Saturday, 16 January 2021

The Eye of Poetry - Lilian A. Aujo

Poetry is the school I will never graduate from
because no matter how hard – I try
I will never tell it all – the secret way of its patterns
And how the same letters form different syllables to form different words,
And how they fall – in front or behind one another, and if re-arranged would create a whole different story...
It is how emotions run
High – Low – Calm – Serene
Vivacious, like the sun at noon, surreal like the fantasy it promises
You never know when poetry goes subtle or quiet. How even when there,
It grows deep like a river that bleeds
when the dry earth has sucked out her waters... poetry...

It is the bird song I cannot articulate
The trickle of the tap in a porcelain sink
The whoosh of the wind that makes my skin stand on end
That thing that knocks the breath out of my lungs
The music in you, unsung, yet so fervent you tingle within
The notes in the air unwritten on sheets. Tangible, intangible, whatever you please

It is useless to try to fathom how,
Without seeming to say much, it says so much,
How it clings to you like the little hand of a small child begging you to stay
Or, like the sticky filmy strands of the spider whose web you never see – but,
You walk right into anyway...

It is the sweet tangle between fantasy and realism
And metaphysics and apathy and breath and death
But do not worry if the opposites don’t quite match or get criss-crossed right:
The rhythms do not always match...
see, there in disorder exists the same beauty eminent in order,
I have come to learn,
That free verse, sonnet, haiku, list, and lyrical when tweaked just right
Are like a violin in the hands of a skilled violinist: so many songs from the tip of one bow

I live, breathe, dream poetry, in syllables so sweet they tantalise my mind
Tie and untie my tongue so I have no choice but try to tell of its complexity,
Of all the stories that are spun like the silky strands of Ananse’s tales
And the flighty cunning of a hare’s escapades...
I laugh so hard tears kiss the corners of my eyes,
I learn lessons that might have remained unlearnt had they been in plain black or white
See, the twists are new with every turn
Like a child’s wheel let loose and thrashing through bushes
Like heavy raindrops never knowing their mark –
Like the water in a lake that flows in itself and never knows where it ends and or where it begins... yes it is that meld...

...the sublime, the divine... that you never touch
Yet you know how it feels...
It is the beauty you want to explain but words are always inept to describe
It is poetry... existent in as many exquisite and intrinsic patterns
As there are on a peacock’s tail:

While she sits, her iridescent plumage dazzles us,
And when she fans her tail, we see her eye...
Hypnotically beautiful...spiralling into the magical chasm of poetry...
Do you see the eye of poetry?

Lilian Akampurira Aujo (21st century) Uganda
Source: Suubi, African Writers Trust and British Council, 2013

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