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This time of year…

I wish to share my thoughts with everyone who has touched my thoughts, my life in any way.I am sharing as my own special Xmas present.

CHANTS IN MY DREAMS…….. EXCERPTS
Just Perfect!

We pled love,
he called me a witch,
I tickled his fancy,
I danced to his dandy,
we stayed in a clinch.

In gurgling streams,
a perfect garden,
a troth was made
never to fade
he called me a witch
that stole his thunder!

In flowered dreams,
the years rolled by,
the endearments took a hue,
from the many frets,
when nature served us hets
as lessons of love
his eyes took a shine,
to varied shapes askew,
that taunted our troth.
if only I was truly a witch!
I would weld his wanderings!

Just one Look

Across the room
there was no name;
to the emotion;
the air was thin;
my breadth was strained,
my knees became jellies,
took an eternity,
to complete my breadth,
that was lodged between my breast.

He walked away,
as I turned away,
from the darkened door
to my bright happiness

Never saw him again;
each morning though;
I remember with pain;
the sun that went away at dawn.

I promise to be your friend,

on days you are blue
when you wish I was a thousand miles away
when you wish to touch my hand in the dark
when you whisper
that only I can feel the beats
of your loneliness
always even when
blood drops on the rose

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Mother Prayed..

Mother prayed;
May you not walk on
the road when it is hungry

children played by the
river beside the road
happy to be alive
in the forest
the birds sang
and the road led to hope
Now;
We hear the screams
of kidnapped girls in the forest
step around pot holes filled
with corpses that armed robbers left behind
along the dark tarred stretch
we pick our way
through the debris of faith

may you not walk
on the road
when it is hungry
or live in
my country now.

from the speeding politicians
to rallies of the living dead

I stared long and hard at the print,
it danced like the mad yogi
on my fevered dreams
nectar hungry and flea infested
like sores on the thin neck of despair
I wondered by what devious means
I came to incarnate
on these shores
even the moans fell hollow
sighing I watch each setting sun
how many more?
The voice from deep within
sent cool whispers down my spine
look in the mirror child
and tell me
who you see

Poetry collections

I just decided I might just share some of my collections. Spirtuality tends to creep up on me and I am left challenging the essence of my existence. Sometimes it is an irreverent consideration of the abstract term of paradise, when I ask myself if it really exists and I catch myself wondering if I would like my neighbors. Yes, I know we both agreed that I have maybe a few bolts not properly screwed on right. No need to rub it in . Seriously though, what will it feel like? I feel self conscious thinking of it and just want to get on with the business of living. So you see I will once in a while post poems.

I make a promise now though, to ensure that I post at the very minimum of once a week. Fair? I have a teaching job you know. I will be working with creative minds about writing. Ergh! always assumed the crazy addiction of writing was reserved for folks like me and you eh? I look with curiosity when I see young persons walk in, a glint in their eye and a readiness to argue the fine point of writing. I sigh as I see myself in them and I feel a tingle. Didn’t I just say I was posting poetry? em..em okay here goes. They are just collections so keep the carving knife for later okay?

COLLECTION

The day drapes herself with purple hues as it wakes.
It makes ready for creation
all that is needed to weave
from the golden sun, experiences of Light.
As you open your eyes
to the greeting of a shimmering morning,
may the Light rays find you happy and well.

Dreams flow rich,
from the running brook,
man stands to watch
the colouring book of His grace.
My soul longs to feel on me, the grace,
I sigh and lay in the soft grass of home.
The bells through the flashing lights
tell me that harvests are almost done.
Will Father find enough for the treasure?
I hope for you that
the harvest though not very pure,
will ring the bells.

The sun can be persuaded
to have roses in the desert.
The dew at dawn is as
soft as the outer reaches of the sun.
the hand that holds the Sword is loving and firm.

The scapel of the surgeon is sharp
to remove the errant tissue.
It is mercy.
The eagle lives on the crag
as the dove descends
and the sea breaks out on victory song.
The unicorn sniffs the golden air
for the sun is married again.

The Rose has seven points on her garb.
The temple is no longer hidden
and there is blue light all around!
The Final Judgment?

