Yahaya Madu

Chronicler of the art of life.


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Inheritance

Germinate, O my rose.

Bathe in dew of the watering trough

That stills a sunrises thirst.

Throne upon the mound of earth

At the center of my garden.

Clothe the dancing winds in perfume.

Your sprouting is sundial to the seed

That in thunder broke my chains.

And waters me a rich kingdom. My dove.

My loving spouse has slept in river of eternal sleep

Thus with the darkening clouds I’m clothed.

In the cleaving of a lemon each tongue tastes but half

But in eternal sleep a whole. Bathed by the river of sleep.

The police wiped my tears, said they did not find the sleeping body

But by the chains of the servant the lines of their witchcraft met.

For the wallet and blood smears of my other half cried out from the grave.

The ingratitude of the heart. Such an evil servant

In form the butterfly, yet in spirit a slice of darkness.

Goodbye my beloved husband. Sleep in peace.

My rose, throne in scarlet

And beautify the temple from which sprang my wings

Thus soar I in freedoms winds.

The judge was lenient, the lawyer a slice of ice

To a tongue that thirsts. “He left no ascendants

Nor descendants. Thus you are the sole heir.”

Music to the ears of Martha. In perfume of my rose.

Underneath the incense of scarlet

That is throne on this mound of earth

Sleeps his decomposing body in river of sleep.

Sleep in peace.

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Mesmer

Sparkling dew falls from the heavens
Upon an army of breeze carressed roses
That in mesmerising scent
Seeks a spell to cast upon the bee.
In the midst of rose blossoms lies
A serpent decked with dew crystals
Still… In the garden of perfume
In breeze pervading the air… In dripping dew…
Pour me a drink of rose scent
Invisible incense
That the Eye of the heart may perceive
In shadows of sunset
A glimpse of promised twinkling stars
That prophesy of drunken beauty
In the midst of flowers in blossom.


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Mercenary

Barman, please, another beer. I am meditating.
The unforgotten sounds of gunshots in
The starry night.
For what did they die? For Nothing.
As the lie goes, the root of all things.
To become honorable and glorious carrion
For vultures
Is the patriots lot.
The dew of blood underneath trees in shadows
That a happily weeping widow
– “Sign here, for his benefits and gratuities.”-
May cash a perfumed cheque. Peace.
This the night of flowers
That in honour, diamond stones,
Decks the graveyard. Of the shiny bullet and sword.
Crucify the Son of God. Let’s have some barbacue.
Green leaves fall of fruitful trees,
To earth a sun
In eclipse.
Water rushes down the mountain rocks
To bathe a form
From the shadows of spilling blood
Not for money.
This pile of heroic dead, a feast for the pecking vultures.
How much to put a bullet in his head?
Stud his chest in the hug of fire?
You have the money?
Then let’s play.


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Tractor Engine

The wheels etch their tracks in the softness of the earth.
In the coldness of dawn
The four wheel drive, humming, suspending the plow
Is steered by hydraulic cylinders over dew kissed grass
In swimming earth
To awaken the sleeping field.
The left pedal, the clutch, shifts the gears as a foot
Gently
Presses the throttle and as the hand control lever
Gives the command for the plow’s descent
It threshes soft moistened flying earth
For the awaited burial of the seeds.
The rear differential lock is made and the slip of wheels
Is frozen
Iron elecrifying the tractors giant wheels
In equal speed.
Yes, by this diesel engine do the cattle rest
Sacred no more. For the sharp knife’s blade is now drenched in dew
And no longer in the watery rose hue from a cow that pulls the plow
In the cold of dawn. The horse also rests, still sacred.
For with the spirit of four hundred kilowatts
And five hundred horsepower
In the internal combustion engine flowing through the snaking wires
What use is the galloping hoof?
The tractor plows a moist earth blade slicing path
Wether for landscaping the grass into a green mown work of art
Or for picking the perfume of tangerines in orchards in raincloud shadows
The equipment
Corn pickers, corn planters in the golden fields
The belly mowers or front end loaders of shinning steel
Preserves the art that elecritifies the body with the ink
Of the spirit of diesel.
This auxiliary tank, like the barn after harvest
Keeps the turning wheels from the stillness of death
In the main fuel tanks expectant slumber.
At night, the thief dreams of gear box treasure,
Sell it, and taste some wine. The operator sits
In the tractors enclosed cab, hard drugs coursing
Through his veins, for how else shall the fool have rest?
From fatigue in the burial that is blessed?
The tractor engine that once over sipped ethanol
Is now a moderate drinker of diesel, and drunkard no more.
Rippling earth in the embrace of a disc harrow.
The angels are fools, know no rest, when computerized pianos have
Silenced the harps of heaven. Priest! Download sermons into an MP3
Attach it to speakers on sunday, it shall keep the audience at the altar
Spellbound. And learn from the diesel engine
What rest is the sacred cows, that once plowed in swimming earth
Over grass kissed by sparkling dew.


