#APoemADay: ‘Cedars Of Lebanon’ – Andrew Manyika


Cedars Of Lebanon

They’re looking for us to lead them into love,
For the longest time I carried the biggest torch for you,
I ripped it out from beneath the bark of a Cedar tree of Lebanon,
But you don’t hear me though.

In a treasure trove of cedar groves there are evergreens that forever grow
Seasons change, and it never shows, because these trees they never stray,
Save upward.
With a bark that is etched from the marks of the stretch,
Of striving to drink from the clouds while feet stay parched in the earth.
with needle like leaves, that are straining to teach buildings
What it means to scrape the skies.

I hurtled forward toward this forest
having too often been thrown into the throes of reckless abandon,
Only to find my heart trampled
under soles then recklessly abandoned.

Having wearied of being wary of false affections and feigned fealties
Of distressing damsels that disdained detection whilst in reality,
They came with a charm that is disarming,
taught me that love is a battle
but I resigned my commission from this army,
I was looking for better wars for my metaphors,
so I set down my pen and pad
And tried to shut Forever’s door.
But I was hurled through.

Hurt and riddled with scars,
I sought shelter in this Cedar’s shade till it only hurt a little,
And when the memory of present suffering had been reduced to a mere murmur in the chambers of my heart,
I pronounced that I would love again,
And though I st-st-stammered a little, I grabbed both hammer and chisel,
And set to carving.

I took the wood from the tree,
fashioned the good that could be,
And formed a torch from it.
I overlaid it with gold and placed it in my own two palms to hold,
So that when I met you,
I would have more to present to you than the mere time on my hands.

So when say I carry a torch for you,
I carved it out of the bleeding heart of a Cedar Tree of Lebanon.
That with more time spent in my hands, it took on features like the fibres of my being,
And I hold it out to you,
Hoping that when I see you,
I will know you to be a woman taken from the fabric of a dream,
And you are.

From the way you walk like there’s a dance bound in your frame,
To how even music lacks luster when compared to the sound of your name,
Your silence which is a miners reward
and you laugh which is a musician’s invention,
I would that you would lace your voice with some of the fire in your belly,
Use that passion to light it and see,
that I love you from the deep ends of my heart,
Where the flavours of my affection are concentrated like a deep thought,
You leave me both shaken and stirred

Light it and see, that I would bind myself to you at an altar
and proceed to suckle the honey from the moon,
because I have decided to give you everything,
saving nothing for later,
leaving nothing in reserve,
because of time without you,
I have surpassed my quota,
so I’m here with my everything,
every dot,
and every iota.

I would honour even the marks on your celestial body,
Because I understand, these aren’t scars,
these are hieroglyphs,
Hewn into you I read them,
and as I tune into your rhythm,
I become consumed by you my prism.

You add color,
To the light-years of my life
So I’m carrying a torch for you,
I ripped it,
I carved it,
I tore it out from beneath the bosom of a cedar tree of Lebanon
To light the path to the great trees of mamre,
A place where God comes down.

[Courtesy: Badilisha Poetry]

About Andrew Manyika
Writer, poet, comedian and MC based in Zimbabwe. He is a shareholder of the Word N Sound Live Literature Company, and has performed and hosted events in both South Africa and Zimbabwe, on stages including BAT Centre, the State Theatre Pretoria Night of The Poets, and TEDx Johannesburg 2013.

Visit our website every day in May for our #APoemADay series to celebrate Africa Month.


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