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IRENE by Stefn Sylvester

You are black,
You are wise,
You are beautiful,
Of creativity are you full.
When you dance
Wriggling your curves
From West to North
They stare like morons
Lost in your Eastern prowess –
Irene.

In your eyes I see Ohafia dancers
Chanting war cries
Dancing frenzy to the tune of Zik’s ‘opi’
And the tantalizing beats of Okpara’s
‘ekwe’.
Don’t blink, Irene!
I can see it now, so vivid;
The tall green plantain trees
Dotting Okonkwo’s orchard,
The tall palm trees along the narrow
path
Towards the stream where Luggard
The haggered met Shaw.
I see it, the royal scepter;
Offor Obi Onicha
Traded for the white-man’s gin
And the city christened Onitsha.
I see the dreamy Ala Ngwa
I see the wooden couch Grandpa lay
on.
Okonko chanting
Nwanyi Ubakala dancing
It’s the Yam festival I guess.
Umuaka at his feet – Dee Acho
Narrating the wisdom of tortoise.
The chirping birds
The croaking frogs –
nature’s annoying midnight choir.
Please don’t blink, Irene;
Is this the land in the East of the
Niger?
What’s the stream of tears for?
Irene?

Helpless I stood transfixed.
Like erosion, floods of tears sweeping
Down the hills of Enugwu,
Ruining the greenly farm of ugu.
This coal was a blessing
Until the exploitation craze
Blew Ndi Ocha to Africa.
They sneaked into our serenity
Stole our culture
And gave us ‘Creed(stain)ity’.

From Akwaette to Arochukwu
From Asaba to Igbo-Ukwu
Your grace, Irene have been subdued,
You’ve been betrothed to a fool
Who beats you black and blue
Yet cleaves to you…
Interwoven into a coat of many colours
A riot of diverse mental colours.
Oh dotting treasure of Ojukwu
The Negro Royal Scepter.

Oh Irene
The legendary Ada Owerri
The Japan of Africa
How are the rays of your Sons
Reduced to twinkling stars?
Must you remain in Luggard’s blunder?
Irene!

Nigerian Poetry- IRENE by Stefn Sylvester

Author: admin

I am a member of the WRR editorial team.

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