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