Poetry from Sada Malumfashi

I No Fit Wash You
(For Nafeesa Jika)

My pen divulges snapshots:
Colognes of a girl
Buried in swarm of handouts
‘You are beautiful’ I say
But words choke through windpipes
And chew as a ruminant.
‘This course is boring’ I whisper.
I no fit wash you

Fingers browse catalogs of acclaim
My heart wrestles with my tongue to
Resist and arrest whining thoughts
Not to sprinkle too much doses of praise
And adoration.
“Your beauty makes my heart
Catapult and summersault
Pyramids of love in sands
Dunes, hills and mounted valleys
No matter how much I restrain
Your voice augments my heartbeat
With spells of laughter like breached pebbles
Soothing flesh perusing tones
Like fire burning through your throat
Makes infinite pieces of joy
Gush on tarmac of my eyes”
All these asleep on roof of my mouth
I do not say because, true, true
I no fit wash you

This one no be wash
When your laughter departs
Your smiles drift away
My heart is vacant
Like a school theatre
When souls clutching books
Lights dim
Seats lonely
Dust floats
On boards
Embossed with chalks of silence
So I gaze to bottomless pits
Clusters of empyrean full moons
Focused slides under microscopes
To magnify holes I hid
All the wash I dey give
Because here Nafeesa
Is sipping poerty
And the earth is tilting
A little to the right
To contain all her smiles
Broader aboard the left cheek
Caressing her eyelids

My lines click a snapshot:
She teaches me boundaries
Between dem truth and dem wash
But even petals of flowers
Will blush rosy when they hear
Drizzling truths of my heartbeat
To wash na just to make noise

Please do not trust me!
I can write of slim
Flashy eyes
Carved rose of your lashes
Erect dancing tresses
Charming lips
O! You fruit of the valley
Contours of waters of paradise
I no fit wash you

Let me weave and entwine
Halo truths
Of my glitzy poem
Through my burning voice
Forever singing
Cascades of a dazzled
Before you pause me
To say
Na wash I dey wash you

I want to confess
without remorse nor
My slimy treason
But my tongue lolls
And battles my throat
Then my half tooth
Yes! I am guilty
Today I go wash you
In scents of Arabian poetry

The author Sada Malumfashi is a writer living in Kaduna, Nigeria. His works have appeared in The Deepwater Literary Journal, Bombay Review and Jalada Africa. He participated in the Ake Arts and Book Festival Creative Writing Workshop 2015.

Moringa leaves shed green garbs
In tautened fumes of rhymes and rhetoric
Dancing in hymns of horns and trumpets

Creviced earth
To resonating steps of masquerades
Shod in honeyed voice of a town crier
In yoked seas of proverbs

Join the natives
Offering wrappers of death
Unsheathe your sword, Attack!
Dance to tunes of the
wretched piper

Pound and mould red earth
Garnish it with tautened saliva
Moth sprinkled fingers frying a mouthful
And belching out tides of gems

Words drip from edges of spoons
Brewing to incantations in boiling calabash

Dribble liquid on faceless nights
Pulling wrinkled rosaries in, out
Dance to the tune of the Lord

But Tsumburbura will sway
Sango will pounce
Amadioha will strike!

The Gods do not speak in accents
They whisper ripened echoes with the dark
In secret tunnels below the earth
Sky devouring forest of the wild

Hills and mountains with ears
Crawl out of veils of respect
The dead dines and chokes the living
So unwind withered cassettes of dreams
Bite the sea-wind and fly on memory tides

When heads stand in place of feet
Arse holes speak in place of mouths
Recite intonations
Garnished with a little gibberish
hulahula huuhuu hihihuhu hihahuhu

Do not pinch lines
Out of mouth of elders
Lest the Gods steal
Your imaginations

Do not challenge
The masquerade
To wash its face in the open
For it will fit into wrestling rags
And dance with naked imaginations

Read your incantations:
Dance and re-dance
To cold whisperings
Of dust

Sneeze in droplets of dreams
–Bless you–
Lead them into the aesthetic
The purgatory matrix

