A VOW OF PARADISE
I made you a vow of paradise
Though I knew I could not find the time
To show you how much I cared and treasured
The sincerity of your love and devotion;
I wanted to take you to my father's plantation
Where birds found some pretty preys;
Or to the river that hums behind our farm,
Where waters stumble from yellow, jagged rocks;
I wanted to pester you with sips of lavender tea
Plucked from my grandmother's glistening garden.
You will drink till your shoulders dropped down.
Paradise was all that I wanted to give you.
I longed for the sun to stay and the day to shine;
I wanted birds to thrill with their songs in flight;
And streams murmured while rushing down the hill
Where meadows flattered your way to the River,
Where fishes spun like skirting planes in the sky;
We would roam around the deepest part of Egwele forest
Where rabbits played as lions groaned in sleep.
I wanted you to see my mother in the middle of rocks,
Hedged between pews of outstretched yellow stones,
With long, narrow holes in yellow or orange shadows.
When I made you a vow of paradise, my love,
I thought of the pretty little greens of my farm
In plains swashed by the dazzling shafts of the sun.
I admit I failed, my gorgeous darling,
In the first promise that I ever made to you,
The time, the means to make you believe
That our love was the best that happened to me
And the ultimate reason for this life of pain,
When I should have ended it all long ago;
I know I fail to take you to the tip of the iceberg
Where happiness would descend like a chill
And fulfillment tear our souls to shreds,
Where your head will crack up the ceiling,
Or roll with dizziness at the memory of my farm,
Love bristling down your heart like tumbling leaves,
Hate purged from our bodies with flowers from our farm.
Yet I must blame it on the times, my pretty baby,
That flies like a comet across the nervous sky,
Not in my inability to find the means and time,
But in those innocuous wheels of change that hit us
At such a time as this when joy is a mockery
Of all the dark things that occur to us every day;
See men drop from the sky like balls of rotten fruits
And children moan at midnight like freezing owls.
The albatross stifles its cries in shock and stupefaction
Its funeral dirge the soul-shocking melody of the time,
Its fluttering wings the lonely, beautiful sights in the sky;
See the cricket lights are dimmed; its wings clipped,
When darkness covers the world no man can see,
Nor set foot in the farm where paradise lies in wait
For besotted lovers to fulfill their long-held promises.
But listen, love at the distant rushing of water
Towards us in rapid streams and striking avalanches,
The sky is brightening, the forests gleam with light,
Soon I believe darkness will clear the way today,
And it will be another great day for us to dare
And fulfill our long-forgotten dreams and fantasies.
There is hope again in the coming of days,
That I will take you to the back of our farm,
The pristine garden with ancient fruits of love
Planted to cure the diseases of the soul and body
And free the minds from the rigors of the times;
It is time again to show you all around our garden,
Where flowers bloom and birds hum in the sun
As paradise cracks up the gloom of the night.
Copyright © cHIBUIKE UKAH | Year Posted 2021
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