Chibueze Oscar Osuji
Ode To The Iroko Dryad - Poem by Chibueze Oscar Osuji
And what shall I speak of a bliss figure?
Feminine and planted below the ground
Safe, from 'rooting-storms, the rot of nature,
In such a xylem kept constant and bound
In peace, O peace, with every hour spent
In such homely bark of an Iroko,
No foreseen farmer's blade had tam'd it mildly
Not the wind had blew forth your wooden tent,
At such peak no limbing primate will go;
Not the canines, n'r felines that roar wildly.
Indeed I have come for you, I have come
With ethanol, a mirror and cow'ries;
I have come to carry you should'rs-high home,
To be bonded with you while the time flies,
Tree-maiden here is ethanol now drink
Take a sip will you, queen of th' African peak,
See your beauty now by this mirror-fold,
Or will you fall for the cow'ries wealth? Think-
Of something I shall do for you, do speak
Wi' I travel through the seas, for gypsy's gold?
For I have sat by my ancestors' feet
And listen'd foolishly to their wisdom,
But my ears were adapted to the sweet
Words of my age-grade season'd with handsome-
Lies and lust, like men of my age and rank
So we talk'd about you in our dialogues,
And often dedicate songs in your name,
Tune-less melodies, as we drunk'n men drank
Opium-leaves, which beheld our minds and tongues;
And my pen as such, drunk'n ne'er wrote the same.
So I stagger'd before you, feather-light
(For I heed not the old wise men's advice)
I held you by the hair, with rage and spite;
Hence I had curs'd you, verily! Unwise,
Surely, I air'd one of those tune-less songs,
I drank and drank while you wallow'd in tears
And the fell'rs had come, t' cut down this sacr'd tree,
Oh! I have done you aplenty of wrongs,
I have tak'n the home you knew all your years,
All these I did with drunkenness in me.
Oh! You have my drunk spite words in your mind,
I see you ascend upward to the head
Of th' Iroko-plant, with the sun-beam b'hind
You, and that was the place at which you dropp'd dead;
With such withering momentum and speed,
That drove me, than the opium, more insane;
I b'lieve the wind must have paus'd, little while;
To watch a creature as you so timid
Yet pow'rful, but difficult to explain,
Save the last goodbye for me with no smile.
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