Sitting still under the Iroko tree,
Under its canopy of wood and green,
In the bosom of the tropical sun,
Silently sitting, staring at the world,
In the blink of an eye – the quick flicker.
Watching the frond, the machete and the man,
Watching the dogs, the sharp teeth and the bone,
The hen, the chicks and the vicious eagle,
The little child that frolics with the sand –
Brown like the colour of Lipton tea –
Crawling, standing, falling and trying still,
Again and again and again and more.
And gently throws dust at the furious sun,
Who responded with an angrier glow,
Prompting the cock to crow in the distance,
Calling on the dusk to restrain the sun.
Meandering is the path of life I see.
There walks an old woman bearing her load,
On her head, one hand free to roam about.
Gently she wipes the sweat off her brow,
And fans herself with the breadth of her hand,
Cursing under her weary breath.
The air; hot and laden with sighs and sobs,
And with the bleats of many a goats
Who straying have found themselves in the midst
Of Nature’s garden – the fruits and the green.
The shrubs ahead hold within them, secrets
Of the ant, millipedes and termites,
All finding solace in these green cities.
Without word or worry, they pass me by.
Each on its own task and labour,
And here I sit in my own niche alone –
A lone outcast in this vast world of men.
A hermit at heart and same in spirit,
Reciting the numerous litanies
Of Solitude and psalms of Loneliness.
The heart of man is a lonesome garden.
Sometimes grows a flower and again a thorn.
Sometimes flies in the butterfly of love,
Which perches here and there with sweet nectars,
But tomorrow lays a caterpillar
Which will leave the honey with a taste sour.
The heart of man is a ship lost at sea,
Beguiled by many tempest and by waves
Which crash upon it and toss it about.
Yet here I still sit like one in a trance,
Silent amid the roars and noise within,
Under the shade of the Iroko tree
Watching the world in tinkle of an eye.