EBONY: SING, sing Ivory, inspire my night in Music.
Throw your voice over this shining cordon,
Into the halo of your ever clambering moon.
Colour this cloud floating silent in my musings.
IVORY: MIDNIGHT Prowler, hunting solo, hunting forlorn,
Lift your eyes and look upon my shadow.
Don’t you see, I’ve been frozen in Luna’s bright awe?
My voice ebbs and wanes in the twilight zone.
Look, look how I glide over your cradle,
Hold your whisperings, hold do not intrude,
On a night like this, even a sigh would be crude,
Listen to the music in your heart’s own throttle.
EBONY: BEAUTIFUL, how can I hold my breath for this interlude,
When it is your song that draws me to this wall?
Will you sing that I may hearken to your call;
And howl out to my brothers from far and wide?
For my eyes are aglow, your moon should never fall,
Here I am drawn to you from the wild,
Can you thwart nature’s instinct nature’s pride?
Thrive, thrive do not stifle the fire in your soul.
IVORY: THE fire in my soul is to my body weld,
A spirit that burns free must itself immolate,
The embers of my freedom have scattered your way,
Have drawn you to me like a weapon I wield.
EBONY: WHO then, do you sing for desolate the night,
Perched upon the hands of time like an Angel?
Is there Nectar in the curled up flower, Say Nightingale,
Or do you eat the Rose-buds on your fancy flight?
IVORY: I sing for the Rose the bees have made weary
Nightly, I gaze upon her and her beauty devour,
In the moon’s shadow she’s without tint or color,
A beauty that sleeps gives wholly and freely.
EBONY: THEN let me drawn into your Orb journeying lonely,
Share with me your some, your heavenly delights,
Let me rest my eyes from this contrasting night
And sleep like the flowers dressed naked in Ebony.
IVORY: SLEEP in Ebony, and tonight our dreams shall be shared,
Drift into my shadow like a lover where I hide,
And there, upon entering to my world do abide,
Then I shall sing for your musings and music shall bear.
This poem by Moses Muyanja Kyeyune has been shortlisted for this year’s BN Poetry Award. His other two poems After The Rains and Celestial Sprout (Twin-Tomato-Tree) were longlisted for the same award this year. It was back in 1994 when it occurred to him that he could write poetry. A friend challenged him to observe a painting and translate every thing he saw into words. The result was his first poem, Boudoir Drama (a clairvoyant’s adoration of a woman as she leisurely goes through the ritual of undressing). His poems have been published in different anthologies.
Read the other BNPA shortlisted poems here: Africa’s Poetry Ambassadors #BNPA2014. The BN Poetry Award began in 2008 as an annual poetry competition for Ugandan women, to promote poetry which was extremely marginalised in Uganda and to give a platform for women’s voices especially. From 2014, the award has extended its arm to include all African poets. It has been the only poetry award for women in Africa for five consecutive years.