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Clarius Ugwuoha

of

Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria

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The Rain

by

Clarius Ugwuoha

The sun ripened in the sky
Plucked by unseen hands.
Blind clouds groped through.
The wind picked up her broom
And swept neatly through the sand.
The trees argued fiercely
Gesticulating and turning.
The skies were hurrying about for a shelter
And from the distance,
Between thundering,
A spray of cold rain came
Hammering on the iron sheets!


Famine

by

Clarius Ugwuoha

Famine came like a warrior
And Plenitude fled
The sun rained on the world
With His arrowlike rays.
The ground was furnace to the touch
Rivers shrank like the feelers of the snail
Trees stretched leprous branches
In the dusty gale
And men rushed into Death's salvaging hands

YOU MUST STAND UP!

by

Clarius Ugwuoha

Why?
Why d'you lie crouched
Others up and about
Your eyes yet to attune
To the fevered approach of dawn?

Get up! rise up!
Wipe your eyes clear
Of this poisonous sleep
The aging day throbs
With the scattered enfilade of drums!

Why
Why d'you have to lie like a log
Numb to the bone while others sweat
The harvest field is bare
And the barn stacked full with yams
While the fireside dimly gleams
With the dying embers of the hearth

Getup! it's not too late
Get up it's yet another day
Brother you must get up before the earliest cock
You must not lie down dead
To the fevered approach of dawn!

Nocturnal Rites

by

Clarius Ugwuoha

Author's quote: " poetry is the motion of the mind.
I am poetry and what I write is but a translation!"

The night sweats with mysterious calls
Waves of drumbeats stab the coven's lair

The night is blind in its luminous eye
Owls and vultures perch on surrounding trees

Dead to the stern reproach of day
You dance to your grisly beats.

Dark sepulchral voices
Chant inchantations and spells

You drink portions of blood
Blood from my veins

Your pots boil with the heat of my life
Your faces shine with the sweat from my brow

Must I sleep smothered in your deadly arms
Must I grieve for days on end?

Hidden in the darkest depth of the dark, do wait
Daylight comes!

We Want You To Say

by

Clarius Ugwuoha

(To the head,Mbiam, of the war canoe house)

We want you to stay
But we will like to know
If you will keep bad advisers at bay
And do what you by us owe

We want to ensure
You will at all times have all of us in tow
Rule wisely your heart pure
And give up shortcomings of the past

We want you to be firm and endure
This house and her entire cast:
The good, the bad, the ugly, if you please
You will on this prized throne last

If you will but do all these
The royal house to please!

Asleep and Secure!

by

Clarius Ugwuoha

( who dwells in the secret place of the most high shall abide under the shadow of the almighty!-Ps.91:1)

What are you little gentle child
Quiet and calm your blissful repose
Nude and uncaring of the clothed wild
In the naked innocence of your pose

Who so daft will dare
The wrath of him that guides you
Whose eyes know no fear
Was ever born that spineless shrew

Yet that faith is rare
That does not think of harm
Asleep all in His care
In the tender enclave of His arm

Lest I weary of care
I shall borrow a leaf from you
In whatever way that I may fare
Never to faint but faith renew

A leson for all that cry
To cast all our burden at His feet
Wether it be wet,sunny or dry
Until at God's appointed time we meet!

DRY THESE TEARS!

by

Clarius Ugwuoha

They course down in spouts,
Life is doused embers
Dry these tears.

Dry these tears
Immanent God.

Head bowed
The earth dissolved below
In discrete streams
Through glazed eyes.

Spent I was
Drowned
In the floods of my tears.

These pelting beards
Drained me dry
Dry like the lizard's scales

Eyes shut in death
Living I am
Living dying
Till someone should dry these tears!

THE RAIN

by

Clarius Ugwuoha

The sun ripened in the sky
Plucked by unseen hands
Blind clouds groped through
The Wind picked up her broom
And swept neatly through the sand
The Trees argued fiercely
Gesticulating and turning
The skies were hurrying about for a shelter
And from the distance
Between thundering
A spray of cold rain came
Hammering on the iron sheets!

