CHIEDU EZEANAH

 

SONG OF THE MUSICIAN OF WATERS   (from Song of Songs, Book III)

 

With such blight wrought on our bankrupt estate

What ceremony of words can patch the havoc?

 

 -“Conversation Among The Ruins”-Sylvia Plath

 

 Poetry is still treason because it is truth

 

 “Italian Eclogues, for Joseph Brodsky” –Derek Walcott.

 

 I            

 

 The Water-Hero who piped a while ago is dead

This scoop hasn’t been bombed yet …

Earth is overshadowed by a green dirge

Fertile torrents of a tongue over dismal creeks rhymed the dirge,

The mocking-bird rhymed the dirge the mocking-bird too died,

In an oesterus of love beneath  gas shrouds.

Hail to blood in the waters

Hail the Lord of Rocks in a trance inside the Rock

Hail the Blind General and the Hangman

Hail the tragic habit of wounding the earth.

Too many truths broadcast, too many truths overwhelmed

The singer had no other world except the dazed creeks

He re-imagined the creeks, sang to the hour its tragedies

In the singer’s dirge that prophesied  peace.

 

 II

 

 First Ogoni, then writer ,

Then martyr and then ghost;

The world scoffed at Ogonis,

Scoffed at the writer/martyr;

Not hoeing the ghost’s music-

And there grows a genocide tide in hanging deaths.

There’s so much death all over Bori

Because there’s so much oil under Bori…

The poisonous waves of rivers shrivel the roots of nations

 

 After Biafra, only the incendiary oil wells after Okigbo…

The Muse of woods made ashen roots

Speak toxin of their wound;

Welcome, O death that reaps more life for the dead

Of Kenule Beeson Saro-Wiwa I sing-

 

 III

 

 It’s the terminus

It’s gift is the intensity of stained ritesThat repair  nothing.

It’s the terminus

 

 Of the Lords of Undertones-

Dire appetite for silence reigns,

Past the people’s power  now  to oust.

 

 It’s the terminus.

It’s gift are his two eyeballs, translucent suns:

One for the dead, one for unborn breaths that’ll renew song

 

 It’s the terminus, thank the poisoning of air

Thank the bird-killing  blaze, thank Saro-wiwa

Thank his earlobes that trapped the burnt wood of events

Thank the vivid ruin that we must not share!

 

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SENTINEL POETRY #29, Online Magazine Monthly,  April 2005, ISSN 1479-425X