Friday, December 31, 2010

Go! Go! Go For It!

It was a very good year. These 365’s been twelve months of prolific adventures for me.

I got in touch with lots of exciting stuff in my search for ideas for blog posts. I think I owe it all to my muse for recognizing the knock of opportunity, or I might quite possibly have run out of gas.

Making a comeback to blogging was like witnessing my own rebirth. Last year, 2009, I could afford to blog a little over four posts before I spluttered to a halt. This year offered prospects on a platter of gold yet, I wasn’t living up to it. It was not until the turn of October, September slash October actually, that I would give blogging another shot.

Faced with an intimidating feat of creating 50 poems to immortalize my country’s 50th Independence Anniversary − to be up front with you about this, I almost caved in and got rid of the jibe – now opportunity wasn’t knocking on my door, it winged it all off the hinges. The initial plan was to post a poem a day, sort of like what I did with the twelve days of Christmas poetry sequence. A countdown to the D day. That wasn’t going to happen though, cause I blew the whole thing out the front door from the outset. I got myself buried under a heap of officious chores the first week I was to set it in motion and had to consider the possibility of doing my usual thing − wait until Independence Day (that’s October 1 in Nigeria) and post just one poem in honor of a great nation.

Something way down the basement of my mind wasn’t willing to go with the usual thing and just plunge into the flow. I mean, like you only get one chance at celebrating a Golden Anniversary, right? There are other interesting elements in Nigerian history that strengthened my resolve, the simple fact that for 50 some odd years, a nation of millions – of different tribes, dialects (over 300 of those), and peculiarities – has hanged on as one nation is a theme busting with enough proton particles to initiate a poetic odyssey.

So, I plugged into the charge. Every day, on my way home from work, riding the bus, I would pull out my journal and write. I thrust myself right back into my journal once I got home, writing into the still of night, many times falling asleep at my writing desk. The next day, on my way to work, I would write again. I went on and on until I hit the fiftieth verse. You ask, how did you feel after you blogged the poems? Like a Patriot. Yeah, I felt like I was part of something great and unique. Like I earned a deserved spot among the Heroes past who put this great nation on the world map!

Poetry has helped me out of unpleasant situations and it did one more time. I set out with a plan of posting two blogs a week which would place me at roughly twenty four articles by the end of December. I think I outdid myself with over forty of those. And if I have to count each poem in the Mission Impossible (the 50 poems I wrote for my country’s Independence Anniversary) sequence as individual posts, I would have hit the 100 mark. I’m not arrogant, just proud of what I achieved.

About 2011 and New Year Resolutions, I think I’ll cut myself some slack next year, cut back on the articles. I need more time to focus on my short stories plus I got an eye on NanoWrimo coming way up November. I got a lot of digging for information to do, so much research work.

I’m looking at thirty 2,000 word short stories by the end of 2011. That’s going to demand strict concentration but I think I’m up to it. The goals are meant to keep me on my toes, remind me of who I am. If I never achieve all I set out to accomplish, I would only be a few inches off the bull’s eye. And that’s alright by me.

For me, 2011 is abbreviated in two words – short stories.

Here’s mine. Where’s yours?

Have a Happy and Monstrously prolific 2011!

Let your pen keep bleeding!

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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Twelfth Day Of Christmas - A Poem

for MJ
Making merry and swinging like a pluM
Eastern lights shining, blinding every elsE
Ring ‘em sweet chiming Christmas bells, get togetheR
Raise your voices sing songs of foreveR
You and me, call ‘em guys, let’s get happY
Christmas is here, all feelings’ poetiC
Hollies and Ivies and joy’s a dime’s wortH
Rocking till dawn well, that’s a whole notheR
Immerse yourself in the atmosphere, I
Sense the magic too, boiling ecstasieS
Tell me there’s a chicken in every poT
Medley of Christmas from J5’s albuM
Assault the air, inciting euphoriA
Said, they saw Mommy kissing Santa ClauS

This style of poetry is called an acrosonnet. A form of poetry I invented. ; ) It’s a combination of two other forms of poetry, an acrostic and a sonnet. A sonnet is a 14-line poem written in iambic pentameter (10 syllables in each line); an acrostic is a verse derived by starting each line with a letter from a chosen word or phrase. What you have here is the word Merry Christmas used in a double acrosonnet. Read in sequence the first letters and the last letters of each line form the phrase Merry Christmas.

I have taken liberty to deviate from a standard sonnet rhyme scheme to achieve this.

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Friday, December 24, 2010

Eleventh Day Of Christmas - A Poem

You set me among the lilies
Place roses in my path thro death’s valley,
I open my door to greet your fragrances
And drown in the perfume of your presence
You are my frankincense
You heal my world with a touch of your friendship
Raise me up on your shoulders, eraze my glitch
You rock my boat like a storm tossing a ship
Doing it all with a tenderness that takes caring to a new peach
You are my myrrh
You place the power of the sun at my fingertips
Plant the rainbow’s end at the limit of my wits
You call me by name and stole my heart for keeps
You, silly you, gave your world asking nothing
You are gold . . .
My gold, explicitly.

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Tenth Day Of Christmas - A Poem

Every minute that goes a-ticking
Every breath exhaled
Every feeling goes a-flippin’
Every gift exchanged
Is like a code
Unlocks a treasure-trove
A place we can truly call home.
Thro all centuries
Each gesture has its stories,
From Bethlehem’s Child’s
To the streetwise’
It’s all a chain reaction
Our individual lives a piece of the action.
Christmas is for us
Christmas is a part of us.
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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Ninth Day Of Christmas - A Poem

An ember goes aglow every twelfth month
Like flames igniting a sloppy moth
Only once a year but refreshes thoughts
And brings us back home to a global hut.

