By Ekong Sampson

They rejected the Chief Priest

After collecting his offerings.

They protested:

You are not from here

You are not one of us

You came from Wood.


At noon the prince was proudly theirs;

They swam in his oceans.

By sunset they abandoned him to his ambition.

They had discovered his real ancestry

In the ant-hill, they claimed.


On a worthless piece of unsigned paper

The fate of a people convoluted

As we peered to make sense

Of a macabre dance on a precipice.

Silence. Steely silence.

A mandate defiant.

Earth be still.

Hear only our light arms breath.

Nerves stretched taut.


After a handshake across borders

A new Nigeria emerged

Like a freshly hatched chick

Into the cool embrace of a dewy earth.

Suddenly they attacked the new dawn

With knives and decrees.

A bridge was broken.


Where, truly, looking back now, are the worshippers – A motley crowd – past, present – mouthing

“The struggle” but running in opposite direction?

Through time and season their masks protest.

How many of these worshippers

Actually live like the iconic giver –

There, with a giant heart, for everybody, every tribe,

Religion, family. One world.


We remain in the woods after

A judgment delivered in the dark

While insects chirped mournfully outside.

After a long meeting of uniformed elephants

The hyenas smiled to lunch.

The sharks took over and blood stains defaced

The skyline.


© Ekong Sampson (2021)

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