The fox returns to his hole
To lie in wait
For the intrepid chicken
That squawks its stupidity
The protection of the blind lady
Is but a momentary fancy

The hyeana’s laugh
Strident and hoarse
Is menacing in its promise
To tear feathers asunder

The growling belly
Of the howling mob
Like visiting tornadoes
Make Christmas lights
Of human bodies
For human frailties
Stand mute as sign posts
To an exasperated Earth!

Look to your justice
For here comes Justice!

In blazing light colors
Shifts from tainted egos
The bloated fellows
From tainted cloaks
In calm fashion
Renders bare human passions

Today;s Man profoundity
Was yesterday’s folly
Tomorrow my Janus
I stand bound to love
To serve Justice in Purity

They abuse the Seven
In an ode to heaven
To see in their temerity
Their take of severity
May suffice to serve seven
Four and three
False and false by same degree
Is this the final judgment?
Really and truly?
Have you ever?
Well I never!

On a sad cold night,
The Sun in shame hid its face.
Mother love had to bring
Down from the wind pane
Names of those, year
Before, had sworn fealty to the lord
Their ego’s a giant boulder
Stood astride their flow!
Time and again,
Man has fallen and stood unreliable
How many times shall the
Light watch, as we again
And again betray our
Promises to be faithful.
Is there an alternative to Light?
How can the mountain be
Anywhere but where it is?
How can we reject what
We have deserved and
Enthrone our pettiness?
When will the bandage really
Fall, and real service begin?

Conversations

I have something interesting to share with you this week. I do me melook forward to doing so for a few more weeks with some of the most interesting minds I came across during our recent convention. Remember I had promised to let you know what happened at this convention. I very rarely attend convention as there seemed to be more politics attached to the hosting than the event itself, but I felt this was different. It was going to be a gathering of creative minds and I looked forward to the event. Happily for me the author I had threatened to scalp for his less than admirable portrayal of womanhood did not attend. So I enjoyed myself and tried to ask a few questions around. It was like feeling my way around. The attendance was in the hundreds and there was some sort of mini book fair as publishers came to display the books of their authors. In the package given to us was a collection of poetry and I came across this one.

The Blithesome Butterfly Adder

Like the rainbow in its effulgence
You glistened into the horizon of my existence,
Your dazzling colours enrapturing my unwary soul.

Like the butterfly in its splendour
You fluttered with zest and zeal.
Your serrated wings a galaxy of beauty.

Like the rich new wine
You galloped gingerly down the goblet.
With your aroma, you compelled even the celibate appetite.
I reached out in my thirst for a satisfying drink.
Oh, what hemlock!

Like the gaboon viper
You patiently laid ambush and with avarice
You feasted on my helpless heels
Even when not provoked.

Ensconced in the bowel of the forest,
You dug your garish gash with uncommon adroitness
into the innocent tree, intent on felling it.
With feigned fervour, you ran through the streets
bemoaning the fate of the same tree.

I leap in joy for freedom,
Inured as I now am, the gash can go no deeper.
I cry in pain for your numb captives,
held in slumber and stupor by your practised pretence.

So I went looking for the poet, here is what happened.

Please tell us a bit about yourself
1. My name is Oluchi J. IGILI. I’m a female Nigerian author and a dramatist both by training and engagement. I’m currently a university teacher where my duties include instructing students both in the theory and practice of drama/theatre. I ventured, if you like, into writing because I find it as a veritable window of opportunity to express myself, my thoughts and my concerns about the world in which I live. In this regard, I share my thoughts through poetry, drama and prose fiction.

Nigerian authors seem to be very much in the background as far as international aweeness is concerned, is that a true assessment?
2. To say anything about one’s country except that which paints her in glowing colours would, ordinarily, be politically incorrect. But I think it is patriotic to admit that Nigerian authors are lagging behind in terms of awareness of what is going on on the international scene. To a very large extent, only Nigerian authors in the Diaspora have a good grasp of what obtains on the international front and in consequence, they enjoy a lot of international recognition. That is not to say that Nigerian authors living within the country cannot hold their own in terms of their creative prowess. What it simply means is that the writers in Diaspora are privileged to be to enjoy many opportunities not yet available to Nigerian authors living and writing in the country.

