Posted by: Ron DuBour | April 24, 2017

bark before bite (trilogy)~by Ayoola Goodness Olanrewaju



bark before bite (trilogy)


the eagle who boasts the stretch of heights
and challenges the mystery of eledua
will learn lessons untaught in space and time…

again, it is my wandering wonderings
the wonderings of a poet’s mind
the mind burdened with words…

and like the eyes defeated by covetousness
over the morsels of the gluttonous visitors
fragments of thoughts frame me bound…

i chew the sticks of mockery
and gurgle my mouth with the water of jeers
for the snail in the gaits of a cow…

it is true the shell is a deceptive deception
and a shell is not a hump…

will you help me tell the snail?
who flaunts slimy fleshy horns
that he is a snail and not a cow…

a snail is a snail…a shell is a shell…

alani…you are a fool
so fool of foolish foolishness
i smelled you…and you smelled stale…

who sharpened your teeth?
and plagued you the deception of praise
that you play your novice on the screens of maestros…

have you forgotten?
the beans you cooked yesterday
played our teeth rhythms of stones…

and if you wish to wear the clothes of fathers
would you have not begged wisdom
to robe behind the gossips of passers-by?

do you even know?
the clothes of fathers are sacred
not for sacrilegious toddlers…

and if the moccasin of elders attracts you
will you not first learn the art of mending
and drink lessons from the cup of wise cobblers?

i brew you a bitter truth that heals
in the inks of a patient prey
in webby weaves of the great Spider…

let your puppy learn the patience of barks
and caution the deception of your putrid whines
whines on the pages of roars…

let sweet silence raid your loosed noises
and for once
learn to bark before you bite…


i stroll past the abode of elders
and my head gains the grace of their pats
they say i wash my hands well…

they pour my cup libation of understanding
and gift my hands the teeth of wisdom
a quill in the inks of ancient knowledge…

something swells in my stomach
it is the screams of unsaid words
awakened by the pats of grays…

your tale chimes upon the gong of my thoughts
upon the skin-weave of my heart…

they say you spat into my words
and broke the pot of wise wisdom
into shards unredeemable…

is it true
you sewed the threads of obstinacy
and invited more madness for your mockery?

will i blame you?

it is your ear, i blame
whose vacancy is of pure wisdom…

but if your ear lacks learning
is your heart too void of saneness?
That you call a feast for your new foolishness?

that for your growth of few feathers
you drag ages of wrinkles in your mud
and flaunt your wings in mirages of pride…

the trees you lean on are decaying stakes
stakes deceased with destructive ants
ants that pined your backs with deceptive accolades…

when will you first learn?
before you robe yourself in the webs of art
before you make noises of your budding sunrise

and if this ritual of caution
sounds your ears the incantations of pride
your canoe must have drowned deep into a buried blindness…

will you not gulp the pool of patience?
and take deep incisions for your thoughts
or what is in a dog with a bite without a bark?

will you not kiln your clay in pure fire of arts?
and bring smiles again for vexed wrinkles
that your praise be praised indeed…

will you not grave delight for your frowned destiny?
and train your whines
lessons to bark before bite…


i take warmth in the pouch
of elders from the coldness of words
from the shivers of patient leaves…

i have lit my lamp shards
with the stones of sparkling wisdom
and my tongue licks the dance of witty flames…

i beckon on the divorce of sleep
for my heart snares me for thoughts
the elders say i should speak…

your thoughts are convulsing confusions
do we say your head flees from knowledge?

or why is your curse defied of remedy?
that you have now become naked omoye
whose fatness outgrows the robes of rightness…

why does your blindness refuse
the staff of direction on the paths of arts?
and leave you ignorant of your blind blinder blindest…

i hear that your soared saliva
plummet into your opened eyes
and you turn red with rage…

that you hiss like a long vowel
who refuses the consonants of caution
are you the seed of the hardened serpent?

that you have borrowed cowries
to buy the regalia of challenge
and your dwarf stomps feet for my fiery giant…

is your ear that heavy
that its lead of stubbornness
refuses to melt at the steams of wisdom?

you are like the little chick
who sees deprivation in her caged wandering
and complaints of meals in the gathering of eagles…

tell me the ritual of your deity
or what colour of gods is your madness
that you refuse the propitiations of sanity?

what blinded your inner eyes
that you plague the fate of words
in the wombs of uncircumcised thoughts?

did you not call herbs, vegetables?
you are just a babe who seeks the meals
of encomiums in the baskets of shame…

only if you know of the eternal gift
hidden in the pure patience of preys
whose learnt barks tooth bites without limits…

Ayoola Goodness


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