NAIJA POETRY 13: Incantation

Rain does not evade the path of the runnel
Frogs do not decline the call of the stream
The sponge will not refuse the voice of the river
Salt will ever heed the glad eyes of the sea.

The needle does not decline a tryst with cloth
The road does not complain at the tread of feet
When young love meets the moon it blossoms
When eyes meet with beauty the face blooms

So let those who love this land be safe
Let those who hate this land be swallowed
And when the children lift their voices
Let all of those who hear be glad
Let all of those who heed rejoice.

II

Glory does not kill the morning
Splendour does not slay sunsets
Love for a child does not kill the mother
The praise of fathers does not kill their sons

When a bride kneels before her groom she’s blessed
Whenever a daughter is born
We know we shall not die
Whenever a son is given there is joy

Let all the daughters of this land be fruitful
Let all the sons of this land increase
And if from east or west there should be anger
If from north or south there should be rage
Let all the rage and anger dissipate
Like smoke in the breeze
Like dogdream when it comes awake.

III

What words we have spoken let them cleave
What hearts belong to us let them not grieve
Let our words find us prepared

Let all our dreams find us prepared
And our land, our country, our earth
Let them find us ready at our end.

AUTHORTade Layo Ipadeola; born in Fiditi Town in Afijio Local Government Area of Oyo State, Nigeria, in September 1970.

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