Your poem is striking as it suggests a deeper level of human experience. What genre of writing do you subscribe to?
3. I engage in any form of creative writing (poetry, drama or prose) that enables me to give expression to my innermost concerns for my society. Another way to put it is to say that I subscribe to any literary genre that has a clearly discernible commitment to issues that affect humanity. Without any equivocation whatsoever, I belong to that school of thought that says, art, whether it is literary art or any other form of art, should be placed at the service of humanity. Art should not be an architectural masterpiece which lacks utilitarian value. Art for art’s sake? Not for me.

At the recently concluded convention of the association of Nigerian authors, there was a move to bring the female authors together, what do you think informed such a drive?
4. Yes, I am aware of that move to bring Nigerian female authors together. Nigerian female writers are making the effort to come together under one umbrella or the other. One of such platforms is the Association of Nigerian Female Authors (ANFA) among others. The reason for this, I believe, is not far-fetched. The female Nigerian writer needs to be more visible and the best way to achieve this is to have a platform from which to seek both to be seen and heard. As much as I know that some of our male counterparts are sympathetic enough (I use that word deliberately), one can also understand that they are not too prepared to yield much space to the female writer. So, there is the need for Nigerian female writers to come together and create a strong visible image for themselves. If we fail to blow our trumpets, like they say, we should not expect any body to do that for us. And the time to do that is now.

As a published author, what has been your experience?
5. There are a number of challenges which I believe are common to writers in my clime. There is the problem of a continuously dwindling reading culture which has been worsened in recent years by a barrage of technological devices that have made reading very unappealing. Whereas in the past people spent their leisure times on reading, technological devices have provided ready alternatives that are a lot less intellectually tasking. It does not take much intellectual muscle to sit down in front of a TV screen to watch a movie or soap.
Another issue which published authors have to grapple with here is piracy which has made writing to be a non lucrative enterprise.

Tell us about your published book and how we can get a copy
6. My most recent literary out puts are a short story in Tales From the Sun and poems in One Poem, Fifty Seasons: A Collection of Poems in Honour of Sola Owonibi and they are available in leading bookshops. A collection of short stories is right now in the quarry.

Share a typical day with us
7. My typical day is basically the same as that of any serious minded wife, mother, public servant, responsible citizen and committed Christian, all rolled into one, who must also find time to put pen to paper and give vent to the creative impulse.

What do you see as the Nigerian literary scene?
8. The Nigerian literary scene has a lot of issues/problems to contend with. It seems to me that there are too many ‘writers’ who should have no business writing. In short, there are too many sub standard, poorly written works on the Nigerian literary scene. That is not to say that there are no good books any more but the not-too-good ones have become rather common place. Self publishing is another monster on the Nigerian literary scene. Many Nigerian writers do not see why they should submit their manuscripts to established publishing houses for thorough vetting. On the other hand, well known publishing houses also have the reputation of ripping off writers particularly upcoming writers. These are some of the problems the Nigerian literary scene is contending with.

I have had to convert my English from my Nigerian roots to what my publisher says will be internationally accepted format, have had such an experience?
9. Nigerian writers are no doubt faced with the challenge of writing a ‘brand’ of English language that must of necessity retain the flavour and nuances of native Nigerian languages in which they think and from which they draw their thoughts and passing same across in an acceptable format to international readers. So the challenge is about how to strike a balance between reaching the Nigerian reader for whom the Nigerian writer writes primarily and at the same time achieve international acceptability. This is not a particularly easy line to toe.

Talk to us about our reading culture and predict what may be possible in the next five years.
10. The reading culture of the average Nigerian is whittling daily, no thanks to technology such as television, telephone and other social media. Except something definite is done deliberately and urgently, the future is really bleak in this regard.

Finally what lessons or insights did the recently concluded convention offer you as an author?
11. One take home for me from the recently concluded convention of the Association of Nigeria Authors is the undeniable role of the literary artist in nation building. As noted by the keynote speaker, Prof. Toyin Falola, creative writers must connect text and imagination with policies and politics. In other words, the Nigerian creative writer must be actively involved in nation building because he has a lot to offer. This again tells us that art for art’s sake has no place in the Nigerian cum African literary landscape.

Thank you for chatting with us
Thank you for sparing time for this interaction.

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