An Ode to a Natal Star.

Ts a year again and we wake up to the sight of you older,

Not that the age counts

Just that they symbolise how wiser you’re becoming.

It’s another year and I look around

And see that you’re still around to restore my heart.

As you mark your earthly anniversary,

Count me amongst the candles you’ll make wishes for.

I pray you make this wish,

That as your star takes another stroll through the sky

I’ll walk on in a path of love with you.

“Happy birthday my love. Infinity and beyond remains our destiny.”

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An Ode to a Natal Star.

Often, when a man extends a bouquet
To his beloved on the wee of her birthday,
He beholds upon the blithe it sends her into.
He wishes that just as the vase holds upon the flowers-
So will the clasp of her fingers
With sweet violence wring
Out the love that abodes in his temple.
In that tempest, conceal it in her locket.

When the petals wilt,
They will not wither into ashes for an urn.
They will wilt into embers that glow upon every stroke of iron.
At the glimmer of every ember
Her heart will be replenished.
A heart that rests upon the hinges of air
And hold sway to only his whispers.

When she blows off the candles on the cake,
A darkness ensues that is lighted by the
Twilight that climbs from the horizons of her age.
In every spark of time she adds,
The galaxy adds onto its broom of constellations.
Upon the foreboding of wrinkles,
Is a glaring cast of dancing twinkles.

When she whets her tongue to pronounce a wish,
Most a times out of the bouts of joy,
Enlivened by the abundance of its emptiness.
Out of ceremony a wish is made
And boxed in the muse and ribbons of carols,
With the cheers of friends and kins.
When the day is over
And the sands trickle back into emptiness of tomorrow,
Till the day when butterflies will be summoned
To flap their wings on another winsome day.
There will be no thoughts of the wishes not lived.

As she makes her wishes,
The man will write back in return,
For every clime her words resound in,
In their telepathy, they tether their souls to a thread.
In its firmness, when wind blows past them,
It will swing them both to a new milieu.
A field where they become pastures to themselves
To fade and nourish on all their hues.

When all the pleasantries are at bay
And the guests are dusted with the chuckles of dancing feet.
The man will walk her to the window.
Dotting her with tales of the beauty she’s become
By the touch of his lips on hers of henna,
After which he whisks her away.

© 2014.

15 thoughts on “An Ode to a Natal Star.”

  1. Its a great poem but I still have a problem with historical placement in almost all your poems. But don’t worry, me I’m a problems person. You need to grow out of this, I suppose we were all here, but you need to free yourself and find your own authentic voice that not only speaks to you, but also speaks to your immediate environment. There is nothing wrong with the poem as it is, mine is a general comment having read many of your works. What is an ode? You write many ‘odes’ or your titles have many ‘odes’ but does each of those poems particularly adhere to the structural demands of that form? I have had the opportunity to discuss some of your poems with some guys I respect but the charge was that: the poet struggles too much to be poetic, some lines are just redundant, the voice is inauthentic, or sometimes an archaic vocabulary is thrown in. I’m looking for movement and also places in your poems, to accompany the storying. Once again, this long ramble is not really about this poem per se, but more of a general opinion and yes, this is not law, just a half-assed opinion typed at 5 in the morning.

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    1. Richie, thank you!

      You’ve got me on this. This is my first titled ode and I gotta admit that I did throw away the rules that such a form subscribe to. I find it hard following rules.

      On historical placement, I didn’t know that this came out archaic. I’ll need some schooling on that. You’re aid will be greatly appreciated!

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      1. On archaic, not this one really, but I think I have read a couple of your poems with ‘not-normally-used-English-words-that-have-been-consigned-to-rest’. On historical placement, all I’m saying is that I want more identifiers in your poem that can show place, can differentiate people, maybe sometimes culturally-ID people or situations.

