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Window Swimming in Accra: Poems by Isidore Emeka Uzoatu


Abandoned to cleaners
At the break of dawn
Your oval serenity rests tranquil
Resplendent in the deep blue hue
Of your crystalline-clear depths,
Bare and bereft of swimmers –

Like hair on pubescent pubis…

(when the pool is clean
even the stone hungers
a tempestuous dive,
like the countryside lame a walk
on nights when the moon
out of her monthly hibernation
sweeps the playgrounds clean
with God’s incandescent brooms
borrowed from the distant sun)

Come the sun in time
They come trooping out in song
Sprouting in figures and numbers
Saints white, yellow, red but black
To bath, splash, romance and canoodle
Where the locals cannot afford to drift –

Like hair on hirsute adult pudenda.


*Golden Tulip Hotel Accra 06/06/06




Cats and dogs on the roof

Render conversation inaudible

Duologue implausible

Dialogue intractable

Monologue impossible

Till soliloquy

Roused mid-siesta

Afore dénouement

Of forlorn dream

Posts nagging wish

On either lip o’mine:

Falling rain, falling rain

Suffer me next

En route my lover’s lair

That I may better savour

These invigorating thumps

Of ambidextrous drumbeats!



Arrows off heaven’s interminable bow

Shower in slanting multitudes

Hardly filling to the hilt

Vats left out in the open

To collect them pure and chaste;

But pour down in rivulets

No sooner it lost its virginity

On rusty corrugated rooftops

Till its cyclical thunderclap

Tails another lightening flash

And a question bonds in kowtow:

Fallen rain, fallen rain

What laconic lesson

Deeper than meets the eye

Lurks for one and all

In this potent disparity

Of thy either state?


*Ute-Okpu, Bendel State 18/05/85


(c) Isidore Emeka Uzoatu

Isidore Emeka Uzoatu
Isidore Emeka Uzoatu
Isidore Emeka Uzoatu majored in the history of African Christianity at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Converted to creative writing by his elder brother, he abandoned his doctorate for stints on the staff of Crown Prince, Nigeria's pioneer male magazine, and Mister, its follow-up, in Lagos. He edited the latter before retiring to full time writing and a daytime job managing a trading company in Onitsha. Vision Impossible, his first novel, took twenty years to complete. He is married with children.

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