Zambufu Walk - Poem by Kodi Azuonye
Palsied dewy touch, knell-swathed-
a flawed crust of chrysalis
burned into exile.
Updraught across a glimpsed eyeful
of blot-showered leafiness
a dry tide of the crouching clouds
stroke our faces. Tinselled rocks
of vegetal concretion.
Athwart, a hustling tributary
swept furtively beneath verdurous willow
among decoying boulders
spilling ash over silver toward november.
We tripped on a mossy glade
jerked from the earth
from the dog-eared lushness
and sponged our brows,
watched kine in a girdling coppice,
in an unvisited villadom
of migrant herdsmen,
who distilled like earthborn spectres
from the dark insides of herbaged lairs
like singed embers of noon's obsequies.
Steppes of soused unshriven waste
deadlighted the far haunt unhurriedly,
yet our transport glowed
beyond the northern lights!
To this october
where Zambufu, couchant, sprawls,
her surging drowned, creation points.
we have sailed in a soft-hued dawn
shroud in a bathe of stars.
The tide has crystallized our dream,
leaving us eyried and untrailed.
Out of this wilderness
may we not build a home for man
we, the virgin breed of this new age of new Africa?
This foraged, this sapless earth,
this fretting land, is not our heritage.
(August 1990, Ilorin, Nigeria)
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