Friday, March 02, 2012

Torch Bearer

(For Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu)





The Torch Bearer returns from a one-way trip

wrapped in colours of Africa’s elephant.

He sits garlanded at our forbears’ high table.

even as he becomes one with earth – with pomp.


For three Igbo weeks, canons clear their throats

like the roars of ten thousand angry god-lions

prancing around our forests of bleeding hearts

smoke against soaked shawls of a blue-black sky.


Across the land, from the South to the North

and from the East to the west, there are tears.

There is also laughter, gratitude and jubilation.

In the end, the just always harvest vindication.




The hour comes, howling at us in the dock,

before a jury of our loins’ sternest seeds.

A million gavels dance in our nation’s air

and we dread the indictment we face.


Where are the chalices of hope and freedom

the Torch Bearer smashed steel-clad doors for?

Shall we fearlessly drink from them for life,

or have we already died - trying to live?


The Torch Bearer has illuminated our path;

many dreamfruiters died that we may stand,

beat our hairy chests and say our name,

if - we dare – to face our children without shame.


Nnorom Azuonye

London 28 February, 2012

No comments:

Post a Comment