The Wind

by

Clarius Ugwuoha



The Wind opened our door
And rudely came in
He did not knock on the door
To tell the person within

He ran round the room
And threw things on the floor
He swept like a broom
And fled with my effects and more

The Wind you're a thief
Do not come in again
Even as the clouds shift
And it is trying to rain

Hope and Desire

by

Clarius Ugwuoha



You stand there dressed in your beautiful robes
Gentle as the breeze
Golden as the sun
You stand there angel of the dawn
How will I get to you?

How will I get to you
When the path lay strewn with thorns
And the sun, a deep black hood,
Has made night of a sunny day
Pearl of the dawn

The day has died
Buried by the night
The fire by the hearth
Has stretched out in sleep
But i am still here waiting
Waiting just to have you in my arms!

Pearl of the dawn
Your beauty has ravished me
But it is as if I shall forever be on this steppe
waiting and waiting
Just to have you in my arms!

THE MOON

by

Clarius Ugwuoha



The moon, the moon
Running fast in the sky
Dear moon come down
The clouds are angry and dark

The moon, the moon
Where are you going today
Dear moon come down
You must be tired and worn

The moon, the moon
Darkening up in the sky
Dear moon cheer up
The children are playing today!

DEATH

by

Clarius Ugwuoha


To ENGR. JACOB MODUPE OMOLE WHOSE GRAVE IS IN OUR HEARTS

The evil one that now and then
Preys on our hearts leaving us lousy with grief.
The stealth thief, the silent one,
I used to think , Death:
Would it ever be your turn to die?

When is it your turn to die?
Your hair is white like the sand by the sea,
Your face a mask, wrinkled twice,
Your limbs are gnarled,
Those you saw their birth have died centuries since
Death, you are old - Die!

Mourners have come to dance your funeral rites,
Drum beats fly caught now and then by the eager feet
The grave is dug ready to interr your ageless bones
But you have pulled a fast one on them.

You have stolen into your garden of grief
Ans plucked yet another unready soul
To die in your stead.
Death, you are afraid to die - die!

If I were you I would opt to die,
Having lived, Death, so long on earth
Having dined with kings and shaken
Their cowering hands
Having known every other thing
You should die, if but to know too
What it is to die!

it is your turn

by

Clarius Ugwuoha


stop
mercy, oh!

please mercy, if
but once

ahaa
now it is your turn
and mercy has
eluded you!

My dog

by

Clarius Ugwuoha

...suddenly is

and then

suddenly was

bathed you were
but that still you eat
and there stll you lie

go back then
to your masters

to the masquerades
and prisoners
in our midst!

NNAMDI

by

Clarius Ugwuoha

To Nnamdi whose idiocy inspires me
he stands marking time
and when he moves
round and round a circle he roves

our problem is one of attitude
if I must repalce him
i must learn to be prim

and move forward with zeal
not shall i look back
like a quack

or whet my tongue
on Nnamdi who preceeded me
but since i have had to replace him

i have failed to improve
upon him, now my anger has melted since
i can see the wisdom in marking time
and roving in a circle
like Nnamdi who preceeded me!

Education-tree:tribute to Nigerian Education

by

Clarius Ugwuoha

Tree,
Scavengers usurp your twigs
Spiky climbers your boughs
The sun beats down
Upon shrivelled trunk

Your tyrants seize your world
As with grief you bow
Unmoving in the wind
Your tears at your feet
In leafy streams.

Unlike Job's,Tree,
Your soughed sepulchral cries,
Serrated incantations,
Rips not the sky
To behold the greater Being

The rain that rains
The sun that shines
The warmth of the weather
Do not heal your wounds
Do not make you grow
Your ailments do confound me
Lovely tree
I have no gift in the act of prognosis

The decadence forments
Lovely tree in pains
Sympathetic day weeps
RIOTOUS spouts of rain
STRIKING against faint leaves
Lovely tree, is it time
Is it time you died?

wicked world

by

Clarius Ugwuoha

one devilish hillock
this wicked world

so full of ups
so full of downs

to make it all
and climb to the top

hot rocks of tears
must spout from your eyes!

Song of the lagoon

by

Clarius Ugwuoha

On a log by the bar I sit myself
And look you straight in your quivering eyes,
Feel the pulse through your veins
As you race shorewards in repeated flux.

Your fringe of trees stands in silenced awe
As you bath in your watery stretch
Ageless though you are
You still work with tireless ease!

