Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Ontario, Canada

pril is National Poetry month. Walk into a library and see the delectable display of works by poets around the world, some who have delighted and captivated our imagination, wrapping, and drenching us in words that lingers on. It is even more remarkable to read about their lives and the toil of digging out words that tango on pages. Oh, the back breaking hours spent in closets, laundry rooms, and awkward places for invoking and containing creativity. Some write on the go; scribbles on notepads, receipts, or any available scraps of paper. What about the hunger that creeps in when on a writing stretch? And the refusal to take a break because words might run away; so holding those "prone to stray" words captive until they are released and stored for safe keeping is mission possible!

What about "snooze less nights" when the mind keeps working as phrases and sentences throw punches, struggling for a place and ready to ooze from the pen or splatter from the keyboard? Or the abstract and meandering explanation to others about writing; the silence and awkward "fascination" that happen when you say you write poetry! What is that? The art of slapping together fancy language?

Poetry is a snapshot of moments. It is the economy of words and often packs a punch. Poetry is the compression of events, emotions, or memories into little snackable word bites that can easily be swallowed, digested, and remembered like nursery rhymes or hymns. However, poems can also be complex and abstract; indeed some poetry gives one a headache trying to understand the imagery! Most remarkably, poetry can be used as a tool for change to influence hearts and minds to think and act in ways that move the society forward.

In appreciation of writers, here are some poems that capture moments in a poet's life. A writer's food and fuel is hope - It is the energy boost for the writing journey! A writer also needs faith to dream of opportunities and keep the writing momentum going.

A Writer's Prayer
O blank page
Be filled with words
Phrases on the mind,
Words gathering like a cloud
Let it rain-
Spitting sentences and splashing ideas.

O writer, stop over researching,
Comparing and procrastinating,
Be baptized with courage to submit-
Flipping pages of Writer's Market,
"No" today, maybe "Yes" tomorrow,
Be blessed with passion to pursue platforms.

Onward writing soldier
Marching on with words
Ever ready with pen in hand,
Words are trooping in you-
Unleash ideas
Unshackle phrases
May paragraphs be served on a platter of pages,

(Onyinye Oyedele, 2019)

Word Labour
Body aches-
Neck, back, shoulders,
In front of the screen
Slaving on sentences
Scrubbing grammar
Flushing ideas
Polishing points
Why care?
Because writing matters!

"Still writing?" Some ask.
Stammering..... "yesssss!"
People remember?
Labour for lava of words

Arm aches-
Scribbling in a journal
On grocery receipts-
All paper scraps are victims
"Still writing?" Some wonder.

A story, a poem,
An essay, an article
Ruthlessly chopping off words
Slashing sentences
Slicing paragraphs
In search of simplicity-
Short and succinct
Labour to be heard
It's a jumble of words out there.

Hours of toiling
O labour for lava of words-
Ideas like a volcano
Spewing phrases,
Erupting into pockets of poetry!

(Onyinye Oyedele, 2019)