Your hand is heavy, Night, upon my brow.
I bear no heart mercuric like the clouds,
Exacerbation from your subtle plough.
Woman as a clam, on the sea’s crescent.
I saw your jealous eye quench the sea’s
Fluorescence, dance on the pulse incessant
Of the waves. And I stood, drained
Submitting like the sands, blood and brine
Coursing to the roots. Night, you rained
Serrated shadows through dank leaves
Till, bathed in warm suffusion of your dappled cells
Sensations pained me, faceless, silent as night thieves.
Hide me now, when night children haunt the earth
I must hear none! These misted cells will yet
Undo me; naked, unbidden, at Night’s muted birth.
AUTHOR: Wole Soyinka (in full, Akínwándé Olúwọlé Babátúndé Ṣóyíinká); born in Abeokuta within Ogun State, Nigeria on Friday 13 July 1934.