Black Looks - Including an African LGBTIQ+ Archive

Africa - Creative Arts, Nigeria, Poetry

Cleansing 3: Resident at Heart by Chinwe Azubuike

We humans on earth are all faced with different issues and problems in our lives. At some point we have the urge to hide away from the world to nurse our wounds or heal them. When this happens, there’s some sort of transformation where by our ‘inner self’ is transported to another realm…a private space, of peace and quiet to face our demons properly, and come to terms with them.

The Installation (the tree tea house) to me depicts a haven.., a hideout where we seek refuge in our minds, to meditate… to confront and find comfort in our inner self. However way we deal with our challenges varies from person to person.

Poetry is all about creativity. To be able to fashion words out of nothing… and surprisingly come to terms with the fact that ‘nothing’ isn’t actually nothing, but that ‘nothing’, can be something.
This is what this Installation means to me… and it is how I have been able to read it.

Resident at Heart

There’s a place called …Solace
In this place, live you and I.
It resides in our subconscious
away from the prying eyes of flamboyance
from all things coloured red…
Our escape.

There, screened from the dream of true connection,
the angel of aversion dines
seeking peace for the soul…
a dance with the reaper- on gravity’s pole
in pipes of smoke and lace
mirror and face.
The blackness is familiar.

Tucked up here, bent by the weight of my cross
it’s merely a spineless repression.
Though blazing is the crimson that fills my head
I have learned by extension, the craze I feel
sure would crack the lock on exile grin’s door

I pledge allegiance to this place
that strolls across a distant land,
heart in hand.
Silence encircling,
like a graveyard of the mind.
The echo, echoes through the white washed walls
then soothes the cuts
from the loneliness’ claws

My feelings hurt today…
I’m not sure if they should,
as I watch the melee of the crowned uncomplicated…
the unconfused in firm alternation.
They move, north- south, east and west
always with endless lists to take away
the gnawing idea of idle life,
idle options unattended.

Yet the night-sky sends a torrent of tears, then clears
sparing us a lone star
all better by far,
than nothingness.

My smile may crack,
but hearing the beat of the world as it lives,
is all one should need.
We go from one vacant space to the next
from one experience to the next- thinking,
we must find a meaning for it all.

©Chinwe Azubuike is a Nigerian feminist poet and activist