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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Poetry: Lines composed shortly after the demise of Nigerian literary icon, Chinua Achebe

..... universal resolution master stroke served:
The abolitionists’ armour frigates scrambled
Hoisting their sails in the waters of imperial Union Jack;
Primary altruistic charge was intercepting merchant ships
Laden of human merchandise bound for the new world;
Swift tactics changed the imperatives of seemed accomplished little;
Attacking the root now is Westminster’s new strategic option;
This, argued, will help nip in the buds the profusion menace;
It belied, however, as history later showed, an impending atavistic ambitions.
Namely: conquest and containment and colonisation or diplomacy;
Dawn of protracted gunboat diplomacy with continental Africa;
Crystallised into invasion 1860, Lagos, and the rest as they say is ……HISTORY.
Alibi, its royal court abounds with slaves;
And trade-missioners poured forth the decks of berthing liners
Into the virgin interior and into Goldie's wide waiting arms.
The future Mastermind of all an empire truly desires
stevedores forth with a mixed bags of imperial cargoes
Check the list-  the barges line's led by holy scrolls,
And books and Guns hidden for the most
Beneath clergies owns' cassocks
Driven by fierce sophistication of racial supremacist legions,
And a hundred years down the line, "There was a country,"
Birthed, arguably, forsooth in the beauty
Of a painless warm incubate struggles.
Nigeria's very promising yet a crudely thoroughbred;
And the gadfly comes, he comes from the east.
He goaded and pilloried gentle and stung prophetic
The slow and unruly and dim witted horse of state.
And for its chaotic excesses and vices and blunders
On all sides through the soft muses of his wondrous art.
The veiled deep activism from his Novels count
Masterfully crafted under ever bright Ogidi moonlight.
And burst forth like flowers with love and concerns
Through such foreboding classics for the obstinate
Beast always gambolling down precipitous cliffs
Where, Things, almost completely, fall apart.   
Post-mortem stalled, thorough or aesthetic, and nothing is learnt;
The clog of all clinical posterity;
And the nation's behind sprawl-draggled choke holds
Still in profusion bends of tragic bubbles
Like an Elephant whale dived too deep at sea.
Though not a hopeless- No longer at ease   
If but his distress calls all and sundry obeyed.
Chinua was an unrepentant nationalist;
An arrow of truth searing the conscience of a straggling nation
Till now forever laid in his sleep of death.
Adieu, the merchant of didactic tales.
Adieu, Chinua Achebe!




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