Waiting for the 90th (Two poems to WS @ 70 and 80)

1.
Enigmata

(To Wole Soyinka @ 70).

You hated fruitless journeys abroad, yet
Aligned into a wasted generation at home:

Preferred Kafka quaffed in straight draughts
Yet stooped to housebreak Euripides for us:

A tiger flaunteth not its tigritude, you said
As niggers brandished their negritude,

But now your leonine roar at life
Dovetails with your mane and gait.

You who weathered the storm
Of our nascent nationhood
In the deep recesses
Of your avid patriotism,
Starring in stick-and-burst ups
As the going got tough,
Even gentrifying their can
With your esteemed presence,
Only to reap the teargas
Of a protracted militarism
Steered by outsiders
Outweeping the bereaved.

Forget them that presume
The esoteric can’t and creed
Of your bandanaed clique at Ibadan
Spawned the current mayhem on campus –
For how can your hirsute self
Linguistic majesty et al
Partake in a cornucopia
Of raw skull and crossbones
And not puke your guts to submission
In second, third and fourth comings?

At the ripe age of four scores
When this pen shall sing of you again,
Long may you remain
The enigma you’ll ever be
Even as they grope in vain
Left in the slippery wake
Of your instructable presences.

© Isidore Emeka Uzoatu 2004.

2.

Stigmata

(To Soyinka @ 80)

laureate des nos jours:
who’d’a thunk it 

capo di tutti capi:
on Kawasaki of penultimate machismo 

connoisseur per excellence:
of the arts, wine & all 

obscurantist extraordinaire:
raven bums up, peroxide palms down 

fabulist ex nihilo:
setting chume et al forth afore dawn

thespian sino dubio:
even in dramas of own manufacture

raconteur in excelsis:
& the man resurrected in ake childhood 

fashionista faux-naïf:
as in dressing to please the self 

nationalista in extremis: 
stick-up tape exchange a gogo

songista ab initio:
when Nigeria never jaga jaga –

ten things to ten men 
a la Paul to the Corinthians, 

yet John the Baptist in the wild west 
to the eleventh, 

as decapitated bodies homed east 
after the blackout…

longer may you live 
sans stigma

till 90 when this pen shall sing
of the magma in your plasma.

©Isidore Emeka Uzoatu 2014.

More Stories
Toni Kan in conversation with Sylvia Ofili who says – “Ideas for my stories come from everywhere.”