The night my grandfather died
even the chains couldn’t keep him out.
He lived and forged his way through
Charon, the ferryman of Hades, and
swallowed the sixth of a drachma
The brine from which
he came through attested to his victory
o’er the Test of Salt, of which he was
victorious. & again, the scar on his head
forced you to bellow:
Nnamdi! Nnamdi! Nnamdi!
For father is around, & in your offspring
did you see his face; & so you broke into
bulby tears when you saw his heels
erode into unrecognisable fragments,
this, you surmised, was from the staying
out on a baobab tree.
I have not come here to sow where men
didn’t reap. Neither have I travelled
through the elemental bodies to converge
at your shrines.
The reconsecration of the
soul is but a light year away from where
I stand; homage to the ones born anew
gaslights the very purpose for which they
venture: to hurt or to wander?
rests solely upon the solipsism of my
father’s father & those before him. The
toughness of the kola determines how
droste-the-effect might play out.
Before our earmarking as evil-doers,
have they stopped to ask themselves
who acquiesces to their appellation of
chis & personal gods on the night when
their hearts become tempestuous?
& tell this to your sons & their sons, that
those who place the crucifix on the
gravestones & think they shall have peace
should learn from the bats of the night:
when refused by others to be called birds
or mammals they pride themselves in
being what they are.
& since the module
for their foolishness cannot be
recompensed, I leave with them these words.
These prayers eat me deep & not in such
a manner where the words are efficacious,
but because of the unwelcoming embrace
which yawns wide among every kin I call
Give me a common ground for which
I can exist and I will; in your hearts or
labial call. For when I go to the heavens
I am conjured up from the earth, in blood
oaths and swears & when I sway to the
earth I am bathed in ochre coloured sand.
v. Spiritus Mundi
From where I come, a woman
throws a net into the river to battle the
river goddess, Oyese, if her child is voluptuously taken from her.
This child’s name is Nnamdi meaning
“Father is around”. She cries not wanting
To lose her father over and over again.
& in her anguish, the iridescence of light
shines on her soul & so does the elixir of life.