Dear Maiden


By Usman Karopi

We must learn to live with the plague of love. We must embrace our poems as the only sanctuary to find peace. There’s something about poetry that wakes me up at night and inject the thoughts of you through my spine. It’s not in the lines or the metaphors. It’s something deadly.. I can feel it unleashing a storm within the very foundation of my soul. It’s deeper than silence but I’ve failed to wrap its meaning in words. Am I out of my mind? What am I feeling that has raped me of sleep and keeps sending flashes of our moments together? Is it really poetry?

If it’s really poetry, Maiden, I must say that poetry is a beast, a lonely wolf that has deserted its pack and is finding solace within the fragile soul of a forlorn. He is on the verge of death from the cruxification of love.  He’s the abandoned prince that knows he will never ascend the throne yet causes havoc within the soul of flexible men and causes tornadoes in the court within hearts of men. 

Poetry is a friend that never comes through for a friend in need. It’s like an orphan scavenging the street for food but preys on the human mind. What have I gotten myself into? Some say poetry is a jinn that possesses one and makes him a ghost among the living, making him see things within dimensions no one else can decipher. Poetry makes one say things senseless but still makes sense. Poetry makes one plus one  a hundred and two divided by four an infinity. Its poetry that makes one sees  red as blue and black as green. It’s poetry that makes a groom  abandon his bride on their honeymoon. Its poetry that makes one stop in the middle of lovemaking to jot down some words because he’s afraid the words will be washed away by the wave  of orgasm. It’s poetry that drains a man on a dying bed because he’s waiting for divine inspiration to chat with the angel of death. It’s poetry that makes one talk in tongues and claims conversing with the gods. Is poetry not bad omen Maiden? It has swallowed the sanity of many men yet we still find space to cherish it. But Maiden I can’t help it despite all.  

When they say poetry has conquered everything, It’s the truth we must face and learn to live with. When I look at the sky during the day, there is a serenity one feels from the vast horizon of blue space which strikes a brute force of longing that dwells into the heart of men in love. During the night, when the stars beautify it, it makes my heart skip with an amenable analogy that one day I will be lying next to you reciting a poem not by tongue but by the movement of our bodies as we unveil the very poetry we’ve been hiding in the name of decency. It comes in many forms sometimes in pain and sometimes in happiness. When I told an old man about my feeling with the sky, he told me that’s poetry my son.

And then the rain  Maiden. It caresses our souls with those gentle drops that makes one feel closer to  life. It gives out the feeling that not only fire can be used to punish man but even water or ice. I was told this is poetry too. How can we escape it Maiden? 

Despite all these revelations Maiden, the rift in me is becoming bigger and still have no words to convey the gravity of these thoughts and feeling. They are deeper than silence and nebulous as faith. I have come with tears and smile, with a heart full of love and hate, with a feeling of death and life, with a hunger of wisdom and cowardice, with  a thirst of anger and pride, with a question of the beginning and the end, with an oblivion of hell and heaven, with a laxity of a forlorn lost, with an urge to find meaning of the harshness of love and finally to find the true meaning of poetry from your heart and ease the pain I’ve been bearing for long just because I chose poetry.

Karopi is a poet and writes from Kano.