By Rasaq Malik Gbolahan
Tuesday, 29 January 2013.
WHEN TIME COMES…
(For Odia Ofeimun and a few other revolutionary poets)
when time comes to market their secrets at the village-square,
the pot of our tales won’t elope with the sea of treachery.
when twilight signals the time to tattoo their eyes with blood,
the route to the sanctuary will grow weeds.
they say we speak to the herbalists, at the shrines, on the streets,
they say we spit words like a sparrow, even more than the sparrows.
the elders of this land say we are rude,
that our lineage resembles that of a child
whose ears are dumb to the lyrics of the night,
drumbeats of the gods,
of an eagle whose wings rival the sky,
of a tree whose root mocks the flood
they say we know
not the meanings of what we say
that our tongues carry curses
and our palms are charms-laden, we can’t carry the flag of freedom.
when time comes to shame their presence,
the gong of tales won’t deafen our ears.
they say we sing song that breaks the tie of unity
unity? unity when they dress lies and shames around
and they send our children to early graves,
their proverb reads “the son must go before his father’
the elders say we sing anthem that makes them “go crazy,”
and we dare warders at prison-gates, with words, nothing
but words, they say we welcome the waves of bullets
and the grave is but a revolutionary place for us, to descend
back on them and their children.
when time comes to bury the dreams of their plot
may they wander on the streets of dirges.
NEWS FROM THE GENERAL’S LODGE