In Memory of Mattie Stepanek

The Earth

I have seen the earth devour men
but I have never seen it devour someone like this

I traveled into the strange lands; the land of beauty
suffused with human skulls and browned coffins
paralleled by the riddles and paradoxes of the world

and I saw what the earth has eaten; what it
dreams of shuffling down below its pines
mottling down the canals of joy
the émigré of the paned world of the dead

it devoured the pride of a nation, ridiculed the hand that made it
waned away the joy of the world and enraged the happiness
of them that were given him to cater for

a sublime peel of joy, surrounding the étagère
as the frangipani tree hovered all through the Burial Ground
shambled by the unearthing spree of the wind

the waxy air plumed and scattered him away

Oh! The land has eaten so much. It has devoured the innocent, the cruel
the spinning glees of the morning sun, the wasteful jackals of the forest
the earth the land---have eaten us so deep with no benevolence

the land has eaten us so deep

Poetry by Onyeka Nwelue
Read 810 times
Written on 2006-06-19 at 01:02

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