This poem is about a poverty-stricken man

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Last Update :
Thu, March 31, 2016 7:39 PM




Copyright © Okpara C. Okechukwu D. All Rights Reserved.


Glorious Exit Of A Treasure

Verse I
He replied the wind, he doesn't own a sight;
While I checked the luxury of the poorest trash cans;
No sauce. No source of meal – out of luck.
We sat side by side. Inside our plates – sand plus stones.
When a generous coin fells it is all gratitude.
The passersby may wear ignorant glasses, we care not.
Yes, by their whistling we know we're on their ignore list.
We sat and stretched and sat.
His begging dish his treasure, and I, his sight and pal.
The street was hot and deserted with no trace of meal;
We made chaplets for our sun tortured heads,
And a throne of mud; which he laid beside later sweating,
At least I could govern the wretched look.
This month we're sure to make less than a rat's salary.

Verse II
Then a car stopped by with its radio merry with news.
I heard cries which my fine memories decoded were from the east.
The car then left for a call without farewell.
Maybe I'll be on the next news; with my cries.
Head on my spot and soil, I imagined what weather those people faced.
Competing for scraps of food and mushrooms;
Wearily with wealthy flies and parasites.
I suspect their government and the rebels.
At least if 'twas not their bullets 'twas their bombs.
Suddenly my musicians crept in,
The buzzing sounds, sweet lullabies
Then my eyes shut off from the troubled day
My lonely ears joined to roost
I felt dizzy and forgot the potency of those medicinal tunes.

Verse III
Wake me not, O cockroaches!
I dread the sufferings of another early day.
Aha! I can see me up in my favourite tree;
With my bush-baby pets.
I can see the peaceful sights I used to know.
As I stared at the sun that's about to set at noon,
A violet cloud appeared,
Soon it was raining.
Everything began to change.
The cattle to ugly bears; swallows to vultures.
Water to blood; homes turned cruel prisons.
Everything to its perfect opposite,
Suddenly I woke before my turn
And gradually the rhythm of my terrified heart faded out.


Verse IV
The fears and tears were heavy upon my already crippled soul.
Neither home nor refuge consoled. No protecting of us.
But I coped with the anxiety, my neighbour with the despair.
I needed a business for my hands;
So I crawled out of what I called my house.
An empty drum of oil beneath the roots of a kind tree;
I wasn't opportune to learn, to earn.
I gazed at the blameless stars and wondered.
"You're too many, maybe, I'm many too!"
Then I thought of you and where you might be,
And looked at the smiling moon.
It appeared happy, approving my concern.
Then I knelt and prayed;
Not for me, but for your good night's sleep.

Verse V
I gulped my last savings of water,
And wandered out straight into the bush.
Grazing my naked hands and legs;
Ignored four or so pricks under my feet.
Not the poison ivy or poison oak can stop me now!
The world spinning like a turbine inside my head.
My stomach kept aching steadily and increasingly.
The urge held me alive.
Just as my glance saw a garden, my perseverance I released.
And rushed and ate the fruits and pastures alike.
Innocent beetles were taken without mercy.
Tens of caterpillars were victims.
That I took ill didn't matter the moment.
What was in worry and hurry was my belly.

Verse VI
That was the last I remembered that night.
When the day came with its new budget,
I rose and traced back my path.
On reaching, I peeped across to greet my neighbour.
Who was lying in a weird pose.
‘Twas unusual. My thinking unsure.
I sighed and staggered towards his curled body.
As I noticed how he laid, the fruits on my bosom freed themselves.
His white wrinkled cheeks,
His withered hands,
I shuddered at my truthful thoughts.
"Can it be, it can't be!"
My blind beggar had gone with his glories;
Leaving behind his plate, no treasures.