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Centre stage Clem Olaniyi


1. May we know you?

. A poet. Philosopher. Novelist. Orator. Farmer.

  1. When did you develop a love of poetry?
    As long as I can remember. Perhaps the age of 14.

  2. What has been the reception from your contemporaries on your poems?
    . Encouraging. They love and cheer for my style of writing. Some have my poems hung as mnemonics on their walls. That’s quite impressive and humbling for me

  3. What type of poetry do you favor?
    . All types. I write about anything. Everything. All things.

  4. Please share with us a bit about what you write about and why?
    . I write about life in general, even death. Talk about love, music, just anything. I’m always inspired to write at all times. Even at moments of grief and times of wild cheers I’m game on

  5. Have you had any of your poems published formally?
    . No. Not yet. Working on it definitely. I’ve had few suggestions and some offers to present my work for UNICEF in helping African children

  6. Do you think poetry can be used to change an attitude?
    . Surely, yes! Poetry is a way of life. Even every breath we take is hewn in poetry. Poetry is life. With poetry, a dirge can turn into a wild happy ballad. I just can’t be imaging life and nature without beautiful, orchestrated pieces of poetry in it. But to know what it is, you must feel it. If you’re not swinging in, you can’t mediate it.

  7. How often do you write?
    . Very often. It could be anywhere at anytime. Several times I’d wake up in the middle of the night to write. It could come by things I observe on the roadside, market, children, even the flowers. Just think of anything I’m there
  8. Share your dreams.
    Just a little I’d share. To see my name etched on the pillars of history. To create an awareness and help people realize their dreams. To help people know that poetry is not an odious thought or activity. Without poetry all forms of endeavors in life become vegetative
  9. When you look at your environment, do you see poetry gaining some level of recognition or popularity?
    We are a bit short on that right now in Nigeria of today, but we are getting “relocated” into feeding those who are bereft of it. So I believe someday, it will hold ground again. Those of old were taught with poetry. That’s why they still edge above newer guys of now. That’s why nothing exceptional has been well noticed because we are sold to a life of mundane activity devoid of creativity.

  10. What do you think of young poets liking the spoken word as a form of protest or expression
    .They yearn for fulfillment. They know that’s the only language the core of all hearts feeds on. They know a drop of water can suddenly become an ocean with poetry.

  11. Please tell us about your favorite poets, old and young
    William Shakespeare. Prof. Wole Soyinka. Those are ones still touching the strings and stirrings of my heart

  12. Which poet has had the most influence on you?
    William Shakespeare
  13. How do want to be evaluated by your peers and society?
    A phlegmatic Astute Observer. I am a clinical realist…I am evermore an alchemist of positivity, an adherent of an austere life. A man blessed with so much to offer but few of interests to be shared, who, when others don’t, does see promises in your eyes, the spark smoldering in your breasts, giving it tinder to see your soul ignites to passion
  14. Thank you coming on Centre stage
    It’s a great pleasure ma’am.

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PLEDGES OF LOVE


PLEDGES OF LOVE
Hello there
This is some kind of special post for me. I am celebrating. Not just a love affair that has lasted in spite of odds against its survival, but I learned the meaning of prayer in times of acute need.
Have I never prayed? I think I did since I was always thinking of improving my reaction to the challenges Life brings and since these thoughts impelled my poems. I have prayed for my children, I have prayed against hunger, we all do. I have found myself asking sadly if the Creator intended that in this incarnation I might have to be of want for most of the time. I have learned to be content with what I could have, based on my work and reluctantly I have assumed owning a plane might not make it into my bucket list. (Go ahead and laugh)

However,I learned in May this year, the meaning of wanting something so badly I could only mutter one word of prayer with an urgency and desperation that left me blinking. Just the name of the Lord.My prayer was answered in such a stupendous way that I have been awed silent since then. But I need to say thank you to friends who held me silently, virtually, and some of them I never met.

This is my thank you to everyone, for one week with effect from Friday 15th September subscribers, and anyone is free to download my collection of romantic poems. Creation swings on the axis of God’s LOVE.

All you need do is going to the products page and download PLEDGES OF LOVE for your reading pleasure.
I hope you enjoy it as I did at the various times I did.

It will have a sale price thereafter.
Thank you for being my friend, you will never know how much you contributed to being me, it is my way of awed appreciation that with all my shortcomings a wordless desperate prayer was answered by the Creator of all the worlds.

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Chants in my dreams

LIVING IS GIVING

It is only in giving
of your love
that you understand hate.
It is only in giving
of your understanding
that you comprehend envy
It is only in giving
of your compassion
that you know pain
It is only in giving
of your service
That you teach selflessness.

The book of life
teaches all that
care to look through
It’s sustaining pages
as one garners through
all our painful ages
that if we fain wish
to return to the lit
gardens of our beginnings
we must make our pinnings
rest on the crock of
these life-sustaining teachings
never to but learn
the greatest gift of light.

Gave to all its creatures
that gift that all creatures
stand as mirrors to our faults.

If we must thus understand
this as we experience
we will in truth
give gratitude to Him
in the weaving of the Loom
we stand against the boon
when we hesitate to return
in full measure received
the everlasting love
of the Father Almighty.

