Two Poems by Enobong Ernest

Who Are Happy People?

when i was younger,

i never asked who happy people are — i knew them.

i knew them. i knew them in random and near stories.

once, there was a tycoon who lived on our crescent,

who threw parties,

fed our entire town to stupor, thrice every year.

& there was an old classmate of mine...

A-costumed academic reports

from elementary school through college.

i never had to ask.

i knew what happy people are like.


few years later,

i read in a local paper,

that the valedictorian

of a prestigious University had -

two days after his graduation ceremony -

prepared a poison like beverage,

and mailed it to his intestines.

it was delivered on the cable of life. 

i heard that before cockcrow one day,

a powerful monarch

had gone to seek solace at seabed...

to rinse the burden of breath off his lungs.

and that a popular comedian

had suspended his own body on a wire

tethered to a cashew tree in his courtyard,

leaving his brand, his edifice, and a piece of paper...

"i hope i find happiness outside this world... away from this place."

who are happy people?

what makes happiness?

every night, when i drive past the slums,

i see a family of emaciated orphans.

who have their bedrooms on tarpaulins and cartons

under the old bridge.

i see them. everyday.

always smiling...

tossing their alms-bowls with relish.

what makes happiness?

who are happy people?



not all electric shocks pass through copper.

some live in your glands and neurones.

if you ask me,

memories are electric surges.

that blur you temporarily out of the present,

& teleport your consciousness to the past.

memories are fireworks of ignitions that light up

when days are held like flints and struck against each other.

they scurry through your spine and find a home somewhere in your head.

yesterday, in the market,

a song smoked out of my earphone

and i watched myself go numb. goosebumps.

reliving moments.

the day before,

i'd seen a tattered piece of paper from elementary school.

i skimmed through, 

& i saw my body in school uniform again.

how do people sculpt old days that do not grow old?

how do people tend evergreen orchards of themselves on the soils of other people's minds?

yesternight, somebody explained how videotapes work.

when he was done, i asked:

"are all tapes for movies and surveillance?

when we are asleep,

do people not secretly install in our minds

ones that contain the moments we shared with them?"

like how tapes may leave us when they finish playing,

when memories pick our consciousness from the past and drop them back in our flesh,

they leave smiles on our faces.

sometimes they leave tears.

sometimes, fear.

not all electric shocks pass through copper.

some will always live in our glands and neurones.


Enobong Ernest is a Nigerian writer resident in Lagos. He has particular interest in creative writing and essay writing. His works have appeared on Praxis Magazine, Haikuniverse, Wales Haiku Journal, Nnoko Stories, Nasara Creative, The Shallow Tales Review, Nantygreens Magazine and elsewhere. 

Currently, Enobong is a Law student at the University of Lagos. He is on Twitter @enobongernestE1


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