Literary Yard

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‘Sweet Memories’ and poems by Eterigho

By: Eterigho Oghenekome Humphrey


Memories, don’t ask me of the last names I loved-
Tell winds to halt echoing their whispers to my head;
For my travelling feet leave them behind each year-
Away from my eye’s sight, they drop like tears
And fall on earth of coasts the old-salt in me must flee,
Like teardrops never to revisit eyes they fell from again
So my feet must never revisit last coasts they mounted-
Though lips that own those names are gone,
Envoys of pain still let their sweet words sail on
Hellish ships from coasts of past-love to my eardrum-
Each envoy that visits my Ocean-wandering-head
Retells me that I shall never see the sweet past again-
I wish I can towel river that permits those hellish ships
Lending wings to butterflies that leave tears on my cheek
Each time they perch with brightly colored wings;
For ere I play with those sweet-winged-butterflies
They flap their wings and sail back to hell
Reminding me that they are ghosts of the past-
Aye, how can sweet things hail from hell?
How can diabetes hail from sweet sugar?
Why are sweet memories indeed bitter?”

If father is he that sits meal on table, then you are my father
For at harvest ‘tis your fingers that sites meal on my tongue
If mother is she that bathes her infant, O you are my mother
For ‘tis you that bathes me with sweat through sowing time
Ah! My field, my mother, my father, my comrade yearlong
Forgive me when I clout you with machetes and with plow
For my belly halts-not grumbling ‘twill halt my heartbeats

But soon field hated me refusing to bring a comely harvest
Sages advised I let my field rest awhile for ‘tis over-tasked
And thirsts for the honeyed hue of slumber to fall upon her
My belly grumbled, but my field failed to change its mind

Since sleep blindfolded field, I opted visit world nigh me
Rumored bliss of riches was a gossip on the world’s lips
Since belly tasted not riches I opted feed my eyes with it

So with legs swaying like grand scrotum of an aged ram
I toed to meadow of a rich man, jewels painted his wrist
His meadow was lovely as fountains at the edge of Eden
Girls with eyes bettering stars in tides they serve a gazer
Such fair girls roved it amid guitar-strings sailing the air
His field was wide and fecund as field around famed Nile
My eyes ate jealousy rather-than get fed by the eyesight

I beheld lots of fruits jammed away with thick pad-locks
By hand ignorant of toil, my spirit grew sour as old wine
For yearlong I toil yet ‘tis my belly hunger opts to visit
While still sour, I beheld noise grace the rich man’s lair
“Mine, yours” roved air as for heir-loom his sons flared
Soon the rich man’s green meadow begot deep red hue
Hue of danger my eye held as one son made his sibling
To bite dust of that rich meadow, slain as a slain beast

Owner of rich hand I saw ere came from his fair door
His blood boiled in his vein, blood-pressure slew him
At fore of his pad-lock, now manure for his meadow
My plea for wealth fled from my heart like a coward
O how wealth birth death; even the-rich are no better
Not all that shines is gold; the shine of a diving spear
Is but flash of flattery from the ancient-serpent’s lip

So I ran to my slumbering field and took few weeds
Then fed my meal of leaves in my deeply silent lair
Gold metal is rare but in marigold and golden-poppy
I had gold ample to feed my stare, dreading wealth
Awaiting my field rise to serve me fertile than ever

These days, a true heart is the black sheep-
Does the lovebird not care he can go bare?
Forget he that nectar hides in other petals,
Breasts eagerly waiting the kiss of his suck?
How oft will He be crucified by love for one
Like that fowl at winter making a nest with
His own feather for she who shares isles of
Wedlock with him because she failed to craft
Hers all fall; for she busied chasing lovers who
Like vampires love her under smokes of night
But at sunrise flee her having gotten their
Pound of blood, having pulled the lovebird’s
Floating city of treasures from firmaments-

When winter is slain by hours and fall lives,
Having crafted nest for her with my feathers
I am now a bare-bird; she is decked in gems
Again chasing the vampires of the nights-
Again they bow upon my city of treasures
My treasured city is a mat where beasts of
Wild nights lay, playing moonlight Vikings-
How long will my beak not learn to loathe
The honeyed nectar this petal nurtures it with?
How long will I suck same nipples beasts suck,
Suckled with food of swine like a prodigal son?
How long will I play the crucified Christ
Yet the anti-Christ-night-walkers triumph,
Not spilling an ounce of gore, oh mankind-



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