Poetry

Stars Will Never Fall: Poems by Olunosen Louisa Ibhaze

THE FIRST RAIN

Months of dryness and heat,
Plants bow their heads in sorrow
Their leaves dressed in dust
The once green and succulent leaves
Now dry and thirsty, crumble in my palms
My bare back burns in the harshness of the sun
The trees dance no longer to the rhythm of the wind
All there is now is the dust that blows off the face of the thirsty earth

With a heavy heart I shield my eyes
Against the wicked smile of the sun
As I watch all my months of hard work turn to dust
The rains should have watered the earth
Quenching its thirst, so my plants can grow
Silently I weep
Why has Thou forsaken us?

All of a sudden, the brightness turns grey
The wind grows wild
Trees begin to dance to the rhythm of the wind
Mothers grab their children to safety
Animals run for cover
I look up as I also run to safety

The grey clouds are heavily pregnant
Clutching their bellies, they groan thunderously in pain
Like a woman in labour, shaking the earth violently
Their white teeth flash in agony, almost blinding me
As I eagerly await the answer to my prayers

Unable to control their emotion
The clouds begin to weep
Thankfully quenching the earth’s thirst
And causing the plants to smile
Their tears have been held for too long.

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IDLE WAS HIS MIND

Once there was a prince
Tall handsome and proud he stood
The only son of his father so loved he was
He never lacked nor hungered for anything
All he had to do was ask
After his father the king passed away,
He would become king
Oh yes the throne would be his
So trained he was to think and act like a king
Little did I know the evil of idleness could cause him to act like a thief
For idle he was when a plan came to him
His Father was living too long
And he longed to sit upon the throne
He had to become king

The days that followed, his plans he built
And grew to hate the poor old man
Then came the night of the fourth day of the
Seventh week just before dawn
Very so like the ambitious Macbeth
He made his way to the royal chamber

As he pulled out his knife he froze
Alas the old man wasn’t asleep
Wide open were his eyes, for he knew this day would come
In a flash he struck his victim
And was gone the way he had come

King he was made a few days later
Yet unhappy he was,
For those eyes he saw every where he went
The queen was unhappy
And he loved her so
He was the cause of her unhappiness
He knew and hated to be,
The one who broke his mother’s heart
The one who brought tears to her beautiful eyes

In less than a decade he could take no more
Frightened of the son his wife bore him
Tormented at the thought and dreams of his son
Striking his heart with a knife
With a tortured soul
He crawled up to her and confessed
How could a mother look upon the infant she had nurtured lovingly
Now a monster.

Bless him she did as a woman of faith she was
Bless me not! He cried
For as you bless me you curse me
Forgive me instead
My forgiveness would make no difference
For you have washed your hands with
The blood of the innocent
And only God can cleanse them for you my son!

Tortured and idle again he was
When another thought came to mind
If only he could be no more
That would lessen his pain
He could try to make peace in the afterlife
Hoping his father would understand
With this he departed, just the way his father had

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STARS WILL NEVER FALL

I am an African woman
A vessel to be cherished and loved
My womb is like fertile soil
Waiting for the rains to quench its thirst

The African man is a warrior
Brave and strong
He possess all his heart’s desires
He stands tall and proud
He is a conqueror

My love is a treasure
It is endless and very forgiving
It endures
I should be one with this man
But to be, I must be conquered
Conquered gently by his love

He must stoop and swallow his pride
To conquer and win my love
Least I be taken by another
He must prove his love for me

Every one says, “I love you”
But these days these three words mean nothing
Our men are taught to be “men”
Only women express their feeling
A man who expresses is called a woman

If he is too cowardly
To prove his love for me
He doesn’t deserve me!
He is but a dreamer
Wishing for the impossible
I do not wish for a dreamer
I want a real man
A true man

The stars will never fall
From the sky above us
Nor will water ever marry fire
Nor will the earth beneath us
One day dwell above us with the sky
All these will never become one

A man must prove to me his worth
And must prove to me his heart’s desire
Then he would be the conqueror
He should be
To love, cherish and protect me
For with him I shall know no fear
With him I am complete

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Poems (c) Olunosen Louisa Ibhaze

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