GHAZAL OF CHIBUIHE LIGHT
…we’re still busy searching for god in each
the mouth of the four rivers in eden
hidden in our breastpockets…
-Chibuihe Light Obi
Is it possible for poets to dismiss peace?
Leap from their rooftops away from the bliss of peace?
They rained invectives on him for his love and hate.
Hatred, a kangaroo court, an abyss of peace.
They hacked his account when he exposed Africa.
Friends made it worse when they’d reminisce about peace.
Chibuihe Light, light the candles of love and love.
Light the thousand tapers, their flames the kiss of peace.
Your multicolored kite has gone behind the clouds.
Your country is aflame, your kite persists with peace.
You say they want to kill the flowerboys, burn them.
The butterflies teach of the kinesis of peace.
The birds echo life back into the bombed market.
There is rubble, and weeping, and the risk of peace.
There’s nothing I can do from here or anywhere.
Songs of light and hope shimmer on the criss of peace.
Wars and wars and wars and wars of myriad kinds.
John, pray these songs never sung in the midst of peace.
John L. Stanizzi is the author of six full-length collections – Ecstasy Among Ghosts, Sleepwalking, Dance Against the Wall, After the Bell, Hallelujah Time!, and High Tide – Ebb Tide. His new book, “Chants,” will be published in 2018 by Cervena Barva Press. Besides Praxis, his poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, American Life in Poetry, Connecticut River Review, The New York Quarterly, Tar River Poetry, Passages North, The Cortland Review, and many others. His poems have also been translated into Italian and have appeared in El Ghibli, in the Journal of Italian Translations Bonafinni, Poetarium Silva, and Mosaici: Learned Online Journal of Italian Poetry. His translator is Angela D’Ambra. A former New England Poet of the Year, chosen by the New England Association of Teachers of English, John has read at many venues all over New England, including the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival and The Mystic Arts Café. He formerly taught at Bacon Academy in Colchester, CT, where he also directed the theater program. He teaches literature at Manchester Community College in Manchester, CT and he lives with his wife, Carol, in Coventry.