A new poem by Amore David Olamide, part lamentation, part evocation of the spirit of an ancestor to come forth from the grave.
Igbo biribiri, Okunkun biribiri (1)
The commiserator of fallen trees
Olubikin, the deity of herbs (2)
The spiritual healer of inhabitants
Come to the surface and hearken to me.
The gnomes in the abyss of underground
Who used their mind as interface
E tara ṣàṣà, e sure tete (3)
I have conjured you up like a conjuror.
Rise up man, I call on you
I didn’t evoke you for something sinister
If you feel jittery in the otherworld
It’s the son that is evoking his progenitor.
If we impetrate Èṣù from Ìkọ̀lé Ọ̀run, (4)
It is the gatekeeper of crossroad that answers
If we impetrate a fearsome masquerader,
It is a Èlukú masquerader that answers from the grove (5)
Rise up you who have pushed up the daisies
Do not remain still
The stalwart is never unprepared to answer a call
Spring up like the tree stump rises before dawn.
Rise up and answer hurriedly
It is the child anxiously returning from the farm of the tragia plant
Àdèyí okin, it’s you I’m invoking (6)
The deceased parent will never fall asleep
Without taken charge of his forsaken child
Illness has taken hold of my fate
If you do not rise up
I will become Olókùnrùn ẹ̀ṣọ́ (7)
The sickly slave with enervated hand.
You who usually awoke the sunbird
Each and every day with his melody.
Rise up and become visible
Or have you forgotten?
How you sang like passerine bird?
Have you forgotten Olohun Iyo? (8)
How you wiped tears with the salt in your throat.
If you do not rise up
I will flounder in the billowing dust.
Rise up man, let yourself be seen
And shake the earth
It’s been sixteen years.
Rise up spirit of the otherworld
So the prohibitor who forbade your dream can be mortified.
by Amore David Olamide
- Igbo biribiri: Dense forest. Okunkun biribiri: Stout darkness,
- Olubikin: A deity associated with herbal medicines.
- E tara ṣàṣà, e sure tete: To hurriedly demand the presence of someone
- Èṣù: Yoruba diety, whose home is at the crossroads (Ìkọ̀lé Ọ̀run)
- Èlukú: A costumed figure representing an ancestor.
- Àdèyí okin: The household name of an ancient king in Ofa, a town in Ilorin, Nigeria.
- Olókùnrùn ẹ̀ṣọ́: An enervated guard.
- Olohun Iyo: One with salty voice