Guest Poet

About Chimalum Nwankwo

Burning Bush


Iroko In The Wind

Flower from the Tomb

Tales Of Their Passing

Cover Page


Burning Bush
(for Christopher Okigbo, with oja flute and a slow Atilogwu orchestra)


The Okpatu hills tremble in my dreams
The drapery of green has turned ochre

Our prison walls of hatred and pain
Explode over the shoulders of the hills

Stifled groans echo your death now
The hills and our hearts suppress something

Like our horizon of strange dark clouds
Where the python of hope heaves in distress

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

I smell your angry blood in the bush fires
The hills writhe with your wasted passion

And without shame and without remorse
Without the fear of the silence of the groves

Idiots step over your mantle of blood
As they do over the legs of morons

Christopher! Warrior poet!
Surrender the magic of the empty scabbard

At the point where thunder kissed your cheek
And all the oracles spilled hallowed satchels

When you speak with Chukwuma Nzeogwu
Tell him that jackals are now in the grove

Virgin fronds, egg shells, fingers of chalk
All is dust and blinding smithereen

Tell him they have stolen the magic of the mask
And robbers now play diviners and carvers

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

Burning Bush Continues >>