It’s just the rustling leaves on the ground – the gentle breeze
that blows. It’s the glow of lights around the evening trees.
It’s not the length of the open street, nor the whistling air, the bend
of the arrows that point north when minds looked west. It’s not the end
of boulders, the open lines on double lane tar. It’s not the skid marks
on roads heading east, not the ears of corn in farms on roadside shacks
It’s the smiles in her joyful eyes, the love that I see around.
It’s the warm nudge, a subtle touch of flesh, or a gentle sound.
I felt it tonight, within hopes on the faces I see wherever I look.
Graceful laughs under branches, and falling rain around the brook.
I smell it in the cold night air, brown like the leaves of autumn’s rust
I touch it in hugs of fleece, wondrous wool, fabric mufflers of trust.
It’s in the sound of music, softened in bits of sweet tingling taste.
It’s in the rustling of leaves on the ground – a season of deathly waste.
It’s America tonight, Midwest, in the folds of a gradually freezing host:
I stand with words as shield, the less squelching shawls I know the most.
A strange darkening hovers around like a log. An extra boring tale
from rivers to rivers, chiming in long bits of a least forgotten wail.
It speaks in its sorrow, it whines loudly in the stirring familiar tunes
sung many times before in lush grasslands, caves and desert dunes:
this darkening, this quiet, this lonesomeness. This emptiness heaves
vainly on a road many times trod, littered with dead, withered leaves.
The heavy hum-dum of numb dumbbells lazing on a dirty rug
does not rise above this state, nor do the electro-carts that tug
in whimpers at his idle mind. There stirs and falls in random beats,
like hearts half-baked in a searing whirlwind of summer heats,
doses of silence, filtered in cold, frittered in the evening eye.
“It will not be tonight when the world ends.” Only a cycle crawls by.
A new man peers across a ledge, pondering time, pondering faces;
and only a thicket of quiet responds, louder than a din of dank spaces.
It bobs, it weaves a yarn of times. It reeks of a kind of cold, sour breath,
of stories told again and again; a non-listening ear. A certain death.
It is silent here now, as memory plays roughly along the helm of choice,
weaving noise: “It will not be tonight when the world ends,” in a low lone voice.
Kolá Tubosun is has a BA in Lingusitics. Since 2000, he has worked as a freelance journalist, radio broadcaster, and a literary and non-literary translator. He is currently a Fulbright foreign language teacher of Yoruba in the Fulbright 2009/10 FLTA Program at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, USA. He has a travel blog at www.ktravula.com