Your lapping songs drench me to the bones
As I sit by the bar:

Lagoon
Lapping
Against
Groves
Of trees
Observing
natures's

Festal
Rituals
On end
Never getting
Tired in the least!

DARLINGTON: We little know you'll die!

by

Clarius Ugwuoha

That harmattan morning you were born
Swarthed up as you were
In the cocoon of childhood
The sun shinning
The wind blowing
We little know you will die so soon
And leave us to mourn

You lay calm upon your infant snug
That flash of innocent smile was there
Your fist clenched, now and then,
Kicked to and fro,
darlington...

You were full of life and warmth
Coarse and rugged like the igneous rock
You grew stout amidst
Storms of illnesses
Lived by your rules
Owned up our crimes
That father beats no one...
Darlington so full of life
You left us so soon
In a deluge of grief.

Mum is shocked,
Father is in grief.
Come back today,
Do you hear - Darlington!
Come back today
That mother may cry no more!

The Ageless Child

by

Clarius Ugwuoha

A child unborn
Several years since
The child unborn
Grew beard in my womb!

Good child you are
Wonder of the wound
Only beard to tell the age
Yet giant of the womb.

The darkness here
Blinds eagle-eye
Fertile womb-soil
Sprouts ageless growth

Good child of the womb
builds ebulient castles
undeterred by the darkness
In the unreality of the womb!

INCANTATIONS

by

Clarius Ugwuoha

To him who has kept us this way
Where PEACE sits like a stranger in our midst
Where darkness fights the day
Darkness of a million nights
Darkness so thick the thumb could feel.

To him who has lured us this far
With false promises of better days to come
And sapped us in the act
Turned our life in and out.

I, the hand of history,
I call thunder and lightning to witness
Oh you vengeful spirits, I conjure you up!

Tell him he has stepped on a dangerous scorpion
He has touched the lion by the tail
And laid himself open to the venomous fangs
Of the sleeping python.

On the day of judgement,
I, history, shall seize him by the legs
i'll hang him in the skies
I'll bury him in my wrath!
He shall die five times and again
No one shall mourn him save
Vultures and owls who shall
Make feast by his deserted tomb.
The day which now frowns
Shall sing with birds
Men shall shine like the stars
In ectasy over his demise!

The Drummer Pauper

by

Clarius Ugwuoha

Drummer, drummer sitting by the road
Beneath that leafless tree
Your feet cracked several times through
As fired by hunger and taste
You beat the life out of your drum.

Here it once had been lonely
Haunted by owls and rats
Now, the crowd had thickened
Like bees upon a tree

Drummer pauper sweating by the road
Beneath that crowded tree
Your body caked with dust
As the crowd strained to hear the drum
Not reckoning with the person of the drum.

It was good music listening to the drum
To the bird-like voice of the drummer
Sitting by the road.
And the crowd hemmed in upon the drummer
Thickening by the hour

Drummer pauper lying by the road
Dead to drums and songs
Groaning
Under the weight of negligence

Your friends now watch you
From a distance
like you were a plague
Those who once danced to your drums
Now spittle at your sight!

So long it'd been!

by

Clarius Ugwuoha

For so long I've been
Hidden from my view
For so long I've shut myself
Upon this house

Strangers have made
Themselves landords of our lands
And we now as tenants
Pay rents in our house!

We turn on our sweat-wet flank
To drive the buzzing gnat.
We must drown it, this world around us
Drown it in laughter and gin.

Alas the laughter too has gone sour
In our mouths and now intoxicate
As dying with disgust
We pluck the living from the dead!

For so long, for so long
So long it'd been
That We had once known
A living from the dead!

RIVER OLOSHI

by

Clarius Ugwuoha

When I was young, very young
I used to go to the bank of the river
Which flowed past our town.

I used to sit all day
By the river bank
To watch the river flow:

To watch the canoes and boats
And fishermen by the river bank;

To watch the fishing nets fly in the air
And the fish swim to the river beds...

Mother has called
Father has called

But I have gone to the river
To ask once again
Why she took the sun from the sky
And hid it
In her shinning silver-mirrow face!

African Mother

by

Clarius Ugwuoha

Mother,
Aged,
Grey suds on
Her hair
Tall
unbowed
untouched
By the burden
Of child birth!

