Come, my friend, let me tell you a tale
Yes, a tale…
There Was a Country, you see
And In that country
There was a man
Yes, a man…
Why does the lion roar, friend?
Why does it whip its mane and bare yellowed fangs languidly?
Does it do it to announce its presence –
Or to strike fear in the hearts of me?
No, wait – it is imperative that I know –
Why doth the Big Cat behave so?
I speak of a man.
No, not a man.
The Man Died, Wole Soyinka wrote
But the man himself did say
He was No Longer at Ease
Upon seeing Things Fall Apart
See, the centre weakened
And the falcon suddenly became deaf-
Or maybe it was out of earshot of the falconer?
I don’t know –
What do I know?
I was but born yesterday
My infantile cries still echo in the chasm
Beware, Soul Brother
That you mourn amiss
Wasted tears on a field
Sprouting malnourished seedlings
See the Anthills of the Savanna and
Feast on the lean portions
Of a field forgotten
By its tenders
Again, I veer
Muddled thoughts coalesce in one
Cry not, I say
For the man you seek is no longer here
Jesus…He said that, didn’t he?
No, it was an angel.
An angel stationed to deliver the news
Maybe I am an angel?
I don’t know, friend
I am just here to recount the tale
Of the Country that Was
The Country that Is
And the Man that Was
He died in a strange land.
But the Country that Was
The legend that birthed me
Hath kissed his muddy bed
He has taken the leisurely stroll
82 is as good a year as 100
He didn’t need that much time
To establish that
There’s a fire that burns
Even the cymbals crash solemnly.