Olalekan Joseph Ajayi

Rookie (October 9,1975 / Owo, Ondo State, Nigeria)

The Griot - Poem by Olalekan Joseph Ajayi

Long before feathers were dipped into ink
And we adopted the Whiteman's language
The griot sat at the foot of the Iroko tree
Etching our history on the tablets of his heart
Custodian of the word
He bore the word in his head, talking with drums
His tongue concealed truths in praises
He knew the tomb of every umbilical cord
He knew all the freeborn and bastards
Called every warrior and coward by name
He communed with spirits of forefathers
And the King's ears were enslaved to his lips
But then the griot died without passing the word

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, February 5, 2013

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