Mother straps
The child
to her back
Loads on her head
Cooks and
Fetches
From the ponds
with practised ease

mother's strength
Sounds on the mortar
behind the house at dusk
And she sleeps
With her eyes awake

Mother has
Come out today!
From the back of the house
To the front.
mother has come out today
As father has always done!

Let Peace reign!

by

Clarius Ugwuoha

The building have deserted their occupants
The road runs faster than the traveller!

Tell the wretched clock time has slept
Tomorrow to wake again

The muzzles chatter to bring PEACE
Which itself is greying, wekly and ill.

Cries laugh off
the fetid stench of the streets

Beat your weapons into ploughshares
Then shall PEACE reign even if greying and old

The wisdom of the gun
Has raped the serenity of the land

A lonely soul

by

Clarius Ugwuoha

A lonely soul
Lonely in a crowd
lonely in the deepest reach
Of the heart.

All day long
By myself I sit
In the sepulchral silence
Of the orange tree
Filled with nostalgia for a
Bygone world.

It shines not here
The tears drop
like rain from the skies.

Bright-feathered sky
Lift my thoughts high in the air!
little birds which coo
In the trees,
Bring me warmth and the glow
Of the skies
I am very lonely here!

The Road

by

Clarius Ugwuoha

You stretch
Twist and turn
Through cities
And towns
Are you really as you look?
Are you really dead
Long as you lie
Eyes shut and limbs at ease?

Claws bared,
Innocent like the lamb,
You stretch your arms for the traveller's hands.

The air is pregnant with death,
Streams and oceans of blood
Wash through your earth-sized throat.

Play your chamelion tricks
Put on that facade of calm

But even as you lie
Eyes shut as though you're dead
Travellers still will cringe and pray
Before they thread
Your deadly realm

Keep it no more!

by

Clarius Ugwuoha

Look at how you cradle it
That instrument of death
As though it were a baby's toy

Look at how you caress it
That destroyer of dreams
Like it were a woman's love.

Do you love it more than life?
And now as you clutch its bloodied mass
Do you at all retch
At that unwholesome stench?

Get it down and use it no more
For it has done evil on earth
Its thunderous claps are but of death
And in its beautiful form

Lurking with horrific claws
Is the monster
That'd driven people out of
Their homes and sanity.

Alone in the chilly embrace od dawn
Get it down and keep it no more
Brace up for peace - the war without gun
Keep it no more
For its beauty is the beauty of death.

DAY DREAM

by

Clarius Ugwuoha

Darling seeds seasones by the hearth
Laid to rest
In the fertile garden of my mind.

I watch, as by the hour
You push your gentle shoots

Up in growth, stagnant-stir
Of the brooks...

Rapid efflorescence confound
Showers of rain
As I stood there divorced from it all

Mind-rain scattered
In showered bits
As dogged shoots and stalks stretch out

Consummed there I was
In the rapid realms of day dreams
Begging reversal of phantasmic flight

Can this gold coin I have
Buy you back to reality,
My Mind?

PARADOX OF THE NIGERIAN

by

Clarius Ugwuoha

(Written in commemoration of the annulment of the Chief M. K. O. Abiola's Presidential mandate in Nigeria)

We are all behind bars
Behind rusted metals
Behind the debris
Of our battered psyche.

Here, the weather rains pebbled dryness
The sun shines and it is dark
And to see our palms
We await the night.

We laughed laughter and it caught in our throats
Threatening to choke

We grew
And became shorter

Won
And became losers

Grew poorer in our richness.

We in a world of contracts and conflicts
I shall lie here clothed and naked
And express my gladness in sadness!

Achiles...

by

Clarius Ugwuoha

fish
chimney
dog
those were his life!

fish
chimney
dog
those were his death!

Fugitive from Justice

by

Clarius Ugwuoha

The Sun let down
To hide its shame
The earth runs
Like the fleet-footed hound

The stench of blood
Palls the bleeding knife.

What river of tears!
And the sudden market where grief was sold,
Fugitive

Fugitives there are too
From the wreckage of the tongue and pen
Fugitives from justice
In the very home they live.

Run, Fugitive run
From the shadow that trails

But Justice grinds exceedingly small!

