I pick you from embers of rhapsody, mimicking the lost ship that forever wanders. Should I write you based on stereotypes and juggle wars from diseases? Should I shut my eyes and shift my gaze from reality and stare at a valley growing primroses or should I blink at the dust jolting for space in my eyes as destruction roams free?
Oh Africa; should I write you as a poem, sieved from ale to prove your maturity and preach about you being the cradle of life? Should I re-do Mama Africa poems stuck in the skin porches through ages. I ask Africa, the seemingly fortress of persistence, patience, luck, blessings and fortitude, how should I shape your poem?
Are you a woman Africa, or a part of a woman’s soul that’s without end and forgiving? Are you perturbed by the tears you swallow and those you clench and rain on your inhabitants? Is it that your womanhood provided the boon of life, the fountain of our very existence? Should I write you from comforting hugs or from the ocean that’s your eyes? Will you be offended if my pen skirts on your libertine footing scribbling nudity and pregnancy? Oh Africa, is similitude to mercurial emotions your fortress?
Ah Africa, be one with the mind of a luxuriant sloppy kisser. Should I nail ice blocks on your sealed lips and fight against the cold to melt on your lips? Should I put up a fight that despite your stubbornness, I’ll meet rhythm on your lips and have you declare me your child? Is that acceptable Africa? Would it be joyous to have you speak only when I kiss the soil drenched by my tears or blood?
Is it the Nile that has flooded your mouth or the Sahara that has covered your eyes or is it the Rift-valley that has swallowed your ears? Africa, should I then write you as God, you standardize your presence but are silent to your people? Is the silence a secret, a kind of reservoir that I should harvest my pen’s ink from?
Are you the purveyor of thoughts, the scholars’ intellectual requiem over fleeting hope? Are you freewheeling on eon upon eon of mangled contrasting from your shrewd spectacles and Greek reconnaissance? or is it that you are in deep thought, agonizing over the possibility of glitz and our proverbial preposterous? Should I then rinse my pen with ramification of the future and pour forth?
I temper, should I finally write about culture? Is it the only richness you can harness oh Africa? What pendulum should I use to weigh this option, is it bravery, mutilation, defilement or downright blindness? I’m turning tables Africa, lounging from my bed of burnt pages, gazing at rugged and silken fields intertwined. I still wonder, how I’ll form you Africa!
Eddy Ongili 2014