‘POETS ARE LIARS’, ‘DO NOT WAIT FOR ME, BELOVED’ & ‘MEMORIES I’ (three poems by Emmanuel Karibi Obuala)

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POETS ARE LIARS

Do not take these lines to heart
for they're the many facetted words
of a poet open to an endless sea
of intentions. Mind you,
'poets are liars', they say.

Do not give them thought either
no, for they're elusive
like the whooshing sea breeze
& thus do not hold for you
even a pinch of salt,
let alone pass for a discourse.

Pass on without a word
pass on as cold as a
raspy harmattan morning,
bland & husky with fog

Pass on as deaf as a stone
to the fetching syllables of this verse
for they're the slimy old serpent
waiting to beguile you into
the things to that you should
keep away from, that drives one
to the edge of the cliff. 

Pass on as keen as a distant stranger
for this verse is not for you
& is aeons far from you
like the cerulean sky
from the deep blue seas!

Pass on complacently & without
a grain of empathy for these lines
for poets are epistemic lunatics
hopelessly lost in the utopic
jungle of their thoughts. 

O you must watch your steps
even as you pass by
& never fall in love with this poet
lest you forget your gold in his poems;
fall asleep on delilah's thighs
& wake up a slave to a habit
of perpetual anguish

For his words are charming &
succulent as mango fruits &
bitter-sweet & stale as vinegar
& robs you of the peace & bliss of innocence

O poets are liars, are scheming,
quixotic minstrels who more
than often, knows better than the truth,
to dazzle folks home with
gongorism & striking metaphors

into battle with the world,
armed only with the cudgel of pain & dissent.

DO NOT WAIT FOR ME, BELOVED

Do not wait for me, beloved
on the other side of this poem
where the sun is presumed

to dissolve at eve
like a passionate lover

into the waiting arms
of the deep blue seas,

expecting me to serenade you
to sleep
like the lulling night breeze;

expecting me to turn water into wine,
to bring the dead back to life
like Jehovah Jireh,

No, move on, Chéri
for the sun's faded out

& the butterflies have
departed for elsewhere,

leaving each flower to its fate

like the cukoo bird does its young.

All that's left are nostalgic memories 
of the past we refuse to let go.

All that's left are shadows
of the sunny days we can no longer have.


MEMORIES I

Each passing day like a courier,
comes with picturesque
souvenirs of the past,
with bitter-sweet memories

of memorable moments
lost to the ironic winds of time.

O' what wistful bliss pricks
the heart of man in remembering
the sun-soaked memories
we made in our time

Indelible memories
as keen as the perpetual rising
of the sun at break of day
& its selfsame setting at eve

Which is between us now
crossroads of nostalgia
one cannot feign to forget
in a lifetime, to which
lovelorn, I ache to return,

like a weary voyager
to the soothing air of home,
when like a crab, I crawl
my way back in retrospection
down memory lane

to the good old days
of rainbows and starry nights
when we kept dusk at bay
with passionate eyes
brighter than sunrise

when the soothing sun
daily beamed radiant and gay.

Alas, how dreamfully
I crave those sunny days
and wish, like wretched beggars
for steeds they may never ride

that the sun does not set today
and deprive me of this vintage.


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Emmanuel Karibi Obuala is a Nigerian poet. He was born in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. An alumnus of the Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island Bayelsa State, Nigeria, Obuala served under the National Youth Service Corps at Gusau Polytechnic, Talata Mafara, Zamfara State. He had previously taught English Literature at various schools. Obuala’s poetry has appeared in several magazines, anthologies and journals in Nigeria and abroad.