Philip Oyok was born on the 17th of June 1978 in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. He went to Stella Maris college in Port Harcourt. He studied Zoology at the University of Calabar in Cross Rivers State. He is an aspiring writer who has written several volumes of poems and short stories. Recently, he just finished work on his first full-length novel.
Poems by Philip Oyok
Cry Cry Baby
Cry, cry baby
Won’t you dry your eyes –
Mother is inside
Preparing suckled milk for you
And junior is waiting to sing
And play with you.
Cry, cry baby
Please dry your eyes –
Mother and father
Have long traveled forth
But my shoulder is right here for you.
Cry, cry baby
Wipe your tears away –
Time and journey
Humbly awaits your feet
And so does the world.
Like a wretched snail
Slugging through a tunnel
Day after day,
So also do we spend
Albeit unconsciously – God forbid
How else could we know? –
Through these fragments
Of stressing times and destiny.
Will we ever find –
If I may dearly ask – that
Which our hearts do deeply seek?
Will the snail ever wonder how much further
The road journeys onwards
Or will we lose the path
And diverge to the downhill road?
Angels afloat, afloat I say
Uncurl your wings of alabaster
For just as the river returns
Back to the sea,
So soon will we all fade mercilessly away
Into dreams of dust and sand.
If only in my dreams
If only in my short-limbed love
I could for once touch you –
Feel you –
Teel me, will my soul for once
Not remain glad?
Do Not Tell Me
Do not tell me that I am beautiful
Truly I know that I am not
Your lips are always filled with lies.
Do not stare into my eyes like that
As if searching for a glimpse of your reflection
I have shut them up.
Time is no longer here waiting for us
The sky grows redder by the minute
The birds have all traveled
And I have long grown tired
Of this hungry game.
Do not tell me to come with you
My limbs aren’t moving
And besides, I don’t need someone
Such as yourself
To tell me that I’m already dead!
I’m tired of standing here
Day after day
Waiting for the morning city bus
The traffic is often worse in the morning
Not to mention the heat.
I’m tired of my 9-5 job:
The air conditioner is always down
The take-home pay is worthless
And my boss
Has a foul-tempered mouth.
I’m tired of returning home
Feeling weary every evening
Listening to my wife’s nagging mouth
Forcing myself to swallow a cold meal
And not even getting a chance to say goodnight
To my kids
Because they are already asleep.
Everything Must Change
Everything must change
time and place
will no longer remain the same,
or so the prophets once said.
Death will turn to life
and behold, an unfinished song
will someday find words with which to rhyme.
Everything will change
this everyone knows
but first, so must I.
You Are Just Like Me
You are just like me
there isn't much difference
in our anatomy:
we possess the same colour of skin
we have the same kind of hair
speak the same pidgin,
the same blood that flows in your veins
is just the same as mine
yet why is it that you hate me so much
simply because we do not come from the same tribe?
Here comes our companions,
they have journeyed far and wide
across blue seas and snow-peaked hills
to be here among us.
These are our companions,
strutting in emblemed suits and wing-tipped shoes
cufflinks glittering of gold
cigarette-stained breaths and whiskeyed lips.
Hello to our companions,
the pruveyors of clipped speeches
p.hD portfolios and expanding Disneyland smiles
to gloat on our naked flesh.
Our companions they truly are,
us who long ago appreciated the wishes of kolanut
now instead prefer handshakes and complimentary card
wishing for a life that will never be ours.
Lazarus Walking Past
Morning; sunlight arising
from behind my dorm filters
dull echoes of a shuffling train
tapdancing to the synchronous melody
of salsa feet and clacking chains.
My eye goes to the peehole
Gazing out into the passage of Hades
As the train suddenly comes to a halt.
Carefully, I whisper:
"Lazarus, Lazarus. Tell me
was you dead when He called you forth?
Are you dead once more
now that you are here with me now?"
No answer, except the brash command
from behind the line, instructing the train
to move, move along
hanging time is not awaiting.
The burning sun
on this hot lonely land
in early morning clad,
with impetuous intent
I rose from my bed
to view its secrets
of the new day's mystery:
"What say you, morning sun?
What important news are there to report for the day?"
The sun gazed down at me and said:
"Before the moon comes by,
you will be crowned a king of the land,
after that you will lose your life.
But that is for