Poetry 014: A thousand drums

A Thousand Drums

Sometimes, In the silence, very faintly
I hear the sound of a thousand drums.
As the rumble brews I remember;
the smell of the plains when it rains and the sun
Reaffirms his place in humbled sky –
making the supple grasses glitter in his rays,
The sound of crickets in the darkness,
singing to the jittering fireflies as the day
Slowly slumbers, the warmth of the fire
as it’s flames fly among the crackling piles,
The soft red earth – still harboring day –
calling out to all who hear…


But the wind awakes me.
Saddened I cry out onto the concrete,
wailing as the sounds fade.

“oh fastidious time,
Tread softly,
For it is upon a dream you walk”.

© Denis Adide 2011


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Short Stories 008: excerpt from ‘The Crossing’

She always put freshly cut flowers on the dining table, it helped soothe his mood. Awake from the tremor of persistent nightmares, they always reminded him that there still was beauty in the world. She had become accustomed to hearing him speaking in his sleep, at times even barking orders and shouting for her – or the other inhabitants of that stormy world – to take cover. She had watched as his hair had grayed and his eyes slowly sunk, the spanning time being marked solely by the changing scents that occupied their breakfast. I suppose his increasing silence encouraged her. The tears in solitude, that he used to succumb to in the early days, had slowly vanished. Occasionally he’d smile when he noticed her soft hands as they spread out the blanket over his legs. She’d cry when she recalled how they used to go for walks, swim in the hidden rivers, and climb trees. His speed then, was mighty. It would not have been wise for him now to see her in those sorrowful moments so she chased the nights and let her books welcome the mornings. The sun would send her out again in hope of coaxing a smile; she knew he had an affinity for orange roses.

© Denis Adide 2011

Short Stories 007: The Princess and Me

The Princess and Me

I’d love to think that I’d still have been happy if life had ensured that we’d never met. However, the uncertainty that couples that thought makes me look upon the minutes we’ve watched flow by with such awe. The more you talk of our tomorrow, the more I feel my faith and love grow, and the more I learn how far from my wounds you’ve brought me. I thank the life that bent my steps, the moments that wrung the tears out of my eyes, the decisions that broke me, and the voice that led me your doorstep (or your hands to mine).


© Denis Adide 2011


Poetry 013: The Sphinx


The Sphinx

My somewhat ancient scrolls,
Like these ancient sculptures growl
Of a time long forgotten,
Yearning to be remembered
And learning un-regret.

The rotting memories,
Like these old stones fight the fading
Sunlight, lingering only
To haunt my spring time dreams.

Trapped amid the ebbing tides
And the steadily disappearing cliffs,
My words fade, floating unanchored
On the cool sea-breeze,
With tales of hearts once whispered in
And subtly whistled out,
Like fleeting breath from wrinkled lips
Slithering out of my salty tongue
They sail the wind like
Sweetened summer rain mid autumn.
Veiling the bones of untold follies
Fleshed by the jittering joys of yesteryear.

Seeing the bar’s wake,
My tears, dammed,
Leave my burned eyes
to welcome the weight
That sags the willow’s branches:
The coarse sands that erode the sphinx,
The thirst unquenched by youth,
And the winds that quietly, and slowly,
Lift me toward the estuary.

© Denis Adide 2010



Musing on The Sphinx

This was a poem about old age inspired by Lord Tennyson’s Crossing the Bar. It speaks of hope and loss; peace and sorrow.




More and more, as the days sail quickly by
I catch my brisk and merry feet,
as they wonder into the deep that is
my ever-increasing happy-time dream.

The hope of an increasing heart
forever brim-full in incessant love,
cradled in the delicate strength of
uninhibited passion,
seems to power my feet further
into this happy-time home:

The King is dead!

© Denis Adide 2011

There are some decisions I am certain that I will never regret!

Faith 002: What if?

What is Faith if not the presence of doubt;
Hope without certainty,
and evidence without proof?

What if, though not in six days actual days,
the world was still created?
What if we really aren’t alone?

What if that feeling that pain is unnatural was right,
evil paid the price for the suffering it caused,
and things will definitely get better?

What if this is not all that there is;
that there was more to life than the search for money,
less to death than loss,
and we could actually live forever:
never saying goodbye?




Poetry 009: Happily impaled to love!

Happily Impaled to love

To set your eyes on beautiful things – to desire,
Is as to place your hand upon an open flame:
Drooping flesh, dry, unquenched on hoping fire,
In truth an unchecked nature’s hard to tame.
And tears will fall for pursuit of hearty folly
Lest solidly to devotion impulsion’s framed

Rings, like rolling rocks, do no moss gather,
But hoopless, yet bound, hearts do sometimes fail.
Merry the many men who from freedom canter
With thought and conscience less assailed,
For countenance raised and faces full of jolly
Is proof of a joy that is in love impaled.

Deceived do lay the primely disavowed,
By words unchecked, and verbs thoughtlessly sprayed
Sorrow – the pain of harvests left unploughed
Like carcasses out in open fields unlaid –
Roots its image and words deep in the sully:
The gull of yester’s many things unsaid.

