Tell Us, a poem (Nigeria’s Independence Day)

Peter Irabor, an old fan of my poetry who wrote the very first review on my book Colourless Rainbow, when it was still unpublished contacted me two days ago! He specially asked that in the spirit of Nigeria’s 52nd Independence Day Anniversary on October 1, I should repost “Tell Us”, one of the poems from my collection!

Well, here is an author’s grant of a wonderful fan’s wish. I hope you will all read and give me some feedback, will you? Thanks!

Tell Us

Countless cowries have been tossed
and tossed
on countless shrines; countless kola-nuts broken and chewed;
countless gourds of palm-wine
poured beneath palm fronds to search out your place in the hands
of destiny! Countless times,
We have seen the magic of the moon
in your eyes, twinkling with silvery
illumination of love.
Countless times, we have seen the milk
of your breasts flowing like palm-wine from the
gourds of life.
And we have, countless times, heard
the music of your heart
titillating with the thrills of tranquil
nights. Countless times, we have seen the
light of your soul
glow like the fires from the pit of this
calabash. But tell us why widows lie with
bereaved brooms
in the midnight? Tell us why only
gush from your black breasts when
young lips run with hungry-innocent eyes to
your lap?
Tell us why we love to dance
to the disharmony of war drums? Tell us! Tell us why we no longer hear
drums of thunder
after flashes of lightning? And no rain
after dark clouds…Tell us! …my pen shall bleed
the last drop of its dark blood,
through this labyrinth with solitary
lamentations –
For I am lost in your images
as yet more cowries are tossed to unveil
the black face of my virgin bride
Whom I made love to in the moonlight
But found no blood on her white
garment at dawn


6 thoughts on “Tell Us, a poem (Nigeria’s Independence Day)

  1. Sen Ihenyen
    of the class of Ntiru, Senghor and Imomotime,
    bard of aesthetic verses south of the divide,
    “I Will (indeed) Pronounce Your Name”…

    • Hey Jack Vince, I’m so flattered! Great to know you visited my literary blog! Thanks for your very glorious comments. Ntiru, Senghor and Imomotime are some of my finest.

  2. 16 days after, the resonance of Ihenyen poetry is still fresh. As sweet as coconut water yet as intellectual stimulating as BH’s last blast! Every line was a conveyor belt of literary darts!

  3. In a few words,Ihenyen’s poem is not only descriptive and highly picturesque.It is also thought-provoking.I can’t wait also for “them” to “tell us” what we seek to know.Is it that the hair-stylist is incompetent or that the hair clipper is blunt?(a famous Igbo rhetorical question).Nice job Mr Ihenyen. Gab,Law Faculty,Esut.

    • Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting on my post! I’m glad you enjoyed reading. To your rhetorical question, I believe the wise Igbo proverb has done justice already! Again, thanks Gabriel!

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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