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and when dawn dwells
shedding off its dark robe
when morn wakes up, clean
hale and hearty like the voyage of the moon
when the sun sails and inspires all that lives
when the sky looks happy and beams with life
climbing up the throne of light
and when night lulls all eyes to sleep
on the insistent initiative of time
New York: my lost voice, remember
I behold you still
at the interlude of my dreams

ŠIsmail Bala Garba - 2000

when the hilarious laughing of the circuses
the clapping thunder in the theatre have died
when the trees are swaying gently
when the flags of peace flap
proudly in the cool, clear skies

when we stumble on the hard truth
when we let the agony pale from our faces
and enemies clad their rifles in the colours of love
when water lilies of death have been killed
and the caged can come into afternoons of freedom

when we come to this
we must accept that we are the peaceful
we are the beautiful
the true bout of beauty

ŠIsmail Bala Garba - 2001

haveyou ever thought
what would happen if
you were to seize up
the stern sun
with your eyes
and banish the smile off it ?

every trace
will dazzle your face
with patches of darkness
and you will lighten the night

ŠIsmail Bala Garba - 2001

(for Martin Espada)
we were waiting for a lecture
in the twin theatre
so i asked the poetesses
in the front row of my class
to write a poem for you

and they asked
if you're like the sun
or the birds

i said no
you're like the theatre
when there's so much lecture
i've chance
to watch the traffic
on the sky

ŠIsmail Bala Garba - 2001

a hyena and a goat were cracking joke
at the same table
for the enjoyment of the tight- lip audience

the trainer of the couple
had a stuffed socket instead of a left eye
and no denture for all his age
he kept talking and laughing faithfully
in the style of saint
of a mighty and majestic devil

ŠIsmail Bala Garba - 2001

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Ismail Bala Garba teaches in the department of English and European Languages, Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria. The branch Secretary of ANA, has being published in many local and International Poetry Anthologies.

Contact: Dept. of English,
Bayero University,
Kano, Nigeria.
Email: ibgarba@buk.edu.ng

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