The Travail


It was as grasping at the darkness before
Creation, to grasp at sanity before
Insanity and its beginnings
Mother of living forms stumbled
Stirred by the elixir of time and mystery
What’s on the tongue of the serpent
That charms innocence from its secure
Chambers to find intoxication in buried
Mire: she swore at the spitting creeper
As she swung, striding along
It was ready, it bit her dust before
Crawling up her thighs into sealed
Secrets, man was yet to uncover
Her lovelies would bite a billion
Gashes for a memorabilia through
Ages and mans Achilles’ heel had
Been smitten out of joint to stagger
Through wild and desolate fields,
Wandering away on his first fare.


A drop falls as just a drop until it’s
Ripples awaken hibernating monsters.
The strivings of present day earth
Burn as desert heat while creatures wriggle
From unknown crevices and with forged
Anatomy to mesmerize beyond knowing
Their tongues forked and of brass,
Whisper seduction, breathing smoke
And brimstones they displace the
Weak from their trusted abodes
In the vision of night one was terrified
Out of warm sheets and clutching
To the cold wet cluster of earth found
Comfort; transcendence into Eden’s
Light no longer felt a gift
In the land of the blind, the two-eyed
Fellow is eyes-full
There was none, there was none to
Hold in confidence
He walked to the heavenly, but what
He would give to lead a company there.


It sprouts out a tender tendril,
One feeble finger points to the nourishing
Sun and springs out a progeny,
Young heir grows tough and thorny
Springing its own successor. What am I
Outside a root: cut down and scorching
In mid-day heat.
Among thorns there will be roses.
The multitude of germ sitting on molten
Fire about to splash its seed, received it
And drunken with fury of liquid matter,
They swelled until their thorns went
From crunchy to pasty; now they reached
For higher ground and wailed lamentations

– Patrice Idoko