SPECIAL CONTRIBUTION I (ISSUE 8)
THREE POEMS | PROFESSOR CHRISTIAN ANIEKE
In a world of tasteless language and prostituted expressions
Malaphors are good friends of writers
Natural flow of words is blocked
To create Frankenstein monstrosities.
I have seen ingenuity in a well-packaged excrement
I have seen the beauty of ugliness celebrated in the media
So why not raise our Champagne glasses to drink to the health of malaphors
And applaud the creativity of disjointed bones?
It is an elephantine task to join unconnected ideas
There is also brilliance in eating wine and drinking bread
Pure intelligence in spilling the beans to spoil the child
Since a genius finds natural order in chaos!
But must precious energy be spent in emptying an ocean to create another?
What gain accrues from marrying ideas that are safer as singles?
What is the profit from killing creative expressions to bring forth monsters?
Where is human ingenuity where gold is thrown into a pit of garbage?
THEY RAPED ME
Century after century
Pastors with fiery evangelical zeal
Businessmen and administrators
Races of all sizes and dispositions
Fought over my body and soul.
They seduced me
They bribed me
They abused me
They robbed me
And they raped me.
For sixty years or more
I struggled for my escape
Free from tangled hands and legs
Free from poisoned drinks and books
Free from poisoned kisses.
I struggled out of their Grendel-grip
Hands decked with sours
Legs shaking with fear and hate
Brain brimming o’er with rattling thoughts
Head to foot all dirt and blood!
Still not long afterwards another fellow invaded me
He came with words “freedom”, ” democracy”, ” human rights”
His words fired my soul soaked in religion
He lured me to his white-painted home
And he raped me!
I escaped or so I thought
And now a huge fellow from the East
He does not smile
Or he cannot smile
Or his culture abhors smiling.
He comes with renminbi
He builds bridges
He builds schools
He gives me baijiu
He presses his body against my fragile body
Is he raping me?
I am confused:
Am I being raped or not?
You cried and I cried
You yawned and I yawned
You laughed and I laughed
You clapped and I clapped
This is ecophenomena!
But why do I echo your actions?
Why does the oak tree of my identity bend?
Why does my tummy rumble when yours drums?
Did we eat the same primordial soup at the night of creation?
Are we the fruit of the same semen
and ova from a forgotten primordial intercourse?
Now I see why dictators triumph
Now I guess why fanatics are applauded
Now I understand mass suicide
Now I see the roots of human bonding
This is ecophenomena!
Social media experts and users understand it
Politicians build their empire on it
Pastors and fiery preachers know its power
Orators aim their love arrows at its heart
This is ecophenomena!
As scientists tumble over heaps of research
Let me say this: we are held inescapably by the hands of ecophenomena!
Very Rev. Fr. Prof. Christian Anieke, born 1st October 1965, is a Nigerian Roman Catholic priest and Vice Chancellor of Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu, Nigeria. Ordained a priest in 2000, Christian is a professor of English Language and Studies. He became the founding Vice Chancellor of Godfrey Okoye University, an institution owned by the Catholic Diocese of Enugu in Nigeria, in 2009.
Christian Anieke’s studies and research in Philosophy, Biblical Theology, English and American Studies and English Language has seen him study in Urban University, Rome; the University of Innsbruck, Austria; Bath Language School, Stratford-upon-Avon; Oxford University; and the University of Muenster. He has a B.Sc. in Education and English from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. At the University of Innsbruck, he graduated summa cum laude from his doctorate program in English and from both of his masters programs in Philosophy and Theology.
He is the author of Chinua Achebe’s Trilogy: A Study in Bicultural Communication (2014), Intercultural Problems of Communication: The (Re) Presentation of the Igbo People and Their Culture in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, Arrow of God and No Longer at Ease (2005), Hybrid Formations in English (2002), The Symbol of the Dove at the Baptism of Christ (2000), and Metaphysics as a Natural Disposition in the Philosophy of Immanuel Kant (1994); and co-author of Frontiers in Education: Advances, Issues and Perspectives (2015), Stories of Peace (2011), Njem Goliver Jere, an Igbo translation of Gulliver’s Travels (2009), and A Dictionary of German, English and Igbo (2008).
A native of Ezeagu, Enugu State, Nigeria, and an honorary citizen of Mitterikirchen, Austria, he holds the chieftaincy title: the Ezeudo Gburu Gburu of Umumba Ndiagu, Enugu State, Nigeria.