For Wole Soyinka, poet, dramatist, barman
Kongí, must you? That wilderness
Of mist, of stamens fissured in
Lacquered dregs embrace you
As woodsmoke. How vile is the warp
When it is done—strange camaraderie of
Shadows, and weed-fingers drawn from
Vow to grain, to stalwart furrows
On your teeth, a veil of execration
Around your mane. Name? Ah no!
Syllables lurk beneath the anvil of gods.
Sage cadences of that sort break
The squalid tongue—but Kongí, must you yours?
For your tongue is gold
Kongi, your tongue is gold,
Whose crescent glow round the realm,
Salt to withered stars, turning rafters
Lodged in the armpit of a bygone rot.
Your tongue is light, cosmic dare,
A roar of drums upon whose echo
Our multitudes drift, decades lacerate
As weary foretaste to the death we bear
To bugle wonders for a “third world thud”!
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