Contents

Editorial:
Pen, Sword and The Society

Interview:
Nnorom Azuonye
My E-conversation with
Esiaba Irobi

Guest Poet:
Rebecca Steltner
About Steltner

Poems:

Rebecca Steltner
Summer Forgetting
Untitled I
Untitled II
Before falling asleep
Chafed
Unoma Azuah
Vows
Song of the Owl
Nights
In Us
Uduma Kalu
To the unheard voice
A mermaid dance
Evelyn
I am still eager
C. Highsmith-Hooks
When freedom come
Through tainted eyes
The Day The Towers Fell
Uche Nduka
Swear
Gleamings
Turn the key
Slow Feet
Emeka Azuine
Reality World
Oppressenergy
Song for Souls


Feature:
Nnamdi Obioha Azuonye
- Profile of the poet
Nnorom Azuonye
The Freedom Clause: Theme and Meaning
in the poems of
Nnamdi Azuonye

Events & Announcements:
StAnza Poetry Festival
Poetry Competitions

Notes:

Notes on Contributors
Glossary

Back Issues:

January 2003
December 2002

Home

MAGAZINE MONTHLY -- FEBRUARY 2003          ISSN 1479-425X

Poems

UDUMA KALU


To the unheard voice
[For Nwachukwu]

I have drunken of the deep.
I have heard mermaids singing.
Our paths have branched to the road not taken

This is a period of silence.
The audience retain their body.
But the masquerade dances to secret tones of the dead.
This is a period of silence.
You too can hear mermaids singing in the night.
Between the deep, under the crevices of the towering
rapids.
You too can partake in the ritual of the masquerade.
But our paths have branched to road not taken.

We danced to the virginal throbs of the jungle.
Then it was our circumcision to silence.
But those spirits gave us the pots.
What was in your pot, son of God?
There was no reptile when I broke my gift.

You too can hear mermaids singing.
You too can hear winds raving in the wild.
The thunder too  can play jazz.
But have you drunken of the deep?

This is a period of silence.
This silence sings of rituals.
These rituals sing of spirits.
When you will listen to mermaids singing their strange
songs in the deep.

Does your pot contain sacred songs now?
Then you will rise above the folds.
Then you will soar.
Then you will lose your flesh and dance a mermaid's
dance.

Haven't you seen them in the noons making strange
marks in the sand?

Did you think they sang of you then.?
Did you think they danced to the raw beats of your
jungle.

I have worn those masks, son of God.
They carved me in woods
They painted me red, yellow and white
The painted me black.
They made me a woman.
And like Ekwefi searching for her husband among the
audience
You did not see me in the crowd.
But I was agboghommo sparkling like scattered gold in
the sun.
I danced in the noons making mysteries to the seventh
earth.

You thought I was colourful then, son of God.
You thought I was making music for an incoming
madness.
But I was just agboghommo learning the secrets of the
mermaids.

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