Sentinel Poetry (Online) #57 ISSN 1479-425X


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Obododimma Oha


Reburying Okigbo




One death too many, a burial not enough

Songs will suffocate the evening

A grave too weak to hold his bones


A journey not enough,

Scars on a sacred skull

Will tell the asking bird where

The forgotten flute becomes presence


We bring him home bring him home bring him home!

A burial not enough,

We bring him home to the grove

Where the navel-cord

Ropes the foot of a dedicated palm tree


A journeyís not enough, the grove murmurs

For the nnukwu mmuo, will come will go will come

The poet the soldier the prophet the rebel

Always seeing things saying things doing things

So who can bury the Word finally?




Dead poets donít bite.

Their poems do.


Somewhere in the COís head

The poetís last words blow the bugle,

The smell of his blood all around

Hangs heavy on the parade ground


Six marching feet in front of the victory horse

Six more calamities

And the invading army takes over the ilo

Can it also take over the proverbs & the prophecies?


The secret service interrogating the bad poem

Can it round up all the signs and their hidden meanings?

Are elegies POWs or runaway soldiers?


Dead Okigbos donít bite

Their memory does.



     Obododimma Oha

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