Poetry

Eduful Ishmael

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BEFORE HIS GREY HAIRS

Under a smiling twilight

In the middle of a typical African village

We lurk behind Mama’s silo of rice

For grandpa would soon summon us

 –

He that a blue passing bird

Once collapsed by the words from his mouth

For should wisdom be minted

From his green cerebrum

Wrapped and shadowed by a skull

I would call him not even by the names:

(Kilwa and Zanzibar)

– 

Before his white sweeping beard,

I, the son of an artist

Who weaves words

Under a female coconut tree

Come with my half calved stool

To swallow every drop of wisdom

As I take my share even when I droop

From his red tongue not of curse!

 –

G’pa! You are the natives’ centre for learning

Bearing a resemblance

To Sankore in Timbuktu

And a pit of wise sayings

Where we dig them like mining in Wangara

– 

O! In your warm arms

I lay my head!

Spit on me, from your glowing hairs of wisdom!


 

THE TONGUE OF THE CALABASH 

The clock chimes six o’clock

As I sit in red palms

Under a village hut unlocked

As the palm wine is sipped in dots

 –

From my empty belly stock

To make their feet spread the dust

I leave indelible sounds

In ”bara drums”

For I fade my throat

At a Malian durbar!

 –

Till a bleach invade my skin

Warm yellow I do still remain

Till with age and use I vanish

”Shegureh” I do still remain

By the hands of a Sierra Leonean

 –

Till I am shrouded

I still count the ”Tourou women” hair

That I’m a headgear!

 –

With all my blessings

In the forest must I be hidden?

O! Africa!

The warehouse of the seeker!

 –

When the universe stand from words

Then I begin swinging on trees for the best

That my people shall be fed

For I bow before you with ease!

 –

Let not the black soil repent

As I charge your souls

To rise over the fence

I hold my tongue!

 

Eduful Ishmael

 

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