Posted in POETRY, POETRY FROM THE WORLD, Uncategorized

On Death – Kahlil Gibran (One of the finest poems on death ever)

You would know the secret of death.
But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?
The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light.
If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life.
For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.


In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond;
And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring.
Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.
Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honour.
Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of the king?
Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?

For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?

Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.


About Kahlil Gibrain

Kahlil Gibrain (1883-1931) is one of the world’s most popular and best selling poets of all times. He was a Lebanese-American poet, philosopher, artist and writer. His writings are deeply prophetic (he actually has a book titled The Prophet 🙂 ) and deep. Google his poetry and if you get the opportunity, buy and/or read his books. His words are transforming if you let them sink. Now, let’s end this with a quote from him:

You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.


A WAKE FOR OKIGBO (A POEM) by Chinua Achebe

For whom are we searching?
For whom are we searching?
For Okigbo we are searching!

Has he gone for firewood, let him return.
Has he gone to fetch water, let him return.
Has he gone to the marketplace, let him return.
For Okigbo we are searching!

For whom are we searching?
For whom are we searching?
For Okigbo we are searching!

Has he gone for firewood, may Ugboko not take him.
Has he gone to the stream, may Iyi not swallow him!
Has he gone to the market, then keep from him you
Tumult of the marketplace!
Has he gone to battle,
Please Ogbonuke step aside for him!
For Okigbo we are searching!

They bring home a dance, who is to dance it for us?
They bring home a war, who will fight it for us?
The one we call repeatedly,
there’s something he alone can do
It is Okigbo we are calling!

Witness the dance, how it arrives
The war, how it has broken out
But the caller of the dance is nowhere to be found
The brave one in battle is nowhere in sight!
Do you not see now that whom we call again
And again, there is something he alone can do?
It is Okigbo we are calling!

The dance ends abruptly
The spirit dancers fold their dance and depart in midday
Rain soaks the stalwart, soaks the two-sided drum!
The flute is broken that elevates the spirit
The music pot shattered that accompanies the leg in
its measure
Brave one of my blood!
Brave one of Igbo land!
Brave one in the middle of so much blood!
Owner of riches in the dwelling place of spirit
Okigbo is the one I am calling!

In memory of the poet Christopher Okigbo (1932-1967)
Translated from the Igbo by Ifeanyi Menkiti

Okigbo and Achebe
Okigbo and Achebe

(End Notes:

I have always loved Achebe’s poems, from Refugee Mother and Child to Love Cycle and many others collected in Beware Soul Brother and Collected Poems (available on Amazon). I felt him more in Anthills of the Savannah (which I did my undergraduate long essay on).

I smiled as I read this poem…thinking of how fast life flows in its fluidity. Achebe wrote this poem forever ago in honour of Okigbo… I watched him recite the poem at a birthday in his honour, some six or so odd years back. It was moving. Now, Achebe has passed on and a friend of mine, the beautiful poet, Dike Chukwumerije, did a poem in Achebe’s honour similar to this. Who can forget Niyi Osundare’s tribute... The poems would always be here to sing the song of the one for whom it is dedicated, to boast the prowess of the one who carved the lines of the verse… But always keeping to eternity the memories of the two… Thus in the end, life’s flow doesn’t drown the voice of the singer or the one sang for. . .


Chinua Achebe (1930-2013-In our hearts)
Chinua Achebe (1930-2013-In our hearts)

May the verse of our hearts never go out of tune. Cheers! SVA)


We would be here (A Poem of comfort) By Agatha Aduro (for Sephaa Charles-Ayede) and For the Living, we cry at death ( a poem) by Su’eddie Vershima Agema

For Sephaa

In an instant, the gourd was smashed
Broken into irretrievable infinitesimal pieces
Your world rocked on its axis
Your steps faltered
Wobbled for that tiniest fraction of eternity
For what is time? But a fraction of eternity
And when I, I thought indeed
This load should seem a crippling weight
Time passed. And as I watched
Your shoulders straightened
Your spine stiffened
Before my eyes, you morphed
Spirit of your forbears. Not just the nose

And when that day comes
If that day should ever come
We would be right here
To take a load off
To wash your weary feet
Lave your soul in soothing balm
Without a doubt, we would be here…

FOR THE LIVING, WE CRY AT DEATH (A Poem by Su’eddie Vershima Agema) for Sephaa Charles-Ayede

when the breath of our loves fizzle to mother air
we cry not for the dead-
but the living.

we let life fly by
noting at the terminal that
a demise marks a death –

of a part of us
our history lost in one silent blip
of a departure that shared our entire worth

but even when time closes the door of one soul’s presence
the essence of others shine on
maybe, then we should glory in the sun, hoping in the Son…

smile and note, Dear, that there would always be
us here and others…crying in your tears, laughing in your smile
and loving you every single while.



