Guest Poet

About Chimalum Nwankwo

Burning Bush


Iroko In The Wind

Flower from the Tomb

Tales Of Their Passing

Cover Page



Listen. The flute plays. The flute plays
It plays for the mask of a thousand mirrors

The palms are swaying means that all is well
The bole is well is why the iroko stands

The green grass glistens on Okpatu hills
And there is no storm there on the Great River

But listen again to the wailing of the flute
For each dancer in the streets a secret spirit piper

A pointing child is never a wild waif
Something lurks there at the fingers end

And when the toad dances in bright broad noon
Spirits of evil are drumming somewhere

Christopher ! Warrior poet !
The flute plays. Listen to the flute. The flute plays

It is for the mask of a thousand mirrors
They are still calling the mask the elephant

Restrained by wild-eyed drunk acolytes
A mask of a thousand mirrors stomps the streets

Christopher ! This mask still answers the elephant call
But this mask now lives in the palace of the king

The web of mystery is wet and cold
A bulldozer sits now over the great ant-hole

With gold and guns and terror bearers
Standing over where the spiders wove

The flutes wail aloud for the true great mask
The dance of this mask is a tale of memories

A tale of women octogenarian
A tale of old men serene with suffering

A tale of thunders without a sound
A tale of the earth without an axis

Christopher ! Warrior poet !
That stomp of elephants is a phony stomp

Our world is now a pitiful weakling
It groans with the burden of an elephant corpse !

Burning Bush Continues >>>