AN ODE TO CHINUA ACHEBE

As you walk through the valley of the shadow of death
Deep in the belly of THE ANTHILLS OF THE SAVANAH
Etched on the mind was, AN IMAGE OF AFRICA
Burdened by HOPES AND IMPEDIMENTS

But there was A MAN OF THE PEOPLE
That was shot by THE ARROW OF GOD
To tell the story; in THE AFRICAN TRILOGY
Of HOW THE LEOPARD GOT HIS CLAWS

In the cold light of day, you beat THE DRUM
And when the sun went down, you blew THE FLUTE
For THE SACRIFICIAL EGG AND told OTHER STORIES
Of CHIKE AND THE RIVER, at HOME AND EXILE

In the MORNING YET ON CREATION DAY
Even in the OPENING WORLDS
We know that THERE WAS A COUNTRY
Confused by THE TROUBLE WITH NIGERIA

But while in COVERSATIONS WITH CHINUA ACHEBE
By the fireside, during CHRISTMAS IN BIAFRA
You warned me: BEWARE SOUL BROTHER
In your book of COLLECTED POEMS

With GIRLS AT WAR and OTHER STORIES
Here lives THE VOTER
Who is NO LONGER AT EASE
Because THINGS FALL APART

IN MEMORY OF CHINUA ACHEBE

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