I was born in Calabar, Nigeria and lived, among other places, in Egypt and England before settling near Boulder, Colorado with my wife and four children. I'm a computer engineer by trade, but poetry is my passion. My chapbook, Ndewo, Colorado is a Colorado Book Award Winner. In my spare time I snowboard, coach and play soccer, and train in American Kenpo. I am also an editor at Kin Poetry Journal. A selection of my poems was included in the Best New African Poets 2015 anthology.
The green crown on green grapes etched
On the neighboring building's glass façade
Warps the reflection of an early morning passerby
All in white robe, braced against the brisk morning.
In the distance workers lean
On scaffolding at the rebirthing end
Of a large cottage,
Likely guesthouse for wine tourists.
Sight/sound delay of swinging arms and hammer peals
Echoes the disembodied feeling
Of daybreak dulled by aftertaste of wine,
Of peach-shaped Sauvignon,
The host son Petr's favorite,
Ryslink Rinsky its tannic tincture, tasty fruit;
Ryslink Walsky its open whorl of round flavor,
Sweet vinicultural fossils.
Dank of the rough-hewn cellar, soft sallow clay and grandmother-lace mould
Closed-in space with an open sense, from proximity to the national border,
Mere meters above ground, or months of labor, and years of vintage
Lined in racks, and carefully labelled with damp chalk.
Our procession through these crates, retorts and barrels
Punctuated with a supper of salt and sweet meats,
Of cheese and cucumber, tomatoes, supple sausages
And spirits from wine, spirits from apricot.
Colloquy of technology, language, organic chemistry,
And the occasional salacious remove.
Sufficient food and water dull the mal-effects
Of such indulgence, but leave an aethereal quality
In the undulation of dim dawn sunbeams,
Emphasized by largely empty streets,
The empty wading pool ringed by trees with birds in dry plaint.
From window of this pension,
In graduating saturation, layers of rich Czech landscape,
Vines and wheat and poppies,
To distant woods, to further wan distinction of the hills,
To grey horizon, a fit lid for fond memories;
Capsule of enormous roses on the walkway;
The fractured Osterreich-Deutch/Česky/English of the border signs;
And brothel come-ons and night skies fired with a glowing backbone
Neatly folded into this smothered store of morning, Milky Way
Having descended as the fog,
Stars having settled as the dew.
Expansiveness that draws from every direction
Strains against the bounded angle of view from this attic-eye window.
-originally published in Fiera Lingue
©2016 Uche Ogbuji