HERITAGE IN OBLIVION

a poem by Oredola Olamilekan Ibrahim, Nigeria

And our elders died... No, they merely depart

To take some rest with their ancestors, their gods!

Whom they have besought to give us the visionary mind,

The weapons that destroyed enemy's encampments.

The weapons that sent white aliens from our land.

Weapons that made us men, that made us freemen.But...

Alas! We have betrayed our ancestors, betrayed our gods

We have ignored their noble gifts, the gifts of wisdom

And have walked away in the presence of the gods...

We've killed the voices of our elders and live with our own

We have ignored the voice of wisdom, the voice of greatness

And have refused to wake from our somnolent snore.

Our elders died...

We have refused to bury them on the mountain tops

But buried them right below our feet, below the lane

Their wanderings, their toils, their sweats; in oblivion.

We've forgotten them totally -

Those who have departed

Those who have gone after the trails of death

And it is a pity, we never inherit their dreams

The dreams of triumphant victories

The dreams of perfect humanity

The dreams of joyous festivals...

We've betrayed those who watched the roaming eagles

Those who had felt the heavy blows of death

Those who had witnessed their comrades' shame.

And the rays of the morning they had bequeathed and bequest

Have shown upon our shameless gatherings

And the morning they had kept vigil for

Becomes our time to sit and exchange gourds of wine

The costly morning rays have been our leisure time.

As we squander and lavish our ancestors toils, but still joyous!

We prodigals of no sober minds

As we strive to shoe a running horse

To make a silk purse of a sow's ear

Busy chasing the shadow ...

And our real concern, our elders heritage;

Trampled upon.

Our Inheritance;

Thrown in mess.




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