Felix Bongjoh

Shisong-Bui, Cameroon
Felix Bongjoh
Shisong-Bui, Cameroon
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Night-Blanketed Valley

Rating: 5.0
(i)

Seal your mouths, but let
your core whisper
with the tree grown inside you
to bloom with beaming
pods of freezing fear,

seeds in your pericarp
growing budding quivers.

Button up your pants.
Zip up the shirt
of a stray sniveling child
caught in a twirling storm

in hollow cave-mouthed
sun-dried brick bungalow,
dad and mum tiptoed
off to a nebula in the bushes.

(ii)

Child, hands of breeze
will bear you out
to a firmament in a dark room.
Soft-eyed flitting stars
from blinking wicks wink at you.

A gaudy drifting dusk.
Flattened out, falling low,
a ruffled piece
of sky painter's canvass
wind-flung to trail
traces of a fiery light.

Burning no harmattan reeds,
as they stick their leafy
heads far across the hills
rolling faster than
debris-carrying winds.

Waving flags of green palmate
leaves held high
by buzzing jumping puffs.

And thin tornadoes rising
with little flesh of dust
and sky-shooting dry leaves.

(iii)

Above and across grass-
and aluminum-roofed
crawling houses
in the rocky savannah valley

hugging and murmuring
to leafy stalks
with tree-leaning shadows
sneaking through
and beyond shrubby bushes.

Riding on a saddle of silence.
Sneaking, stretching over
a stream that tramps
through rooted stones.

Let your seal-lipped fear
spin the galloping horse
to take you back home

here, dad and mum
up in the barn
playing with mice
whispering to each other,

as flame and blood boots
melt off drumming
old earth-roofed graves.
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