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MY POETRY HOME — trespassers welcome
The Midnight Inferno Written at IACC, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria – Nigeria.
(Wednesday, August 17 2011)
This is a sequel to "End Of Discussion: The Accidental Test". . .
It was a very lazy and casual start,
a few hours above seventy-two after
the First Discussion ended at the Junction.
This time, the Discussion continues with
some flames born off the off-file affairs
of the rot in the National Greed;
more flammable than the occasional sparks that
fly off from the usually off-line National Grid;
and unlike the pot-bellied Greed Masters whose
seedy mouths swallowed the coffers
in bagfuls and in broad daylight,
these bastard flames chose to nibble at
midnight and they were chewing only half
a mouthful at a time.
And how so very indolently they nibbled!
As though in some sort of a slumber,
so very leisurely as though not actually aspiring
to consume anything along their slothful paths;
and I could tell without missing it that the flames
had not a single bone to pick with me or with
my apartment that night.
But the unfurling toxic fumes showed no
courtesy as they forbade breathing and
exhibitively advertised their strangulating chokes;
and I could tell without missing it that
the arsenic billows were really out on a sinister
mission to seek, paralyze and destroy the
ventral respiratory group above and below or
in-between those pathways that
control the Centre of Consciousness.
By now the natural instinct to preserve Self
had outmoded the redundant desire to save possessions;
so I fled rough and blind through the lightless yard
as though drowning in a sunless sea;
and looking up the moonless firmaments outside
(without even a dull star to offer a straw-light of hope)
only thickened the plot of the insane inferno.
Stripping my faith of its religious baggage
and ignoring the attitude of the trembling body,
my Soul went on its knees in a moment of
quietude as I mumbled a tongue-tied prayer for
a cleansed life relieved of all oddities that sucked.
Then much later when frantic efforts were
mobilized to immobilize the blazes in their tracks,
cadences of whirling flames awoke from their
somnambulistic slumber and resorted to
a vigorous tempest, with neither rhythm nor strategy,
with neither pity nor intellisense nor apology,
becoming arsonic and infernal and implacable,
just as pulses and paces of men pounded at
arrhythmic tempos never before thought to be
conformable to the endurance of Man.
A few blinks of wearied eyes later,
on the now-baked concrete floors that
once were plushy-rugged and French-tidy,
like a charade of abstract-proxy-façades,
all of life’s significant details laid ashy-waste:
Among them were after-shave creams
that once were enchantingly glamorous and
priceless hand-written letters from friends abroad;
and among them were currency notes that once
were the magic wands of my capitalistic economy;
and among them also were identity documents
that once talismanically swung international doors open;
and among them even also were the cheerful
memories that once were illuminated in a flash
and fixed forever as brilliant photographs...
But now the life of each item had been put to rest,
forever buried and lost in a cheerless
entombment of deathly sooty ashes;
with no spelt-out epitaph to elicit any
moody spell on their burnt-out existence;
some still burning, not wanting to perish,
but decreed to never resurrect again anyway.
And as the last of them burned to ashes,
I once again accepted on purpose what
Mighty Fate had presented as an accident;
and just as I indifferently coughed out
my first mouthful of soot-soaked phlegm
that night, a tiny profundity of
otherworldly cinder glowed calmly
at a corner with an inviting aura,
almost like an apologetic mother, saying:
“Come, let’s have a new Discussion;
let me tell you that I wish to be misunderstood;
that is, to be understood from your perspective –
let me tell you that all of that was only
a regular test, and you have passed.
But the Discussion never ends nevertheless,
for continuity is life’s purposed idea;
and while we are at it this time,
do get prepared for the Promotion;
for all of that was only a test,
and verily, I say you have passed indeed.
And while we are at it yet again,
I now shall enshroud you with a warm quotient,
wrap you up in your own transformed Thoughts,
(even as the Discussion continues)
which should suffice to appease your sterling shock,
and enable you cook the noodles and
vegetables in your unaffected kitchen that bravely survived the midnight inferno”.
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