Konch Magazine - Three Poems by Amu Nnadi

From Amu Nnadi
Nadine Gordimer died yesterday. She was 90. A winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, she represents what is beautiful, noble, decent, brilliant, eclectic, and profound in the human spirit.

I woke up at 3a.m. today and these words possessed me...


you will go into the night
and fix to the sky a single scar
until it grows in sunlight into a flaming memory
you who have journeyed the way of gods
you do not need epitaphs, do not need a headstone
to reveal where a star is buried, where a moon
slumbers in perpetual purgatory

nadine some darkness is total
some laments go on as a wave
coming and going and coming and going
seasons in feral melody, clouds with feet
that cover every blade of sorrow
you are too much light for darkness
too much song for lament
your sky covers the universe, your breath
every air

i hold your story in my hands
in my soul it burns an ardent hole
you are that much sun, that total
in your flaming
and as you go, as you go nadine
know you this:

a god goes into words, things, amulets… worship
and does not die
some passing is not passing
some stories do not have an ending
some rivers go on until they find a sea
some stars do not burn out

and the wind will carry your laughter
ribboned with your name, nadine
until every tree dances
every leaf waves
every frond sprouts
every cloud cries
every moon smiles
every hill stands, benign and unforgetting
before you

until every wave rises, ah! nadine, nadine
to kiss this wounded earth
where your soul is one single footprint, a single air,
total, engraved and planetary
amu nnadi
July 15, 2014


By a Dump

terribly you smell my country
a fall collection of
broken bottles
unfinished meals
broken toilet seats
decapitated dreams

hungry mongrels gather
prawns shells and
coiled innards
we growl over your waste
bitter morsels of hounded hopes

sycophantic flies
buzz their familiar lies
wash spindle hands
over your spoils
praise singers of decay
familiar spirits you claim your own

urchins dressed in torn dreams
poke through your soft underbelly
patriots of impoverished pursuits
seeking bone they find regurgitated promises
and dismembered poems
remnants of bittered dawns

a cloud of flies rises
salute me
plangent poet of pungent pain
they dance all over you our mound
of waste
sing a symphony
happy to celebrate your waste
happy to dance over your spoils

and your spoils are many my country
all over this dump they laugh
all over dead
you perfume the air with death
endowed with grief
like an owl

i see you wear once more
your petty coat of waste
i have come to know

i see your flies rise and
hear their lament of praise

i see mongrels chew your bone
suck deep into your marrow
and discard them
refused refuse we have

and i breathe deeply
take in your putrid soul
and the sores of your children
food too for your flies
as they poke search
and find fragments
of our decayed humanity



my view of you is distant
through this harmattan haze
a million grains of dust mask your face
and we lose intimacy
i lose my hold of you
lose traction like an old tyre

we spin out of control
twister of dreams carrying dust
and debris of wasted years
this now is my lot with you
too many yarns spun too many
heads lost
to mindless faceless purloin of seasons

to reclaim you i spin my own tale
having lost my way
lost you in this gathering of dust

you were the girl of childhood
nights made intimate by silence
and the chirping in our hearts
the hop over gutters when we saw no waste
only a mirror of clapping stars
your eyes clear as water and hope
and I would hold your hand
and renew my vow of loyalty
and service

you were the young cashew trees
lined in military rows behind milliken hill
soft fruits ripe with promise
yellow without fear
i remember the juice dribbling messifully down
stubborn stain on white uniform
more kind than this stain upon my heart

you were always the coconut juice
sweeter than the hard nut
we must crack

through your haze my land
i reach out for grains
only husks of hopes and dusty memories
masks of forgotten years
and this brutal wall of