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Sylvester Omosun


Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria

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the rhymes of african memorial


Sylvester Omosun

Please do not turn from the grave
And from the mound beside it
The smell of damp earth and rotten matter
Calling to mind, creatures once flesh
Please do not turn from the grave
Of corpse descending on the uncaring earth
And the cemetery of mourners
Exploding over headstones

please read of the theme in a dominion of pure opposition
please read of the horrific scenes with no chance of peace
please read of the childhood involved neglect and waste
please read of the puberty that entailed poverty disputation
please read of the adulthood that was rooted in Niger delta
with all this in mind you will assumed right
It was no wonder I knew what I write-
Am not in Sudan but have burnt candles
Chalks on a slate to tell of poetic treasons
By reducing them to abstractions and wiles
The yelling, the screaming, it never did cease
My vocation has turned it to self-mutilation
In an attempt to release inner frustration
Seeking a "Sudanese Poems" and stories
Something more important that rhymes
above the mistake of looking in the mirror
ignorant if we think we could never be in that place
the CNN talk about Theme of underdevelopment
To wash their hands of the african Conflicts

Please do not turn from the grave
From the sod beneath
Of beetles, worms and little things
Bedding with these of whom we cry

please read of them and do not turn away

the nature in the word


Sylvester Omosun

This is a creepy crawly poem
About a creepy crawly caterpillar
That started as a very tiny egg
upon a dead grey hanging leaf _

To work on my poetry, and short reflection, I would stop in any path that I decided to walk any day, I could pick up something from the field or farmland, maybe pick up a stone or a robber seed and I could take them with me along the walk, feeling them in my pocket, thinking of them in lieu with nature, stop a second scribble on the slate; recite the poetry as I walk with all praise in my soul

I hear nature call as I lay upon
A thing which enables me to translate
My poetry from the flat straw grass

With my chin upon my palm
I smiled and nibble’s on a grass,
A caterpillar crawled across my page
A spider weaves a silken strand
The clouds made love to me

Amid the cricket protest I sang
My childhood sing-along-song
Seeking idea through vacant space

Spiderlings were each a poem
More eyes than a man can claim
Captured across my pages
Sung to the tune of Hush Little Baby

I took with me a slate and some chalk, no pen or sheet, just chalk and slate, I could scribble something, a line I want to remember then wipe it off a minute later, then another, on and on, Once I picked up a cocoon and I wrote a childish poem about it, I thought of what lay within, admiration of beauty yet unborn and as always I do feel visibly called by God to return it to its appropriate place in my poetry and written below

Under a dead gray leaf
I found a cocoon
that a caterpillar made
Hanging in its shade.
I looked each time
that I passed the trail
but he never budged
Like me confined to a world

Not until just today
That I witnessed the poetry
The first stanza has small wet wings
Published in my pages

So oftentimes I have felt I needed to put such wonders of life in my pocket and carry it home, because I want to see the butterfly coming out, to picture the stages so that others will see it in writing, but I cannot do it. Because I had a real sense of appreciating each stone, each robber shell, and each leaf in its place for the time I was there, they are part of life_Bigger part. That is what inspired my first ever poetry (my dirt) , it talk of the feeling of wanting to share the triumph of such discovery

_over the flat straw grass
following the trees
now on the track...
directly ahead of me,
over twigs and burnt grass
now at the direct stretch of part
at the intersection were several points converge
toward the part were the wild ewe could not go
our legs took us
stepping over cow dung
humming with jewel green flies
I accept the triumph
the usefulness of a sacrifice
by people so poor
from all the farms and small holdings
I accepted the triumph
stick sticky with cattle dips
I stand dreamily for a moment
hearing the drummers strike the sky
for all the beauty that are here for me

It is triumphant to be by the kindred poor than the city, to use a slate and chalk than a pen and a sheet, because the need to possess something of nature and ancestral has always followed me along each trail of my life. I had a growing sense of letting things be and to just be still and glory in the fullness of the moment, for the environment to be as it was before. Most of such inspiration leads into children poetry

I watched a tiny caterpillar crawl
I the poet crawled too in the grass
hour I sat as it munch on a leaf
Crawling, munching, crawling, munching,
Eat and eat and eat.
As I write and write and write

The feeling of triumph allow myself to connect, appreciate, thank and move on with so much of what surrounded me and accept them as a part of me, I felt a letting go into being in the past, in time before the deforestation of our land. In this transformation, I began to feel I was part of the scene more, not my other self that needed to have more earthly possession or run to foreign culture in other to identify with the affluent. In the field I learned that I do not need to possess these things to have the joy of it.

They ask I recite a song
But I know only the remedy of poetry
Healing on my page you read
Were newer rites of grace prevail
Above all earthy human senses

My wandering by the monastery herbal surrounding and scribbling on the slate amid the nature glare is definitely an attraction brought about by my childhood, the magnetization of it_ I cannot label it, even as a poet who creates words, I do not have words for this attraction, yet I know in my heart the healing power within the environment

In their eyes I am a green man
Part water, earth, wind and grass
In their eyes I am the tall herbs
Lurking at the back of the garden
I am the lane to the hills
The herbs- guardian of the poor
Defender of the week
Protector from plagues
The remedy for poison
The relic of worship and the culture

When I try to make contact with nature with such a mindset and learned to think with nature's intelligence, it guides me with a wisdom that helps me keep in balance with everything around me. Releasing this I was inspired to write the poem above

The elders in the tribe and my fathers’ lineage taught that trees speak; and that some great trees has god residing within, we could ask an oak for its consent for us to walk by it. I totally felt safe always by such big trees.

Whenever am underneath them, It felt like Earth's energies were in charge of my notes, not me. It gave me a wonderful feeling of having more power to be myself. I felt in stability with the natural world and the people around the farmland because I could distinctly feel their energies consenting to support me. It has been like this since I was a kid, I felt very secure and nurtured as I walked or lay underneath those ancient trees

You sat underneath the cocoa tree
by the side of the old church tower
shading us from the sun,
we talk about our childhood
right in the selfsame place
underneath this cocoa tree
that once sheltered you and I,
here we were children again
as we talk about our past
and the grass were just as green
the cocoa pod just as big.
with tears in our eyes,
how we felt followed the rhythm of drums
under the shade were the sun could not steal
with the past our legs took us,
In the scene you were the sweet little nomad
who idle around catching flies
i was the bluest of eyes
paddling around with swinging hip
underneath the cocoa tree

There are times also when in respect of my passion I write love poetry within the natural realms

Hopping over grounded cherries
under the trees whose branches shaded me,
I thought of the days I saw and imagined her
within the fruitage of the savanna green

The mango fruit I picked up
formed the countenance of her breasts
the node still at its point of budding
traced the absence of a thumb-sized, brown nipple.

A tug at the skin, the flesh of a fruit,
a lover bit an opened world
tongue-licking just teasing,
spillage on the lonely path
Trails of sweat, grapes and berries