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The Face of God: Poems by Oliver Mbamara

Sonnet Response To Nighttime

And with the dawn of light
Comes the end of darkness,
Or did the darkness leave
At the arrival of the light?
Either way, we are glad
To bask and relish in the light.
And so it goes that even in the dark,
We are consoled by hopes of the light
That must follow the trail of darkness,
And the awakening that must follow
The end of even the darkest nighttime,
As what was the dusk of passing day,
Becomes yet the morning of another day,
And today replaces yesterday.


Always There

I am like “Orji”, the iroko tree
I have seen winds and waves
I have stood the storms and thunder,
Yet, at my feet lies “Onu-iyi-ama”
The little lovely lake of spring,
Where sits the pond of spring.
Everyday, I see kids come and go,
Happy that they can swim and play.

I am like “Duruejewe”s rock, yes!
I am like the rock of Gibraltar
I have seen the harshest weathers
And the wildest beasts of the jungle,
Yet, at my feet flows the cleanest water,
And everyday, many in need do come,
To stoop and fetch my gifts of spring
Happy that enough does flow for all.

I am like “Ala”, the Earth, yes!
I am the ground on which you stand.
I carry all that is placed on me,
Yet, I bother no one to carry me.
You may try to run the best you can,
A mile or two or a nation far,
I am, and will be there under your feet.
Happy despite your march and pounds.

I am like “Ugbua”, the moment now.
I have seen the past meet the future,
I have seen ages come and go, and
Generations of people born and die.
In me, on me, events take their place.
Yes! I am what time is to change,
I am ageless as well as timeless,
And surely too, I am always there.


The Face of God (And The Voice)

And so he looked, hoping to see
The face of God, or hear the voice
With stirring wishes, and rising hopes
But it stayed so close, and yet so far
Each look took, and each search sought,
He only could see, but more of less.

The paradox lives; that what we seek,
Afar from us is right with us.
The question is, would he know or note
The face of God, before his eyes
Or the voice of God, against his ears
In things common and everywhere?

His face in the mirror, he sees each morning;
Loved ones and fellows, at home and street;
The loving pets, around the house;
The blooming flower, beside the window;
The cleansing current, of the cooling breeze;
The thousand slashes, of the showering rain.

Would he know or note, the face or voice
In the rising sun, that says hello!
Or the fading of sunset into the night,
And the gentle kiss of the moonlight glow?
That in seeing the face, the voice is heard,
And in hearing the voice, the face is seen?
(Paradox or not, that is the truth)


(c) Oliver Mbamara

Oliver Mbamara
Oliver Mbamara
Oliver Mbamara is a NY-based lawyer and Administrative Law Judge. An actor, dramatist and poet, Mbamara is also the founder and brain behind three websites. He runs a regular column in African Newsreel and his poems and articles have appeared in diverse publications.

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