Tuesday, 8 March 2011




My muse feeds on the word
Plaited with inveterate wonder
At the awesome wavelength
Of its breadth span:

Painted on walls
Of ancient murky caves

Pictographed cum ideogramed
In ancient papyri and codices

Carved on coeval tablets
In hieroglyphic cuneiforms

Coloured in lurid picture
Of latter-day applied art

Written in book, newspaper
Signpost, -board or graffito

Structured as verse or prose;
In capitals or small letters

Crafted in cursives or italics;
Long, intermediate or short hand

Shouted to foreclose an eloping argument

Whispered head on pillow with other half

Sung a cappella sans accompaniment;
Or appassionato to the haunting beat
Of musical rhythms;

My muse is the word
That miniscule building block
To burgeoning bank of reason
Made flesh that the world be saved…

Damn you
It’s midday on creation day!



With a jeremiad of tears
On this dot of noon
Announced by the Braun on my wall
Minute hand shielding hour leg
But for muscular width and breadth
My pen seeks a fleeting hemistich
To hemstitch its fountainhead lost
On a balding page of treated pulp
At this act of poetic concubinage
Sacrilegious in proportion only
To its sacerdotal alma mater
When priests and priestesses
Tangled in unholy unions
Desecrating the Holy Land
In cursed purifications:

“Can’t the words, dear sir
Crawl to the end of their lines
For my first ink’s sake?”



Dear pen and nemesis
Cry a river if you so please;
Whoever said first fluids
Are drawn by the meek hearted
Even with just a hymen at stake.

With a ballpoint to fenestrate, ah!
The blood must rush to the eyes
To sift the words sailing forth
From nook and out of crevice
In a valley of raw rage
Brimming with choice words
And pithy paraphrases.

Deride me not, therefore
Whether in jest or joust
As to second-guess this noble art
A flashing fancy or pun
Undertaken by the idle and forbidden
For its own selfish sake
With neither gift nor garb
For an active primate mind
But fluff, floss and verbiage.

Unbeknownst to you
Sarcastic nib and all
By this rare calling
I am catapulted to the very tip
Of the tallest iroko in the land
Consequently commanding vista
More gregarious than Microsoft’s
More distant than the horizons
Where no human leg shall emblazon
Even by the next Harley’s Comet,
Farther ahead in deed than
Atop our forefathers’ shoulders
On which the wisest of men
Stand in judgement over life
Though they see not beyond
The absentee crook
Of their squashed noses…

From here I even sight
Where the very road of life
Forks into a thousand million lanes
Each leading to a point
Where return is counterpoint;
Too far ahead, I cannot
But dictate and pontificate
Like a demigod…

The toe prints here
All point straight ahead
Like their departed owners moved
Away from their heels
To the land of see no more…

But return I shall,
You in hand…



Sad song sung strung sector
Ululates for one like none
In this damned trade we chose
Unlike whom –
Before his premature retirement
Via the bifurcation through River Idoto
To the orangery of eternal repose –
I vouch not lines
Hidden and recherché
Capable of appreciation
Only by the anointed …

You see,
I received my anointing late
When the barbs to adorn words with
Were now few and far between
Like tails, fins and scales
On that damned sixth day
Of the Jewish creation myth
When God made man in His image
And fell into unflappable sleep
Like He had caused his creation
To make him a partner
From his missing rib
And both slept no more:

Which diminishes my craft not –
God’s bounty being seamless –

Nor his sainthood –
Holy St Christopher
Of the lines oblique –

After all,
I descry men
Engaged in worse guiles
With no sense of commitment
And none else as ennobling
As this art we preach:

Me, Chris and the rest
Who trade loaded words
For the sake of posterity
While others vend wares
For greed and prosperity;
Mould sentences into stories
That others may drink and savour
While they stack blocks in storeys
Erecting diverse towers to Babel

But ask I must
Even before my very turn:
Must we poets
All die in civilian wars
Concocted by elephantine leaders
Who sit back home lapping spoils
From a seriatim of courtesans
While we the grass of the earth
Fight to predictable deaths?



Calm down yet, friend of the voiceless
Or you ooze your life away
Before your monthlies are due–
Much as I can only ply my skill with you in hand
With you also are death sentences writ
According to the words of The Poet
God and Satan of the poetic craft
Who took me to the precipice of verse
And gave me a spirited shove…

From these dizzying heights
People are smaller than ants
The mighty and the small alike
Having all been downsized
To infinitesimal decimal specs
But I still make out many
Rollicking their paramours
Increase and multiplication of species
As farther away from their notions
As I am from the earth they defile –

Or whoever numbered tongue and toe
Among the organs reproductive…

Yet I espy another dozen denizens
Seeking lucre brazenly for its end’s sake
Sparing only their blind spots
To the lives they ruin
           limbs they maim
           minds they bend
           hearts they hurt
           heads they break
           hopes they dash
           eyes they blind
           tongues they clip
In the mindless quest
Of their nefarious heist …

Which does one shelve for the other?
The space I’m faced to fill
Is as brief and definite
In inverted proportions
As my vision is vast and infinite…

Or do I not make out men
From this acrophobic balcony
Killing their fellow humans –
The same quintessence of creation
Made in God’s own image –
Not for power or luck
Nor other such gainful pluck
But the kick they claim
Snuffing out another’s breadth
Affords the deranged undertaker
In a disguised guilt hamburger
Proffered by the devil…

Talk of him and temptation unfurls
Its clipped fangs of yore anew

Hurled up to me in a smokescreen
The first batch comes in a flying plea
Inflicting me with syrupy vertigo
Imploring that I end these lines
Before their due checkout time
Throwing myself,
Litany of woes et al
To a most predictable of ends…

But voice long sought and found
Reigns the atmosphere unbidden:
“Get behind me, author of enticements,
To what, in deed, do you amount
After all is said, written or typed
But a dishonoured ball point
In the hand of a self-published poet
Abandoned heretofore
In the bottomless abyss
Of his broken lines ...”