The Village Bird by Ebele Chizea - an antique Igbo mytho-poetic lyric

This post is borrowed from http://odinanilawsofnature.wordpress.com/ 

A long time ago
in a land far, far away
I arose to distant hills
in translucent shades of blue
In the backdrop
Black birds soared
flapping their wings to the rhythm of their coos
They spread gossip about other towns
Grandma listened, nodded and suddenly went:
I only got the part about Emekuku
What happened at Emekuku?
Grandma’s lips were sealed
It was older people’s business
I long for the days when birds could talk
and we took the time to decipher
When chickens and goats co-existed with humans
on the front porch
Swearing away the heat
each in its own tongue
Longing for harmattan…
Sitting under moonlit skies
Listening to a particular tale of duality
as corn roasts with crackling sounds under the fire…
“udara mu cha nda cha cha cha nda…”
sniffling at the girl whose stepmother starved her
and who prays for the udara to ripe so she can eat
In a famine Udara dwarfs itself to feed girl
and grows infinitum when step mother sings to it
We cheer!
It’s bedtime
And with a belly filled with corn and ube
I move lethargically towards my mat
determined to rise early
to decode what the bird from Emekuku had said.

No comments:

Post a Comment