Written by Jacob Ibrag Ring finger vacant. Would it be alright if I changed that? Photographer Unknown
Weddings ceremonies are the best hunting grounds for prospective future spouses. At weddings there are lots of like-minded persons converged in one gaily gathering to aspire for their own similar moments, hopeful of celebrating future successes or glutting over past misadventures in the marriage enterprise. It is mainly the latter, but it doesn’t show through all the exotic attires and deceptive cheery faces worn. There are lots of near misses in these mostly elusive searches for the perfect matrimony and the countless losers always out number the winners.
So at weddings most of the well wishers carry fake smiles that do not paint the reality in their hearts on the picture on their glowing faces. Yet those who either had it bad before or not, will try again to mislead yet another possible victim of another lingering incompatible union and lure them into yet another hopeful pathetic try.
affections, Africa, brave, dreams, emotions, experience, fantasy, fears, hearts, Hope, immoral, knowledge, Life, literature, Man, Marriage, pain, People, poem, Poetry, pride, sincere, The poet in the poem, wish, Woman, Yas Niger
Think the old fashion African man, very present today on his continent and beyond it. He is steadfast with his dreams of being the master of culture, woman, beast and land, still wrestling with his aimless hopes of always being in-charge; more so when it concerns his defiant woman’s hopes.
Her emotion are singled out, his wishes isolated, little hope for both as her hairs style speaks her preference and everyday she’s a lighter brown.
Emptiness in smiles reveal their hearts create vacancies.
Her eyes speak her hidden fears, yet she weeps not. Her pride and knowledge rises as their old ride is almost at existence’s verge. He wants what is not given, so much that it hurts a lot. Their affection is true but their marriage is not. There is rage, they feel caged in by the ruse of their time.
She is too modern for him. She is there beside him but he is not really standing with her, claiming as he does, to be her dedicated man.
His attitude mails nothing she sees, that shows he shares her dream to be free of his control and his peer, not his subordinate.
And he? He wonders where is she, the woman he owns by right?
With the dreams of many
Mine wrestled so bravely.
Amidst hopes so sunny,
They tussle aimlessly.
She stood aside alone
With hands akimbo.
Beckoning even a stone,
A sight commanding a bow.
Humming emotional tunes;
Singled out, isolated wishes.
All engulfed in fumes,
Little hope for securing stitches.
Her hairs say her preference;
Tailing behind as Medusa’s crown.
Her aim in her appearance
As everyday she’s a lighter brown.
The immorality in fantasies,
The emptiness in smiles
As hearts create vacancies;
Hopes dumped in closed files.
It’s bottled up inside her;
The pain of another way.
She is sincere and only prefer,
That’s all she ever will say.
In those eyes that speak
Darkness glows from hidden fears.
The wait’s companion at its peak,
Yet she wouldn’t let the tears.
From mountains of selfish pride
Falls many years of knowledge
And it’s all been only a ride
That’s almost at existence’s verge.
Wanting what’s not given
So much that it hurts a lot.
Shy but ever once beaten,
It’s in these fears we’re caught.
So short ago the smiles spoke,
Or so I thought in my indifference.
Hearts appeared immune to a poke,
Like empty bags in conference.
The affection wasn’t a mirage,
Probably the marriage was.
But the rage in this cage;
Experience defeatingly shall pass.
She isn’t standing with me,
Claiming as I do, to be the man.
Her attitude mails nothing I see,
Then where is she, the woman?
Timya’s mother left her matrimonial village when Timya was only six. That is the much Timya knows and she wasn’t the type to make a fuss about things. Timya’s mother never told her why she left or why she couldn’t take the sting of her hurting pride any more, she had to run away from her husband’s house.
She fought with only her expression and bold appearances but deep down in her heart, she didn’t even try. The hate that escorts the earliest feeling of betrayal in its onset, made her irrational. So without giving it enough thought, she took Timya out one moonlit night and left the village with the little girl.
When Timya grew into a much ridiculed twelve year old in a distant village, she gave her a curt excuse. She told Timya that her father took a second wife and betrayed them both. As a simple and short explanation, it appeared indeed the briefest honest truth. She had seen all the insinuating eyebrows flick and twitch, as she went by and she decided she should be pampered with attention to placate her betrayed and hurt feelings or else?