The Mowing Scythe

by

Clarius Ugwuoha

... Cold as death
Unbias scythe mows
Secretive mows
Through stratified fields...

Nature,
You dread this cataclysmic scythe
Couch in backwaters
Murmuring imprecations...

Scythe,
Vultures fall short
Your insatiate mows
savour curse-wine
To the dregs

But this dogged, persistent 'dread'
Harnessed in its unbiased and fearless light
Might yet work
The magic of caulk moulds
From loose sand

Mourning Early In The Morning

by

Clarius Ugwuoha

It broke my heart,
This sadness of the day
As with sweeping gales
Cloud-topped sky
Mourned a son that went under the sod

The feeling was disorienting
Trees - confused mesh of crash and sough -
Wriggled and bent under the strain
Beasts with springs on their hoofs
Raced about in restless groups for some alcoves within

Above,
Restless feet of macabre men
Clad in clothes decked with dead colours
Scudded across, mute, dragging and solemn procession
Scattered thunder-cries answered
By mumbled purrs
In toneless waves
Rose and grew disorienting.

Mourning so early in the morning
It was dead feeling and it broke my heart
Flung and ripped it in literal slits

Sky,
Do you still cry?
earthmen pour libations to the gods
Coercing some more of your sons to the dead
Wring tears from your eyes to wake the sleeping world
Into triumphant dances as labouring earth
Give birth to sappy crops....

Must you, Sky
Still cry
And bath clean your foes
with your tears?

Condolence paid out -
The sharp rays of the sun forced a wan smile
On the grieving one!

Chains of Freedom

by

Clarius Ugwuoha

Brother, do not bother,
Let me be
Chained as it were
To the vagaries of my psyche

Chained to grey-beard memories
In the cool of the dusk
Among these shady trees

Chained to all that make me
Want to be free

Chained and free
I walked the blood-tarred streets

The day has blinked her last
And the snore of deep sleep
Intoxicate me with sobreness

Chained and free let me lie undisturbed
This sleep of self tyranny
Amidst the living that are dead!

The Lonely Voice

by

Clarius Ugwuoha

A lonely voice,
Long-drawn-out,
Emanates as from nowhere,
Impregnates the morning air

Birth is given
To war-set warriors clanging
Matchets and chanting
War songs

Dusk and the world is laid to waste
Staring back nostalgic stares
At the ruin of its own hands.

Lonely voice say what you are
That makes widows of the newly wed
Orphans of the newly born
Gloomy of a sunny day...

These pressurizes chants of your praise
Do betray
Pent up fury
At your heraldic calls!

Cry Of The Harambee

by

Clarius Ugwuoha

Written in 1997 when the Harambee Stars lost to the Super Eagles of Nigeria
One goal
Two
And again!

Three tons of goals
Weighing like lead
On our minds

Is it fair, God?
We'd beat
Syli Stars
And toured
The Western world!

We'd trained
All day
To beat
Our opponent neat!

Now,
We've fallen
In a heap
Our faces
Heavy with shame

Our Country's name
We've dragged
Like a luggage
In the mud

We've lost
All we can

God,It's not fair
merciful day,
Hide us!

Babylon

by

Clarius Ugwuoha

Babylon,
Mighty like the Lion
Babylon,
Ancient city of the Chaldeans.

Flanked with busy quays
Builty untold was hers
But little was it known
The city has not come to stay.

Mighty Babylon
Of the royal palaces
Mighty Babylon,
Teeming city of the Euphrates.

Moved to pride
Nebuchadnezzer the king exclaimed:
Babylon, Babylon,
Is not this Babylon
That I had built?

The prophecy of the prophets
Chiding the Chaldeans
Counsels divine
The haunty Chaldeans Po-pooed

In Godly wrath, God
Through his prophets proclaimed:

Babylon, Babylon
My words you've put to scorn
And for my people you've not learnt to care
Mighty today you are
But silenced forever you shall be.

Babylon, Babylon
Mighty city of the terraces
What is your lot today
If not aridity and decay!

Dark Castration

by

Clarius Ugwuoha

In the era of missing organs in Lagos

Ritual man of the dark
God-sapient
Infallible Scourge
Was that another excision
Of rank excrescence?

