Poem by Ngozi Olivia Osuoha
THE SAINTS OF A SCENTED LIFE
The saints of a scented life
The fragrance is overwhelming.
They despatch aroma
Aroma of aromatic hydrocarbons.
Polyethylene, phosphorus, degradable bicarbonate
They plant ornaments and ornamental ethanol
Ether, flourishing fluoride and tetraoxochlorate one,
Chemical compounds of complex components,
The saints, the scented, the perfumed corpses.
Life of deadly heritage
Heritage of deadly living,
Deadly, living a heritage
Deadly, dying, death; the heritage.
Saints of ruined souls
Saints of crushed spirits,
Scented, embalmed, criminated, cremated
Mummies and dummies
Bloated tommies and enslaved nannies,
Dumb, deaf, lame, blind, bunch of zombies.
Sepulchres, sepulchral orchestra
Orchestras, orchestral sepulchres
Melodies from the graves
Graveyards of babies, babies unborn.
Shameless men, statues of inordinate existence
Feeding on futures, futures of the unborn.
Ancestral abodes of lost values
Museums of artifacts, artifacts of worthless glory.
Embodiments of embezzlement
Looting angels and warriors of death,
Murderers of age, ages past and present.
Lo, behold them
Them, here; abound
Abounding in bloody oaths
Oaths of desperation,
Eagerness and urge, urge and swiftness
Swiftness to do evil,
Evil, so cruel and ungodly.
Saints of blackland
Dark angels of thick forests
Men of wildlife and wildfire
Fires that burn the irreplaceable.
Scented monsters, no, they burn not calories
Beasts in cruise control,
Alert, they are vigilant and gallant
Agile to raze down greenness,
Greenness in all manner of growth.
Scented saints in red robes
Robes of blood, heads and wombs
Wombs of tomorrow
Tomorrow that they never created.
Bloody, bloodier, bloodiest
Red hot, red lamp, redline, red light
Scarlet, crimson, oblivion, oblivious dungeon.
Tears, loud and clear
Fears, high and tall
Gears, speedy and needy
Pears, dry and cry.
Men of offensive odour
Pungent, repulsive, elusive, illusive
Misery mixer and mystery shopper
Choking the air, thickening the cloud
Lawless climate, fated atmosphere
Look them, see them, lo, watch.
Shackles, obstacles, pinnacles
Wrinkles, angles of depression
Gazing at grazing
Normal with anomalies
Singing hymns of exaltation
Amidst the choir and army of God.
Antelopes, giraffes, proud peacocks
Ostriches of deceitful beauty
Marine lords of drowning boats.
Beware of this arrow
It points like a pointer
Javelins, shotputs and discuss
Episodes of drenching drama.
Look them, madness in the bottom of sanity
Sanity at the tip of madness,
Saints of horror
Scents of terror
They are here, there, around
Bullies of lost control
Outlaws of lawless land
Heroes of torture
Legends of torments,
Giants of punishment
Dubious models of an illfated people,
Thieves of peace and tranquil.
Unmerited accolades and discredited favour
Gallows of monstrous members
Diggers of gold
Gold, they stole
Gems they sold
Oil, they spilled.
Saints of hell, hellish scents
Across, aloof, before, beneath, after, underneath
A bunch of smell.
Decays, heaps of compost
Emancipated, yet properly bound
Bondage of perpetuity.
Saints of a scented life
A life so scented by death
Scent of death, saints of death
Beckoning balconies of ruptured roof.