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