poem of the day: An African Elegy by Ben Okri

An African Elegy

Ben Okri

We are the miracles that God made
To taste the bitter fruit of Time.
We are precious.
And one day our suffering
Will turn into the wonders of the earth.

There are things that burn me now
Which turn golden when I am happy.
Do you see the mystery of our pain?
That we bear the poverty
And are able to sing and dream sweet things.

And that we never curse the air when it is warm
Or the fruit when it tastes so good
Or the lights that bounce gently on the waters?
We bless the things even in our pain.
We bless them in silence.

That is why our music is so sweet.
It makes the air remember.
There are secret miracles at work
That only Time will bring forth.
I too have heard the dead singing.

And they tell me that
This life is good
They tell me to live it gently
With fire, and always with hope.
There is wonder here

And there is surprise
In everything the unseen moves.
The ocean is full of songs.
The sky is not an enemy.
Destiny is our friend.

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(poem of the day) ‘Explorer of Aromas’ by Toyin Adewale Gabriel

 Explorer of Aromas
English: Political map of the 36 States of Nig...

English: Political map of the 36 States of Nigeria (English) Deutsch: politische Karte Nigerias (Englisch) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As the fire devours the grass,
as flames consume the matchsticks,

the street swallows my steps,
my voice dissolves in soil.

I know the green bile of hunger.

I know the triumph of dust,

the sneering arrogance of the sun,
on the carcasses of sodden

rats. l have dined on dried dogs,
flavoured with acrid urine.

And at the feet of elaborate remnants,
I find the most high remains,

Of chicken thighs unloved by excess.
I, the explorer of aromas,

wading through the maze of rice,
delighting in trash. l say your refuse

can is finger-licking good.
They say the rich also cry,

dancing to soothe their shame,
their throbbing sores.