Spoor of Desire: Selected Poems
is available for $16.00 from FootHills Publishing, P.O. Box 68, Kanona NY 14856 or see www.foothillspublishing.com.

Tourist Snapshots is available for $8.95 from Randy Fingland, CC Marimbo, P.O. Box 933, Berkeley CA 94701 or see www.ccmarimbo.com.

Dada Poetry: An Introduction was published by Nirala Publications. It may be ordered on Amazon.com for $25 plus shipping. American buyers may order a copy from me for $23 including shipping.

The other books are also available from the author William Seaton. Write seaton@frontiernet.net.

A categorized index of all work that has appeared on this site is available by looking under the current month in the Blog Archive section and selecting Index.

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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Nigerian Songs

Bush Path

Far reaching murmurs in the tops of trees
as he walks the rubber groves. He sees
red mushrooms offering a choice of destinies.
Great woody pods like Titan’s sperm are strewn
about while juju offerings pipe a tune
in harmony with bentwood snares. It’s noon.
Does his last step release the woods’ loud cries?
Does his poised foot support time as it flies?
Give us now, wind, what our next step implies.

Niger Delta Postcard

A wary lizard tightens its throat to a fist.
Flies and roaches greet each other with winks.
Stoic trees accept the drifting mist.
Swamps sit sullen and stew more stinks.
The tough and yielding humid air
allows to none but death a chill –
but always it eats at the backside of care
and hawks toward the mouse of the spinal will.

After Rain

The one-legged chicken hops next door.
Winged ants take to the air.
A mouse dashes furtive along the floor.
The sun ignites my hair.
The shortwave sounds berserk.
Breath's suspended in this bush
where weaving spirits lurk.

Water's still and nothing's seen
but in the eye a fish's scale.
One drop of dew falls every hour
and desire chokes on its swallowed tail.

Tin roofs sloped down lonely
as the mist around them crept.
The boys seemed insubstantial,
though the ground around was swept,
and besom streaks and footsteps proved
the sand’s reality and moved
me to affirm that they were there,
but I, I walked a shadow in the air.

The woods were full of fragrance as he wrapped
a few choice peels and shadows, shreds of life,
to make some juju like the mind’s shotput.
(He hung the parcel under dripping fronds
and off a silent hippopotamus
slid and glided on with radiant wake.)
(Unlikely as the wish that’s fired aloft,
the hammer of the cocked brain, flashing home.)

The Rush of the Developing World

the grand Ughelli
oba of taxes
in the back seat
grunts ecstatic wheeze
sounds of prosperity
muffled by a three-piece woolen suit
and the Indian teacher
in transparent shirt and shades
glares at the wheel and accelerates,
we pass a huge rough lorry
filled with heavy timbers
and labeled “peace and love”
and a Mercedes
driven by a skinny young guy
driven by ambition
passes us
on the rutted lane and a half of dirt road.

Between Warri and Benin

slow and steady
bicycle legs pump
by the side of the road
(black and close-mouthed
British bikes with long memories
and brows that furrow
when they're parked out back);
slow and steady
burdened pedestrian steps
by the side of the road
as we fade in and out
of white Peugeot crises,
pass and are passed without cease,
by slow rusting auto ruins,
by roasting huts where blood's run thin;
slow and steady
produce people prone
respiring by their goods under the sun;
as others simply sit without excuse
their hearts beat slow and steady
and my heart fell into the heat
and arrived in Benin's red dust
and saw on the Great Circular Road
The Slow and Steady Hotel
at journey's end.

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