Ode to a Silver Spoon

I initially wrote this for the ‘The writer’ competition at http://thenakedconvos.com/. I think its time I flushed it out of my ‘drafts’ folder.

I refuse to be held accountable for any perceived silliness. It was written in a dank laundromat at 5 pm on a cold Sunday evening. This may or may not explain what you are about to read (if you have not already read it)

OK. 

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Ode to a silver spoon.

————————————–
**
My soul is overwhelmed with a thousand quakes
My heart suffers a dull and constant ache,
As I sit upon this chair – a throne of thorns
Condemned to suffer for this mistake.
*
*
T’was not but half an hour ago
That I purchased Ben and Jerry’s cookie dough.
An ice cream balm for spirits descended low
Ah! But fate did deal me a cruel blow!
My spoon, I forgot by the window
*
*
My splendid spoon! Of stainless steel and fire born!
Sitting upon your kitchen windowsill throne, all modesty shorn.
The thought of which unto me brings only woe and mourn!
I wish I could reach forth and take you but alas, I am forlorn.
*
*
I sit here emotionally torn,
For to my Laziness I am well and truly sworn!
Your glory and majesty lies in the kitchen so far away
Can you not rise and come my way?
*
*
Spoon, spoon, spoon! Mine to hold and woo!
My dear sweet spoon, I must have you!
Will you not come to my rescue?
I shall sing your praises, if you but come on cue
*
*
I beseech thee, silver Zeus of Olympian cutlery,
Conspire with gravity, take leave and come to me.
Surely, you can achieve this minor glory
The tales of your exploits are the stuff of legend and fine story.
*
*
Radiant Aphrodite herself spoke highly of your beauty
Your curvaceous body is the envy of all other cutlery.
Your cheerful shine, I reflect upon as you fit into my mouth perfectly
Whenever I consume ice cream or pudding or soup rapturously.
*
*
Your bottommost design is reminiscent of seashells,
Cast upon a sun swept beach by dutiful waves.
Your slender frame remains the envy of the finest supermodels
To possess your features, they would gladly become slaves.
*
*
Of your functions, praise singers have made many melodies
They sing of your battles and attendant glories.
Of the time you sent three million grains of rice to digestive death
And caused ten delicious apple strudels to cease breath.
*
*
Conqueror of food! Silver prince divine!
Hasten to me that again you may shine!
I cannot rise but surely you can, please! I implore!
I promise I shall wash thee only with the finest detergent d’or!
*
*
Lovely spoon, my eyes now see of a true hue
And realize now that even as I yearn for you,
And beseech you with praises old and new
I have yet never heard tell of a spoon that flew.
*
*
So I know in my heart that today, you and I will not meet,
My ice cream is already melting around my feet
And laziness will not permit me rise from this seat.
Glorious utensil! Sadly, we must concede defeat.
*
*
Pulchritudinous silver spoon, thee I still adore!
This shall not taint your magnificence of yore
And even though you have never failed me before
In this moment of disappointment I truly love you more
Than ever I loved any spoon before.
**
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Elements of us

Today is World Poetry Day.

Apparently, World Poetry Day is a time to appreciate and support poets and poetry around the world. It is held on March 21 each year and is an initiative of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Government agencies, educators, community groups and individuals get involved in promoting or participating in the day. World Poetry Day is an opportunity for children to be introduced to poetry in classrooms. It is a time when classrooms are busy with lessons related to poetry, in which students examine poets and learn about different types of poetry. Poets may be invited to read and share their work to audiences at book stores, cafes, universities and schools. Awards and other forms or recognition are made to honor poets and their work. Exhibitions and poetry evenings are also be held to showcase the work of various poets on or around March 21 to coincide with World Poetry Day.

Well thats the idea anyway.

Poetry is an odd thing to celebrate if you think about it. Why make such an effort to introduce children to this art? What exactly are you celebrating? Pretty words? Feelings? Arcane ways of expression? Rhymes and structure?

I think its all these and more. There is something to be said for being able to weave words intricately.  There is an intangible quality about poems, almost spirit-like. Someone once said to me “If words were human, prose would be a man and poetry would be a woman”. I’m still not entirely sure what he meant by that seeing as how he had just consumed several shots of Tequila.

Anyway. I am no poet. I appreciate poetry and I occasionally dabble but lord knows I cant write real poetry to save my life.

Still, in celebration of World poetry day, I dabble. You can find ‘Elements of Us’ – something I co-wrote with @rhaiharnah on TheNakedConvos site.

Click HERE.

