowed chest, bereft of
Hope and morals and grit – on sad verge

In my wake, spectator hosts watch, silent
For none are witnesses to my home going
On my trail – twisting tale traces my fate

I, the sole soul standing by our oath
As lashing and punting and stamping
Find rest on my wearied haunches

My blood drips slow but sure, silent
On the sand, in which I drew true signs of
Nsibidi, to my beloved on our river’s bank

Boiling as tempest in heat – my lineage
Surges through my veins and loins to plant
Seed; like few nights before, in my lover’s need

But now I, accused; them –
Judge, jury, executioners
I, thus convicted
For inciting rebellion
For routing pacifiers
For wrestling village pillagers

So I will hang
In embrace of memories
Of a time gone afore
Of a soulful willful galore

I will hang by this neck
Around this throat that sings
Of memories with cadencies
Of a clime where justice lived
Before pacifiers came calling

In the void – words peter out
Like mute lamb with last breath
Silence supplants my worn soul
Still my dreams live true and longest
Foraging further afield for new feed…


© Copyright C. Uche Onuora

C. Uche Onuora
C. Uche Onuora
Husband, father, and irrepressible optimist, Uche Onuora lives at the intersection of arts and technology, being a serial technology entrepreneur and aspiring poet who believes in the need for interdisciplinary efforts to synthesize the tech and art sub-cultures. Uche moved from Abuja, FCT, Nigeria to Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, Canada in 2014. He is a Co-Founder of HITCH - a locally-relevant platform for African schools that intelligently curates the best educational videos, automatically aligns them with local curriculums and textbooks, and stores them for convenient student and teacher access offline.


  1. quite interesting and a bit reminds me of christopher okigbo. but how can one get to put your poems , i am also one.

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