the tide rises, the tide falls | an oceanic literary magazine
Joseph C. P. Christopher
Her tiny teary eyes
carry a thousand un-worded
stories. Her left arm bears daily
cheerless shooting calvary. Amarachi
-heaven's rain, the lines of my dithyramb are a fragile garden nursing
peaches of shadows and sunlight, as you lay on my laps lifeless like a
broken clock. The world has taken a limb from you in search of the sea. It
has tortured you to gloom. Where
did your laughter go, the one that filled
our cups when father lost his job and
mother swept the streets for a meal?
We survived on infant jiggles and riddles of paradise baked in bean
cakes when we hawked them on metallic trays on our heads, traversing
Terminus Market, beating each other in the heat and light of swift stimuli.
Where is your laughter, the one that
kept warm, cold felted mats,
enwrapped on the floor which never
showed an ounce of mercy as we lay
on it every night, jerking to nick the
fires in our bones? Where is that lovely
sweetness? When hunger claws at
infant bellies, you are the river with
which the soul is joyed. Amarachi -
heaven's blossom, the world has taken
a rib from you in search of the oceans.
You must rise in the wake of this
minstrelsy before, before the birds
catch a wink.
Joseph C.P. Christopher is a poet. He is the author of Salient Whispers (2014) which was shortlisted for ANA/Chevron award for poetry in 2014. His newest collection is titled Dust in the Rain (2020). He is currently a doctoral candidate with Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria and lives in Abuja.