[i,S.I.S note:  Hadithi? Hadithi? Hadithi njoo. Sahani ya? Mchele…. Giza ya? ]


Your hand is heavy. Night, upon my brow,
I bear no heart mercuric like the clouds, to dare

Exacerbation from your subtle plough.

Wom(b)an as a clam, on the sea’s crescent
I saw your jealous eye quench the sea’s
Fluorescence, dance on the pulse incessant

Of the waves. And I stood, drained
Submitting like the sand, blood and brine
Coursing to the roots. Night, you rained

Serrated shadows through dank leaves
Till, bathed in warm suffusion of your dappled cells
Sensations pained me, faceless, silent as night thieves.

Hide me now, when night children haunt the earth
I must hear none! These misted calls will yet
Undo me; naked, unbidden, at Night’s muted birth.

© Wole Soyinka b. 1934, Nigeria

[Reposted from http://poefrika.blogspot.com/2009/02/wole-soyinkas-night.html]

[En mo’ from our resting places….. hadithi kama ya Muhammad Ali At Ringside, circa 1985]

…..Oh Ali! Ale-e-e

Black Tarantula whose antics hypnotise the foe!

Butterfly side-slipping death from rocket probes

Bee, whose sting unsheathed, picks the teeth

Of the raging hippopotamus…..


Esu with faces turned to all four compass points,

Astride a weather-vane, they sought to trap him,

Slapped the wind each time….

Only that combination three-four calling card,

The wasp-tail legend: I’ve been here and gone….


Cassius Marcellus, Warrior, Muhammed Prophet,

Flesh is clay, all too brittle mould…..

The bout is over. Frayed and split and autographed,

The gloves are hung up in the Hall of Fame –

But the sorcerer is gone…….

(1987: 507-10)

Hadithi? Hadithi? Hadithi Njoo…..Giza ya?