Sentinel Poetry (Online) #39

The International Journal of Poetry & Graphics

February 2006. ISSN 1479-425X. Editor: Amatoritsero Ede


Amu Nnadi
Pilgrim’s passage
green is
the colour of a golf course
and my life is beautiful
          from distances
i have seen moths break into elegies
            of broken wings
over a flame of kindled hope
falling with fallen dreams
            of ashes and dusts
                        to dust
songs of mouths without you
my mouth is my passage
            mourning beginnings
without you
i hear the sound the wind makes
through the crack in the window
            of a speeding car
protesting innocence lost
on the highway to arrivals
shrill like a deprived motherhen
my childhood is trapped in departures
and cracks are grim reminders
of the noisome hazards
of growing old
if i were to count my years backwards
there are numbers i d skip
            and there are many
detours in the fork on the road
i d rather not take
memories fiercesome leap at me
from the thicket of youth
and i cringe among familiar numbers
with tales forked out
from the debris of childhood
would i suffer the silence of guilt
for sins not committed
would i, pilgrim, suffer alone
the parturition of atonements
across the knees of hindsight
hunched over roads not taken
numbers skip over my bones
            as i kneel
and, pilgrim, i arrange them in neat rows
like adam’s ribs
along the famished belly of valleys 
i, pilgrim
two walls of pine
i am lost
in the woods of life
the sky a dark shadow
of forest greens
and thin are the spears of light
through the fog of nightmares
inbetween two deaths
the forest sheds on my face
droplets of ceaseless grief
and i pause
to the hooting silence of my fears
and dead are leaves about my feet
i, pilgrim
spring is not a stream
but the source of living hope
the flow of life from beginnings
and innocence is a cool clear drop
of moments
flowing over rueful rocks
among shifting sand
my life flows among the sharp of rock
filtered by filthy weed
and eternal appear the droplets of regrets
spring is not a season
but life exploding in colours
among merry petals
season after season
yet fragile are my flowers
            in all season
the sweet fragrance of arrivals
floats in the wispy air
            pulling butterflies
a beautiful rose in her hair
and sharp are the thorns of initiation
spring is not a season of comfort
but a sixinch bed of roses
oiled to suffocate the noises
            of blooming
in the night of thorns
the beds i have made
are straw
thorns of thunder
and i lie down with a groan
amid suffocated dreams
            awaiting sixfeet
spring is not a coil
of pentup rage
waiting to leap
at the neck of frustrated dreams
            my days are spread out
across flat and supine fears
and stars are a glint
off the metalled coil of my pathways
life bursts like flowers of spring
all around me
with colours red purple yellow
            orange and white
my spring catches me at night
like a thief
among dull and faded dreams
            blue black and grey
i, pilgrim
spring floods my days with warm blood
searching out dark corners peopled with fear
            and in the eyes
in the eyes of the questions of old age
the day lightens my craggy face
with exclamation marks of hope
how rare
how rare like the linen of habits
the pilgrim sees the light of passage
            without the burden of words
and feels the cool breeze of spring
unburden at dawn the petals of a season
unburden the buntings of fear
at the approach of the autumn of life


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