Nudge was dark castration
nudge was dark
Nudge was
Nudge

Love-child of the dark
Terrible as death
You stalk not in groves
or prowl in the dark
In the entrancing rowdiness
Of day
You scatter
Fear-seeds...

Terrible it was
Decoyed to unreason by a mere pat
I stood there
Raining imprecations of wasted life
Upon
Agents of the dark...

Ritual man of the dark
Go-sapient
Infallible Scourge
Was that truely
Another excision
Of rank excrescence?

Child Of The Mirror

by

Clarius Ugwuoha

"My evil stare
Thrown backwards
Hit me to the floor -
Was that I,
That scowling wreath?"

"Mirror, no
It's not true It's I
it's unfair of you mirror!"

You've,mirror-child,
Woken on the wrong side,
A crying child first thing in the morning...

Noon,
Third cry for the day
No difference from the others
Only that the throat cracked,parched
As of now, croaked clouder with painful spurts...

Dashed expctations - daggers - ripped
Through your heart.

"I close my eyes:

"Louder cries,
Oceans of tears
Drown
Men.
Floods
Eat
Giant structures

It's tension here
Khaki boots kicking through
Floundering in the flood..."

It's a pity
Image of the mirror
Is it true you know not
Your right from your left?'

The Sun Shall Rise

by

Clarius Ugwuoha

Though the sky be dark
With clouds
And it rains
Without cease...

Though Grief perches on the wall
Like an owl
And hardship drums
Her rhythms on the door...

Though the barren fingers
Of the dark
Touch off on everything
And you ask...

Though it be dark today
Pot-black sky
Flakes of soot raining
And you cry...

Lo!
The barren fingers of the dark
Shall recede!
The Sun shall rise
Never to set again
It's golden streaks
Dawn to dawn
Shall permeate your world

Do not cry
The Sun Shall Rise!

The Greedy Soldier

by

Clarius Ugwuoha

On the ascension of Gen. Kontagora as Interim Administartor Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria

Beret
Khaki suits
And
Crown
You add
The academic gown
Looking like
A clown

Irony

by

Clarius Ugwuoha

sunshine when it should rain
rain when it should shine
the all-tooth laughter of noon
steeped me in sweat...

where the sun blinded me
darkness gave me sight

where my goodness scorned me
my evilness showered praises on me

truth caught me in it's snare
where lies set me free

now, it's enough
let things go the right way

Coffin Maker

by

Clarius Ugwuoha

Why do you make coffins
Of all things, this vehicle without wheels?
What is not your prayer?
That people die so you may sell your wares!

What are my sins
That I bulid a decent house for you when you're gone?
What do I not pray
That the best be yours when you're no more?

Stop stop stop
Stop this chahade, I'm alife
Untill I die, build no coffin.
House of the stiff
Should not pile on the streets
To remind us of the inevitable planting season,
Of the wasted labour to plant,
This crop that cannot grow!

Coffin Maker

by

Clarius Ugwuoha

Why do you make coffins
Of all things, this vehicle without wheels?
What is not your prayer?
That people die so you may sell your wares!

What are my sins
That I bulid a decent house for you when you're gone?
What do I not pray
That the best be yours when you're no more?

Stop stop stop
Stop this chahade, I'm alife
Untill I die, build no coffin.
House of the stiff
Should not pile on the streets
To remind us of the inevitable planting season,
Of the wasted labour to plant,
This crop that cannot grow!

Mind Wreck

by

Clarius Ugwuoha

(To NIGERIA my country)
Through paths of the mind
Twisting and turning
You've come back to the same beginning
Lost in that webbed intricacy

Lost in tangled immagination
Palled
By that stench of blood and of
Rancid putrescent flesh
By the sore sight of sunbleached bones
Your faces singing with the echoes of beastly roars
And of the pained cries of browbeaten lips

Your knotted grief had thickened the skies
Your grief had rained upon sterile minds
You've been fed full with leg-pulling froths
But your retch of disgust is stifled by the booth

Clad in raglike thoughts
You rake the streets
Shut out in suspect sanity
Should I mourn your myriad angst?

Down here on my sick bed
To beasts and tyrants
To jungle predatory duels
To the fake human sympathisers shimmering
Like mirages before my eyes
I have died!

