Literary Zone

Poetry: The culture of peeping

24 September 2017 at 07:13 | 2326 views

The Culture of Peeping

By Moses Kainwo, Freetown.

1. Eyes

The young are short-sighted from seeing too much,
The old are long-sighted from seeing so much.
Children peep to see with elderly eyes
Dancing adults in their love store and cries.

See them now blinking at photos at play,
While adults must blink their fanlight replay:
The ticklish world will unlock a window,
The greedy world will shut the gazer’s show.

Little surprise some shutters are so thick,
Though lucent curtains serve the purpose pick:
Many a gazer will tick to street bells,
And choose not to be their sisters’ angels.

II
Oh yes you can choose to see or not see,
Because death standing in that deafening knell,
Attracts a witness that is not witness:
Behind the window blinds the conscience stress.

I turned it on my mind over again,
Me too, I am not my sister’s bargain;
I am her Lucifer to chant her there,
And since no one beholds I shall not care.

Lucifer is in you my country bore:
Together we mused and our sister tore,
From the Gallery down to the Crypt,
And from the Crypt down into the street.

If by this token new perception drops,
Then the nation wins the cowering crops:
Elect a hoodlum and you have an imp,
There you’ll survive with a well-earned gimp.

Let each goggle gauge a reverse gazing,
On the battered soul deformed from blazing:
Indeed a sorry darkness sits within,
And only when it rises will it spin.

2. Rivers

I
Five great rivers the death comrades did cross,
To square up with the age-old peeping loss:
They broke the bridges and co-steered their way,
The strange navigators driven by pay.

An evening salute from death on the streets,
Was not so welcome to the peeping feet;
In fact the streets died with a woeful woe,
As they bled and wasted before the foe.

Their names were written in the book of pyres,
To choose their deaths in the face of hellfire:
They received the eye-bursting-dripping beads,
Or the gift of shirts with chosen sleeves.

New rivers began to flow the main roads,
Nameless rivers made of countless red loads:
My sister peeped and her eyes became blood,
Her letter of love was there in the flood.

II
Operation-no-living-thing had no date,
But this poetaster hit the tape
Before Death sharpened the machete and cursed,
And there blood flowed for the nursed to swim.

No one ever cursed like that heavyweight,
No one ever cried like that featherweight;
The two looked at each other in the eye,
And the new peeping game was cast in dye.

But there was no rhythm in the new song:
By the Atlantic Ocean there we sat up,
Waiting for a boat to sail or fly,
Anywhere on God’s good terrain to swarm.

The river flowed on flora and fauna,
Shoppers jumping on to Noah’s basket:
Some green some white some blue unseemly queues,
Singing how we exhaust God in the blues.

One mosquito that sucked the blood,
And became fat and burst open with flood:
Was rotten and not good for washing,
So it was drained and bottled in a sink.

3. Creation
Was this the way the universe began,
Or is it where the universe will dance,
In green and white and blue of any shape,
With lions unseen on mountains in cape?

The metaphysics of the guessed order,
Throws naiveté at the vexed founder:
And that imaginative family tree,
Is god-planted to harbour fleas.

The Cotton Tree of Flee-town is like a god,
Around whom the fleas converge day and night;
And every sober march re-routes from there,
So she is amply fed and dressed right there.

Where the green god stands there is flesh on bones,
There is hope on toes that the green god knows,
From daybreak to nightfall they come and go,
Lifting new symbols from the place below.

Not one burgher knows who proscribed with fire,
And I want to ask who lighted the tyre.
Who made the bad heart, I can only guess?
But who declared the war we should not now stress.

How can we know where knowledge is remote?
You press a knob and something is afloat,
You lift a finger and some figure drowns;
The bluecoat is there with his fingers cupped.

They say the Cotton Tree saw them chop dogs,
She must have also seen them bogging bogs.
But who can make her tell the faded tale,
When the truth itself has been painted pale?

The sold train track some travel curses banned,
The power now rests in the palm of the band,
This also is now in the poda handout;
But real power remains in the poda rear mouth.

Right around your base and just yesterday,
America waved in the nude by day;
And again yesterday like the other judge,
UNAMSIL was baptizing in the lodge.

And they said, “disrobe to enter the pond!”.
He took off a shirt and then the bell-bottoms:
Four shirts and four trousers on one body,
A moving wardrobe in fear of war folly.

Story-telling Tree, receive the prayers,
Given in jest as a test of the years,
Your children will come from obloquy and cry,
Forgive their past and from your glory spy.

You gave them a tongue and gave them a song,
You gave them the drug and gave them the time,
The chequered love of a chequered nation,
But the wheat and the tares must have options.

4. Seasons
The dries are not summer so call them that,
Winter and autumn each have their own flag;
They will come next year and always be first,
But will not spring where the reason is wet.

The tears in you will come as will the rain,
Because the soul is alive with the times,
And the charred remnants of battle will float,
To announce the evidence of battered throat.

And one drunken gun-totter said to me,
“This is your own ambush brave pedigree,
Empty your pockets on a deserving angel,
The revolution is here first to sell”.

“Was this the accord you promised to pour,
Hunger and thirst rained upon all the poor?”
I could not ask more that desperado—
The stooge of death ordered the thing to do.

Someone will hate the success tale you tell,
Someone will speak black spittle at your wealth;
But please succeed and retreat from the rest,
To hold onto excess will be a test.

Can present time annul past time and stay?
You cannot bat the ball and keep it—nooooo!
The aged say the times are new to them,
The young reckon but say their time is tame.

We don’t even know who last left the shores,
Since the going is similar to coming.
Can you actually blame the move on one,
When in your heart of hearts you hate the one?

To appear they had to disappear,
But time will come though time is always here;
And time once lost is time forever gone,
The time will come and they indeed will come.

Roses stand in dustbins that they may smell sweet,
We need one on this ground for wiping feet:
Life now smells of the swift and the ugly,
Any revolution will make the foolish champion.

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