Nkwachukwu Ogbuagu

January 16, 1968 - Umuahia, Nigeria
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From the Clarinet

Late November,
and lonely resonance of harmattan
salutes this solitude.
A weaverbird's contralto, in one
gale-sweep, lays bare the lower balustrade
of a maisonette,
and the romance of the last seasons
shoots the long throat of the clarinet...

O'classicals, on wings
ye come;
leaf cusps and petal ears —
classicals, swearing oaths of
mellifluous assembly...

Calm rhythms hasten to the
ears of Beethoven —
summon him for a serenade,
lest the dark shelter of a
decrepit day strips this solitude.

Anodyne hisses among
this hidden threshold,
curing and healing the weakness of
Clepoatra's hair, dampened with
the venom of haters of vanity.

rid us now of this grief of mundane
Even in death, Stravinsky hails solitude
on notes of the keys.

From the clarinet,
the bimetallism of barter —
the platitude of life and death
(symbiosis of percussions)
epitaph to the aftermath of
inveterate tradition —
now and forever...

And the clarinet looms.
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