The husband who wants freedom in his home
Must to his wife defer, or else to come
Are pinings, repinings, and groanings; O
The telltale testaments of bed-shorn woe.
Hence, I ask permission to dip my hand
Into the terrains of your virgin land.
I am a tourist to your shores, and sure
To my native land I return no more
The horde of treasures there within your mound
My tongue shall still proclaim it round and round.
Where many came and left with sullen face
I have acquired the notice of your grace!
Where many dug but found nothing above
I can boast of the blessings of your love!
Your body — hidden long by distance’s shoal —
Is but a sweet precursor to your soul;
Your brick of nature oft outward expressed
Is a garden of flowers by cares oppressed,
Neatly arranged, organised so well:
The bricks are there to build, the flowers to smell.
I have felt in my core your strength of mind,
And savoured in my heart, though I was blind
Sprinkles of stardust on a dreary life,
Mobius of ties where loneliness was rife.
Poetry was the one with whom I talked,
My lone faithful companion as I walked.
I buried myself in its living hearse
And showered in the meaning of a verse:
I lived Abelard in conditions grim
And died with Eloisa for ache for him;
I watched Thomas’ eyes around Anne rove
And saw his head lopped off for crimeless love;
I wept profusely for Okigbo’s harms
As he lay bleeding in his Biafra’s arms.
Yet poems are like a precarious dance
Carried out in the bubble of a trance;
—When you dismount because life calls you on
The feeling remains but the fact is gone.
But when you took my hand, then I could climb
From the ethereal to the sublime
I felt the transport and the heartache raw
And entered the Canaan which Moses saw!
E. Oluwaseun Dairo is still trying to figure out what he is. In the meantime, he dabbles into poetry and other critical forms. He has been published in Sentinel and The Sky Is our Earth; An Anthology of Fifty Young Nigerian Poets. He can be found on Twitter @EODairo