Song of my… Originality

“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery – celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to.” ― Jim Jarmusch
*
*
*
Recently, I’ve read a few stories that seemed to have familiar plot lines or themes and noticed with considerable reservation that people instantly jump on this kind of familiarity with accusations of plagiarism without any sort of investigation whatsoever. The most recent examples are to be found on The Sawaleh Blog as well as several entries in The Writer competition. I have even accused someone of this recently and I am quite ashamed of it because I did not investigate fully first before judging and quite frankly I had forgotten the words of independent film auteur Jim Jarmusch which are the opening lines of this post.
*
I had also forgotten that everything we write comes from somewhere else. Many of the stories I have written were inspired by stories I read or movies I watched or games I played or conversations I had with people. In fact, when I first started writing short stories, I would leave subtle references in the story as to where the inspiration came from or the influences that spurred me to write. A line from  a conversation or a song, a reference to a character in  movie or book or videogame, a quote, and my favourite reference device – the title. (In fact, almost every story I have ever written – from childhood till present day and even those written anonymously or under a different name – has a title based on a movie or song. The most obvious examples would be ‘True Romance’, ‘Requiem for a Dream’ and ‘Solaris’)
*
Anyway, the point is, that was my own way of adopting Jarmusch’s ‘celebrate your thievery’ philosophy and I still do it up to this day. Can anyone accuse me of plagiarism? No, because the final work is usually such a hodgepodge of several influences, my own imagination and style as well as other smaller imperceptible things that only a few studied people would be able to see where it came from and I do reference my inspirations (albeit subtly) on the off chance that someone does notice similarities.
*
I think that is the least we should all do. Give a small acknowledgement of your inspiration and if you lift heavily from it – in terms of theme of style, then mention it openly as I did with ‘Enemy’  . I realize that this is sometimes impossible because you may not even know that you have been influenced by a thing until you create something else and someone else points it out to you. The subconscious works in mysterious ways.
*
Still, in all this it is important to remember that it is not rare for two people to have the same idea (possibly at the same time) independent of each other. It happens all the time in scientific and mathematical research as with Newton and Leibniz – but that is a story for another day.
*
So the key in all this is to remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to.”
*
Now as a case in point…
*

Sometimes, Art gives birth to more art. The lead singer of the symphonic metal band ‘Nightwish’ – one of my favourite bands, is a huge fan of the poet Walt Whitman and the 12th song on their Album ‘Imaginaerum’ – the brilliance of which I mentioned here, is inspired by one of the poet’s poems. The song is called ‘Song of Myself’ – a name it shares with the original poem. The entire ‘Song of myself’ poem is terribly long and I doubt any one of you would have the patience to read it. However, at the end of Nightwish’s song, they perform a poem of their own – also inspired by the original poem. It is painfully beautiful. If you like symphonic metal and poetry, you can listen to the song and the poem at its end here. I have taken my favourite section of the poem and transcribed it because I wanted to see these beautiful words on a page. I share this with you now.

(For a truly blissful experience, read this on a PC while playing the video embedded below from the 7:10 time marker.)

************************************************

[4. Love]

I see a slow, simple youngster by a busy street, A begging bowl in his shaking hand. Trying to smile but hurting infinitely. Nobody notices. I do, but walk by.

An old man gets naked and kisses a model-doll in his attic It’s half-light and he’s in tears. When he finally comes his eyes are cascading.

I see a beaten dog in a pungent alley. He tries to bite me. All pride has left his wild, drooling eyes. I wish I had my leg to spare.

A mother visits her son, smiles to him through the bars. She’s never loved him more.

An Arabesque girl enters an elevator with me. All dressed up fancy, a green butterfly on her neck. Terribly sweet perfume deafens me. She’s going to dinner, alone. That makes her even more beautiful.

I see a model’s face on a brick wall. A statue of porcelain perfection beside a violent city kill. A city that worships flesh.

The first thing I ever heard, was a wandering man telling his story. It was you, the grass under my bare feet. The campfire in the dead of night. The heavenly black of sky and sea

It was us, Roaming the rainy roads, combing the gilded beaches. Waking up to a new gallery of wonders every morn. Bathing in places no one’s seen before. Shipwrecked on some matt-painted island, Clad in nothing but the surf – beauty’s finest robe

Beyond all mortality we are, swinging in the breath of nature. In early air of the dawn of life. A sight to silence the heavens

I want to travel where life travels, following its permanent lead. Where the air tastes like snow music. Where grass smells like fresh-born Eden. I would pass no man, no stranger, no tragedy or rapture I would bathe in a world of sensation Love, goodness and simplicity (While violated and imprisoned by technology)

The thought of my family’s graves was the only moment I used to experience true love. That love remains infinite, as I’ll never be the man my father is.