In The Teeth Of The Cloudburst

by

Clarius Ugwuoha

Caught
Hollow like a drum
Where it is darkest
And the paths drunk
Are impracticable

No incandescences illumine -
My contretemps
I am as nebulous as the sky
Which falling
Runs seawards dead

Caught in egrecious depths
Amidst rat-wet serfs
Onwards I must go

Out of depths
I turn seamstress
Beckoning on the receding grave

Suicide

by

Clarius Ugwuoha

shattered
and scattered

lonely
and disillusioned

his world
hung on a ragged
knot

the birds sang away
in the trees

the clouds shifted
about to fall

morning beckoned
but he was gone.

CRY OF THE EARTH

by

Clarius Ugwuoha

At night I stretch and yawn
And watch the distant stars
You sleep sound in your homes
While I am deep at work
That you may dine the day to come
But you do not take thought for me
I look around me in fear
You are armed against me
I do not know what I have done

What have I done to you
That you draw up plans crude and new
To plunder and ravage my helpless mass
Hais as trees in the forestland
You burn me bald and bare

And here I am the mat on which you lie
And in which you shall someday hide
And when I am gone
Where do you think you can stand upon
What then have I done to you

And when your loved one dies
Do I not hide them from your rat-wet eyes
That you may endure and forget
The bitterness and pain
In life's unplanned and gloomy rain.

In the coral reef where my beauty shines
Like diamond in the dark dines
Your noxious chemicals and submarines
Which do not care that I cry
And pray that they should not pry
They sear through my body
Leaving me hot with pain

look at it
This deep great wound up there in my form
The ozone layer eaten into
As by a million ravenous wolves
Look at it
And one demented day, the heat they say can melt the furnace walls
Drown civilization

I implore you then
Hurt me no more
I mean no threat to you
Hurt me no more
I am a friend not foe
Hurt me no more
I'm weary and wrought

BOY JESUS IS BORN

by

Clarius Ugwuoha


Little child he came
But not as you did!
Boy child he was born
In a manger at night

Wrapped in a cloth
On mum's arms he lay
Quietly asleep
In the manger at night

The three wise men saw
A bright star in the East
Guided by the star,
Came to the manger at night

Wise as they are
They know what he'll be
They gave him gifts
In the manger at night

Frankincense was one
And gold and myrrh
So much for a child
In a manger at night!

Poland

by

Clarius Ugwuoha

An average weather full of shadows
Everlasting line of sunny meadows
The buzzying noises of the bees
And the deep green rows of trees
As if they were evergreen
The dusty, endless, cramped roads
Uneven and unseen
Cool air with snow and winter coats

First waiting rather without any sense
For inner fullfilmet and outburst immense
First sight-seeing in the wilderness
First kisses, first desires and caress
First love, first revenge tragedy
Among outspreading walls of gentle, murky towns
First battles sunken deep in suffering comedy
First friendship bounds.

The FIRST intimate places and states
The disapointments
The longing
The growing
The love - the strongest of all
Non formal, unconscious
Scattered in streets, towns, in red heart with red ball
I want to quaff you - Country vivacious!

Masses and the man

by

Clarius Ugwuoha

He looked at me
With eyes that cannot see

He called at me
With a voice that cannot hear

He smiled at me
The smile that makes you cry

Pity is in his eyes
Trouble in his soul

Get down then
And see him
Get down from your dizzy height
For he was the ladder that took you there!

INGRATITUDE TO MY UNSUNG HERO

by

Clarius Ugwuoha

Woken
Of a sudden
From ungrateful sleep
I have looked for her
All these years
To express
My gratitude.

I have looked for her,
Chasing against time,
Who saved my people
From the throes of servitude_

Through seas and wildernesses alike
Through thickets and open plains
I have finally arrived
To the truth
That she is where my thanks
Canít reach her.

Should I die then
To reunite with her
Just to express my gratitude.
But ungrateful as I am
I have chosen to live!

MY NIGER DELTA

by

Clarius Ugwuoha


The wounds and scars of the Niger Delta
Have grown eloquent tongues.
Fire-toungued wounds sleepless at dusk.

We have walked these paths
Morose in their dark illumination.

With charred voices, soot-footed.

We have walked these paths
Bent from the scourge of strangers, triggering rebellion.

Quick.
We must hasten to the grave
For there lies our strength!!!!