   [for George Egbuchulam]


The oxygen mask

the tubes

the tapes

the poles

and all those sachets of healing fluids

dangling and dripping from them


and the pain

and the pain—


your hand, gripping mine, trying to communicate

the searing pain coursing through your body—


did your hand gripping mine carry to you

the pain strung from my own entrails?


I recall, all too clearly, there were no mottled shadows of death

in your eyes: no flickering trace of any kind of

any such shadow—familiar  not from memory

but from tales and dreams—did I see


and your panting speech concealed no parting wish:


I heard nothing even remotely hinting at autopsy

or embalmment or rites of passage of any kind—


I heard nothing, absolutely nothing, even

remotely hinting at secret grievances and

hidden fears and concealed passions


it was food you asked for

food and a drink of glucose…


were they the emissaries of God—

those trained and unfeeling hands that

cordoned your bed off beyond the reach

of all human prayers and hopes—


were they the emissaries of God ?


was it really over

when they wheeled you away in a gurney?


was it really over

as I stood there in that ward—clutching a useless

blood requisition form meant for the blood bank?


It’s not true, George—it’s really not true:


           some kind of painful sight can, indeed, make

the human eye shed blood—it’s just that

no eye, no human eye, can see such blood—


the blood that  flowed down my cheeks

as I stood there in that ward—my knees sagging

under the unbearable weight of the unanswered

prayer that your name1  has now become.


1[George’s surname, Egbuchulam, in Igbo, means: Don’t-kill-me-too-early]


Hyginus Ekwuazi is a multiple award winning poet and literary artist. This poem is written in honour of a young friend of his, George Egbuchulam who passed on in Ibadan late 2012 after a fight with cancer. Find information on Hyginus Ekwuazi here.






(for my sisters, Annie and Rosarii Ngohide Gberikon)

At grief’s graze

Be strong

Deferring death’s despair

The inconsolable loss

Losing us in a haze…

Be strong

Cry the wells of emotions away

The best way to many miseries slay

But stand forth on

The glory of the sun

Reminding us

It could have been worse…

Boki wam, at grief’s despairing graze

Truly, be strong

It might seem nature’s haze

But we are made stronger

If only we don’t despair longer

Than right. Be strong.

28th February, 2012


THE OBITUARY by Abigail George

Many times we lose our loved ones and it feels like it is just soooo not right. We can’t believe it.
We tend to put up our thoughts to honour them in what forms we can. It is at this point, that we write poems,
make their pictures our profile pics, spread their cheer to the world and so on and so forth…It has happened
to me severally. Perhaps to you. It is still going to happen. So, why don’t we learn to start or keep appreciating
those who we love and honour in our lives. Do those things you would do for them if they were dead when they are alive
so that in death too, they would have the honour that the cold might not allow them.
This is in tribute to the aunt of a beautiful friend of mine, Abigail George. It is a poem titled ‘The Obituary’
and it starts with a fore note. – Su’eddie Agema

Fore Note:
My aunt died yesterday evening in the hospital. It came as a shock to everyone. She was the kindest and most beautiful person I have ever known in my life. I loved her like a mother and I wrote The Obituary for her.

The Obituary

Infinite Love changes everything
Time and place, being and life
When Magda came into the world
She changed the world around her
With her love, empathy and her
Generosity of spirit that she especially
Showed towards other people

This mother and wife loved in truth, in living

There will only ever
Be one person like her
She will live forever in
Our hearts and minds
And her spirit will
Live on in her grandchildren

Magda was a diamond, a beautiful person inside and out

Her heart was filled
With grace and appreciation
For everyone around her
Magda was also very much
A spiritual person
She believed in God

We need more souls like her in the world

She will be remembered
For the volcano of her warmth and laughter
She always exceeded my expectations
And I know we all feel that
We were truly blessed to have
Felt her perfect spirit

She was that rare, pure and perfect thing

To have known and loved her
As a mother, a sister, a daughter,
An aunt and a grandmother
Whenever she was around
It never felt like winter rather
More like a love song

The words you always remember

She was fringed with acts of love
I would need hours to describe her
Now there’s emptiness
Where she used to be but proof
Of our existence lives on
In the ones we leave behind

She has earned our love

Now there’s silence
Where there once was a voice
Like a river and for all of eternity
There will be a vanishing point
The illusion of life is slow
At the beginning and the dance
Speeds up as we all near the end

Everything of life is a slowing down

Magda’s smile was epic
I think I will always remember
How she expressed herself
In the end we’re all tourists
Searching for our own corner
Of Paradise in this world

And in the end she found her own

© Abigail George 2012 6th February