Kemibon-winner of loudthotz season 7 tagged “Then”.

when we were seventeen
the world lay shimmering at our feet
like the gold sequined dress that she
wore that night
when we were young and wild and
bubbled with promise of a future bright
Flighty, slightly floating above the ground
We were richly blessed with dreams
that night, first night out on the town
we breezed through the streets
longing for privacy like intimacy needed to be hidden from adult eyes
because we knew
when sheer lacing of virgin fingers
could send jolts of electricty through
and eject emotions endlessly
seeking for privacy to find intimacy
when her gold sequined dress
is ripped off in desirable desires
at first excitement meets anxiety
and other garments meet gold sequins on the cold tiled floor of borrowed quarters
when we young, foolish and free
embrace novel emoting
she gasps
I clasp
sweaty hands in hazy frenzy
searching for intimacy in this young


Wind the herald of the orchestra
Lightning, thunder and rain intertwine
To make music
They play different genre from classical to rock
Sometimes blues to lovers delight
I stood in the crowd waiting for the music to stop
Forced to wait and listen to the music they made
My spirit sprightly embraced the music
The joy of growing up playing in the rain
Rolled back fresh and clear
I can see their faces captured in time
Such joy you see in childlike faces
As we played in the rain
Different sounds from different surfaces
Making rhythm and harmony
As the rain made its music
That was then
When we were in the game
We were the characters
We ran and shot our imaginary guns
Better than commando and rambo
Drove our wheels and tyres
Faster than any formula one
We were the football stars from different generation all in one field
Keshi, Pele, Okocha, Maradona and others
When sun and sweat, rain and cold
Played their roles in our body
We were world class chefs
Cooking delicacies with sand and leaves
The old play station was the almost completed bungalow
The new play station was that two storey building beside Chisom’s house
It was an upgrade from PS2 to PS3
We were in the game
That was then
And now…

What happens?
When you look behind the veil
And the dust settles
When the cupboard door is opened
And the sun comes out
When the wind blows
And you find the master key
When you find the foot of a rainbow
And you see that crossed spot
What happens?
When your eyes meet
And your hands touch for the first time
When you bump into each other
And she smiles at you
When you hear her voice
And she finally tells you her name
When you invite her out
And you find you dance in sync
What happens?
When the clock strikes 12
And the sky turns blue
When the trumpet sounds
And its barely afternoon
When you reach the peak
And your certificates become four
When you read this poem
And wonder where its going
What happens then?

Three times I echoed it
It rang through the room
As if the rapture is upon us
It dawned on him grimly
What a gut he’s got
Boss seems to be saying to me
Tampering with my fierce
Ferocious willpower
It was temper on a rise
As he rose, we all rose
The rest sat quietly leaving me alone
On the battle front
I stood diagonal to him
A peek through the room
It was a Goliath David one sided battle
Unlike David my legs aches and shivers through my head
His voice increases tempo
My voice follows suit
I unlocked so many words
He stood speechless…full of ire
Bone of contention
Talking down on us all
Our Parents, families, spouses were his target
But his attack was more to our psyche
My boss is always right
Even on his path to perdition
Nobody questions the boss
Nobody talks when he talks
But here I am defying the age long rules
Tore it like a piece of paper
Into an unforgettable shred
The myth of my untouchable boss flew away
Instantly reality beckons
As termination knocks on my head
Even before warning
My boss though jolted for a minute
Went on spitting … threatening stones
Stone of fire and fire
He already fired me with his eyes rolling red charcoal …
Are you God? I echoed thrice
That was enough to set me on a firing squad?
No I guess you are not
For God is God …
Though I am fired without letter
I was not in any way on fire
The boss wants me to be on the street
Still under fire
But I have since lost my love
For the job
To me … elated and freed
It was a timely fire
For me to lit a personal fire
That has been burning beneath
For a while, I enjoyed my liberty
Freedom sang her song on my head
Hunger eulogize itself through my lips
Street dust smiles at my shoes
Then, for a while… a reasonable period of time
I cried within… I wondered aloud
If my Boss is not God… Then where is God?
Or maybe my lost job is God
It was a period I was muttering altar dance to my bae
My kinsmen scolded reality into me
My friends shot me down
“Just go, beg, stoop and get your Job (God) back”
But my Bae stood by me
She echoed hope and faith in me
Her presence alone radiates a better future for us
But the altar dance needs more than hope and faith
Less we become a laughing character in a wedding series
Then and then
I mean right then at the verge of the mockery
Something showed up like a proverbial Deus Ex Machina
I mean He showed up
After several questioning and loss of identity
God showed up and echoed
Nope!!! None of all these are God
I am God and no one else
Five years down the lane of the altar dance
I concur with my bae
It can only be GOD
6th June, 2016
Re-jigged for my 5 years Wedding Anniversary
True Life story

