AFAM AKEH

 

From BIAFRAN NIGHTS

 

Part One

 

There are nights that speak with clenched teeth,

nights of absences and memory.

A sense of depth comes with their dark,

awareness of things not present.

 

Restive as the dark, the sprawling silence.

To remember is to relive what was not redeemed,

what returns as shadows, as echoes at nightfall.

 

Dead, not dead, the faces one finds each haunting dark,

images rooted like weed, recurrent selves,

returning names, what the winds had buried in sand,

fragments of a disinterred past.

 

In a land of hostile silences

the common past is a world of stench,

septic with the waste of its storied graves.

 

Memory, the master griot,

stubborn with tales time buries in history.

 

There are unclaimed footprints,

things not spoken for, things not spoken of,

multitudes of tracks buried in time,

a vast network of neglected moments.

 

There is a secret life of days.

There are dug pits of communal silences,

 

shadows in which are hidden murders,

deceptions, bloodstains and charred ruins,

the restless memory of Biafra’s trouble.

 

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SENTINEL POETRY (ONLINE) #30, MAY 2005. ISSN 1479-425X