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The Coming Night: Poems by D.M.D. Goodhead

The Coming Night

Now the sun in full strength sweeps the earth
In every land and clime, their every length and breadth.
My love, radiant daughter of the most High
Has permitted it so to shine, to shine not sigh,
For our beautiful love is sheer bliss.
Our lives, our world, even our simple kiss
Celebrate the greatest of all conjugal loves.
And good heaven smiles ever so at us.

But now the shadows are lengthening by the day.
My silvery pate with each passing day fades away.
Westward the blazing star is heading home
And by the fading light the weary bard finishes his final tome.
Come then, winter come, over this darkening prairie,
For my love was a silent one long ago.



Last Memory

Now like distant dreams
they come to me. Angels of the past,
Images on the banks of a distant river.

Across the beloved banks, distant
Laughters ring. And the waves come
And go like infant feet upon the banks.

How long ago was it? I do not remember
Now. Memories are like the light
Of fireflies and the rock by the sea.

Some stay. Some go. But childhood, can
It really be a forgotten story? Eternity
Opened like a flower in the brief light
Of the morning.

Brother, we are strangers here
And dwellers in the arteries of time.
And just before the great city falls,
The bell tolls and tolls again.

I hear running feet and laughter
on the banks of a distant Age.

Childhood lost in the ruins
Of the fallen city flicker like
Fireflies just before the last bell

The drape is pulled over the window.
And the mourners, clad in iron shirts,
Go about their business.



The Lady of the Emerald Isle

When Sunday comes in leaves of gray,
I think of Esther Gray,
Whose smile alone can light up the universe.
Ah, Esther Gray,
I met her on a Tuesday night sitting in the pews
Of God’s hallowed earth.

Against the dim light of the hallowed place,
Her radiance burnt
With a brilliance the fire of a thousand orbs.
The entire sanctuary
Glowed as if it was the first night of nights.

A thousand golden orbs hung low
Over the face of leafy branches.

The world was back to its infant beginnings,
Or so I thought.
Esther Gray, Esther Gray, your smile is softer
Than the glow
Of the earth’s golden lamp. & a thousand orbs
Have lit up this hallowed earth.

Ah, sir, said she, you speak in hyperboles
Too weighty for simple ears,
Talk plainly, and my name is not Esther Gray.
I must have gotten the name
From a poem, a story, or a novel, I read so many
Years ago.

I would wander through a universe of gray Sundays,
& golden Tuesdays,
Before I found out her actual name. It was on a night
Filled with stars.
I was walking along my favorite Avenue
In the heart of the emerald city,

When suddenly I noticed a new constellation
In the sky.
Its glow was unmistakable to behold as it spread
All along the beloved Avenue. Countless golden orbs
Low enough to paint the night in golden & mystical colors;

But what I saw was no mystery, or charmed reality,
The light
Though transcendental was as real as the naked eye
Could see.
Her name indeed was not Esther Gray. Her name was
The Lady of the Emerald Isle. And there she was
Smiling at me.


(c) D.M.D. Goodhead

D. M. D. Goodhead
D. M. D. Goodhead
D. M. D. Goodhead. has a Bachelors in literature from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and a Master of Fine Arts in fiction from the University of Washington. He won third place in the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright literary competition in 1999. He will be concluding his Ph.D. in literary theory and criticism in June 2008. In addition to theory and criticism, Goodhead's other areas of interest are African and African Diaspora Studies, Post-colonial Studies, Theatre and movie-making.

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