archive - issue 18
Emmanuel Uweru Okoh
Now I ask...
What do you see?
Eyes with shades of variedness
Eyes of diverse vision
A hundred feet in this room
A hundred minds that stand differently
Multiple petals as ears all listening to me
But what do you hear?
Would you hold these words against me?
These "ordinary" utterances I fear would hunt me.
That hunt I see close to the finish line...
Must it hurt when we see the finish line?
Would you strike me with the rod of my deeds?
Those "ordinary" deeds we thought were innocuous...
Mere antics of a playful mind
Even as you cheer at my words,
The words etched on your hearts are "uncheerful"
Now I quiver, for there is no known tale of perfect pretense.
Spare me a while of being me.
This script I play has become me
Like a sad song on a loop.
Spare me a while of your genuine self
That this smile I see belongs to a smiling heart.
Now I ask again...
What do you see when you look at me?
Hands holding jaws
We sat, waiting for master's script.
Now, the party is losing colour
A shade of green, strange shade that is.
Green gone like an old groin pain.
When the door swung open,
Master's script said it all;
Lines of hope. Hyphens of greatness
Each punctuation seemed like our
Forlorn Sun, anew. This script has
Come to water our despair.
But master's words as bright,
Hung with the skies. We waited
And waited. Our hands back to jaws.
Captain Carlos's first and last move: to plough the sea.
To straighten the sea waves in plumbed manner. An Architect's
Masterpiece was his intention. Tools on deck; tape, chords and all
He set out to his dream.
Swinging back and forth, he became his own victim
As angry waves grew and leaped. Subtle ripples ignored calmness
And embraced rage, bursting paths in awakened passion.
Who traps the unseen?
Even the earth knows not to balance day and night.
And when this is over Carlos, show me a glass half-full.
Predictable antique on a constant loop. There you are,
Making tickling turns. Pro-cyclic rings of little rest.
Again, if we ask, please don't tell.
The sun plays your role; unending natural timepiece
Slow to burn or lie in faulty sequence.
We just noticed,
You've been on, and on: years and more and some more
Ticking and making unsolicited rounds, forever.