LETTERS OF TENDERNESS poem by Alao Ebenezer

poem by Alao Ebenezer

For Oehelia Ihiegbulem

A mad poet picks up
Some pieces of crumpled papers
And unfurl them to the public
Therein lies my poetic licence he says
Hunger knows no boundary
There lies a flower
In the balcony of life
It is a white lily…
And with those slits…
And with those pretty long braids
And with those dark lips
And with those creamy teeth
And with the kohl that surrounds the eyes
To be the longing apple
And I loved her…
And I loved her…

I met her calm
Like waters at dawn
There lies a flower in the balcony of life
A white lily lies in the balcony of life
I shall break down the concrete walls of tenor
Let loose the reins with fervour
Let loose the reins with fervour
And silence dawned over….
And silence dawned over….

She was one of my school wives
Brimmed with inspiration and ethereal conscience
Her beauty enough for a magazine coverlet
She was one of my school wives…
The reflected moods of those moments
We shared together drives me hilarious
Like the masquerade that runs berserk
And mowed down a myriad of heads
On hearing its ancestral praise names…
Love is a tangle of dreams
Love is an ungrateful labyrinth
Love is a measure of forgiveness
You are the gurgling expression of my humanity
The shape of my total expression
The expression of truth to life…
The expression of truth to life…

I shall take you to circles
What about the cenacle of poets
I am the ripe fruit through
That the air has slipped past
Gather your lappa
I have paid the dowry
Meet me at the appointed time tonight
My kinsmen shall embrace you
At our ancestral hearth…
Where water lies at the threshold
For your feet donned with henna
You shall not meet me at home
The door is opened
Weep for joy…
Weep for joy…

           15 March 1995

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