Thursday, 16 December 2010

Things fall apart.

for Chinua Achebe.

I sit in my obi
grinding my teeth,
handling my chin
sternly, firmly
as my wives people their huts.

They finally arrived:
the white devils,
the mad men.
They chant about a god
and his son -
he must have a wife, too.

They tell us our gods are false -
the Oracle, our chis,
Agbala, the earth goddess,
Amadiora, Ugwugwu, Evil Forest.

Slowly, they have destroyed us,
undermined us,
stolen from us
the minds of our children.

Our ancestors weep nightly
and the elders pray for them
to seek vengeance.

Inadvertently, things have fallen apart:
they have guns and iron horses.
They have disproved every tenet of our religion
and have replaced it
with their own,
which we cannot fathom.

The nine villages are fragments now.
The world, our world,
once so knowable
is alien to us.

They have cut through it,
through us,
through our lives.
Things fall apart.

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