In the grayness
and drizzle of one despondent
dawn unstirred by harbingers
of sunbreak a vulture
perching high on broken
bones of a dead tree
nestled close to his
mate his smooth
bashed-in head, a pebble
on a stem rooted in
a dump of gross
feathers, inclined affectionately
to hers.
Yesterday they picked
the eyes of a swollen corpse
in a water logged
trench and the things in its bowel.
Full gorged they chose their roost
keeping the hollowed remnant
in easy range of cold
telescopic eyes……

– Chinua Achebe



our thoughtless days

sat at dire controls

and played indolently

slowly downward in remote

subterranean shaft

a diamond-tipped

drill point crept closer

to residual chaos to

rare artesian hatred

that once squirted warm

blood in God’s face

confirming His first

disappointment in Eden.

– Chinua Achebe.

After A War.

After a war life catches
desperately at passing
hints of normalcy like
vines entwining a hollow twig;
its famished roots
close on rubble and every
piece of broken glass.

Irritations we used
to curse return to joyous
tables like prodigals home
from the city…..The meter man
serving my maiden bill brought
a friendly face to my circle
of sullen strangers and me
smiling gratefully
to the door.

After a war
we clutch at watery
scum pulsating on listless
eddies of our spent
dancers rising too soon
to rejoin their circle dance
our powerless feet intent
as before no longer
adept contrive only
eccentric steps.

After years
of pressing death
and dizzy last-hour reprieves
we’re glad to dump our fears
and our perilous gains together
in one shallow grave and flee
the same rueful way we came
straight home to hunted revelry.

– Chinua Achebe.