SENTINEL POETRY #24   November 2004

White Hairs and False Teeth by Nnorom Azuonye
Continued from previous page

Anyone who has ever stood in front of a mirror and run a finger along a line here or a wrinkle there will empathise with the poetic character in Akiko Taylor's "Reflection":

In the bathroom mirror
Strands of grey hair multiplying
Like tough weeds in tidy lawn

More boisterous than ever
They shouted out hysterically
All at once,

"Look, I'm here!"
"I'm here, too!"
"Look this way! I'm over here!"

Then I suddenly recognised
My mother in front of me.
The face of thousands of miles away

Then there was Molara Wood whose melancholic recollections of sunnier days are mirrored against waning glories and the inevitable end of everything.
In "Eventide" she writes:

Now in fading light with a vision rheumy
She thought of sunny days in fields of hay
And whispered: gallant and brave pursued me!

But for the ache in creaking joints
She would write the past in painful font
So she clings to memory, and memory fails
Ebbs with the tide, and flutters like a veil

Until darkness over the brooding sea will bend
And memory like her passions will be spent
As all things must end

There is the existential serving from Patrick Iberi with the pretty taut "Lifelong":

And if all the seasons gone conspired
What hour would haunt me still?

As i seek to end the journey so far
Whose hands would support mine?
And make steady my wrinkled frame
I wish to hear the same words
I once heard as a child
That life is what you make of it

By the cradle where this tale began
And at the grave that eagerly awaits me!

There are times I felt that "lifelong" was a bit spooky and strongly metaphysical, what with that linking of the cradle and the grave.