Came Johnson the left-handed
He was a happy-clappy, chatty chap
Muse of poets and for songwriters oddities
Born in a climate of clumsy possibilities
Reared in the waters of culture vulture trap
He had his rope of hope
But at the end of his rope
He needed a hand but there was none
And then
That night his mother died, he didn’t cry
For his little mouthful tears will be a dishonour
To a mother who was nurture and succour
No more heart to hear is fear and pry
He had his lamp of faith
But that limp mirage was fate
He needed a light but there was none
So then
With unanchored hope he ordered his spirit’s grief
Through the darkest alleys and the highways of the castaways, he gropes
With wilderness for his pillow, loneliness for a companion, he probes
He knew his grief won’t be brief
Now emperor of uninhabited places
Of his father, there were no traces
He called a star to be his brother and the moon a sister
And the cloud slammed the door on his tender voice
From then
The moon died in his sky
That night took his rope
That night stole his hope
That night was his one last try
And that night he sold his soul
And there and then the birth of an enfant terrible, a troll
He was now broke and broken, a blade of darkness
What then? What pelts of peppered provocations?
When heaven tries the patience of a saint
Johnson bade a final good-bye to good old night
With discordant choir of unnamed ghosts they sang a requiem to light
From the epicentre of savage depths, a lethal angel sent
With the forgotten old gods and surrogate deities
They forged a ferocious cathedral of atrocities
Dark, dreary and eerie “This is home”, Johnson said
And here darkness is message, massage and passage
Where tragedy ripens
Now then,
Where are the guilty bystanders?
Johnson once a sweet morning lark now cunning night owl
Harvest of earth’s darkest hour, there they prowl
In this sacred rite of disorientation, blame not the bartenders
Oaths of vengeance were made: blood and deed
With a bleeding reed screed in the creed
Inked, ringed, dreadlocks and tortuously tattooed
With Johnson’s terror, Hitler’s just a footnote
Even so
On this tortured lines
God did not border to write straight anymore
Johnson a pain in the molar, not a minor tremor
This is not a survivor’s script. A witness whines
Of a reserved plot of weeds in our tidy garden
Like an angry librarian am mortally saddened
To tell this tall tale stewed in humour: how mad can a mango make a man go?
That far Johnson went, I won’t dye the truth
Overpriced! Like a tomato freshly plucked from Buhari’s Nigeria
One last night
His presence made the living envied the dead
Upon a deal with a resident malevolence the sea sees.
Washed his face and wrote his sins
He looked up, smiled and said: the tide will come, and shred
This withered writ.
For no tome of alien gospels can make him contrite
He needed table talks on life’s menu and there was none
With the weight of the world’s anger upon his grave’s lid
Here lies he. In this dark vault, dead and buried: Johnson the left-handed.
Every now and then
I pray for him before a wooden saint
Who neither blink an answer nor fling a frown
Then and now.

The planner
does not know
The squirrel
a spontaneous fellow
yet the squirrel
has made so many effects
in the life of the mammoth
When will the mammoth
Get his epiphany
And learn to know
the squirrel?
When will he
Realise that he doesn’t
Have to remember
the dark regions
He occasionally finds himself
Whenever he thinks
Of all that he has lost
Family, love
And that keen support
He feels like
A jamless doughnut,
A over sweetened coffee,
A wingless fairy
A bow without it string
A soft unripe mango
An empty pandora’s box
All he can do now
Is find the nut
That leads
to the squirrel

We want only to show you something
We have seen and to tell you something
We have heard
That here and there in the world
And now and then in ourselves
Is a new creation.
Tillich said that and he was not even writing poetry
What then was he doing?
What then is this furry, fuzzy animal?
What if it is all poetry?
If it bites and stings and wakes us up with a blow to the head
If it smashes the frozen sea within us
And makes our whole body so cold that no fire can warm us
If it feels as if the top of our heads were excavated
Then it is poetry even if as in Tillich’s case theology is being written
Then- speaking of consequences; of cause and effect
Speaking of a time in place, a time and place and a place in time
Virginia Woolf’s room of her own and 500 pounds
The solitary philosopher sitting in his room
Examining his own thoughts
Listening to his own breath
Then counting costs; assigning value and knowing things
Seated like the solitary reaper awaiting the grim one.
And then, what if it is all poetry?
Putting the best words in the best order
Using words charged with their utmost meaning
Appearing almost as a remembrance
Seeing the truth through the lens of passion
Experiencing now, when and then moments
Focusing not on meaning but on being
Arriving at intellect by way of the heart
Then- pursuing necessary implications to their logical
Bringing them down to their grave yard
Identifying stones and cenotaphs
Helping them to dance on their own graves
On resurrection morning
Then- spoken in stentorian, sarcastic tones
Wanting to know on a self-declared need to know basis
For us the conclusion of the matter is not the ecclesiasts
Nothing new under the sun
Or fear God
Or vanity of vanities all is vanity
But that here and there in the world
And now and then in ourselves
Is a New Creation


for more poems from Nigeria.

©thebrandradio 2016. All rights reserved.


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