Yes, here:
Lead the quest up scorching Sahara
And down clinging to breasts of equator
To burn in waves of fiery seas and
Maybe you just might be inspired
Juz’ ١
Oft I have lain, by a bamboo branch
As acidulated murmurs die, as
The oil lamp jolts, book in hand comes alive

Caravanning in search of my
Muse desert of sheets sprawled like dusk
Dante speaks, consuming my emptiness

“O Muses, O High Genius, now assist me!”
Searching for muse, I delve and swim the sea
of matrices, lines peeking for an inkling

Unearthly lines I drink, soothing to awakening
Puked out of pages, tumbling to a hollow
Dancing in morsels of hell, darkness to light

On blinking bits of hell, chasing naked stars
I sip the last wine – a line I choked on
Evoking midnight scenes: Shades of horror

Purple-starred darkness, circle after circle
To me, commanding voice of a master:
Arise! Oh trombone of red dust

An orchestra? Christened in sound, movement
hums and ululations, barking through
bouquets of poetry, of rhythms gyrating

I press a little forward, to pumpkin master
A phoenix out of the dust, I am rising
Struggling for structure: a brute, then branches

To me: Crony of books, progeny of darkness
A voice archangelic, an echo of truth
Laundry of dialects, in buckets of poetry

Thousand faces drowning in disappointment
Librettos keep staring, shaking hips of revolt
I in a rally of supernal poets

Surprise, surprise me: Master thunders
I spin the wheel, beyond the gawking bunch
O muse assist me! This show of liberty

To me: Oh you ragged poet, read aloud
Like the perusals of a Scottish yard, recite
Offer me keg of words, dance in the rhetoric

My voice spreads, an opulent river of verse
Muses quench, a boiling libretto in the head
Poets. Honour. Light. I implore to explore

Master! I begin in hatching flames seething
I present as shadows, the darkness I beheld
I chew the spittle of words no longer

In celestial darkness, this doggerel
I dish out, poem of a poet of a poet
With a kiss of Saharan dust on the heart!

II …Haunting Verses
Kinesis of words haunt pumpkin Master:
Rhythmical noise! Titillating marvel
Meandering words, marauding verses
Warmth of hearts, faith of minds? Laughing anguish
Of a soul? Stamp of bruised feet on fields
Red like dust, crooked teeth showering hunchbacked
Smiles, on mouths in drought famine fields
Entwined in whizzing of mosquito
Dancing to vaulting verses to
The grieving peace, of jungle paradise

Disassembled heavens
Scorched celestial spheres
But learned you are Master:
To have seen the smiles of
Honeyed dates catwalk
Like turbines in goat
Milk where perfidy
Of Gods struggle for
Supremacy and
But learned you are Master:
Please do turn away
This black pebble, throw
Me to exile to
Slums of dusty rivers
Evoke fruits of
This magical egg
But if only I can
Lavish fields in drought
With the single light
Of a flickering
And sure learned
You are Master

Cantos III
Our gauze meet as this gibberish lingers
And then they prod, poems aloft
Marching, erect – tiptoed on soles

Poems of a poet of a poet
Of elements Fire. Earth. Water. Air. Poetry
Of desert swirls, verses eroding

Recitals of shame in surgery of blackness
Of crescent lit, treasured moonlight environs
Mirroring marasmus, of a reader’s guilt

Masters of the arena, half-speck wordsmiths
Dissect open here, inner rumblings of lines
In delicious hours, shadows of a full moon

Words spearhead, the rhythms eyes only salute
All in unison, with hymns of accompaniment
A poem of a poet of a poet

Poets coo no more, voices depart to
scattered flames, stars of the night await
Master turns to this pebble, whispering

Lead! To that promised shoreline
Eternal shades of dunes in verses
That every word spat, heats and shine

A fading star murmuring as
Dry leaves of Harmattan, strange like
A sorcerer’s eyeballs. Oh Noble Master
Read Thy Poem!

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