Big, black, bold and beating
Yet emptied of all things
That go to make heaven on earth
We have drunk of a brew
More crude than earth’s first bacteria
All sense and sanity banished
And sentiments rule our minds with a fevered grip.
So what if we were born
At the feet of the Baobab or the Iroko!
Or bred under the shade of the Udala
And the Oil palm tree!
Do the children not tell tales
Under eyes of one same watchful moon!
What if we choose freedom
Under the weight of the Cross
Or look to a Crescent Moon
And Blinking Stars for light
Or pour hot drink on the likeness
Of long gone paternity
For wisdom to walk life’s path
Do not our excrement
Make the nose wrinkle all the same!
Then what impertinence
Raises one above the other!
When the mother womb
First spat us out
Warmth was our watchword.
Labels and logos are the mighty
Constructs of broken hearts
They are iron bars behind which
The sanest amongst us languish
Though with different names
Do the children not play at the same games
Kindred spirits miles apart
What if we could tame our hearts
And just let the children play
As we sit on stools carved from the Iroko
Drinking strong palm wine
Under the canopy of the mighty Udala
Listening to tales of the ancient Baobab.