HIV/AIDS Poems: The Poetry of Senator Ihenyen, Nigerian Poet and Writer


Stranger in the Mirror of My Life: Poems for Everyone Affected by HIV/AIDS is now out! To buy the book, simply click the linked title above, or go to the online bookstore directly!


…with over half of the collection of poems on HIV/AIDS completed, ‘Stranger in the Mirror and Other Poems’ promises to be an engaging piece…

‘Stranger in the Mirror and Other Poems’
, a work in progress by Senator Ihenyen, the author of ‘Colourless Rainbow’ has been described by him as his “most creatively challenging and engaging work yet!” In the next few months as we approach December 1, the World AIDS Day, you will continue to be updated on the progress being made on the work.

According to the Nigerian author, one great challenging and engaging task is attempting to strike an appealing balance between the art in the poetry and the heart of the message!”

While work is in progress, some of the poems in the proposed ‘Stranger in the Mirror and Other Poems’ would be posted on this blog! Meanwhile, published below are few of the completed pieces. Some of them have been published by the author on the Internet. They represent the voices behind the silence, the faces behind the figures, the feelings behind the facts. The hope and despair, love and hate, acceptance and discrimination. These poems are voices against HIV/AIDS, fighting with their lives not to become or remain a stranger in the mirror of their own very lives.

Senator Ihenyen, the author is always happy to hear from you! Your comments and feedback would be gladly received!Keep them coming.


Stranger in the Mirror
of My Life

Before me is a mirror
a mirror beside my bed
away from the sun
burning brightly outside the window-blinds
in my darksome room.

For a moment
before the mirror
I stand to see the face of the victim
whose result returned a death sentence
after a test,
and another test, and yet another
but they kept coming back
one and the same
like the torrent of tears that keep returning to your eyes
when the heart remains wet with worries

Wavering worries of ones life walking away from the door,
as the wall clock thicks unrestrained, untouched, unconcerned,
like the footsteps of the world moving on,
unaffected, unmoved, unstirred.

In the mirror
I found a face
a certain face too afraid to look at me.
The face of a stranger –
a strange face sketched in the shadows of my unlit room
against the fiery fingers of the sun flicking the window-blinds on a fateful morning
to irradiate my day.

I know this face hiding in the mirror isn’t me –
It couldn’t be me!
I look straight into her eyes,
and it was then she looked back at me –
Petrified, she crept back into the closet of her life.

I walk slowly and gently towards her,
and the stranger suddenly steps closer and closer towards me.
And when my feet froze on the floor
Upon the freezing fear that gripped me,
the stranger in the mirror suddenly startles – faint-hearted, intimidated

this stranger is not me
No, not me!
She is just a shadow –
the shadow of someone too locked-up in her closet to open up to me.
She is a stranger too steeped in shame to stand up to herself
and say:

“I’m Hannah,
I’m HIV positive-
but see how beautiful life could be
when I open the window-blinds in my heart
and let the rays of the sun
overshadow the stranger in the mirror of my life.”


We are the Victims

We are the victims

not of an invincible virus

hunting the blood of man

We are the victims

not of a dangerous disease

unleashing death on us

We are the victims

not of HIV/AIDS

wiping mankind from the face of earth

like ripples of death spreading across lives.

We are the victims

Victims of the virulent virus

Victims of the violent virus unleashed from the diseased heart

of this infected world we live in.

Victims of a world

too prejudiced to see

that we are the victims

and they, our virus

A Fallen Victim

I still remember

Still remember very fondly

How at the river flowing with the current of our childhood

The sun greets us with splendid smiles on her waking lips.

But it is all strange now,

Like the earth at dawn with early earthworms at our feet.

It is really so strange now,

Like the rivers inside me flowing backwards

Reading your epitaph on this wet memorial.

And I still fondly remember your deep dimples

That like ripples upon the shimmering smiles of waters

Wake on your lively lips. Just a year ago

I was beside the shadow of what you use to be

When you showed me pictures I’d never seen before.

In those dying eyes of yours

I’d seen piercing pictures of what tomorrow must bring back to us

After today leaves us. Those ribbon of flowers by your graveside

Red with the infected blood that ravaged you

Is your bed your place of rest

For the little child that once smiled the sun with me

At the river of life around hues of hope

Now fed upon by earthworms


Is It Because…

…you did not kiss my hand

like you use to

when with so much love in my eyes

I held it up to your lips

beaming with the crystals in my heart –

Is it because I now have HIV?

When you poured the red wine into the glasses

you did not hold yours to my waiting lips

like you use to

so that as transparent as the two glasses

we could see the colours in our hearts –

Is it because I now have HIV

or you never really loved me?


Don’t miss the fresher poems! Some more will be regularly posted in the blog. Just subscribe to Senator Ihenyen’s blog or follow this blog!


Thanks for visiting my blog! You can be sure I'll get back to you in no time. You're always welcome around here! Senator Ihenyen Author

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