SENTINEL POETRY MAGAZINE  APRIL 2003

CHIMALUM NWANKWO
Guest Poet

About Chimalum Nwankwo

Burning Bush

Waiting

Iroko In The Wind

Flower from the Tomb

Tales Of Their Passing

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4

Listen again now. There is a commotion of drums
It is not about war or our cries of pain

It is not about sickness or our deaths like flies
It is all about the sharing of meat

Listen Christopher to a commotion of drums
Of cleavers and pitch forks and of longest knives

It is a great rumble of the feast of clowns
Children of Nero born at high tide

The Nigers incarnates from the deep waters
Scoffing at the sun the moon the stars

Making music on the floods of sorrow
Over crumbling homesteads weedy pathways

Over passageways flaming with dis-ease
Over passageways of marbled ignorance

It is a joust of giant palace robbers
Pitching wiles against their clones in the streets

Christopher ! Warrior poet !
Blessed with the power of the water of Idoto

The bush burns over the Okpatu hills
But the rodents of evil dance unscorchable

I thrive in the smell of your angry blood
Writhing with the passion of the burning bush

It is a strange grave prison of fire
Without hawks and kites without head-hunters

Listen Christopher to our commotion of drums
The voice of the wind playing to empty scabbards

Where the old flute plays like a midnight wail
For the ears of the restless and the abandoned dead

And tell the ancestors of the elephant stomp
The whole criss-cross and the call of clowns

Tell and tell all the crowned fire-bearers
Tell Chukwuma Nzeogwu and his band of true angels

It is a world of stunning white vultures
Sailing in grace and eerie resplendence

It is a world of laughing hyenas
Redolent in mirth freedom without bounds

Again a parade of wild animals
Growling aloud for a thunder carnival

Burning Bush Continues >>>