SENTINEL POETRY #27 (ONLINE) MAGAZINE MONTHLY  - February 2005

TANURE OJAIDE

WOMB-WRAPPED

1

Here's the womb that begat a race of giants--
the elephant only brings forth a huge offspring.

2

There's an esoteric language whose alphabet
nobody writes but the unborn speak fluently.

3

In the forest a birdsong leads the minstrel into
the conclave of spirits, his wandering's end.

4

When he sang out loud, he opened eyes to
a crowd; a cloud of talkative birds his chorus.

5

From the original womb, one comes out
crying hysterically at the boundless bounty.

6

The minstrel is the land's rooster--
he ushers in dawn with a trumpet.

7

The homeboy arrives at where he used to fish;
prohibited from entering the clogged current.

8

The boat is bringing from the sea a beauty with
her mirrors and powder; the minstrel awestruck.

9

The storm picked the sea's spirit to litter here--
in her bed of coral, Mami Wata smiles to herself.

10

As I dip feet and hands into the herb-dark stream
of my birth, I hear oil blowouts closer and closer.

11

Let me stand in the shadow of the iroko
before next season's lightning strikes it.

12

The stream's draughts of elixir stand
in the direction of a snaking oil slick.


Womb-wrapped continues