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      2. I get the gist. You’d want a piece with ‘relevance’ and not a too-westernised writ. I agree that on a placement in sorrounding, I fail to bring out that Afrocentric aura one would expect when reading a poem written by a native. Does it matter?

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      3. Not really ‘relevance’ or any of that Afro-shitshit, more about tangibility – something feelable, visualizable, I can give an example, though a random one – There is an example of ‘Awful Poems’ that Kowit gives in his book. See this:

        Attic Revelation

        Minerva, anguished goddess of tormented years!/
        Before the darkened altar of my soul’s quiescent solitude/
        twined my childish hand around the dusty magic/
        of that puissant knight/
        But sharing treasure leads, I learned too late,/
        to slapping atavistic violence./
        Grabbed from my trembling hands into her own,/
        resuscitated memories response, and reddens still/
        from the irreconcilable and suicidal past./

        On that example, Kowit says that “The author is probably under the mistaken apprehension that poets must not say anything clearly for fear of having their poetic license revoked. To describe the language of this piece of verse as vague, confused, and utterly indecipherable would not be overstating the case. Confusion and suspense are not the same thing. The more you confuse the readers, the less likely they’ll be to remain interested in what you are trying to relate.” Since we are also in the 21st century, it is also important to avoid the misuse of allusions and mythology, such as in the example given. Kowit says that “inexperienced poets love exotic words and Greek gods, imagining that such decorative elements ass poetic luster to their writing. If there is nothing in the poem that genuinely requires the presence of Minerva, do not drag them into your poems. Let those poor old gods rest in peace.”

        Kowit says that if the poet would have been advised by a workshop of friendly critics to clarify the narrative, he would have revised it.

        The poem that follows tells the same story – without the verbiage of the previous example. This one was written by Stanley Kunitz.

        The Portrait

        My mother never forgave my father/
        for killing himself/
        especially at such an ackward time/
        and in a public park,/
        that spring/
        when I was waiting to be born./
        She locked his name/
        in her deepest cabinet/
        and would not let him out,/
        though I could hear him thumping./
        When I came down from the attic/
        with the pastel portrait in my hand/
        of a long-lipped stranger/
        with a brave mustache/
        and deep down level eyes,/
        she ripped it into shreds/
        without a single word/
        and slapped me hard./
        In my sixty-fourth year/
        I can feel my cheek/
        still burning./

        Now Kunitz writes clear, simple, and moving narratives and the style may be a bit different from yours but what I wanted to explain is that in Kunitz poem, and he is one of America’s outstanding figure, language has not been used to obscure by sounding ‘poetical’, rather he has used language to SHOW us what the characters are feeling by describing their their actions, so the interpretation job is left to the reader. So Kowit is advising against anything labyrinthine or oblique where there is no intended purpose. Back to my point, you can feel and visualize Kunitz poem, than the example that came first – you can see movement within the poem, tangibility, and narrative line. That is what I meant. Not this “You’d want a piece with ‘relevance’ and not a too-westernised writ. I agree that on a placement in sorrounding, I fail to bring out that Afrocentric aura one would expect when reading a poem written by a native. Does it matter?”

        You can say Kunitz is a 21st century man and so 21st century convention, but clarity and placement are not 21st century rules. See how Alexander Pope’s maybe “Epistle to a Lady’ and you’ll see characters, places, narrative movement. An Essay on Man by Alexander Pope is an example of how even abstract and philosophic poetry can be given that tangibility and feeling of actuality. Naongea sana hehe

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      1. Except for the few times when your blood and I think the pride of your forefathers decide to tell you to poetise in a manner so otherworldly, and force simple men and women like us to make multiple trips to the dictionary. But the gods have been good to your fingers.

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      2. Writing is a journey just that I usually tend to believe that the err aspect should be scrapped off.

        Now Oduor, the trips to the dictionary are a must have. And talking of that, lest we forget, one of us here even had it as his top Ten books. That was Eddy I guess.

        Once again, I’m grateful senór!

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