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The Veil of Night: Poems by Emuobome Jemikalajah

Image: Tobias Van Der Elst via Flickr
Image: Tobias Van Der Elst via Flickr


And when from fitful sleep I rouse,
Buoyed and stewing in cold sweat;
A bird of night – I know not which,
Sings me the dreariest of psalms –
A telling of something coming.

Outside, the moon hides behind the veil of darkness;
Hidden in the tattered drapes
Of the gathering clouds, I think.
The wind Morse-coding the imminence
Of something coming on the rooftops
With the dendritic claws of the leafless cashew tree.
It is about time – the rain that breaks the heat!

Clouds gather in skyward ensemble
To grace a heavenly orchestra
As trees in lee-ward slant conduct
A chorus of cosmic magnitude.
Jagged flashes form ethereal lighting for
This celestial stage; tearing the veil of night
Into shards of eerie shapes collaged against the ashen sky.

The wind made a choir of singing pines and palms
With a thousand cymbals clashing in thunder clap
As wind-torn leaves drop like confetti to usher in rain.



We cannot speak anymore.
We are now two that once were,
Because tongues have suddenly
Ceased to interpret words-
For we speak enough with our waning spirits,
Our eyes speak of what would have been;
What our mouths become too frail to tell.
Our bodies tell of a now forgotten memory
That maybe, we may want
To remember; or forget?
It slips away quietly into the alzheimic abyss
Where we may reach and find our hands
Come up with nothing.
We are chalk lines drawn on the wall,
And slowly slipping into oblivion.



Your mouth cups the shape
Of the cock about to sing its morning song;
But the sounds you spit are ethereal –
They leave me cold-turkey.
Goose bumps are but understatements to
The bundle of hysterics I have become.
A pinch of heaven this is – oh the angels!
For I see the aureole around your head;
And your wings beat the beat of honeyed tones
To my drums – I am dripping the tasty jelly!
I am jelly; plain jelly!
Spread me on the bread of your tongue.
Let me feel the instrument of your voice;
For I am resolved to mere sobs and whimpers,
And suddenly back to amnion and placenta.
Oh may I be born anew
Through the slopes of vocal pangs.



The sky does not wear
The moon well tonight;
For it looks strangely an ear
Of frail waning light.

The moon has not its charm
Tonight; for its silvery light
Paints not the shadowy farm
Where squirrels meet to quibble and fight.

The moon does not tell
Tonight, of lovers’ beach hikes
Nor of the sea tides that swell
And fall on damp-coloured rocks and dykes.

The moon mourns the loss of love,
And of the stars leaving the sky above.

Poems by Emuobome Jemikalajah
Image: Tobias Van Der Elst via Flickr

Emuobome Jemikalajah
Emuobome Jemikalajah
Emuobome Jemikalajah is an up-and-coming poet. He has lived in Warri and Ibadan. His poems have been published in Phases: Poetry of People Chap book, and Wind of Change anthology. He is also an avid lover of art.

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