What blissful tranquillity it is to never require,
To rest ones tongue on one’s own heart with ease,
When vision’s agilities only do conspire
To praise the eyes with one’s own heart’s release
And the flame is doused whos tinder starch is folly
For all flesh and breath and bone are all appeased

Such is the nature of love.

© Denis Adide 2010

On the process of impalation.

The line between commitment and discipline is always disturbed by desire. Love is more than just the feeling: it is the choice expressed in action. It is the overarching desire to curb that which leads to pain: that which drives us to dis-serve the ones we love. To commit to love is to drive a stake into the well of desire, to control the whims, and to discern what in hands can harm from what heals. Loving is a painful yet joyous choice that I for one happily, and continously will, make.

Poetry 008: Cogito


My mother is dead
She lies still in her scarlet robes,
Smothered by her own indulgences.
Her breath, once within, sponged out
The stench of decay
Mixed with the dismay of her last days
And the perfume that overlay her sweat,
Throttle my throat with a throng of thick saliva.
The tender fingers that once orbed me,
Now in rigor expose their dirty fingernails:
Skin from the backs of the men she lay,
Stains for a heart she let betray,
And cursed chains for love’s abate.
Flesh from flesh for I am she,
As she from death does live in me.
If in her death I thus forsake
Then in her death I shall partake.

My mother is dead!
Still I stand, in throbbing life.
Slowly smothered by the silence.
My strength, flickering, wanes.
The stench of brooding breath,
sticky thighs parting in the darkness,
Supple delights in madness,
And the harnesses of haughty stresses,
Mixed with the thought of old caresses
By these lifeless yet speaking hands,
Tomorrow is buried with the thought
That once, as was ought,
I suckled upon your, now taut, breasts,
Drank from their honey sweet floating dreams
The life you now in death un-seam.

My mother is dead!
Still we both are, amid torrid endeavors
As life, like the wind, rushes by
Remembering nothing but the slights:
The points of sightlessness,
The never lights of fleshly streams,
And the wounded tears from horrid dreams
For tomorrow, from this unsealed tin, floats away.
As from her womb I did.
She is dead, and I, though still, do breathe: we fray.
Flesh from flesh, in her death partaking of life.
Dying I must away, for this stillness slays.

My beginning doesn’t define my end!

© Denis Adide 2010



Painting the self

Largely inspired by Allen Ginsberg’s Kadish, this elegy/ complaint is about the Institutional Church (historically and at present). In my experience, the whole idea of an institution with it’s hierarchies and orders, is far from ideal as it places corruptible people in positions of power and authority. Absolute power absolutely corrupts, thus the many scandals over history as well as in recent times. This theme of power abuse is what I tried to portray in the image of the sexualized mother, who is too busy having sex to care for her son.

On the flip side, I have within the poem also added a helplessness from the perspective of the son: for all the woman’s ails, she is his mother. This despair is a reflection of my own sorrow, and joy, at being a product of the broken institution. It is my ambition to serve within it, in hope that the power and authority do not corrupt me.

I chose to pepper the free verse with very stark images accompanied by a mix of strong consonance and alliteration. My choice of semantics (the sexual imagery, the idea’s of life, death and blood, breath, stillness, and sex) is drawn hugely from the bible where in many cases the Church, or the people of ancient Israel were refereed to in such ways. The poem is baroque in style, giving it a formality that contrasts the messiness of many of the details. In this version, I have tried to replace as many abstractions as I could without affecting the flow of the poem.

Poetry 007: On the shoulders of giants I weep!

On The Shoulders Of Giants I weep

I suppose, standing in my solitude swept away from indemnity,
the calamity of the moment is the fact that for all his polity,
Old Adolf had a taste of what it meant to loose in love.

Split like tinder under an axe by nocuous axioms
into the lines sightlessly inscribed for the blind
I’m certainly not playing bingo tonight.

This sky is too weak to support my happy-time dreams,
and my castles like the indiscriminate rain will fall.
This bus will stay here, awake, colorless, with me.

I, like the wood and brick, will – for now – skip the passerby’s eye.

© Denis Adide 2010

Looking down their shoulders

While doing a bit of research for my Postcolonial module, I came across this picture. It struck me and after a few minutes passing with me staring at it, I felt tears trickle down my cheeks. The dominant thought being that I couldn’t picture living in a place like that, with the different assumptions on race governing the liberties that I’m now accustomed to. I take the train regularly, visit the coffee and book shops freely without facing as much malice. If I was to wake up in that world (which is what is seems like, an ancient and almost forgotten world), I would have little to do than to weep in the face of a stone and seemingly immovable sense of injustice.

This picture reminded me of the suffering that the preceding generations endured: the birth-pains of the social order that we (collectively but still with resistance) are trying to figure out and forge. I suppose like Newton, “If I have seen further, it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants”. There is a sense  however, within which to really understand how far I can see, I must look down and acknowledge the resolute hearts and minds on whose unctions I stand.

A little bit about the picture:

Found it on wikipedia while looking into the Jim Crow Laws. These were a set of rules that governed how people of different races interacted with each other following the American civil war in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I urge you all to check em out.