HOME (2007)

Home’s laughter and joy, where good thoughts mature;
Home’s water for life, and without colour or odour;
Home makes eyes water, but beneath blesses each smile.
Not home the seat of vile yoke-wielders Satan couldn’t beguile.
Not home despair growing from the tree you didn’t help spawn.
What’s home when your peers relish as sadness does you a turn?
No! Not home if I can’t rest at night and wish the morrow.

Home’s children in the present hopeful and eyes turned to the future;
Home’s elders drawing the past to give the present’s pleasant contour;
Home’s youths building the future with the puerile and senile,
All hand in hand lifting Home higher in each while.
Not home hearts buckling under unfulfilled dreams, hearts that yearn!
What’s home if children’s present shames elders’ past, and in turn
Home’s youths’ future condemns their very life so hollow?

Home’s working for your bread and to your produce more manure;
Home’s doing what you crave and in your grave be happy manure.
Home’s scorn for the hedonists, respect for the agile.
Not home the heart-tearing feeling of drying the Nile!
Not home where your greatest achievements meet the urn!
What’s home when greater achievements are mere kindergarten turns?
No! Not home my teary eye sharing in my fellowmen’s sorrow!

Home’s being satisfied that all one needs is secure;
Home’s not wants achieved, but necessities from the store;
Home’s absence of frustration at getting blamed your job’s an empty vial
Because home didn’t offer the tools you needed, though they’re there all the while!
Not home when the doctor gets blamed that the propellers don’t turn;
What’s home when the shoe mender mends body burns?
No! Not home a place where squares fit circles in a mentality so shallow.

There was home in my heart as TV waves my growing heart would lure.
Homewards, I’d think, into prospects of rejoicing in a reality so pure;
Reality, home to opportunities, possibilities: me and my dreams down the aisle,
With home’s resources building a mighty Rome in the eyes of a little child.
That was home as my blood pumped and I awaited my turn
To give home all my feeble self could afford. All I could learn
As age called was broken dreams, and the pain of a morose morrow.

(c) Nyonglema Pisoh

PHOENIX (2009)

A new day will come, when from ash,

The glory of the golden feathers,

Sprayed in red and brown and ash

Shall rise. And in those weathers,

A flamboyant flame so hopeful bright

Announcing, like the Star of old:

“There shall pass some event of delight!”

Shall spark and spread like a manifold,

Piecing together the splendour to be born:

Bones and blood, cloak and claws;

Picking carefully each colour for scorn

On other creatures (even man) victim to death’s jaws.

Yellow more than yellow, red beyond red!

Gold in every nook, look at how rare

It sparkles in the sunlight royally shed

On the Phoenix, in the splendour of December.

(c) Nyonglema Pisoh