Nkwachukwu Ogbuagu

(16 January 1968 / Umuahia, Nigeria)

Celebrating Wild Dance


I

Aquiline welcoming bows to the swift
Potential of gales.
Throbs, elated, hit the spleens of antelopes,
Plucking off the feathery hinges on ceremonial clots.
A wild dance has come.
Crapulence of yesterday reemerges,
Filling the breath of tom-toms beaten
Among Gravevines.
The death (or rather) the extinction of
Proud eagles is announced.
Communities rise.
Nations kneel.
Countries slumber.
Curtains fall.
But now, prophets laugh.
Who amongst us salutes the courage of
Wildness, especially now that odalisques
Dance naked?
With the crash of Olympus from the rage
Of birds, tom-toms beat harder....

II

Before then, spells of
Hard drinking have lived,
And the diatribe spoken by chariot drivers
In rivers’ courseways, has reached us.
The curse!
Oh, the charlatans brought it.
Proudly, lunatics besieged the precincts of
Stale beer, and spoke with one haggard voice of revelry.
The ceremony lingers.
Wild dance of violent Republics!
Once again the prophets laugh,
But for the last time.
Thunder-paroxysm quenches the heathen fire
Among earth-rummaged silt.
And the stampede of horses!
Nostrils palpitate, enlarging to take in the
Salt of the matter found among brimstone firing,
Beneath Nebuchadnezzar’s beard (or IS it mane?)
With one eye, the prostitutes watch. They grin.


III

The pulse of the necropolis swells.
Earth yields easily to the hammers of sweat.
Before noon the edges of profane swords swelter.
Ice in red furnace – piaculative remonstrations
Known before now – battles the sequence
Of scorched greenery, flowering apiary
Towards lanes of putrid melancholy.
Hymns, with constrained refrains, spurt prayers on
Miserable, sunless dawns to welcome wild
Dances of a lewd ceremony.

Submitted: Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Edited: Thursday, December 26, 2013

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