Tuesday 8 February 2022

Three Superb Poems by Ngozi Olivia Osuoha

 


BLACK CHILD

 

They call you coloured, as though they are colourless

And tag you awkward and still hinder your forward,

They compel you wayward and compact you untoward

Black child, the world is so wide, yet wants you wild!

 

The sea wants to drown you so be no fish, for fish is edible and profitable

Rather be the tide, the current and the storm

Be the mermaid, and rule the sea!

 

Black child, the fire wants to raze you

So be not the coal for coal is combustible,

Instead be the flame, the hotness, and the degree

Be not inflammable!

 

The wind wants to uproot you

Be the earth, the land and the forces!

 

The world doesn't like your skin

So she can throw you into the bin

Just to get the tiniest tin

Or drink the harshest gin

And still label you a sin,

If that could make her win

Or puncture you with a pin.

 

Black child, you are not gold

Let no one have you sold,

Though you live in a nest

You can be the best.

You are never the worst

Let no one; your head burst!

 

Black child, you are not a monkey

Do not be laboured like a donkey

Though you live in a cave

You are not a slave,

And never you be a pest

Though they put you to test.

 

Your breastmilk is sweeter than honey

Let none syphon it with money,

Your balls are stronger than rocks

Let none crush them with blocks

Nor cage them with padlocks, for there is your life!

 

Black child, the world is dark

But you can make a mark!

Yes, your skin is black

But there is no nature you lack!

 

Your skin is beautiful and wonderful

Even the rainbow is not that colourful,

Black child, walk with your shoulders high

For no human is more human than you!

 

 

THE AFRICAN GIRL

 

My flat soles don't flatten my soul

At least I am five feet' nine

My casual wears don't commonize my person

Sure, I am one worldwide,

My small breasts don't bottle my mind

I am a phenomenon!

 

Hear my rough face tell gorgeous a fortune

See my unkempt hair wave loudly to glory,

Hear my short nails call the worlds to order

See my black eyes so glitter like gold

Hear my cute nose breathe dazzling diamonds

See my long legs step proudly on thorns,

This African girl, O nature is you!

 

I need no knife to boost my beauty

Need I no chemical to change my skin,

Hey! see how cosmetics flatter me

But watch my bums rock and roll in harmony

Feel my straight arms flagging wonders untold

And my big ears spread wide apart,

This African girl, O nature is you!

 

Of nipples that are pointers, we wrap

Of breasts that are compasses, we guard

We neither ensnare nor anyone enslave

Because If nudity was a calling, we would have you endangered!

 

I am slim, a model by nature

A perfect art of divinity

But if I got chubby in the future

Still wait for it, my audacity.

 

The orchestra is me, the melody is me

I am the chemistry; undiluted

I am the gallery, unadulterated

The exhibition is me, black and blunt!

 

You are the content and the container

You are contented and concentrated

You are the contest and the quest,

You are so pure and so raw

O The African Girl!

 

Don't feel inferior, dance pass the exterior

Draw from within and decorate your interior

Fly high above, nature abounds in you,

Phenomenal girl, the goddess of beauty.

 

Cameras take bribe, mirrors are corrupt

Shadows are dark, echoes distort

Yet I have a dream, a dream so clear

That someday the paparazzi shall arise,

With courage and effrontery to witness my beauty,

This girl shall set cameras ablaze

And burn mirrors into ashes!

 

Piercings are fierce, so they hurt me

Stories could be written not just tattoos

Scars could be stars even taboos,

So dear African girl, nature is you!

 

If nudity was a calling, I would intimidate Adam

If nudity was a calling, I would rubbish Eve,

A principality, a power

A force, a creator,

I rule my world!

 

Remember I am a poet, I don't pity words

This African girl is nature, beware!

 

 

LETTER TO MY TEACHER

 

Haggard; you were a digger

Mustard; your faith was bigger

You can never be forgotten

My teacher; never to rotten,

Dead; you are a Legend

Alive; you are a Friend

Thank you, thank you.

 

Disrespect walked out of Class

Ignorance walked into Glass,

Indiscipline expected you to cry

Inexperience left himself dry,

Hatred did you, waylay

Stubbornness forgot payday,

On their behalf; forgive.

 

Your Old-school hair; they pocked

Your torn trousers; they mocked

Childishness laughed at your Shoes

Brutality stepped on your Toes,

Foolishness played you games

Stupidity called you names,

Never mind; forgive.

 

Disobedience always did wrong

Outlaw bullied the young,

Freedom misused his fees

Abject poverty stung by bees,

Mischief came for a fight

Weapons consumed your night,

Yet committed; thank you.

 

They knew you were hungry

Knew not you were; a Laundry

They knew you were thirsty

So they became very nasty,

For all they did dramatize

On their behalf i apologize,

Forgive, thank you.

 

Now i fully understand

All you wanted to withstand,

I thought it was wickedness

But you built me for wilderness,

I appreciate the purnishment

It was for a sound development,

Thank you, thank you.

 

Thank you for the manual labour

It added my strength; flavour

For answered questions, thank you

For unanswered ones, thank you

For each assignment, thank you

For each flogging, thank you,

For everything, thank you.

 

I can now comprehend

Why you could not pretend,

You were a Role Model

Wanted me; a Supermodel,

It was a royal target

You vowed; no regret

Thank you, thank you.

 

If i never held the Chalk

If i never did the long Walk,

If you were not my Teacher

If you never turned a Preacher,

If you never saw me Green

Wonder; i would have been;

Perhaps a terrible Nuisance.

 

Dedicated to teachers worldwide especially to my two most seasoned educationists. You are incredible.


 

Ngozi Olivia Osuoha is a Nigerian graduate of Estate Management with experience in Banking and Broadcasting. 

She has authored twenty three poetry books, and has featured in over one hundred and ten international anthologies. She has published over three hundred poems in over forty countries, and some of her pieces have been translated and published in  Spanish, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Macedonian, Farsi, Arabic, Khloe, Scots, Chinese, Hindi, Assamese, Serbian, Greek, and other languages.

She has won several awards, and some of her works have been nominated  for Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net Awards, among others.

She has some of her books in foreign libraries, including the US Library of Congress. She's a tailor too. And she has some more things to accomplish.

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