NAIJA POETRY 6: Thunder Can Break

FANFARE of drums, wooden bells: iron chapter; And our dividing airs are gathered home. This day belong to a miracle of thunder; Iron has carried the forum With token gestures.

Thunder has spoken, Left no signatures: broken Barbaricans alone tell one tale the winds scatter. Mountain or tower in sight, lo, your hostages – Iron has made, alas, masterpieces – Statuettes of legendary heroes – iron birds Held – fruit of flight – tight For barricaded in iron handiwork a miracle caged.

Bring them out we say, bring them out Faces and hands and feet, The stories behind the myth, the plot Which the ritual enacts. Thunder can break – Earth, bind me fast – Obduracy, the disease of elephants.

(NOTE: The original poem is unbroken, with no stanzas).

AUTHORChristopher Ifekandu Okigbo; born in Ojoto, present-day Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State, Nigeria, on Tuesday 16 August 1932.

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