Written by Bada Yusuf Amoo

Wobbling earth vomits a young maiden

Out of lily-infested gardens to voidless void.

Dark paint daily and slowly molts its blackness:

The sacred oilbean, which smells far through cardinals.

Till dusk, feathery northern lights hits the bull’s eye.


At dawn older gods kiss away Minerva;

A pot-bellied worm hidden at the cervices

Of an ageless rock living, dying

And living again; such reincarnated soul

Naked as Death, a passage to life.


Mpania, father of all lands!

Gives a staff and a singing boat to bring back

The rattling anklet on his joyous feet.

He travels through the deep lairs of traditional men,

Sounding the crunchy rattle of a dry food.


The night is the father of the day!

A dog leads the man through the symbolic hands of his past.


Whose eyes can hear?


Whose ears can see?


Metal gong scoured by rain and sunshine is beaten

With a cudgel strong as the hunched Beetle.


After comes a split:

Broken in halves like the sinking boat paddled

By the dog and the man.

Man is a symbol of himself,

Whose garland sweeps the foul taste that

Hollows the head where the worms feeds on something natural or artificial.


Drums at the riverside!


Where are the drums to be beaten?

No drums, just ghosts running on wild horses.

Tickling sands, ashes. . . spattered on their bald heads.

Tum Tum. . .the waters dripping from the quavering hands,

Dum Dum. . .

Echoes of thudded drums at the riverside.

About the author

Bada Yusuf Amoo