Flash Short Story: Death At The Border.

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Sade was afraid that night on her bed, after news of the bombing that hit Maduguiri. The world is at war, she thought. She concluded trouble may reach them, and wanted to leave, but Issa her colleague told her the Nigeria/Cameroun border was close to Bama where they lived, for escape.

She was told the insurgents kill everything they meet alive. When she was posted to Bama to serve through the NYSC project, her mother kicked against her serving there. She told her divinity had a hand in her going to serve her father’s land in that place. The insurgency wasn’t so bad when she arrived. It grew worse two months after she lived in Bama.

She looked at the time, it was 11pm. Her greatest fear was being caught unawares by those men looking like the pawns of Satan. Will they kill every blade of grass, or destroy the world with their bombs, she thought. Issa had promised to be alert if the trouble reached them anytime, but he was only human, and that made her courage shook sometimes. Since Maduguiri had suffered so much, she believed the insurgents may want to stretch terror to other towns like Bama and the rest to get a taste of anguish.

She sat up to pray, still on her night-dress, suddenly there was a heavy knock on her door,

“Sade, come out immediately,” Issa told her with a very frightened voice.

“Issa, what is it?” she asked, with her heart pumping very fast.

“The insurgents are here.” She opened the door quickly and rushed out in her night dress. Issa held her tightly on her left wrist and straight to the road that led to Cameroun. They ran for minutes, until minutes went into hours. The bushes were unfriendly that night, only that the crescent moon lent its light to help them avoid the most dangerous parts of the bush, where venomous snakes and other dangerous animals lurked nocturnally. Issa noticed the steps that followed them were catching up with them.

“Sade, run faster they are after us” he told her fearfully to help her never give up. They kept running, knowing death was behind. Issa got injured, so his speed decreased. The terrorists not giving up, like wolves too hungry for blood didn’t return from chasing them. Sade heard gun-shots, and had run few seconds when she realized he wasn’t coming.

He deliberately allowed her run in front to protect her against bullets after he was injured. He saw his chance of making it to the border too slim to hope. He was bleeding profusely! She encouraged herself and went to see where he was.

“Run, you naughty girl…run” he told her as death was on his voice. Sade couldn’t help him, and knowing those men were approaching, she ran. As she ran, tears made the harmattan breeze too cold on her face.

She passed the border, and noticed morning was coming with the light she saw in front, like a white shadow emanating from the horizon… The morning gave her relief, as light flooded the place she found herself. She later found out they shot him at the border. She wanted to call his name, but her mouth was too heavy to say anything. So, she closed her eyes and tried to think about such kindness…only his sacrifice was worth remembering after she regained peace!

From the manuscript ‘The Climbing Waters and other stories’.

(c). Dike Dyke Williams

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Spiritu Sancto

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Your ever flourishing face
before my frail face is lighted,
like the sun too bright that will
never set, it shines my every
darkside like outshining of
light over dusk…
My love overflows to you…
You are the greatest power
against the night, the immaculate
against the filth I was fashioned
in the early morning of my life…
Eternal I bend toward your
majestic indomitable might,
ever exalting the Spirit
untiring of all ages, burnt
by billions of yesterdays…

From ‘Journey Back to the Source’
(c). Dike Dyke Williams

If I Must Go With You

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If I must tell you yes,
before the evening sun sinks
into abyss,
then I must see your eyes
that traveled too long, and away
from my eyes…

If I must go with you,
I must wait till the spring
blossom the fields we once
shared, before the ashes punctured
the blossoms of promise…

If I must go with you,
then I must hold your hand,
and let our hearts beat in one voice…
We will walk through the roads
we never been, don’t know what lurks,
but rough paths lead to jewel…

If I must follow you till the end,
the place we don’t know what lurks,
I must hold your hand into
the blossoms and small tears of life,
with God’s face on our faces,
His dew fanning this love undying to the end…

From the anthology ‘Journey Back to the Source’

(c). Dike Dyke Williams

Review: Odes of Keats and Shelley.

