Nkwachukwu Ogbuagu

Rookie - 340 Points (16 January 1968 / Umuahia, Nigeria)

Ashes - Poem by Nkwachukwu Ogbuagu

Ashes come from the conical, rounded earth.
With rage they come, spewed from bowels
Boiling with flatulence, rolled up in age,
Shriveled, coiled, and crude like the oil of hell.

They fall with the rain of anger, besmirched
By the unwashed clouds, mourning since the
Day of the killing of grace, when melted ice
Befriended weeping creases of dust, pining

Away in grime, lachrymose and shy, but paving
The way for the burial of ashes, which must go
The way of all ashes, just to fulfill the promise
And laws of the ashes before their ruin.

A community wizened, grizzled by loose particles
Of these byproducts of retching fire. A world fractured,
Punctured by these raining powders that prick the
Skin like a million needles – ashes –

Abundant, floored and painted in grey mixture of
Blood and fire. Ashes loom in doom they exhume
From that cannon down under, whose chambers
Tremble with internal time-framed holocausts.

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Poem Submitted: Friday, November 5, 2010

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