8574903677_3170e45e20_b (1)

Thee, ancient kingdom!!
Thrice gifted.
Father to the hills and the moat!
Created of sand and cockerel scratch.
The past sinks with claws
Into the soul of the present,
As thy sights splash across.

The priest king seeking Ifa’s face,
Slashed thrice by fate,

Nodding the beaded head
To the dance of masquerades;
Feet shackled with cowries,
Rattling to the throb of drums,
Talking to elder spirits.

At Ogodomigodo, he stretched;
Priest king, son of the 401st.
Eweka, he carved out of his loins.
Warrior son of a priest to a god;
A godking he, himself be.

Ha!! Orisha!
The staff did stand at the beginning,
At the entrance into deep things.
Alaafin protests his greatness.
He sits atop his hills
And spread his agbada in satisfaction.
The steady thud of foofoo
Sinking into his arms.

Ha!! Ogun!
The obe did twirl at the entrance,
At the beginning of deep things.
Omo N’Oba covers his lips in deep silence.
He sits, facing the square;
The weight of his mantle,
Held by the burly priest servants.
The steady thud of yam
Steadying his beating heart.

Ha!! Obatala!
The staff of Oranmiyan stood still at the entrance,
At the start of deep things.
Ooni; white on white.
He sits in the deep;
The dancing cowries sees him and hails!
He steadies himself, 401st spirit
To the draw of the ancient world.

The three from one foundation.
Ife!
Alaafin greets thee!
Omo N’Oba hails thee!
Ooni salutes thee!
The cradle of a race!
A stage of immortal battle.

The ties that bind
Strengthens like concrete
Under the harmattan sun.
Ife! I greet thee.

 

*******

Image by Broo_am (Andy B) via Flickr

About the Author:

Portrait - OsahonOka Benard Osahon is from Oredo L.G.A of Edo State. He is a graduate of Delta State University, 08. He was born on August, 20th, 1985. He is an unpublished poet, amateur blogger, teacher, son, friend and professional pessimist…He loves to write, read the prose fantasy sub genre, listen to people, watch life, listen to good music and play chess.

Tags: , , ,

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.

3 Responses to “Greetings, Ile Ife | by Oka Benard Osahon | African Poetry” Subscribe

  1. musa 2016/01/12 at 15:11 #

    Nice piece Ben

  2. Bukky 2016/01/12 at 17:52 #

    beautiful

  3. oka Benard Osahon 2016/05/26 at 17:07 #

    Thanks Musa (big black boy from the city call J and Bukky, God bless you and yours.

Leave a Reply

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.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Archives

“The Great Ugandan Novel” | Aaron Bady Hails Jennifer Makumbi’s Kintu

Kintu-event-image

Since its 2014 publication, Jennifer Makumbi’s Kintu has raced its way to hit status. Divided into six parts, the novel “reimagines […]

Judges Unveiled for the Black Letter Media Short Story Competition

black letter media

Black Letter Media has released the three-person list of judges for the 2017 edition of its short story competition. The judges […]

A Mosaic of Torn Places | Read the New Diverse Anthology of Young Nigerian Writers

FB_IMG_1495627371547

A Mosaic of Torn Places, the latest anthology of young writers out of Nigeria, collects ten stories of poignant diversity. […]

A Narrative of Home and Longing | Review of Inua Ellams’ #Afterhours | By Billie McTernan

ellams

In his new anthology-cum-diary-cum-memoir, #Afterhours, Nigerian poet Inua Ellams features a collection of poems written in-response to a well-considered selection […]

The New Things Fall Apart Cover is the Best Thing You’ll See Today

ekpuk-ephemeral-cuba

Things Fall Apart will be 60 next year. And Penguin USA is pulling all the stops to put together a […]

Akwaeke Emezi Awarded the 2017 Commonwealth Short Story Prize for Africa Region

akwaeke-emezi-brittle-paper

Akwaeke Emezi has been awarded the 2017 Commonwealth Short Story Prize (Africa Region) for her entry, “Who Is Like God?” […]