Poetry by Èdésiri Onogè

Wahala No.1

the manner in which you are forced to live
set against the backdrop of life
determines the gospel of whatever you come to believe
in
mine  the Book of Wahala
the collar around my neck  keeps me chained to a cage of my own design
the collar
white around my neck
set against my blackness
so that I am ordained in a priesthood of a foreign order
a priesthood that to thrive
requires from me  amnesia
requires my reduction into number
so  the Book of Wahala
trouble  beyond the kind that breathes and breeds
with bullets and many a stick and stone  no  now
the kind that bubbles and boils  but not for tea
inside  a long gestating gift from Prometheus
yes  the kind that is liquid but unseen  within stone  I presume
the lava of discontent that has traveled miles  but knows not the way to flow
and yet I must go
on  and forward  amongst the throng  of whom
switched off willfully  so I resort to songs
to words  to chapter and verse  to eyes of old
cold
but forever renewed
to perform the exorcism  I must
of myself  by myself  for myself
all at once  priest  possessed  and person
of witness
I am able  I am able  I am sable

end transmission

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