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Wanderlust: Poetry by David Okafor


(after a boy
who once upon a time
gifted his grief
to God
in smoky supplications
and God touched his head
and his sorrow turned to laughter.

He is still laughing
and they say he is mad;
that his brain is gone
to wander everywhere
but his head.
So his mother sent a psychiatrist
to bring him home.)

Because cloud nine
Is a place
swinging on a pendulum          (to and fro)
and is nigh
impossible to cage
or hide away
in a little box
grounded           (home)
in a real plane,
I continue to return
to the amnesia.
You may call it addiction.
But sometimes
Pain’s only remedy
is memory-loss.



(With Nzube)

Nzube:          Is it true you once said of stories;
                   living breathing beings?

I own this statement with a King Kong- stubborn defiance.
Did you know that “1” is the name for beginning?
1 Man epiphanied in one moment
in the space
where metaphors are ropes
binding warring experiences
– You could call this space
or thought
or poetry.

the birth of an idea.
“1” with a body of ink and paper,
clothed with a voice and bid
A story has a heart
that beats in mouths
and pulses in ears.
Once, twice, thrice, infinity;
a group of chained Men sheltered a roving story
and lent it their voice
and borrowed it their clothes.
It held up a mirror before their eyes
and they perceived the key
hidden in a wordy whisper:
They died free;
“1” story begat stories watching over them,
still wearing their clothes,
riding the tongues of their children.

Nzube:           Why do you go out of your way
                   to collect stories?
Because experience
is a synonym
for a collection of stories;
Reflection is the name
of the Mirror that stories hold to our faces.
How can you say that you have lived
when my fingers outnumber your stories
and the stories you have collected?

Poems © Chimeremeze David Okafor
Image: remixed

David Okafor
David Okafor
Chimeremeze David Okafor is a writer living and writing from Owerri. He has been published in Kalahari Review, the African Writer and is upcoming in pride magazine.

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