Anticipating village ears
Groping the whistling easterly winds
Tracking approaching sounds, each steers
T’catch high priest’s obscure rattling steps

One, two, here he comes,
with a chalky stripe on his chest
And a dirty red as a vest;
with one or two palm fronds a-waist
And three or four feathers a-head;
With dangling bells that hung askew
and sprouting dreads- are more than few
He chants the antique ‘cantations
then sits amidst the misty air
to start the divine tete-a-tete

“There lies a curse on us”, he says
“A cock, a duck, young white bullock
A sacrifice with these is made,
thence your father’s sins’ll be expunged”.

A hustling bustling hour later
white feathers crowd the lit altar
with smoky flames and flamy smokes
the tense dense air’s pierced with hopeful stares

Round and round baba dances on
in tune with Ifa’s silent song;
with bell-ly clings and fetish screams
the thick thin air perturbs wide eyes

Just then, it strikes- a deafening thunder.
And then, it all stops- the bells, the yells, the dancing put ‘ass-under’
The silence full of loud questions
as Baba lay flat on Ifa’s earthy bed

”What happened to Baba?
What happened to our curse?
Did our hard earned white feathers ascend
and Baba, our only hope transcend?”


Written by: Arinze Okafor
Edited by: Kukogho Iruesiri Samson

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