Now available inthe collection Chants in my dreams at biolaephesus.com

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Chants in my dreams

You can now purchase Chants in my dreams from my website biolaephesus.com
It is an ebook of my first publishedcollection in 1997. Most people who know me are aware of my love for poetry.
Let me share a few of the collections to see if I can interest you.
I WISH I CAN FLY
I wish I can fly
so that I might try
to learn to understand
from that height; my stand

I wish I can walk
so that all my talk
will thence be my progress
towards all I might profess

I wish I can pray
that I might not fall prey
to all that tries to trap
even as I evade their grab.

I wish I can trust
that all that are human,
actually carry gifts of man,
exercising all that is just.

I wish all these wishes
that even all the witches
have a hectic time fulfilling
all these impossible pinnings

THE LIBERIAN WAR
The war in Liberia
came one day to stay
at our breakfast table
father picked his gun
with shinning eyes we
heard mama tell of
father’s show of valour
to bring to brothers unknown
the gift of a doubtful peace.

The war in Liberia
blessed our hope with
the arrival of Lollita
the war-front soon changed
our shinning faces dimmed
for the cracking guns
and the cannon roar
of the ricocheting words
of the battle fierce
between Father and Mother
pitched us as losers all.

TRUE BEAUTY OF MAN
A man’s true beauty
is not outward alone,
skin-deep beauty
may mask an ugly mien
that unveiled stuns and repels.

True beauty of the soul
lives and lingers
like a fragrant rose
Welcoming and satisfying.

A man’s first breath
is his first contract
with Good and Evil
to decide for himself
the exercise of which
he might use all his life.

Compassion of the spirit
is like a golden nugget
like a running brook
through the rivers of life
a kaleidoscope of his
fortunes and losses
gain or lose he
makes an investment on the
quality of his life.

A selfless man
is like a rare bird
that flits through life
touching everything with
his healing touch.

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Poetry my love

Sounds funny when I say that. But I am always awed when I read poetry. There is a trend in my country these days, the spoken word. But, I wonder why it took us such a long time. When I came down south from the North, one of the things I enjoyed was listening to my grandmother render poetry in her soft musical voice. It was a way of life for her, she was a priestess of the loving kind. She would greet the day, the morning and whatever issue she had could be resolved with poetry. Most times I didn’t understand the words,but always felt the rhythm.

When I gotto secondary school, myteachers almost took the love of poetry away from me with the constant attention to rhymes and such stuff. I found myself needing to look for words that ryhmed and I felt I lost the spontaneity of the words as they came to me. I enjoyed myself though by simply ignoring that and wrote from the heart. The words would bubble out of me and I would just write.

My first ever published work was a collection of poems I called CHANTS IN MY DREAMS. I have been taking a look at the book, that was some twenty years ago and I still found the poems spoke to me even now. I am making an ebook of it and would like to invite you to visit my website to read some of the poems and if you love them enough to order for the ebook. The ebook should be ready by the end of the month or earlier.
Would like to share with you and who knows might learn a thing or two from you if you post your thoughts back on the website.
Here are just two from the 130+ pages.
WAKE UP
Wake up quickly
greet the dawn
in gratitude for
your life

Wake up happy
see the sun
the gifts of love
to make hay
all your life

Wake up laughing
hear the birds
join the choir
of angels in heaven
with the industry
of your life

Wake up grateful
watch the earthworm
sow through all
you do, your expectations
through Him
of the gift of Eternity
for your spirit

STOKING MY STROKES
There are different strokes
so my mama said
when I tried to stoke
the fires of life.
listen son, she said
one stroke for each prayer
one stroke for each desire
mayhaps success will reach

So now I am stroking,
an angle tilted toward luck
the lady with the capricious smile
a prayer also,
that while thus stroking,
fate bored with his lady luck
will fling her smiling into my
waiting arms.
has life ever been won
with so much strokes.?

Looking forward to you exploring anddropping your comments.

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Woman and other poems….Poetry


Woman
Don’t summarize me as woman
The weak sex
your ornament
bed warmer
house decor
look into my eyes
your fate is written
by the level of appreciation
you give to my spirit
to show you
way home
to the Lights
See me as woman
guided by the streams
of creation
to hold the beams
of Light back home
I am woman
dignified by grace
and enhanced by His Love
to stand as gate to your dreams
I am woman
I may help you
if you know how
to treat me as Woman.

THE RITE OF BECOMING WOMAN
Locked in the rhythm
Of my bloody past
We walk along the paths
Strewn with the pains
Of our tradition

I become woman
Through the red mists
Of the circumciser’s knife
Through the groan of torn flesh
I became a member
Of a bloody clan
That gave me membership
Through the cut of my womanhood
That denies my right
To be creator’s woman

I walk the nights
Feel the morning’s kiss
But stand in swirls of pain
That decides my right
To belong to the clan

Through the mists of pain
I hear his grunt
Of pleasure
Through mists of pain
I must bring forth his seed


Sweet revenge

She splayed him out
sang lullaby to his screams
as she tested the knife
against his scrotum
one peel after the other
she carved
in bloody art
all the names
he called her
in drunken stupor
through the red mist
as he raped her
and maimed her
for any man.