Elo: The Story With A Solemn Tune Poem by Otega A

Elo: The Story With A Solemn Tune

Long off in the village of Ayorho,
Once I met an eyesore, a beauty tattered in rags by malady.
Amazed I stood, the wheels in my head to turn.
Hers' truly beauty unseen, physique unmatched,
Gives, carriage and colour, unparalleled in lands far and near.
Yet, fogged by folly she was;
Mumbling now and doting the village dirt dear and dear.

"Stranger, you stand as confused as a man before his angry gods! "
Otaku, the village clown, did say.
"Yes, my friend the truth you speak;
My shy self, from Imade, I carry
But here, I wonder why the sun ices and the moon burn with fury!
Not in a place, in my many years of striding lands and waters,
Have I seen any whose beauty's as stunning as this;
Yet here she lies clothed in lunacy, wasting off
like the virgin lands of Okuade kingdom that are ever plagued by wars", I said.

"Well, humane and careful one, Nature's a blithe and carefree mother!
And the ways of the gods, sometimes, are a blight to sidestep.
Elo was a song that swayed dancers and drummers years unending;
And many a man was he that would kill and die for her.
If hers' a story you must learn as you seem,
Then there's not a seer would tell it better than herself.
Be gone on your way and by nightfall,
To the Ogagu tree beside the village square you must return;
For then only, are times her sanity would wax, and her follies would wane", he said.

"Nature, be thou cursed" I said as I walked off.
"Here's a beauty,
Uduose, the Prince of Idaduasan kingdom, would slave and slave to earn,
And Ighodosa, the King of Ighwreduado, would offer his throne and lands for!
Gods of our fathers, your name we've always reverend;
And your sacrifices we always offer with the heads of our animals!
Why then must your ways be mysterious to us?
Verily by nightfall I must come, this veil of yours to uplift" I said.

So, as it was with me,
The time of a curious man dwindles only as fast as the currents of a pond!
There I sat, my back rested on my matted chair beneath the shades of my barnyard
Carefully counting the dying away of each hour as I await the night to fall.
As Odama, the village soloist, would do when he trends the hills of his rhymes,
I barely noticed nor heard the squawks and squeaks of men and spirits as I waited.

Finally the time came as Okodu, the village crier, carries his message to and fro my yard.
Quickly I dressed, and armed myself with my cutlass, bow, and arrows.
For only a fool will walk unarmed in the night at times like those;
The Ogbude fraternity of Otu-otu will be concluding its biennial festival a week off,
And its best men and hunters are already in the forest for human heads for the final rights.
Where then, fully dressed and armed, I stuttered out on my way, lamb in hand, my thirst to kill.

The road was oddly continuous, as my head measured a mile, each step I took.
Gravely quite, the journey was; the beat of my heart, my only companion.
I look at the sky and the moon shone me a glitter;
I looked at the bushes and night's insects hooted me a sonnet.
One but wonders why they will only choose the affluence of the nights to kill!
There I will lie on my bed, the day's stress to rest
There and then only, they would blather and blather my craze to grow!
Why will the gods send such faultiness to taut our nights?
Another of their mysteries.

Brighten and eased as the winds gently caressed my haired chest,
I quickened my pace verily, my curiosity awaits a tale to learn.
Suddenly, piercing subtly through the night ease,
It hit me off my muffled thoughts like a dozen knives
The steadily slow and calming voice of The Dweller of Lone Creeks,
Gorgeously rhyming the lines of the wearied sorrows,
Weaned me out and off myself a million times; my soul to weary.
Thus, there and then it was that I first heard the lines as she sang them thus…

"Love you curl me this moment,
Walking all around me anew.
You ask if I believe the sky's there
You ask if I see it
While you circle on my shadows
Whispering your lines again and again

O'er the hills I call,
Beneath the waters I cry; from afar I've searched!
Rains scowl and winds frown at me tonight;
Love, fondle me now I plead…

Oh believe heaven's blue very
And earth's red awry,
A place I should not know.
My fame you same my shame
You tear, you tear me my love
Singing low beside me afresh, anew…

O'er the hills I call,
Beneath the waters I cry; from afar I've searched!
Rains scowl and winds frown at me tonight;
Love, fondle me now I plead…

Beloved, you have me up down this moment
Wrapping me only in the memories you left.
When the nights would die off,
Each dawn and noon I'm lost without you.
In the darks, the dark of my dreams
The light tall you walk, you walk…

O'er the hills I call,
Beneath the waters I cry; from afar I've searched!
Rains scowl and winds frown at me tonight;
Love, fondle me now I plead…

Lost now, I am missing;
I'm losing myself without you
Cycling psyching, you tear, you tear me
Coming around me but you can't touch me
Isn't there a way I can find you
To bring you back home?

O'er the hills I call,
Beneath the waters I cry; from afar I've searched!
Rains scowl and winds frown at me tonight;
Love, fondle me now I plead…"

Passed midnight, moon mid-way the village shrine, I saw myself
Seated on ground, the stump of the odaka grass I've mounted my seat.
Only then I knew I wore, I wear; as the wearied sorrows wildly twirled me off my ease.
Scattering around, I found my armoury; stuttering forward, I edged for The Lone Dweller
There she was fast asleep; clothed in sadness, bedded on innocence.
"Love, very cruel you are, the beauty here you've maimed".
"To the North and South I've gone, but not in a place I saw a loner lover!
If so true that her folly wanes, night fall tomorrow I must come to learn this story of distressed love! "

Monday, September 9, 2019
Topic(s) of this poem: story
Otega A

Otega A

Ughelli, Delta State
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