When the community took its accustomed wicked sympathetic stance, letting her wallow in the glare and blare of abject comprehensive humour, she had rebelled. And when Timya had asked to be reunited with her father, her mother accepted without a single blink in protest, revealing the real strain of so many long years of yearning for this reunion.
Her eagerness was even more pronounced by the swiftness of her response and before the next evening, a visibly excited Timya was welcomed into her father’s large empty compound by only a very cheerful seventeen year old lad, her mother introduced as her elder brother, Ponjul.
“His smile carried the sun rays’ sparkle, I can see honesty in his eyes. His moist lips made up words that said nothing, yet my heart understood them, for it nodded vigorously within me.”
Ponjul’s gaily character contrasted his childhood in that reason defying manner that moulds goodness out of visible meanness. His step-mother had completely governed their lives in the most dictatorial way that ensured she was the cat in their discreet rodent lives. His gentled, subdued father was the famous Tiger she tamed completely, in the most bizarre manner possible. It was simply explained with traditionally relied quick resignation; as some mystically induced, diabolically administered mind controlling magic. That conveniently became the logical theory.
In the two lack luster years she reigned in their lives, the beautiful love shared between father and son, was the one thing she couldn’t truly destroy. It paused when she appeared, looked away when she passed and hid if she tarried, but it was always there. It glowed in their eyes, lit up the inside of the outwards misery she had made their lives. She accepted there was nothing she could do about their real love for each other, it drove her mad with even more hate. So she kept picking at the hapless lad.
Like she did to all her previous husbands, she left the boy’s father for the very next man that caught her fancy. And just two years after his second marriage, Ponjul’s step mother had left again. Ponjul rejoiced, but her leaving was killing his father, the disappointment of it was, at least. If ego had indeed kept Napoleon’s dreams alive, then pride ‘waterlooed’ him.
Ponjul’s father’s pride wouldn’t let him admit his error. His ego ate him up. For those two years he was married to his second wife, he ‘zombied’ about to her every whim. In the four years that followed her departure he was mostly bed ridden, drunk with sorrow. Ponjul nursed him and painstakingly fend for them both.
“Take the full meaning of love; with a complete comprehension of its truest good essence, you’ll find that love at first sight is one of the world’s greatest ever contradictions. Love grows; it’s not found. She must have another hold on me surely.”
It was planned to be a very brief visit but Timya and her mother just stayed on. It was like an out of season rainfall that fell down unannounced. The seasoned flora does not refuse it. They embraced its relief to the fullest and joined the malnourished ground to feed on its wet and refreshing goodness.
Their generously shared effortless smiles and laughter radiated ceaselessly, very loud joy and a highly mobile good health returned to their small family. Who doubts the healing power of happiness? Their parents were back together and the world was so friendly and playful for Ponjul and Timya, respectively.
They siblings paired in this new world of their own making and they waltzed together inside its unique magnetic field, to the proud glory of their parents and admiration of the whole village community. The same community which had its archaic age old advice ignored and rendered obnoxious, shamelessly came out with a gaily merriment to join in the family’s new found revelry.
Entirely mindless of the harm it had done and the timeless pain it had caused the innocence of the family, the same community now wants all the good credit as the family flourished. Timya and Ponjul became very close and as the years spoke their piling time. Then the people piffled as it became increasingly evident that Timya and Ponjul lived for only each other first.
Their parents shrugged it off but it was too obvious that their affection for one another was not like other siblings’. No young man got Timya’s attention, nor a single young girl get that of Ponjul. All those years of being apart from this kind of cozy, all surrendering trust and union, had made their minds a convenient receptacle for the overflow of the instant affection that had been indefinitely kept in their respective hearts’ vast reservoirs.
“The captivating truth of the honesty in a fully grown affection is that it is devoid of any real form of tangible attraction and I wonder if this is the only flaw in my desire for his affection”
When marriage had, with its characteristic charlatanry, sang its song in all other homes in their village year after year, Ponjul and Timya’s parents finally saw the need to do something about their children’s lack of interest in other relationships other than the only one they tenaciously shared in its solely emotional personification. The decision came seven years after the family reunited. It was evidently seven years late, it was to soon appear.