How can you “just be yourself” when you don’t know who you are? Stop saying “I know how you feel” How could anyone know how another feels?

Who am I to judge a priest, beggar, whore, politician, wrongdoer? I am, you are, all of them already

Dear child, stop working, go play Forget every rule. There’s no fear in a dream.

“Is there a village inside this snowflake?” – a child asked me “What’s the colour of our lullaby?”

I’ve never been so close to truth as then. I touched its silver lining

Death is the winner in any war. Nothing noble in dying for your religion. For your country. For ideology, for faith. For another man, Yes

Paper is dead without words. Ink idle without a poem. All the world dead without stories. Without love and disarming beauty

Careless realism costs souls

Ever seen the Lord smile? All the care for the world made Beautiful a sad man? Why do we still carry a device of torture around our necks? Oh, how rotten your pre-apocalypse is. All you bible-black fools living over nightmare ground.

I see all those empty cradles and wonder If man will ever change.

I, too, wish to be a decent man-boy but all I am Is smoke and mirrors Still given everything, may I be deserving

And there forever remains the change from G to E-Minor

******************************************

Burnout

************************
Catch a fire
Feelings for hire
A cornucopia of desire
Or so it seems
But we all know that nothing is as it seems…
Don’t we?
Its funny how the metaphors
That describe the things I met her for
Companionship
Sharing
Excitment
Begin to lose meaning
As I change places, see new faces
Meet others
Gain new bothers
And the memories?
They fade away
A little a day
Until they are nothing but what is left of the echoes of what was once a very
Loud
Beautiful
Sound
Just another note in the symphony that is life
My life.
My life has been a series of
Divergent
Indulgent
Experiences
My existence has been the sum of
Transient
Intense
Moments
As my future continuously consumes my present
And excretes its predecessor into the
Dark
Black
Murky
Waters of the toilets of all that is my past
Relationships are fractured 
Feelings are blurred
Replaced with
Memories that are unworthy of the experiences that birthed them
Still I collect them
Reveling in the
Making
Being 
Collecting
There is no joy in the keeping
Only…
Hollow whispers
A dull susurrus
Echoes of laughter
A sapless harmony
Blurry pictures
A sequence of banal visions
And the ashes
Which are all that is left when the fires of what was once a
Raging
All-consuming
Passion
Eventually burn out.

Three Cheers for Pain and Poetry

I Dream of Earthquakes

When I am stressed I dream of earthquakes.

These earthquakes usually happen in my room.

Everytime I try to escape them but I never succeed.

So maybe being awake is better than being asleep.

Or is it? No, it isn’t. NO IT ISN’T!

I also experience earthquakes when I am awake.

Everytime I try to escape them but I never succeed

These ones are far worse than my dream earthquakes.

They take the form of envious eyes, evil hearts, fake smiles,

fear, cold stares, confusion, madness, missed deadlines,

guilty memories not laid to rest,

ghosts tormenting my imagination, painful words, phobia,

diseases of the mind, darkness, voices dancing in my head,

violence, loneliness, lost legacies.

So I fight an endless raging battle. No, two endless raging battles

One battle in the mind, one outside it. The world persecutes me.

Dad said ‘choose your battles’ but how could I choose this time?

These battles, these afflictions were forced on me.

I was chosen for this but not given a choice.

There’s not even one ‘kiss from a rose’ to ease the pain.

So these sobs turn into angry screams.

I scream, I wail, I call, I plead, I pray, I wait

But no one hears me because their ears are blocked by selfishness.

To them, success is all that matters

I hoped my psychiatrist would hear my desperate screams

But I guess he was too distracted by his own problems

O death, where is thy sting so I can be saved by it?

O grave, where is thy victory? Redeem me!

When I am stressed I dream of earthquakes and it’s painful

But my pain has become my paradise; a necessary evil

An escape from the far more painful experience of being awake.

**************************************************************************************************************

The Dancer

Step after step, sweat flowing

Heart pounding, gyrating to the beat

Left, right, centre, backwards, forwards

All around heads nodding to the beat

Clapping to the rhythm, feet tapping

The audience would scream for an encore

Didn’t they always? They want more

Nobody understood, the truth always out of their grasp

He had understood, he had grasped the truth

He was gone, why remember him

Remember that night of intensity

Nothing like it ever again

Gone like all the rest

They always left, everybody

Once the pain reared its head, each ran

The demons chased them away

No happiness for this dancer

Riding out the last couple of chords

This was it, it was here,

the pain became fierce

Here the anger became fire

Head up, teeth bared, tears always there

It was at the end now, tears flowing

Step after step, sweat flowing

Here was the end of the dance

Encore! Encore! Encore!

