Jul/Aug 2005 Poetry

Isuikwuato II

by Nnorom Azuonye

Isuikwuato II

This village complains to the hills,
in my earth his umbilical cord manures
a coconut tree, but he has abandoned me.
Through the valleys her voice echoes,
bring home your bride, but keep your mother
from the stench of a rubbish skip.

This village complains to the hills,
my son's laughter fades from my mind.
He has neither tilled the land nor joined
his age-mates to weed the village square.

If a man sells his broom to pay for the journey
to a wrestling match in a distant village, upon
his return, will filth not chase him away?

This village complains to the hills,
the man that sits too long in the toilet he will
see a spirit. If a man runs away from the filth
in his home. How much longer must I wait
for him to come restore my singing voice?

If I should tell her how long my bags have been packed,
she may not believe me, for nobody counts as wealth
the chicken that doesn't return to the coop at dusk.

My village complains to the hills,
Abaina music rises, but I don't see my son dancing.
Oha soup aroma rises, but I don't see my son eating.
Whatever song they sing to him, whatever they have fed him
it will wear off! It will wear off! He will come home someday.

Yes. I must come home. It's only the mad that burns the roof
of his house and lives in hope that when it rains
the neighbours will say without ridicule, come into ours,
that you may not catch cold and die.

My village must come and talk with me in my dreams
to enjoy again the innocence of my childhood, and sit
by the fire of my early manhood dreams burning as hot
today as they always have in the vault of my heart.

My village calls out my name through the hills
and I must go to embrace her warmth and peace,
This is where I wish to be when I grow old.
Shed no more tears O land of my fathers
for even now I am getting ready to dance
on the hot sands of Nkwonta.
Prepare the drums.


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