Candlelight
Image by kai kalhh from Pixabay

Ugwu Erochukwu Shedrach: Candlelight

“The snake takes pride— because it knows where its hands and legs are, it knows the taste of dust…”

Candlelight

—for Eshaque

You don’t have to make a noise at the yett of another man’s house when your blood smells good for these night children, you are a stranger, else he comes out like a protester & think you are one of them.

Eshaque, your expiration came at 2 pm leaving with time & our heads your luggage and a strand of your gray hair betwixt your old comb. The snake takes pride— because it knows where its hands and legs are, it knows the taste of dust, it knows the harshness of the sun, it wants serenity in a cold empty gutter.

Our palms are also beautiful as the Light you see now, not the candle lights we inject our grief into. Our heart too is beautiful to breathe you into life & a little nothingness. We will pray you into the Ṣalāt al-Janāzah & place the seal of Jannah around your waist like Amber beads, silence too is beautiful.
——————-

Voices from Maiduguri & Zamfara & things felt in between

From one or two points, we know, our
                  Soils have pledged obduracy to our flesh
& our right hand, while the left looks on.

How long have we been, down here?
                  The leaves in a cashew tree is lesser than
Our grief, the stories from our homes

Are difficult to read, the lines are stygian;
                  Maiduguri is a cradle for death gods.

This song is compelled out of our tongue —
                  A raven rapes the atmosphere, somewhere
In the North, & perched on my mother’s breast.

Oblittero, oblittero —everything is dark here, darker than
                  Religion. We are of many blood faces —before
Sunset, we master the Exodus of our self.

Zamfara is a cradle for death gods too.

Time is perishing on our palms; to life & death,
                  There’s something we want in between or
History will burn with our story & make our
                  Wounds become broken bridges and our
Seeds, be scattered like archipelagos; we want

To be clouds —to rain on our aridity & make our
                  Wounds more beautiful than Delilah’s eyes, before posterity
Settles on the tail of a Mamba & our voices

Trails off into grey silence.
                  Quod erat demonstrandum

—————-
Poems © Ugwu Erochukwu Shedrach
Image by kai kalhh from Pixabay

Written by
Ugwu Erochukwu Shedrach

Ugwu Erochukwu Shedrach is a young African poet. Shortlisted for the 2017 Commonwealth youth poetry prize, his work has appeared on AceWorld, Poems and Poetry, Swquak Back, Heron's Nest and elsewhere. An enthusiast of Moral Philosophy, he holds a Degree in Soil Science from Enugu State University. He lives and writes from a little village in the same state.

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Written by Ugwu Erochukwu Shedrach

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