The Muse ii (Hour 24)

Muses used to be trapped in coloured bottles
where grain alcohol transports them onto blank pages.
These muses used to do okombo dance on the slippery pages;
they make effort to stick, to be counted, and be read.
Sometimes, the berthed words fly into the eyes of the drinker
who then shakes off catapulted confusion by seeking the bottle once more.
Paper balls, cracked pen stems, and white spaces adorn;
in a sane minute or two, a sensible chord is struck
in that cloud of dust where clarity is ephemeral.
It might be great art to gamble with muses resident in a bottle;
perhaps not the thought that they live anywhere at all, muses!

Bright Blindness (Hour 23)

The man at the traffic light was the genesis.
The blindness plunged him into a milky sea.
Then a lot more followed:
the car thief,
the fun-seeking lady,
the ophthalmologist,
even more.
In that deserted clinic wing
where they all ended up,
it’s a delight how Pramoedya Toer
made the doctor’s wife see
far into the story, until the end
when she finally drowned
in the milky sea of bright blindness.
It’s a delight how blindness
isn’t dark but milky
in This Earth of Mankind.

A book-to-poem on Pramoedya Ananta Toer’s This Earth of Mankind

Song of Devotion (Hour 22)

Tendrils grow out from you,
entwining me like your prisoner;
you are the one crime I ever committed.

Tentacles grope out of you,
guiding me as I sail through dim lanes;
you are the illumination I ever desired.

Tapestry hung out of your wall,
decorating my thoughts as I envision;
you are the image I ever sought.

Tenderness wafts out of your soul,
enabling elasticities as I walk;
you are the song I ever wished to sing.

Unsolicited Refraction (Hour 21)

Your thoughts pile up in my heart;
its flow suppresses the bitter spurt of bile.
These thoughts chime with the beat’s rhythm
composing sonorous melodies,
not good enough for deep dreams;
they keep the waves calm and refreshing,
like an umbrella that keeps the rains off
even though the splashes touch the body.

Palms (Hour 20)

Palm trees inspire us aplenty,
one tree that’s not even on a tap root.

Red palm oil makes native soup colourful,
Creamy palm wine clears blurry eye sights,
palm fronds transform into domestic brooms,
rare oils squeeze out of palm kernels,
kernel shells make great buildings,
kernel fluff lights the fires as fuel balls,
stalls, mats, and baskets can sprout from it too,
a pretty sight yet, standing there for us all to see.

Palm trees inspire me aplenty,
like it should be a pen whose ink drips
into plenty, plenty creative harvests.

Joy Unlimited (Hour 18)

That moment when fear is afraid of me…
That moment when darkness is the stressed one…
That moment when thoughts of fullness overwhelms the reality of blankness…
Those moments of connected assurances and certain manifestations…
That for me is joy amplified. Unlimited!

Once Upon a Stronghold (Hour 17)

There had been an unseen monster,
a trickster, a sweet-tongued deceiver.

There was its menacing impact
from misapplied influence of the stronghold.

There is a gush of light,
shinning bright, divergent, and full,
beaming brightness into the monster,
eating up every iota of the dark,
with blindness, deafness, and numbness.

Lagos (hour 16)

Finger by finger,
toe by toe,
I am getting away
from you.

I am getting away
from the lazy snake
called your vehicle traffic
filling roads in dormant states.

I am getting away
from 9 to 5s
that work like 5 to 11s

I am getting away
from the thick population
the noise and the rush

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After all parts of me have left,
I find my whole self self still in you.
What in poetry’s name are you?

Untitled (Hour 15)

Magical gardens
embrace free spirits
on lonely roads
that stretch into calm
with ambiance that never
drains poetry away.

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