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Transition: Poems by Ese Emmanuel

life death
Image: nikko macaspac on Unsplash remixed


To live is to die.
It is to heed the call of a thousand forces;
To burst forth, unclad,
From earth’s grave- our incubator,
As a seedling.
It is to transcend, a new born,
From a place we know,
To one wherein we are utterly ignorant.

To live is to die,
It is to be re-identified;
It is an open door-
Each step out, a step in;
A mark on a line,
A point between two blurred extremes.
To know is to move forward,
A slight step in a world of endless uncertainties;
To be bold is to know fear,
But to fear it, nonetheless.

To live is to die.
It is the irony of the ages,
Evident since the inception of time;
It is nature’s failed attempt at humor-
All death comes from previous stages of dying.
All life comes from pre-existing life.



You saw her and tripped.
Fell into a puddle of your own creation;
A signal of your insecurity-
Your inability to stand your ground.
It wasn’t your fault really,
It was hers.
It was her face;
The radiant beam that outshone the sun;
That darkened the whole of the earth when she turned away.
It was her voice;
The sing-song kind characteristic to angels.
It was her smile;
That righted all the wrongs of the universe
Albeit temporarily-
Because she saw you and frowned.
She saw you decorated in all the glory that mud affords
And then she laughed.
You thought her smile was powerful,
Her laughter was worse.
It sent your whole life crumbling like a house of cards.
It wasn’t laughter,
It was a vocalisation of scorn;
The kind that didn’t even require deep thought
Which made it all the worse.
It was hell,
It made the cool of your puddle turn outrightly into boiling lava,
You looked away in indignation.

She saw you and fell.
Lost her balance and tore every fabric of her pride to shreds.
She had never seen anyone so imperfectly beautiful.
The way you wore your scars, your stains
Like a victorious knight returning from battle;
She stared at the rough lines, the harsh edges
Running her hands over them in her subconscious.
You seemed focused, fixated.
If only she could be blinded by the light that blinded you
She would gladly walk in darkness for the rest of her life,
Guided only by the feel of your hand in hers.
If only you would pause
And look backwards;
A moment was enough,
It had enough potential to catapult her life to the dimension she imagined;
You were the missing piece to her life’s puzzle,
You would make her complete;
If only you would look;
And then you did.
Face twisted by indignation.
You looked at her and laughed.
Her life crumbled like a trampled sandcastle,
She turned away in tears.

He saw her, resplendent in her beauty
And he fell.

Poems © Ese Emmanuel
Image: nikko macaspac on Unsplash remixed

Ese Emmanuel
Ese Emmanuel
Ese Emmanuel is an undergraduate at the University of Benin, Benin City. She has an overwhelming love for books, poetry and everything they stand for.


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