The mammoth’s ever-white tusk
The ostrich potent racing legs
The sky’s sol; moon and thunder
The lion’s tearing teeth and cutting claws
The porter at the Heavengate
The goddess of colours and creativity
The soaring wings of the Dodo
The artifacts of the Living Dead.
The glowing glory of the gone or going
The goddess of succor at the Labyrinths
The daring daughter of the dead or dying
The silent secret of the soil’s captive,
Could you colour my consciousness, curious,
With the clamouring colours of the clouds?
Could you clothe me, cuddle me, carry me
Clothecuddlecarry me, carrycuddleclothe me,
To the 1967 field of love of life of laughter
Where some Angel took advantage
Of a mere flying foolish bullet of blood.
Let me! Please do let me!
Let me be arrested by calling curls
Of your eyelashes daughter of the lion.
Let me be cuddled curiously, catered for
By the fragrant warmth of your tales
Let me be swallowed in thy hollow mouth,
With it mouthing to me tale-before-my-light.
Let my love be bathed with the tears
Of the azure sky
Let my love be pacifically purified
By Her watery Excellency, Mother Idoto
Let my love be laid hands on by thee,
Thee my lover, thee daughter of my lover.
I have fallen in love of memory
With the cubs rocking in caves,
For the horrible hunter has shot the lion.
I have emphatically embraced the wings
Of the bright beautiful butterfly
For the wall gecko has swallowed the butterfly.
I have fallen in love with you,
For I cannot fall in love with Death
Or fall in love with the dead.
(c) Bolaji StRamos
*Obiageli is the only daughter of one of Nigeria’s foremost first generation modern poets, Christopher Okigbo, who died in 1967 in the Nigerian Civil War.