We sing, we dance, we clap our hands
We cry, we laugh, we review our stands
Once again kids in that festive instance
It’s winner take all and we take a chance.

Every year and that’s fact
We save the best for last.


Eighth Day Of Christmas - A Poem

The hopes and fears of the year
All muffled within a sigh and a tear

I’ll share your burden if you will let me
You really don’t have to fight the feeling

I know your ups and downs ‘cause I know mine
Let me peel off your mask and you will find,

I can share your burden if you’ll let me
You really don’t have to fight the feeling.

‘Cause you go the long and winded road,
You don’t have a fighting chance alone.
I can be your red-nosed Rudolf
If you’ll be my Santa Claus.

We’ll ride up on ‘em cookies
And climb down our chimneys.
We’ll explore the skies
Cruising our sleigh drive

This Christmas season’ll be the starting point,
The golden gild on needlepoint,

‘Cause I’ll share your burden if you let me
You know you really, really, on the real
Shouldn’t ever have to fight the feeling.

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Seventh Day Of Christmas - A Poem

                                                                       for Father

One solitary fantasy,
Rowdy, rides streams of my consciousness.
Raping stifled memories
Whirling, swirling in my unpresence.

Ringing them bitter-sweet chimes
So irresistible
It’s all like a virtuous crime.
Each ding-dong unforgettable
Summons my deep to break surface.
I ache for one more forbidden taste.

I really wish you are here to share my Christmas.
All my sweetest thoughts are lonely.
Every tick-tock makes it worse.
I wish there was a holiday from death’s sleep.

If you can hear me as I call
Merry Christmas! Even tho you’re gone.

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Monday, December 20, 2010

Sixth Day Of Christmas - A Poem

Christmas has made us,
Even though we fight it
Christmas freed us all
And settled us in the cove of mystery

Raised us up thru the gates of paradise
Till we stand in love Divine

For, there’s peculiar warmth,
A touch so special only stops by at Christmas,
You merely get a whiff or a hunch
Unless, you truly pass the litmus.

If love is the greatest gift of all
Then, Christmas is love’s greatest gift to us.

Merry Christmas!


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Robbing Hardy to Pay King

Dracula is quoted as the most widely adapted villain in a work of fiction. The 20th/21st century has witnessed so many adaptations of the blood sucking count and doubtless, many more are in the works. Vampire film geeks never seem to get enough of him.

As of 2009, an estimated 217 films feature Dracula in a major role, a number second only to Sherlock Holmes (223 films). The number of films that include a reference to Dracula may reach as high as 649, according to IMDb (Internet Movie Database) owned by

If you are a vampire movie nerd, you can root for that. The character, Dracula, is author, Bram Stoker’s baby. Of course, he had a little help from Romanian history.

Before writing Dracula, Stoker spent seven years researching European folklore and stories of vampires, being mostly influenced by Emily Gerard’s 1885 essay Transylvania Superstitions.

I have watched at least three screen variations of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, from The Odyssey to the more recent cinematic Brad Pitt’s Troy. Each of these films tell their story from a separate Major Character’s POV. Troy, I think, was in Achilles’ POV. Homer, a Greek poet, wrote The Iliad and its sequel, The Odyssey as documentation, not just of the Trojan War, but of how the gods interfere in human affairs. Events seem to depend as much on the choices made by women and serfs as on the actions of fighting men.

Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet has enjoyed numerous adaptations, both plagiarized and altered copies. Virtually hundreds of tragic love tales have been spun off this masterpiece, thousands because writers perceive threads of immortal plots running in between the lines and tap into it. And right there’s the point I’m getting at.

There is a note of continuity in every genuine work of fiction. No story is ever completely told, no plot’s ever overstretched. No question about it, there will always be those gleanings some other author can explore and launch into a story with a different twist.

Thomas Hardy supposedly said the most brilliantly drawn character in a novel is but a bag of bones. Stephen King took that and ran with it and churned out a world wide best selling novel, Bag of Bones. Now, on a personal level, you oughta read that book to see what I mean. For those of you who have guess you know what I know, then. Things Fall Apart, a novel by Dr. Chinua Achebe, by far the most widely read African novel by an African residing in Africa. (*sic*) pardon the repetitions, now. But the title of the book derives from The Second Coming (1919), a poem by the Irish poet, William Butler Yeats.

No need to mix things up, thinking I’m preaching plagiarism of sorts. Being original means learning from the originals how they learned to be original (there I go again with ‘em repetitions). It’s about threading in the golden footprints of legends and not being shy about it. Actually, it works best if you’re loud about it.

Read any stories, recently that sprouted new ideas for original plot developments? Get your post-it notes and jot them down. Whatever you do don’t let them get away.

Keep your pen bleeding!


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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Fifth Day Of Christmas - A Poem

Love is like a lullaby
Tucking your soul under the covers,
And Christmas season its pantomime
Bet you know how that delivers.

All your wishes and hopes rush at you
Like wild animals at a rendezvous,
Me sharing chunks of myself,
You, sweeping off your shelf
And not because you have much
Neither I ‘cause I have more.

But Christmas is, I’ve come to realize,
An enthusiastic sing-a-long
And here’s eternally why,
It takes two hearts to raise the chorus:
Merry Christmas!

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