****************************************************************************************************

Self Love

Everybody says ‘love your self’

Nobody sees how hard it is

How much pain suffocates the body

Never really looking behind the white teeth and the flirtation

Beyond the laughter and the chirpy attitude

Its so much easier to love another

To devote everything to another

Heart, soul and spirit is theirs

Loving oneself requires so much

Opening jars and jars of tears

Upturning buckets of pain

Soul searching, finding one’s true self

Things so hard, things impossible

Courage to fight for another is abundant

Happiness at others achievements overflowing

‘Be happy for yourself’ they say

Happy about what?

Standing in front of a mirror

Taunts and jeers remembered

Stupid, Ugly, Whore, Skinny, Bitch…

anger and tears eagerly looking for release

Where can happiness be found?

How do you find peace when all your being is at war?

When will a smile be real?

From the soul, complete, in your eyes

Happiness, so far away, such a rarity, such a treasure

Letting go? Why is it so damn hard?

Happiness! Why so fucking elusive?

*************************************************************************************************************************

Editors Note:

These three poems were written by ladies who wish to remain anonymous. Kindly leave a comment for them. 

Au bord de l’existence

(At the edge of existence)
Standing at the edge of my life, peering over the cliffs of existence
Unsure where I would take up eternal residence
Meaningless nothing or endless bliss, perhaps pain everlasting
At least I could smile for the fragments of my humanity I had retrieved
I made my peace. Apologized to the people I had hurt and despised.
Some laughed, some rejoiced at my perceived senility, some actually cried.
But it mattered not, It was for me, my soul was weary with the burden of a thousand sins.
I had finally let go. I could no longer hold on to all the regret.
Regret for the golden jubilee that should have been marked with celebration
But was laced with so much pain my soul shook in convulsion
Mistakes of years past staring back at me in the mirror
When did love and beauty degenerate into such horror?
I know I hurt the ones I love,
And I had to right my wrongs no matter what happened
Wrong decisions that set me on a path of self-destruction
Like the decision to do whatever it took to rise above my peers
Shouldering responsibilities beyond what was possible, in spite of the tears
And so I forsook my many blessings to pursue the mirage of more
Faith made me move mountains,wisdom made me stronger
Opportunities in the midst of distress made me tougher
A worthy sacrifice of pleasure, to secure a legacy of achievements in torrents
Desperately trying to hold on to the success I had once shared with a family
The family she gave me…
She whose inner beauty money could not buy
Flesh of my flesh, I had worn my heart on my sleeves and sold it for the charm of an angel
The romance of youth in love fused with dreams woven from a spell
Never had I felt such passion that overshadowed early years of mistakes
Reproduction was necessary, raising our offspring was fraught with agony
The vices of a first son brought back painful memories
A broken home displayed the shards mirrored by my broken heart
What really did tear us apart?
And so my thoughts made me weary, as I walked along memory lane
past my inner mind’s city streets, dim-lit, they were so shadowed with grief
I shook with tears when I recalled the early days of youth
The challenges of life dealing me blow after blow, ever so rough
My tears mixed with my dreams, an elixir with a bittersweet taste
But it made me strong with a confidence that little could shake
I was once a naïve young man looking forward to a life of pure bliss
I had a plan for my life, a map, drawn with ink of good intentions
I had mapped out a plan of action, a map with an unknown destination
Yet with every obstruction, came small deviations
And still I carried on, wondering what indeed lay yonder?
The teenage years had been filled with confusion and wonder
The mysteries of my own body and others I did ponder
Drawn to explore everything by a strange and powerful curiosity
Constantly trying to live responsibly when irresponsibly called to me so sweetly
The will to succeed, to please those who mattered, to live a good life
wrestled daily with the consuming fires of lust, the green fangs of envy
The germinating seeds of careless character planted early
As then confused, soon to be consolidated
But there was then no consolidation in the mind of a child
the harbinger of both sorrow and joy.
The seeds that would yield a harvest of emotions for me were sown early.
The seemingly benign acts of parents that lived fearfully
The rod and the staff that did not comfort me but dealt harsh retribution
for every perceived transgression.
At least I was not alone then…
I was surrounded by friends with whom I shared the joys of discovery
We stole kisses from girls, Morsels of meat from pots.
Learnt to reason, absorb information and thoughts.
Such benign beginnings, I remember when we played together, smiling.
But into this world we each came alone
Escaping from the ocean that did not drown
Breaking the chain that did not bind
Coming to seek that which we did not know how to find.
Alone we came.
Alone I came.
And now, alone, empty-handed and naked,
Liberated from the weight of my world, I must return.
And so I stand here smiling, at the edge of my life
waiting to fall off the cliffs of existence.
*********************************************************************************************************************************************
Editors Note:
This poem was written by myself and @awizzi for the amazing Decades project on Afro says to me. It was meant to capture stages of a mans life as seen from the end in order to complement the style of the stories. We hope it did. 

