Friday, May 20, 2016

Akwu Sunday Victor writes

Tender Reeds by the River

That tinkling sensation that comes with much sunlight
Those beads of sweat that break on the forehead,
When the sun lashes the earth and all in it...

I harken to the spirit, that inward referee
And like the wild bird and Ralia or Simbi in the grove
I follow the footfalls of the spirit into the palm tree grove

The birds singing in the woods sing unknown songs
I tilt my ears, like the dial of a radio, filtering the breeze
Endless chattering, to pick the rhythm of the songs in the wood

At the mouth of the street, a jagged stone stands
Upon it I take my place and down the heart of the flowing fluid
Fishes swim against the flowing fluid flipping tiny filaments

Then like the flash of light, like the dazzling of broken glass
In the sand, it comes, the thought of them, the thought comes
And my heart begins to sing, accompanied by the drums of the stream

The trees that filled the earth with seeds, I recall to mind
Nights of pains and agony as the pod of blood forms
Taking shape, like a painting on a painter's table evolving

Motion slows as another being takes away the primordial
Freedom of the limbs, lips like the wings of a trapped butterfly
Tremble as the clod of blood nibble at the pot of life

And their portraiture fills my imagination, nameless pains
Gnaw the flesh of my heart, like soldiers charging into the arena
Of death unperturbed, they enter the theatre of new life

Faces contorted, form distorted by the burden borne
And between the earth and the heavens, their breath lingers
And to some it returns and to others goes with the wind forever.

This is the journey taken to bring forth beings in being
But then, a moment is often not taken, in life's orangery
To reflect upon this sacrifice of blood, of life and death

And now in the palm grove, with the birds in the trees,
And the trees, like drunken men, or possessed priests
Of a forgotten deity, dance shaking their massive heads

And now in the palm grove, with the stream tingling my ears
Caressing the sole of my soul, I see like on a screen
The essence of sacrifice, the meaning of love

And the spirit whispers in my ears, this tender song
And I begin to sing right from the grove of palm trees
And the wind comes like a dove and takes my voice to the orb's end.

1 comment:

  1. Kola Onadipe was a Nigerian author of children's books, including “Ralia the Sugar Girl” (1964) about a girl who could sing well; a bird carried her away, she was captured by Awaya, a murderous witch, but she escaped and returned home. Amos Tutuola was another Nigerian writer who gained international recognition for his books based in part on Yoruba folk-tales. His third novel, “Simbi and the Satyr of the Dark Jungle,” was about Simbi, another with a wonderful singing voice; tired of her comfortable lifestyle, she ran away from home to learn about poverty and punishment; during the course of the book she was kidnapped, sold into slavery, beaten, starved, almost beheaded, carried off by an eagle, imprisoned in a tree trunk, half-swallowed by a boa, set afloat in a sealed coffin, attacked by a satyr who shrank her and put her into a bottle, set afloat in a sealed coffin, bombarded by a stone-carrying phoenix, and petrified before returning home.


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