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Greetings to my Readers

Greetings of the season to my readers! I hope the short stories and poems on my blog are loved by you. These are just a few of my unpublished works, posted so as to give my readers an example of my literary art and style. Many would never do this, for fear of their readers disliking the example and thus end up showing no interest in their subsequent works. I disagree. An example of your work promotes you better than a big literary name that often proves disappointing to those who read your work. But I dislike what is done by some Indie ( i.e self published ) authors who write whole novels and then give away the ebooks for free; ( though I wouldn’t mind downloading them, he he he ). A few short stories and poems are, in my opinion, excusable.  Lets allow the literary profession to retain its dignity.
I’ll conclude with one of my sayings: ‘ The sea is nothing but so many drops of dew…’


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Through the mists

There is a mist that embraces the fields at the first light of dawn. And silence. The green grass is drenched in dew and the leaves of the trees come alive with lone birdsong. December is cold. The path to the village borehole is lonely and deserted. Sunday morning. In breath of cool breezes is the rising of the sun at dawn. Quietude.

Mamza held two buckets, one rubber, the other iron, as he made his way through the mists of decembers harmattan, shivering in the cold despite his thick blue sweater. The cold seemed to unrobe all clothes, biting. Perhaps it was due to the fact that the village was surrounded by distant mountains. Beneath the mountains was the harmattan mists, upon the mountains rested the clouds.

Somebody cleared his throat, coming down the footpath. Mamza looked on, walking towards them. One could not see clearly at only a short distance. Soon they came close enough. It was three muslim young men coming back from the mosque after the subh or dawn prayers.

“Salaam alaikum”, said the one that cleared his throat.

“Good morning”, replied Mamza.

He walked on. He needed to fetch water from the borehole or the well next to it in good time for the morning hausa church service, depending on which queue was shorter. The young men passed on, cracking a joke that the blood of unbelievers was lawful. Two laughed but one of them did not smile. Mamza pretended he did not hear them in the silence of the misty dawn and the cold winds. He was wondering about his dove. He needed to pay tithes to the church. The pastor needed to buy a new car. His parents wouldn’t give him anything. He had sold all his doves except the white one. But that wasn’t the real reason he wanted to sell it. What the witchdoctor had said was false. In the rain, the descent of the dove upon his head as he came out of the waters of the rain could never confer upon one the power of immortality.

There was a rattling sound and a rickety bicycle came down the footpath, with an old man astride it. Mamza greeted him, stepping aside to let him ride by on the footpath. The grey haired old man rode by passing him silently not uttering a word, a deep frown on his haggard face. He was one of the security guards that worked at the hospital.

‘He must have been on the night shift today’, thought Mamza.

The old man was also a member of the villages vigilante group. Dane guns, toughness and deadly charms that turn bullets into water. That is if you have been well ‘cooked’ with village medicine, as far as the literal translation of the local word goes.

He walked on. The sun was shining and the footpath was becoming brighter. He would never have walked down this lonely road in the middle of the night. Hyenas loved to prowl the bush nearby. Sometimes you could hear their sad howls, carried by the wind into the night. Yet many moved about at that time, fearlessly. As if there was no legend that there was more to them than what met the eye. Strange, not only boys trembled at that myth.

He walked on, without looking back, except to cast a wary eye behind. He shivered in the mists from the cold, and exhaled mist like cigarette smoke out of his mouth, thinking… When he came back from church he would go fishing. So he decided. He was now old and experienced enough to steel his conscience, as he put a worm on the steel hook and the fish devoured it alive.

He would take his two loaves of bread to the river, needing no miracle, knowing that the fish would multiply. Men should give thanks for such bountiful blessings. Quietly, Mamza moved on through the harmattan mist, in the village surrounded by the silent mountains.


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Elohim

Lay some lilies upon a mirror pearled by dew

Color the painting of its roses

Lay a wreathe on the sad ripples of your reflection

Adorn the silent lake.

Clear the mist in a breeze drenched in light.

Silent waters mirroring images of a silent heaven

That is to the talons, embracing the dove, of the beautiful eagle

A misty halo.

Sometimes the waters of the lakes

Reflect the silence of sunny blue skies

That makes parchment of the earth

And in cracks on the ground that is cursive script

Ordains a famine and crowns the death of the grass in silver hue.

The winds tell of the divorce of the moistness of dew

From slaking the thirst of Mother and Child.

Sometimes the music in the dew of heaven

Utters upon the lake

Odes about the greenery in which the lion sleeps,

The sweet smell of death beside its slumber.

For they say life comes from the waters

And death when the thunder veiled in the clouds is silent.

Animals and men may die in famine and heaven does not weep,

Yet the blood of the poor that sleep beneath the skies

By soft shiny dew drops is washed away.

Upon the Cross, sounds in the winds;

“My Lord, My Lord,

Why have You

Forsaken Me?

Veiled it is, what the breeze utters

When it rustles through these leaves.

The call of the rainy descent of uncut diamonds as ice stones

And the answer of thunder.

Yet in the odes uttered by the falling dew

There is music of the drowning hare, and the lions peaceful sleep

To adorn in dew drops of blood the floating lilies.

The earthworm but dreams of the black eagle, of the gentle doves

That always seek to embrace the childish clouds

Drenched in light.