Ina murna (I’m excited) 

The snaky road twisted, here and there

Passing pockets of forests tucked away, 

And when it ended at the foot of Ugwu Uwaoma

I saw the palm trees lead a welcome song

At the foot of the hill a banner hung

Bearing Mama’s poster and details… 

***

Now I stand before thee, oh great hill

The land of my grandfathers and my fathers’

For it gives great joy to see you always, beloved land

I taste of your warm waters in the streams that flow

I sing with the birds when they make their fine nests

Oh, the plum and mango fall in the evening

I hear the little happy children hustle for them

I stay awake to watch the stars that grace your nights

The children tell me of the day and moon light tales

When the days end, we gather to enjoy the cool evening breeze

To recall the events, old and fresh, good and sad

And to riddle on jokes and remember the joy of homecoming

***

Now I sit with the elders who tell how things changed

“Nna, you see in those days we eat raw grasses and fruits,

Now you amaze us with all these food that grow in can bellies”

“The pants we wore had much space for adjustments on the waist

I wonder why the new generation keep theirs below the loins!”

They smile, they love, and appreciate all that happen around them

Oh great land! Now granny will be laid to rest in you forever

I am confused, I am not sure I will find a better tale teller! 

But I will try to put all she has said and taught to paper

My face is gloomy and delighted; I have come to you my land,

But I have come because I must my granny bury in you, my land! 
**

Notes. 

For my granny, Late Uluocha Chinyere Duruoha. I must say that this beautiful soul has impacts in me much than I can imagine. Her confidence, her peace, her strive for excellence and intelligence. Most important of all she has taught me the act of tale telling. I will miss her much. I have been motivated by the tales she told, even the ones she told of her husband who fought in World War 2 in Tripoli and the Middle East and about the Biafran war. She has a warm place for culture and tradition and enjoys others company. Adieu mama. 

Rest in peace mama! Good night, my tale teller. 

Ina murna: Hausa language for I am happy, excited or delighted. Normally used to express happiness or joy. 

Ugwu Uwaoma: A hilly land located in Ovim, my hometown. 

Advertisements

December Tides


1

Tasty for the spoils of the dry month, we are

Dry air, dry waterhole, dry lips, dry paper

Moisture lost to the heat of the traveling sun

But our feet has got many options, wait or run

And today the breeze drives the wind to us

We savor, we enjoy, to you emissary we trust

You have come with the mighty Harmattan 

Your dry airs and heat has become our tan

2

Trees sway

With blur visions on sight

As a bonus for being alive

At the point of the year

Air so dry, with hot sun rays

You only bring us dry tidings 

Cracked foot, that hurt

But we the people of this land still loves you

Commentary: 

I have written this piece with Fampah Coyish, a poet from Ghana. The both countries of ours Ghana and Nigeria fall in West Africa, and enjoy the same weather and climate. We have written about December and her tide. I have written the first stanza and Fampah Coyish has got the second. 

Sunrise in Enugu


Alas the sun rise above the clouds
Without the mild weather all seem hot

Above the hills, greened with vegetation

And roof tops, which brown is tanned
The clouds blue upon the long firmament

Draw very friendly and smiling apparitions

One that will definitely see the sun set

Birds fly, trees swoosh, the airs sing calmly
And in a poets mind, a story is being told…

 

Note: Enugu is the capital of present day Enugu state in Nigeria’s East. The city is characterized by muddy terrain, hills, green vegetation and welcoming traditions.

 

 

 

 

 

Tudun Amba, Lafia

1

Sprawled across a fertile land,

On a hill overlooking a quiet river

Where the rains come once in a while

And when it does, it is a fine luxury

Trees stand, here and there

Occurring once upon a place

Grasses are seldom seen, the sand most often

The palmwine* taste absolutely sweet

But in the mug we see dead drunk bees

2

The skies are blue; original, authentic

The river, flooded with the big rains

Quiet are the calm nights, cold mostly

But the early morning belongs to the sun

The people like everyone else, smileful 

3

In the mornings, the children play on the sand

When there was no chores, or when all was boring

The noon; lazy, the sun bake away, tanning everyone

In the heat, everyone seek out a shed, a citadel

The evenings are mild, sometimes unnecessarily hot

Then scorpions will find their way out for some air

In the nights the dogs bark to disturb the peace

Making all wonder what they might have seen

And when these all merge, they produce a small village

One placed somewhere, where the moon shine bright

And the sun a steady member of the community!

Note: Tudun Amba is a suburb of the capital city of Lafia, Nasarawa state. I am currently residing in this ancient city of Northern Nigeria. The North of Nigeria is somewhat hotter than the South.

Palmwine: a tasty white African wine tapped from the Raffia palm and other special palm trees, consumed as a beverage or as alcohol when fermented. 

Ina Murna

The song on my lips are ones of rejoicing and dancing
Come don’t mind the sand storm that bother our gathering

My voice is not enough to sing, come join me make merry
See the green fields and fine birds have no sorrow, no worries

Smile the whole world waits to hear your tale
Do not withhold it, let it out it is surely well

The wind of stress play with us in the mornings
But, kei! We have the sunless, heatless evenings!

We can stay on the field or under the Cashew tree
Wait now, listen; you mean everything to me

Sanjuma*

Commentary.
Initially I was trying to add more Hausa to the lyrics, but I am still learning the language and so far so good though. Perhaps some day I will be able to write an all out Hausa poem as I did for the Igbo. Another boost to the pen I humbly say! Have fun…

Ina murna: ‘I am happy’ in Hausa language. The Hausa is tribe of Northern Nigeria with several unique tradition and customs.

Sanjuma*: ‘Good bye’

I am Nigeria

You have smiles on your face
Reminds me of my beloved siblings
No need to see you thru your race
You are you; one, unique and winning

Igbo kwenu! Kedu, olee, how do you do?
Come in, have a sit, taste this dish
You come in peace, we surely know
To you, all good things we gladly wish

Have you seen or heard the names we bear?
We are the people of God; Oluwa, Tamuno and Chukwu
We are unique; our food and the dress we wear
We say ‘Oshe’ which mean the same as my ‘kwongo’

Kei! Listen my cattle moos behind the huts
Can you hear? How tasteful the milk, fetched this morning?
When the nights come, gather for some cream sauce
Don’t forget to visit; come once, come all, salaam alekun

I can be Berom or Mumuye, I can be the the Efik or Igala
Don’t seek my race first before knowing me
I am Ijaw or Tiv, I am Edo, I am Ibibio and the Idoma
So don’t judge me because I was born a tribe to be

Note: Nature as an African

 

Mother Nature is an African. I say this because I have seen why. Africa is unrivaled in wildlife species and variety. I have had an Ostrich tower over me back then in Ondo state of Nigeria and I have met the Hyena which could have passed for a demon with her red eyes and big fury head and that was in Songhai Zoological Gardens. I have seen some quails and came so close to an African python! I have seen several species of crocodiles; the West African Dwarf Crocodile and the Nile,  the civet, boars, tortoise, turtles, giant rats, all sorts of rodents, snakes,  hundreds of different monkeys, wild dogs, hundreds of birds particularly the peacock, egret, falcon, parrots and the crown bird. I have seen many animals and plants which I might not recollect their names and places I met them.

Now I have climbed hills and traveled thru thick forests. I have witnessed a first hand experience of an African village and spent my time living in the rural. I have seen and bathed in waterfalls and her sparkling waters that washed down the valleys.

I hope to see even more…

If you visit Africa to see these wonders, trust me you will be glad you did.