PEACEFUL SANDS, QUIET HANDS

Sometimes too
It is calm, the sand
A creamy caressing
My regular progressing, breathing
Like quiet sleep at night.

Peace is like that hand
That cool palm upon my racing heart
Cooling cooling me down, cooling
Me down
A very quiet moment
Sometimes I understand
The tracks that tears once marked down
The shifting desert sands – the sands
Shift and shift, but the tracks remain
Visible from my aeroplane

Pain and more pain over and over again
Makes you quieter, richer in the end.
It’s only peace that lasts that long –

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

35,000 FT. ABOVE TAMANRASSET

Is that sea or sand
Out of which the jagged
Jaggered, the daggered mountains
Arise?

A sea of sand
A limitless band beneath my eyes
A voiceless voiceless sea of cries
The mountains and the desert.

I fly away, I don’t return
A heart, I beat, within a metalbird
I sit and stare
At the weight of all the thoughts that I bear
World without end.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

ON BAR BEACH

On Bar Beach
On the shores of Lagos
Before the sea reclaimed the land
In those times
When all we had was soft white sand
On a moonlit night hard
Pressed I rode you on my Atlantic stallion
And the hooves that galloped across the sand
Cried of mermaids and whispers and sunless depths

And during the day I was at work
Renting my horse out to tourists
And middle-class upper-class noisemakers
And snobs and their children enjoying
A day at the sea, they pay to trot
Horseback upon the sea’s sand licking fingers –
And there you were, underneath
The thatch roof, selling fried buns, cold softdrinks
And ice cream and catching my eye

And we dreamed impatiently of the approaching night
Of long after midnight
And the lonely beach, the hoarse waves
The salty breeze, that soft pale sound
And the ride hard pressed upon
Our Atlantic steed, nostrils flaring into the wind
Stallion and mare
And the world is pounding the sand
And Lagos is fast asleep.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.