THE QUESTION for NIGERIA On first looking into Soyinka’s OperaWonyosi When Chris Anyokwu opened my inner eyes My mind reviewed the past and sneezed contingencies Then I saw thick shroud on the sky, And reddish-brown mud-brick houses in the jungle Near a big flowing River from which they glorify as Riveria, Where eagles and ponderous horses worship. The Riverians are many and strong. They luxuriate in pomp and pageantry of boom and gloom And smile at the quotidian tidings of impunitive looting. The birds cluck, frog and sheep croak, doves bark, bat meows, Pejoratively celebrating mutual richness and poverty, Suspiciously gibbering the differences Of the venerable but venial merger. The wingless eagle hovers in the lush flashing of lightning. The ligament is decaying, and the plumage isdropping, The horse is crawling, and the eagle is tumbling, TheRiverians are howling, and the rodents are flying higher. The lizards now have hideout in the cracks of the houses; Many things are wrong but we knowingly refused toknow. All the little the eagle and the horse have to boast of Are mainly what the alien lords And indigenous undesirables offered The peacock and ostrich radiate In megalomania and kleptomania- Avarice for muscle and gold. The snake swallows two hundred fowl golden-eggs, And is respectably pacified to vomit five and go free, Yet they are debtors of eggs to the sea, Borrowed for body building in abstraction. The land is blessed with profitable palm tree But they bring oils from the seas. Railways make history, roads make pity, And theirhope of health is in herbs. Have they not learnt? Painful scabs of their 1967- injury of three moons remainunfixed Yet the ostrich and the peacock are pegging stakes Of the fulfillment of prophetic rumours of individualism The lions and vultures are anticipating fortune with zeal To feed on the misdemeanours of The ostrich-the misfortune of the Riverians If the Mephistophelian initiate havoc They will hide allover the seas while others ruin Do they not disappear to the seas whenever headache winks? There is a thick shroud in the cloud If it rains thunder will strike What does the pendulum hold? What does the River keep for the eagle and the horse? Nothingness in togetherness? What! BY Kuye Samuel Oladimeji
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