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Oil of Encomiums

By Ogwiji Ehi-Kowochio

It is only an ungrateful feet
that would not pause to appreciate the ears
which notified it of the dangers from which it fled
A man who has not sipped sourness
from the calabash of sweet blindness
will not see reasons to pour a brimful horn
of the oil of encomiums on his eyelids
both to lubricate its hinges
and appreciate its blinking speed
in the face of danger

Today, my ink of tribute
will flow in its chosen distributary
to mark this day
when freedom came to me
on the tip of a pen
like the birds’ beak stained with notes of glee
delivers good tidings to eager ears

Thirty dirty years ago
when the heads had heard enough of my wails
as it constantly revealed the blackness of their white ways
they decided to dump me in a body of water-
or so they thought
but that day, a whale swallowed me
and vomited me, a journal
by the bank of suffixes
where I morphed into journalism
Allowing me to carve out a footpath
with the glistening edge of my pen
as I walked to freedom

In case no one has told you
whenever you (U) see (C) jail (J)
wanting to put you behind bars of victimization
Remain gallant and call on
UCJ
for it will bring you
freedom championed by the pen.

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