Friday, April 5, 2013

Two Poems by Timothy Ogene


For you, my dear wise love,
for you I listen to Coltrane night and day,
adrift in improvised sound without words.
For your sake I walk on thistles and thorns,
broken bottles and mines.
For you I hold this distant fear that the earth will
erupt in fury releasing bones of friends and family,
sending me to hell before the bell tolls.
For you, my dear wise love,
for you I drink myself to sleep,
dreaming of your childlike folly:
the pranks you pull on fools, young and
old believers in your green and white promises
of plenty, of a blissful float above ground;
above lakes infested with worms.
For you, my dear sweet love,
for your sake my boom box overflows
with Fela’s lament:
the saxophone cries foul,
the piano blames it on the drum,
it goes on and on and on and on
until I fall asleep,
until I am nowhere but in your cunning arms
ready to cuddle me,
to hustle me into oblivion,
to kiss me on one cheek and then drain
my dreams from the other ear.
For you, my dear homeland,
for your sake I bow before men and masks,
slip through cracks
and tether on the brink,
covering my face with the feathers you plucked
before I was weaned.


Dizzy in sunrise, giddy in sun-fall
free falling like a lone feather

courting the dark deep
dropping lower with each whip of wind

vertiginous mind
strong outside weak inside

throwing stones at one’s own glasshouse
betraying one’s internal balance

the mind against the body
the body against the mind
dark memories summoned

soaring through fog
stiff and still
but floating

staggering and yielding to gravity
fleeing realities
without and within

thoughtless self-tyranny
haunted by nothing but the empty desire to fall.

Timothy Ogene was born and raised in Nigeria. His poems have appeared in Poetry Quarterly, bytheoverpass, Medulla Review, Blue Rock Review, Di-Verse-City, Kin Poetry Journal, Contemporary Literary Review India, and other places. He lives in Wimberley, TX.

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