(For African Poetry—Marking UNESCO World Poetry Day)

Dear wind,

When you
Are chanced to see the spirits that rage
Against me, tell them I live;
Tell them I am Soyinka—the returnee surrounded by sorcerers…

Oswald Okaitei
Oswald Okaitei

And when
They ask of how your sibling spirits died
Of bee stings,
Tell them you met me, Anyidoho, the cluster of Bees

Tell them
Never to dare a thought of my loss
To the eroding wind;
Tell them I am Okigbo—the soul of the reincarnated priest of Idoto.

Tell them
I am Atukwei—idealistic, sensitive & inspirational…& tell them
I am Wosornu—
Full of passion, intuitive & fearless…

Save their tears
Of fears if they ever thought I died during the invasion
Of yesteryears;
Tell them I am Awoonor—born still in the placenta and full of life energy.

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Tell them;
I, Ama Ata, the Saturday goddess twin,
Am Achebe,
Under the protection of the earth goddess…

Tell them I am the Brew
Who has since time past harvested thoughts &
Woven them into
Fine verses pleasant to ears and eyes

Tell them…
I am Clarke—ever learning, ever writing…
And I am Mtshali;
The messenger with the accurate expression of situation…

When you are chanced
To go back to the spirits that chant
Against me,
Tell them I am Senghor, the descendant of the gods!

O’ my dear wind,

If you ever
Get to cross path with those who remain awake
And sing my dirges,
From sunshine till moonshine,

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Tell them
I am the consolidated spirit
Of many parts
Made for eternal existence in this universe;

Tell them I am African poetry!

© Oswald Okaitei
[email protected]


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