Treasure Island

Echezonachukwu Nduka


For This Kindhearted Night


I

To you kindhearted Night, I come with clean hands
and lyrics of praise. My guitar is tuned. My voice is cheerful.
I sing not the praise of kings who on battlefields become shadows;
Theirs is nothing but a reign of no rains. I have felt their breath of fresh air.
I died twice in its neglect and lonesomeness. Their freshness is seeing but blind.
I chant no songs of freedom amidst warfare. Freedom is vague, its songs are consolations.

II

Seers are not the ones with wide open eyes.
Even when their eyes are closed, pictures become clearer.
Night, you bear gifts of comfort in your palms.
Your calmness is Tee-Mac’s flute melodies.
I play with words as stars twinkle in your presence.
You send the moon to illuminate my tunes and I.
I am bereft when the moon sleeps in your chambers.

III

But Night, are you the same as darkness?
Do you stretch your arms against the poor?
Do you shut your ears to laments?
Are you the home of death or the bringer of strife?
Do you delight in dirges?

IV

I am not your stranger. No one is.
You know all songs before their birth.
Your ears have consumed the sweetest melodies.
Night, you are poetry. No Muse lives in your absence.
In your presence, words are not the sole properties of those
who utter them. Your serenity gives life to every word.
You give birth to new mornings and keep hopes alive.

V

Night, you are the lovers’ haven.
To you, I come with the love of my life.
Take us.

Submitted: Sunday, March 23, 2014
Edited: Monday, March 24, 2014

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