Image: Afrique

“THE CUTLASS’S GRIP”

(I)

Thunder roaringly strikes

into the heart of the forest,

Iroko rolls on the shrubs,

Araba bows and kowtows,

Afara genuflects to the terror

and red-eyed discharge.

 

What then is the fate of Arere,

Idingbo, Malina and Mahogany?

Obviously,

They’ll become dusts sieved

into thin air of emptiness.

Yes, they’ll become ashes

consumed by the thunder-lit hell

poured into the hand of nothingness?

 

But if they had intertwine their fingers,

Interlock their toes and shoulders,

They wouldn’t have become

the victims of terror.

 

I looked through the forest’s windows,

I saw numbers of fauna widows

and floras decaying in the

watery hands of meadows.

I saw Ori Oka baked in the black pot,

I saw the heads of Ere, Paramole and Ejola

dangling above the burning tripods.

I saw thevashes ofAgbadu,

Isan and Osa elewe

buried into the skins of mankind.

 

But had they all came into unison,

Where Paramọlẹ leads the troop,

Ejola and Ṣebe follow,

Cobra and Python takes

the right and the left wing respectively,

Isan, Ọṣa, Monamona hiss from behind;

No one will dare descend into their arena.

 

They wouldn’t have become screws

on the tip of misleading drivers…

They wouldn’t have become nails

on the large heads of devilish hammers,

They wouldn’t have become

objects of mockery and defeat.

Had they not derail from the bunch

and divide like scattered broomsticks,

They wouldn’t have become pieces

on the tips of power-hungry fingers.

 

(II)

 

Last night, I laid my head

on the carpet of sleepiness,

The blanket of dreamland

cocooned me into its warm hands.

And I closed my eyes and

opened it into the land of light,

I saw entering into darkness gradually.

And I was told that’s what happen

when faction knocks the door of unity,

Or when the Dark Age

intends to rule the modern world.

 

Truly, Kiniun is the King of animals,

Elephant is their father.

Ọkin is the Queen of birds,

Ogongo is their mother.

 

Yes, the hands of the kids can’t reach the roof top,

Likewise the hands of the elders can’t enter the gourd.

Our foods may enter the stomach of the elders,

Our rings can never enter their fingers;

So let the elders open the doors to the room,

Without holding unto the keys…

 

 

(III)

 

See!

Fire is burning in the farm;

the flakes up there have come to inform.

Whether the fire is burning on the mountain,

I don’t know.

But if I tell you it’s blazing hell in the fountain,

Ask me to come with its ashes

And I will come with the dust of granulated timbers…

 

See!

It’s fast flying like the peregrine falcon,

Flowing like the oceanic waterfall,

follow suit lest you lag behind

or become a lag of time…

Because our tomorrow is no more

in the dwindling hands of clock;

It has come while we’re busy

licking the feet of men of the past.

 

And now it is fast going, melting

like a Shea butter thrown into

the hands of a scorching sun;

And we shall see no traces of it

even in the gut of a watery cup.

 

Is tomorrow not for our children?

Is the next not for our children’s children?

Today is actually ours, our promised tomorrow.

So, let us take charge without fear or favour

Else, we’ll be discharged without ill fate or good faith.

 

The tortoise toes the tail of the turtle to the stream and it drowns,

The owl imitate the bat and it bleeds through its mouth.

We’ve now grab the cutlass’s grip,

We can now be querulous on our Father’s death…

 

Ayeyemi Taofeek Omokehinde

©ASWAGAAWY, the poetician

the toothpick that walks like a man

Author: Taofeek Ayeyemi