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The Promise: Poems by Eyitemi Egwuenu


Sitting on tears, waiting for you
Watching nighttime trim its lamps
Entreating the shroud
With stars
Clutched from heaven’s breast
Your mute ridge draped
By a mourning shadow.
Sitting on memory, watching the road
From your grave to my door
Priest of the wind gone –
The blizzard rules.
Diamond reflections –
Dew’s wool in sun-streaks –
Through my fingers
Sink to the abyss.

Sitting in silence, eyes on the ridge
Listening to whispers
In the wind –
Leaves nodding to bird-songs
Cheering emptiness; An answer,
A way to the stream,
To drain my tears; quench the sorrow.

The road not walked. Footsteps
Awaited, lone scribe
Of Janus.
Quiet –
On the tombstone sits
The Promise.



Steadying the course
Of my fruitless meander. Hope. Hopping
On the pulsating rump
Of an embered cloud.

Memory bleeping in a strait mind
Cursing its birth;
The wreckage, a fitting roof
The choice repose
For a gilded shame.

Sinuous recalls, linked
By nothing? by bitterness
Cursing their birth
And craving the sireship
Of gravid dreams.

Prancing reflections, Oghamic
To my conscious mind, lead me on
To thaw this staring brand;
To search
For the hidden nail. The vein.

Barring smiles too early sprung
Whetting caution
On a broken heart.



Will it hold
My spirit
As it climbs?
My Soul
As it rides this curl
Of smoke that creeps up the thatch?

Pure, rain washed
Prodding the murk
Probing Erebus,
Sowing light

Vaulted by this rhapsody
A web of notes
Strong within me
Against the Wind

Will it
Hold my Spirit
Will it
My Soul?

As Visions lie
Wombed by impotent
Longings withering
In the stale breath of years
As I lay snared
By dreams unlived.

Will these
Offsprings crumble too
A spectre
Of bygone years?
Will the
Footprints grow sunbaked
With no sprout of green?

Is the dream that strains
The stealth
That stumbled in, unbidden
To pull
The silent strings
To birth the notes, to
Rapture me.


(c) Eyitemi Egwuenu

Eyitemi Egwuenu
Eyitemi Egwuenu
Eyitemi Egwuenu was born in Benin City, Nigeria. He attended Edo College Benin, and graduated from The University of Benin, Nigeria, as a Medical Doctor in 1999. His poetry has been featured in A Melody Of Stones, An Anthology of Contemporary Nigeria Writing.

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