A Silly P story

There once was a powerful penis

attached to a great man named Dennis.

In and out it did thrust

To satisfy his carnal lusts.

Now discarded, a fine instrument gathering dust.

***********************************************************

Enter Dennis and Jide…

Ah! Dennis there you are!

You know you are our star!

Where have you been?

At our parties you’ve not been seen

For weeks and even a month now!

My dear fellow, I’m no coward, not yellow,

I just wanted to mellow

You know…chill

I will roll with the boys still

Come another day, perhaps tomorrow.

Dennis I hear your words

But I see your eyes

These words are lies.

Whats wrong? It’s me your guy!

You know you can’t lie.

We’ve even had threesomes together

What manner of stormy weather

Can put us asunder?

Dennis, Speak your mind.

Jide, my friend, you are kind

But I just need to unwind…

Dennis! Speak you mind!!!

Jide, I have HIV.

Do you see?

How terrible could that be?

Between you and me

There is no problem that we…

…Wait… what?

Ehn?

#pause

Dennis? Wetin you say?

Abeg, Abeg, talk say na play

Na your bodi HIV dey?

Yes Jide, I just found out a month ago today.

That’s why I’ve been in dismay

I did not know what to say

The girls have been looking for me

But they are the last people I want to see

So guy, wait…

Junior Dennis the great

The penis the ladies admired

Has been retired

Since this disease has come?

Kai! Where did you get it from?

It could have been Ndidi, Sandra or Bola,

Maybe Abigail, Chinwe or Sola

Even Ekaette, Uju or Amina 

The truth is I don’t know.

You know I’ve never been slow

If I seen a chance, I go!

Sometimes I didn’t use protection

I’ve always been a man of action

Only aimed for satisfaction…

NO!!! Dennis! But why? Kai!

Did the doctor say you would die?

NO. I just need my medication

Been looking for some motivation

To go on.

I can never have sex again

The thought brings physical pain

I have nothing left to live for

I’m shaken to the core

Jide what will I do?

Oh, ehen, sorry, I didn’t hear you

I was chatting with Andrew

Paroles dey tonight

The babes are tight

The mood is right

Sorry I can’t stay

Maybe you should go and pray

It’s a pity you can’t come

There are enough chicks and then some

Wetin you talk again? HIV abi?

God is your muscle, Jesus is your padi.

As for me

I’ve got to go.

Ahn! Jide? Is this life?

Exit

**************************************

PENILE ZOMBIE – A song – to be sung in tune to FELAs Zombie

Zombie-o, zombie

*[CHORUS] ZOMBIE-O, ZOMBIE (2X)

Zombie go just dey salute, once you touch im bodi

*[CHORUS] ZOMBIE *(after each line)

Zombie no go stop, unless e reach where e dey go

Zombie no go slow, unless you moan “go slow”

Zombie no go fast, unless you shout “harder, harder”

Zombie-o, zombie

*[CHORUS] ZOMBIE-O, ZOMBIE (2X)

Tell am to go rape– Joro, Jara, Joro

No logic, no reasoning, no sense– Joro, Jara, Joro

Tell am to go cheat– Joro, Jara, Joro

No love, no care, no thought– Joro, Jara, Joro

Tell am to commit adultery– Joro, Jara, Joro

No wife, no kids, no life– Joro, Jara, Joro

Go and rape

*[CHORUS] JORO, JARA, JORO *(after each line)

Go and fuck

Go and do** **(do…do…destroy)

Put am for there!

Go and chook!

Go and gbensh!

Go and knack (3x)

Joro, Jara, Joro- O Zombie way na one way (3x)

Joro, Jara, Joro- Ooooh

Attention!

*[CHORUS] ZOMBIE

Stand up!

Wear condom!

enter mouth!

enter front!

enter back!

Double speed

Sa-lute

Cowgirl

Doggystyle

thrust in

thrust out

Speed up

Get ready *(2x)

Arrrgghhhhhhh!!!

Yes! *(Repeat 3x from “Attention”)

*[CHORUS] ZOMBIE

Dis-miss