June 3, 2016

Three poems by Godspower Samson Oboido: "When I Meet You in Dallas," "New York," and "The Cacophony of Silence."

Godspower Samson Oboido, of Nigeria, is the author of a previous collection of poetry, Songs of a Chicken Bone, and has been published in numerous literary journals. He was a 2016 runner-up in the Queen’s Young Leaders Award by Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. Oboido’s follow up poetry collection, Wandering Feet on Pebbled Shores, is due out in 2016.

When I meet You in Dallas

Like a riddle into a lair
the months between us have departed,
between us now is only a dream
out of our solitudes bloom.
When I meet you in Dallas,
our laughters, much fuller now,
will collide, become one and echo
louder than the Armageddon cries
of a million angels arched over earth;
and under your proud Southern skies
our bodies that produce animal heat
will reunite in a fervid hug.

I will come to you with a sense of humor
not lost in the void of seasons shriveled.
I will come to you, wanderer to my adventurer,
with a fardel of tales, a dossier of our lived lives, shared,
in little England where our journeys,
now united, did not end with Shakespearean prophecy.
With a monocle now probe the future
for where this road leads, I already know.
Where this road leads I already know.

Now what elation does my coming bear?
Will there be a country band on the edge of town?
Cowboys to uphold my cheer –
umpteen as my boyish dreams?
And why does coming to a place I have never known
suddenly feels like a homecoming?
It must be your heartbeat, big city Southern girl,
that invokes my elation.
But when I depart, will I come away with
a kiss on my forehead or yellow banana for my brokenness?
Let this a sojourner's incarnate wish be.

New York

Have the ghosts of Negro labourers, auctioned at Wall Street,
Come to steal voices from New York, city bereft of people with faces?
Ah New York where have you buried your silent faces?
In some narrow pipes or some cold interstate?

Your lives are as fast as your nimble feet, your feet
as fast as your subways –cities of ghosts with long plastic faces
Within a city –lost in a rush without progress.
Things moving but immobile.

A kind of hurried life not fully lived.
New York, let the tears of broken stars be libations
Over you: lamentations out of the depth of the void,
Wash, in the deluge, O city of steel and dream.

And now where are your smiles New York? Where your laughter?
Trapped in between the serrated gates of toothed mouths?
City of actors, but mostly wannabes –drudges at day
With lean portfolios and pockets full of dreams

But when the bills suck up the pockets, the dreams, dwarfed
By Manhattan Skyscrapers, die a natural death and dry up like saps.
New York, it is said of you as a concrete jungle where dreams are made
But a dream soon becomes a reality truer than the lyrics of a rap song.

O city of steel are you a great Broadway show
With everyone players and spectators alike?
But the silent masked faces take no cue.
New York has lost its voice too in the rush.

The silent voices take no cue.
How deafening, this carnival of silence.
New York, where are your cries? Buried in the graveyard of the living
Without voices or faces, without smiles or tears?

The Cacophony of Silence

All too suddenly came the silence, hovering
Like the moon’s ghost on pilgrimage
In the corridors of twilight.

I summon beams of naked stars, pierce
Translucent into my cavern,
This place of smothered dreams.

Angry clouds brood darkly
Over my head,
A sign –or memorial –for solitude.
Our waves now are ruled by silences

In place of intrepid dreams, scattered
By fear –this haunting sense of solitude foretold.
Now here, I pray for sunlight
And all manner of incandescence:
Time for transfiguration

For left of my elation is pale fire
Nimble still to gut
Memories shared and monochrome dreams
Insisting on the parables of a future unlived in.

 ~Godspower Samson Oboido

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