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African Writing Archives


Chiedu Ezeanah


Chiedu Ezeanah

Ezeanah is a Nigerian writer and poet.

The poems Air-Borne, Phrases in the Air, and Meteor are from the collection, Endsongs.


Gravitation's surrender
Peaks in the air, and
A sinking feeling
Rends the mind.
A whirling parachute
In a stilt-dance,
The mind floats,
Eerily soars and ebbs.
Arrival seizes ground level:
The spirit firms up
On stolidity
Beneath the mists.



Speeches bearded
And clean-shaven
Pound the air everywhere.
So much pathetic data,
Such a plethora of eggheads;
So much dearth of sense.
The air ascendant,the exultant air;
The air expectant,the crowing air;
Return to feast on phrases in the air,
The elemental air is all you have...



The night whimpered
Breathless I waited-
I sought you in the twilight's belly,
I sought you in the belly of war,
I sought you.
To find a way out:the song.
Miles of lonely dreams skipped trails of taboos
You traversed tributaries of attritions
                                                      You came...
A lone meteor in the fog
Skidding across gleaming gulfs
                                                      You came...
Song you came
With bouquets of love
Mossed in cruel winds.
(The above are excerpted  from the introit section titled-VISTAS)



Dawn metes out light
To the sun
To Time waking
Into half-moons
Of timeless twilights...
And the boundless reign of night unreels.
An earth without dreamy night is unreal.
The dawn, dimmed by night,returns
To fissures in a rage of mirages;
The splinters mingle and merge
Restive in the harmony of the mosaic-
The sway of the dawn never ends



The foodshed flares hot with nostalgia:
Your tearful sonnets without guitars
Mumbling aloud in the breeze about rebirths
When you ask for the sun
They offer you the twilight.
Dated and broken
Just and gentle free Nigeria
Seethes with Awolowo's dismantled statue.
Excuse his shamanic mutterings
Star and dust and sun
Live on as he too lives on-
Elemental and profound.
Go to the last old tree that stood tall-
Learn free lessons in how to be mortal.
On the banks of Inachalo
At the edge of a "waterloo"
Out of the purgatory of inter-tribal feuds
Idah's granite waterfront statue
Sculpts Princess Inikpi's gallantry.
Restless spear her spirit
Qiuck to the oracle's keen
Frantic war-call,maiden
Gone with the planting season,
Inikpi's kin-love harvests peace
For the startled small lives besieged.
So much of her symmetry reeks
Of grace and grief in extremity
Down the Benue-Niger Valley.
To live in that town-
Is to be gunned out of it,
Is to be verged outside it,
Is to be on the run from it...



       And ubiquitous as Zuma Rock
     A sordid chamber of phantom MPs
      Sworn and glued to loot soirees
    Across the aisle scatters odiousness
     Swamped by the largesse of rot
     The gallery nods,snoozes,applauds...



            (1st Quartet)
(For Victor Ekpuk)
Deep scent of fresh fish
Heralds the slow canoe's
Misty dawn's homing surge-
The fisher's net hauls vitality
Into Time's arteries with a cry-
The fisherman never lets go of the sea!
Before the waves he becomes the waves
Living on water he becomes living water.
Rich or poor,each creation,is a chord,
Tune in,and you're her rhythm,her pond.
Stretch forth your hands,cast the net to the depths
Awaken dreams of selves nourishing selves.
The stark moon's tryst with the sea is over-
The dreamseeker never let's go of the song!
Beneficient to our shores, the Sea has thrown you up?
The half-grateful and fully awed fishermen;
The islanders with the revelry of a dance at dawn;
Townspeople and newshunters; microphones and cameras ask:
Are you a meal, or a wayfarer that lost its way?
Are you an inflated dream needing a dwelling place?
Or, a fallen neighbour in need of some soothing lay?
You slumped and floated like a curio on our shores-
Drunken on distances and depths of the high seas;
Crunching up stowaways, seamen; tipsy on toxin;
Grown gigantic from chewing up hordes of small fish.
What if, even for our enormous needs,
The visiting whale is of little or no use-
Like the wooden gift of the wily Greeks?
Opulent lachrymal glands
Overflow the luxury moat
Named oo-foo-ET-bwahn-YEE:
Another raw chopped chunk
Has just been chewed,relished:
The Yamasoukoro crocodile
Is aristocratic. The torrent
Of its after-lunch tears is totemic.
An Easter-time itinerant tourist,V.S.Naipaul,
Whose pedigree and the crocodile's are one,
Elated by the crimson eeriness of the lake
Shed a tonne of prose to celebrate-
"Its twisted snouts and closed teeth
Like an irregularly stitched wound..."



Unresting eyes:it little matters if they are purple or blue.
The colour-crossing lord rules the sun, the moon.
Dressed in sun in the fields, in moon in the woods,
Wandering into wondrous colours,being not any,
But being sum of dream's borrowed colours.
Unacknowledged artist-hero and debonair spy
Lavishing menacing Time with bolder beauties;
Undercover agent reeling in occult visions
Feigning shifting skin,flaunting the shifty scenes;
Muse and reveller in Life's fertile spectra-
I've peeked through your mutating stunts
In voluptuous waves of colour-crossings.
Beauties farmed from flitting fields
Call us to stand still and be owned...
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