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The Will to Believe: Poetry by Obakanse Lakanse

Image: remixed


Storms as always
Clear a path
Where all loads lead

Only the narrow road
Leads us where
We must be accused of narrow-mindedness

I know my infinite memories
Cannot lead me astray
And I hold no notions against the winds that blow

May fraternal spirits
Bear me out
Against the broad imaginings

Only yesterday I saw a pall of lewd inferno
Ascend like a question
On the arched infinitude
Of my lover’s brows

But then I was much the better for it –
Happier even- like a man
Who discovers his own bequeaths
In his own freewill.



All agree Nature is never wrong
Apart from masturbation
There are a thousand ways
In which a young man defiles himself in solitude

There is something in him which withholds from him
Much of what should otherwise enrich him
In which he should find
All intimations of himself s-t-a-c-k-e-d o-u-t

Striding through a lone forest-path, the young man converses
With masqueraders derobed of their straw,
Sings songs that carry messages
Of dispensable winds

It is the only time his language is stripped of carnations-
Of the jeweled meaninglessness at different fora
Here he discusses frankly
With the Being of his other’s Lord

He spreads out his crudities in the sun, one by one
And experiences a lofty cataclysm
Of his life-long leanings and hallucinations
In what in popular parlance is termed “a miracle”

It is the only thing in him that accounts for his immolation
On world’s inordinate altars
And the only thing in him accords with
Or rather renewed by the purity of stars



Nothing leaves one more cleansed and renewed
Than a cascade of tears. It is the only thing that is verifiably true
All else are mere abstractions in which one finds

Bits of one’s selves here and there. Nothing really whole and enduring
Like the vacuum the departed leaves in our lives. And this is ironic
For we are often more bereaved of cognizance than of the dead

But who dare accuse us for being more human than the clouds?
Though our tears fall quite effortlessly, they hardly ever irrigate our minds;
They merely overflood our sense in theatrical ways

The eye, it is said, while it sheds tears also sees, but does it?
Right now, our ears attune themselves to lyrical speeches and decorous sobs
Our eyes to the grandeur of dark suits and fashionable dark goggles

No custom permits ill said of a man after his death
It is one of the thousand ways man elevates himself on earth.

Poems © Obakanse Lakanse
Image: remixed

Obakanse S. Lakanse
Obakanse S. Lakanse
Obakanse Lakanse, poet, teacher and literary essayist holds a B.A in English and an M.A in Literature-in English. He has published his poems and essays in some of the country’s best-selling newspapers and on

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