Without consulting Ponjul and Timya, marriages were arranged for each one of them separately and secretly. From the very next village a husband was gotten for Timya and from their own village, a wife for Ponjul. It was announced publicly the night before their erstwhile secretly organized wedding feast; which they had been misled to think was for an unmarried close cousin.
They were only told when their family’s compound was densely full with well wishers and both of them were well secured and restrained from whatever reaction they might have thought up or planned. Still they remained calm in their outward behaviour, though definitely as shocked as subdued. Ponjul listened to his peers banter all through the evening as they kept watch over him in his quarters, like they had been well instructed to.
Timya knitted and hummed softly under her breath as she watched the women prepare their joint wedding feast’s local unfermented drinks. The fear everyone had earlier entertained of their verbal rejection, accompanied by a physically stressed resistance was allayed hesitantly. But there aroused the worry that the mute acceptance they where communicating reeked of a very dishonest resignation that will culminate in a similar case of matrimonial displeasure for both their imposed spouses.
“The persistence of any sincere feeling to surface in a blatantly hostile and unrelentingly badly accommodative environment, should clearly speak for its subsequent intent and projected motives that aren’t obviously ulterior. How can I say this to all those I love and not hurt their love for me?”
Silent as the night, they stole away as everyone else slept. They made for the hills with their small wraps of traveling essentials and vanished into stories told for years afterwards. Round fires and when lovers meet, their story is retold over and over again.
The story of Ponjul and Timya is yet to end as it is told. They were eaten in the wild? They ran away to a far off land, beyond the very long search that followed? Still the mystery continues in the mind of everyone who hears this story. Had they jumped into the wild rivers of the region rather than be emotionally as physically separated for life? Their fear of marriage to others and their eternal love for one another is still fondly proposed.
All these local stories are teachers and are moulded to have an impact on young lives. They register morals that impart on character and norms. If they give off a trace of the forbidden in fair light, then culture and its future may suffer for it. As the young grow, their paws seek everything. Their teeth playfully bite the soft or the hard with innocence and little comprehension.
Everything is attractive to their naïve and simple curiosity. Now with old culture altered to fit faith, round fires and from a preacher’s pulpit, this story should get the ending it desires and still be seen to have the respect for faith it deserves and the victory that is its sure truth and destiny.
Ponjul and Timya loved each other so much that they ran off and settled in a distant land as husband and wife, rather than live like the mere siblings they can not choose. They had children and lived happily, such that today their descendants still do the same elaborately and blamelessly too. Surely, if no other was made after the first created couple, then God Himself sanctified this to fit the rarity of the situation it grows in.
“The only thing we can boast of is our love for an equal, not a superior or an inferior being. Its freedom from reverence and responsibility makes it rare. We might not be capable this.”
I wonder who you are;
Some lost line or verse?
Lost somehow so far;
We can’t now transverse?
You are there in view,
Yet we chose the dark.
And rendered the new
Old, like a lot we lack.
Our acceptance of you
Is not sincere at least,
To admit what we knew
Had outlived its wreath.
Shrouded in some mist
Of age old, yet new norm;
That captured life’s feat
And figured its only form.
We spouse a ghost
And live in cemeteries.
Like a true coffined host,
Scared for our souls’ stories.
Your place true as cast,
Even if subtle and lost.
History’ll gain from; at last,
Those Cain’s wives, almost.
Faith small as a lil’ mustard seed
Would lift a mulberry tree and a sea feed.
Obedience, constant as air in breath
Would walk water as land with its might.
AGE STEALS ALL
Somewhere in all days;
Witnessed as is always,
In the morning’s blue skies
As in the nights’ goodbyes.
It stops the singing,
Matches the hatching.
In its crawling time,
It bettered the wine.
With nothing to give,
It gives and yet deceive.
Wizen the ripened old;
Consumed and still sold.
Young the years grew
And gathered all anew.
Stealth gets its way
As age steals all away.
WILL YOU MARRY ME?
These intimate songs we sing
Blend aged dreams into a ring
That weds our gendered stew
In matrimonial oneness not new.