And The Jungle Stirred Poem by Chinyelu Agwu

And The Jungle Stirred

If you depart from the company that rests at the waterhole
You will not only know thirst
You may know death.
Here we run
Here we play
On our own side of this thick-forested paradise
Where the tall trees grace the morning
As the sun struggles through to bring its light
Where the scaly lords of the ground creep among shrubs
Dig their bite fangs into hooves
And even dare paws with their venom.
Yet, tall trees release the red, white, and blue birds
To sing closest to the sun
And to announce the unfolding of the curtains of heaven
As they still their songs
For the drops on their beaks.

If you stray too far from the warmth of your peers at the waterhole
You will not only know coldness
You will know the separation
That gives the jungle a synonym
And its meaning
You will know the fear that even the morning has
As the night stretches forth its hands
Through the clogs of the swamps
Through the thick folds of the tall eaves
Above the whispers, the shadows, and the fadeouts
Of creatures, human-like, animal-like
That can only twirl in the blanketed light
To be their own beings and keep their own haunt
In the depth of the jungle.
The night, yes, the night,
With sure fingers stretched forth in sheaths
That wrap beneath them the secrets of the night
Secrets that enjoy the locked lips of even whispers,
The hands of night stretched forth
To beckon the morning with the handover baton
Of secrets and stilled earthquakes that can never be heard
And the morning with shaky fingers
Welcomed the end of the night.

This is the third poem from the I See No Jungles Here poems in the trilogic poetry collection titled, It's No Fantasy, written for Nigeria in 2022. The three parts are titled as follows: I See No Jungles Here; I See the Living; and It's No Fantasy. The first, second, and third parts contain eleven, eight, and five poems respectively. The collection reinstates a belief in Nigeria's ability to conquer its multiple problems which are depicted in the poems using imagery of realism, fantasy, and social reconstruction.
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