Friday, 4 November 2016

all because i loved you - Olu Oguibe

once i wrote with the irreverence of youth
and the fire of a heart burning to ash
i plucked words like faggots from blazing coal
and on the anvil of exile i hammered sorrow into verse
the burden of your suffering tore poetry from my flesh
and on the night of your hanging there was dust in my lines
i aimed for song and there was not an eye without tears

i marked the fourteen stations of the cross
but your death has killed my verse
each day i wake on the hour to mourn
and i feel like a wanderer in a city without lights
passion flees in the fog and words crumble at my touch
and my throat feels like a concrete floor
the power of tears has deserted me

i walk through the streets of this forbidding town
searching for faces i used to know
and your memory is like a faded picture in the pocket
here and there i hear your name like the distant crack of a whip
and there is a dull pain where the scars remain
i recall your stubbornness and the ring of blood on your wrist
and i embrace this cold that severed you from me

once i howled with the rage of a bard
there was epiphany in the pain
and all because i loved you
now i claw the walls for the naked word
my lines are a hollow sepulchre
ready for the final dust
silence claims us at last

Olu Oguibe (born 1964) Nigeria
Source: Emma Howley Poetry Blog

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