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ARTLYRICS OF BARTHOSA NKURUMEH


FOREST PATH

To Amaala for its proverbial ways
Nsukka class culture
Visual Communication Class of 1997

Nza, the little bird
That has from the ground
Flown to perch on
Nka earth mound...
Is he not still
On the ground?
One of us asked;

...from its little beak
came a lasting song:

A cook
In a hurry
To lick the fingers...
Are fingers meant
For the rafter?




RAINMAKING

A Rainmaker
Immersed his stone
And vowed it must
Be a gloomy turn.
The celebrant
For the suns porridge
Face, had
Another paid;
A tussle blindness
Stirred, and the day
Was lost.





HOUSE OF HUNGER

To Olu Oguibe
during those years at Nsukka

WHEN water
Spills, life
Is in circle.

When soup
spills, the stomach
Is empty
Who shall
We Blame?




THE HARMATTAN

We hear the cracking sound of
Scorched banana leaves
Dancing in the sky
Dry ochre dust and grains
Amidst. Stuffy-nosed
We caught our
Clothes at our
Neighbours yards
And the trees
Bowed to reach out again
For the sky splendour
Living and dying;

Clearly, we will hear
The buzz again
Summoning all
To homage to pay
Hey! Our already peeling
Lips, and bare skins
Crave your grace
Once to live.




JUST A TALE

Then
she felt s-o hungry
that she was seeing double
and if youre seeing double
it means that youre trouble
so she took her time
on her sable
nelly belly!
She fumbled
scribbled;
Grumbling over cold milk
she stumbled
into a rafter
rumpling her wrapper;
And her laughter
outlandish and scuffled
for it was not
actually milk-pie
she was after;
It is not a fable, but a tale
one can tell, retell or retain.





THE TRAVELLERS

You dont need to worry
we are not in a hurry
our lorry left early enough
though we are heading for Warri
and of course, Port-arcourt
We are not worried
that by ten
we may not know fury
By then
We could only be weary
Or hours after then even: merry
And asking for cherries or fresh berries
We dont need to board any ferry
This lorry is cool enough, dear
never dusty, never too domestic
Its never lousy, dizzying and devoid of history
as you render and tender
we do not trust its so
Its only too dream-like, too romantic
that even the aged among us dance
in golden silence.

We might be late now
but we are lateless
let it be heavy rain coming
Or a brooding darkness calling
by then we could be hairy
or hours thereafter merry.




PALM-WINE TAPPER

1997/98 National Youth Service Corp (NYSC)
Ugbokolo, an artist-teachers experience

There goes
The madman, passing the market
Advancing Ankpa Junction
With gages
Fastened to his bicycle with utmost care
For the contents
Are intact, undiluted
He is drunkard himself
For he taps and drinks his wine
With any one who could offer a little amount
He is mad indeed.





THE VIRGIN

Tomorrow is our wedding eve
The cook needs to taste the meal
The miner needs to survey the site

But she kept saying:

Let me be a virgin...
Let me be a virgin one more night.





JOURNEY AFTER DAWN

From hence, new
Drummers to heed to
For, ere, to a fresh
Pool arriveth I
From that virgin vision point
Of the community
To, yes, an oasis of visual
Aesthetic intentions.

In these intuitive
Viviparous bliss
It is my aphorism
Or say I claim, to graft
Dusk to day. Etching
And braying in flood
Coloration those delicate
Lies that are to me true.

And I am chesting out my
Probing mass; plotting out with
Lines and shapes-assemblies
A spring source whose
Water, is clear
And when
Will I get
There..?





SAID PECKER ON MOON

The sun has sunk
our eyes rest
from the porridge day skies
we can sight
and count with leisure
all the heavens stars
1 2 3 4 5... it is full moon
boys and girls are coming out to sing
and dance to moonlight plays
it is full moon now

There, poises the disdain
clasping his tool axe
the kin who pecked fire wood
on a Sunday
we are Catholic here
of sons and daughters
of God, trinity
there poises the disdain kin
with open mouth begs abstinence
from this sin
or is he crying
or is he laughing at the trunk
where no more rests
er where never may rest his axe
with crooked ribs
with fair firmness he clasps
his axe, his tool
how long have you been there
wailing, waiting to be heard, freed
earths mirrors hear the plea
repentance in a heart obliges
and er.. obligates.






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