6334019311_8f9febf126_z (1)Across the Atlantic
They are not agnostic

With three hundred and sixty five stones
They watch the cycle.
With the last pebble gone
They blow their horn.
They look into the sky
For a God who’s most high.
They ask earnestly for a favor
For God to consecrate their labor
As the green season come round.

They see his radiant epiphany everyday.
He gives breath and bread.
He is the living God.
They call Him, “Baenne”: the Sunny Father,
The heart of the Milky Way
That rises and sets everyday.

Adventurers from against the East
Holding firm their God’s anthology,
The antagonist of Abyssinian philosophy
Say theirs’ is most sublime,
That the two don’t rhyme.
“This is animism,” they say.
“A grovel for stones, waters and hay,
Believing they have souls.”

Their God is omnipotent.
The Abyssinian God is also omnipotent.
He is the light.
The Heart of the Milky Way is also the light.
He sustains life.
“Baenne” also sustains life.
He is the Alpha and Omega.
The Superstar is the cradle and the grave.

Their philosophies may originate
From opposite sides.
They are opposite sides of the same dice,
Two roads leading to one destination.
The Abyssinian God is supreme.
Of heaven and earth, he holds the reigns


Image by Hartwig HKD via Flickr

About the Author

Portrait - YiroYiro Abari High was born, Yiro Abari Pede, in Jos, Nigeria. He is a graduate of Geology and Mining from the University of Jos, Nigeria. His interests include reading, writing, traveling, music reviews, adventurous walks, basic environmental matters, and social commentary. He is the author of a self-published book titled “How to Become a Music Maestro.”

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I'm finishing up a phd at Duke University where I study African novels, which I believe are some of the loveliest things ever written. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

9 Responses to “The Abyssinian God | by Yiro Abari High | An African Poem” Subscribe

  1. Yiro 2015/05/21 at 3:02 pm #


  2. Michael Cahill 2015/05/22 at 1:14 am #

    What a thought provoking piece. So very well done.

  3. Yiro 2015/05/24 at 4:32 am #

    Thank you, Cahill, for coming all the way from Fanstory to post this comment. You’re, indeed, committed to the ideal of Fanstory.

  4. Avide M. Daniel 2015/05/25 at 1:23 pm #

    Fantastic poem you’ve gotten here, u are a blessing to d Rigwe nation, nice job.

  5. Grace gye 2015/05/30 at 4:29 am #

    Wooooow, a beautiful piece,thanks for making us proud and known, kudos and all the best to u Sir Abari,
    our pride

  6. Charles Dah 2015/06/26 at 12:06 pm #

    With such literaryfinesse? Its not long you will sit at the nadir of the pantheon pyramid of poetic greats that walked this earth.

  7. Pede Spartan King Abari 2015/06/29 at 2:50 am #

    brilliantly written i must say..but what is the motivation behind this poem for the Irigwe people? if its okay to ask@Abari High

  8. ADAMU BARI 2015/10/21 at 8:28 am #

    Deep thinking went into this. It’s time we do a rethink. Well done bro.

  9. yiro abari 2015/10/21 at 8:37 am #


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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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