I woke up some minutes into morning and bored, i decided to chat a little. From steemit chat to discord then telegram. Then people slept off, slipped off or called out goodnight like good neighbours after a party.
I was about to shut down and go to sleep but then i decided to write and the poem below came out. I am trying to share Nigerian culture as best as i can, through the medium of expression i am comfortable with.
While writing this poem, i realised something. I am beginning to lose the fun in writing. I am no longer writing for myself but i am now writing to please an audience that is not even listening to me.
I read somewhere that when you write, write to one person. Do not try to impress everybody, just one person. The book didn't say who that one person should be. So i will be writing to me. Thank you.
THE MASKED BALL
I am flighty;
Verses falling from my head like dandruff,
Passwords to my soul lost among
The tom-toms, the ukele, the talking drums,
The push and pull of the rhythm, of the dance.
The cowries sing, shackled to my ankles;
My blistered toes scrapping the pinched soil;
This black humus, this world; my all,
As the call comes and raffia leaves
And my weary limbs tremble.
I am the moon tugging the sea
To a samba across the shores of your heart.
I am that star, single, stirring winds
That drive the world about its axis;
I am the music and you are my tether.
I inch forward and pause.
A sad flute wiggles into the fold.
Softly, it teases memory
And mother's fire fills my nostrils
And i breathe the muddy earth,
The mud fish twisting between my little fingers,
The glee of palm oil soaked soup
Drenching lips and elbows with the sweetness
Of mother's breasts and father's broad shoulders.
The solo snakes into a duet
And the drum throbs to old rhythms.
Oh awaken to the crowd!
See with chalked eyes, the shadows.
Let your shackled feet dance once more,
Let raffia leaves beat the air to submisson
And nimble feet soar between spaces of matter,
Let your ritual speak.
I stare at my hands as the ogene sound.
I rush to the throne and bow.
Oba raises a hand; one spirit to another.
Then i twist about, stagger in between worlds,
And then i dance; oh i dance.