"Dust: The Scent Of Time," "Everyday People," and "Happy People"

Dust: The Scent Of Time

I used to love home under her arms
once laid bare before the eyes of
my listeners below the shade
of the early moonlight
watching my thought
play with the dust
even as I lift up my feet in journey
seizing the scent of the lily, plucking
the feathers of the eagle to wing
troubled times and soar in faith —
zion not too far to reach
watch over me with thy prayers
for I know you are gracious;
mighty & fair in shaky times.
I seek for shelter within me
with firm stand I stay square
under my skin, unblemished
forgive them mother
thy spirit abides...
of the witching hour under the
boab tree invoking the spirit
to set loose the night, & swallow the
blood moon and, drink its holy water



Everyday People

We make the loudest noise from the
broken pieces of shattered untoward
tomorrow creamed with the olive tears
flowing from the eyes that saw yesterday
dying to be rescued from the arms of terror.
We occupy the bottom of the food chain
dragging our feet along ethno-religious line
of thought as we look out to the sky —
watching and praying for another day to
sing our redemption song before the Priest.
And to our imaginary friend sitting wholly
on the arms of the riding clouds of his glory.
We are the preacher-man's congregation
consuming his prophecies, seizing solace
from his abracadabra-driven signs & wonders.
We are the endangered souls bound for hell —
living off alms from the table of our Master,
begging for survival because we are scared
to live and unwilling to die for paradise.
We are the slanderers of the righteous
teacher, the killer of the watcher; and we place
high above, the looter of our Commonwealth;
we sing his adoration at the marketplace;
at the holy sanctuary, we set him a throne
next to the altar as the epitome of God's
grace and blessings; of God's go-to person.
We are the whore and the patron
the liar and the mischief hawkers
the vendors with unideal wares —
longing for merry, begging for cherry.
We are the 40 thieves of every night
pilfering... piece by piece from the
melting pot.
We are the Poor Society gathered under gunpoint; our eyes closed in uncertainty
as we watch him pull the trigger; and wild
away with his persuasion of the City boy;
as time becomes of years —
and years manifest time!



Happy People

This is all we need to desire all we
wish to belong, to our becoming as a
people emerging from a place where
we play Afrobeats and dance to every
beat of our hearts to bits and pieces
of now and before slapping dust with
our feet and songs on our lips.
Happy people with afro dreams —
dyed in the wool, that music pool of
smooth rhythm and sounds that
propels your feet and taps your hips.
Mother tongue on some drift of
harmony, interwoven into sound
that stretches the lyrics of known
and foreign language, striking keys
on the piano, and loose you to scene
unexpected because of the magic
of the African power we carry by
lifting the sound of faith and unity.
Happy people is that different thing
we are, may not settle on the rise
of the sun, but will come out to
color the sky with rainbow upon
the arrival of twilight's dictate.
In the volume of the book it's
written that We are You and
You are We — a common people
vibrating to the tremor of earth's
one only dwelling we protect and
defend, and see to its virtue
showering upon us like the black
rain falling gracefully in july,
upon the adherents at the shrine
making offerings to the art —
happy people submerged
in all, giving everything…
Happy people — a woman that is
undivided by time and chance,
a non believer of all the story
her body endures, that's her…!



Uchechukwu Onyedikam

Uchechukwu Onyedikam is a Nigerian Photographer and, a well-published Poet based in Lagos, Nigeria. His poems have appeared in Amsterdam Quarterly, Brittle Paper, Poetic Africa, Hood Communists, The Hooghly Review, and in different themes of anthology both print and online. He and Christina Chin has co-written and published two poetry chapbooks — Pouring Light On The Hills (December 2022) and Clouds of Pink (March 2024).


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Tuesday, April 23, 2024 - 21:05