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I love the expression that the Ode allows a poem flows. I think of odes as a river flows down, from the first line to the last that carries the poem’s totality. I will bring two poems written by masters of the ode poetry: John Keats and Percy Shelley.
There is a relationship in these poems: ‘To Autumn’ by John Keats and ‘Ode to the West Wind’ by Percy Shelley. Odes are poems of praise, and their panegyric nature allows room for expressions on long lines, and rich diction. The flow of the lines allows enjambment, because of great expression of syntax and words that praise and adorn the subject each poem expresses.
I love these lines in ‘To Autumn’ by Keats that reads thus:

‘Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run…’

That second line carries a shock, how can the qualities of human beings be given to an inanimate ‘Autumn?’ And, the third line that uses the verb ‘conspiring’ as if Autumn is an antagonist that conspires to usurp a king…
Sometimes the poet uses rhetorical question to even add to the praise the poem is rich with. The sentences are used powerfully to enrich the ‘Autumn’, and it’s like the weather stays in its store with pride as Keats lush this poem with rich sentences.
The lines and sentences are like cement and sand admixed to create the blocks that builds the poem.
These qualities also, can be found in Shelly’s ‘Ode to the West Wind.’ The poem is arranged in tercet: three-line-poem. The first three lines or stanza attests to this:

‘O wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn’s being,
Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead
Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing…’

The sentences and lines are powerful with words, wet with it like Keats’ rich ‘Autumn’. Only that Shelley follows his tercet, grouping the lines in three. Shelly’s ode is beautiful, graceful and green like a field evergreen. Every line has its striking words or phrase that explodes with entertainment and expansion.
There is great admiration in the lines, the sentence allows it so. Even the poet falls to the incredible power and force of the West Wind, with these expression:

‘If I were a dead leaf thou mightest bear;
If I were a swift cloud to fly with thee…’

The thing about these lines is that, they contain carefully chosen diction that makes the sentence bring out the beauty of each lines. Every word that exists to form this poem was carefully chosen.

This must be the reason these poems have endured into our times, because of their styles, and have kept their creators in the eternal hall of fame, of poetry.

Mourning Market.

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The mourners mourn
in the market, the place
the buyers bargain what’s
fair, what’s not fair…
and the evening sun looks to
the horizon of life…
They are mourners and losers
of so much, after death
has damaged the hours
of bliss…
But, the Messiah’s voice says:
don’t mourn in the market…
continue toward home, and GOD,
you will find the souls
you lost on the way, in the day,
when you have come home…

(c). Dike Dyke Williams

A Review: The Negro Speaks of Rivers by Langston Hughes.

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This poem by Langston Hughes brings something that makes it look as if gold is poured into my veins…maybe it’s because I love poetry. There is metaphor and imagery this poem carries that makes it one of my best.

I have tried to check its abstracts and the elements that makes it a short lasting poem, classic into the future. The poem is simply antiquity. The poet speaks of rivers, literal and abstract rivers in my opinion. The literal seem to be the rivers known in Africa as great rivers” the ‘Congo’ and the ‘Nile’, and introduced one of the known rivers in the world, the ‘Mississippi’.

But, the refrain: ‘I’ve known rivers’ creates a turn in my opinion. It looks like a wailing, a kind of suffering that has endured like the length of a river. So, the poet may have shifted from praising the rivers in Africa, to the slave experiences of Africa, before it was broken as seen in the movie ‘AMISTAD’.

Even the repetition of the first pronoun ‘I’, repeated in the poem, may mean that, that African anguish reached him(the Poet). He was simply saying, this rivers reached me too, since his ancestors were shipped to America and Europe when that slave trade began.

Refrain and repetition, introduces an abstract into the poem, and made the poem rich with images, that makes me want to visit the poem again and again.

Read here: http://allpoetry.com/The-Negro-Speaks-Of-Rivers

Dike Dyke Williams.

(c). Dyke Williams

I have Passed the Needle’s Eye.

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I have passed needle’s eye,

with the world I crossed into

thinest labyrinths,

and the tightings

that frustrated passing…

 

I have passed the needle’s eye;

all life fought with

beast things that hurdled the best,

working against mild progress…

 

Every blessing to get here-

the land I now praise for blessings,

have come from battles of life.

I have received from

divine through many wars…

 

I have crossed the seas of my life,

still sailing to reach

the land GOD gave the assignment…

But, the times may give the joys,

from the labyrinths survived,

after GOD has intervened

like Moses’s Arch-angel…

 

From my coming anthology DEATH AT THE BORDER 2015.

 

(c) 2014. Dike Dyke Williams
All rights reserved.