ODE OF THE CONDEMNED
Why do you stare at me?
What have I done your eyes shine intensely through me and you look surprised.
Why should you?
Was it not you that led me or do you forget so easily, what you told me
What you promised me!
And never kept.
Why do you shout at me?
What have I done that you did not knowing give me and you are now shocked.
Why should you be?
Didn’t you say you will give me shelter over my head
Bread in my mouth and hope in my heart!
And you never did.
Why are you ashamed of me o, brother?
But you put me here; you said all we had we will share
You will make sure equal will be the way towards making the best of our father’s legacies.
Yet you gave me little and later took that little, promising to make it more.
You gave me nothing but petty and empty promises.
How could you o, brother?
You of all people would know
Man cannot live without hope, in total despair.
You being who you are would know
From desperation, comes nothing but revolution
You should know
Because you were there when they came to take our heritage and hope.
You remember what we did!
Why did you frown now?
Because you promised to give me shelter
I took it, why do you scorn
You promised to put bread in my mouth
I took it, why do you frown.
You said you will adorn my heart with hope
I locked it, why do you condemn
You furnished it with despair and took from me hope you selfishly kept for yourself.
And, now you denounce me.
Ha! How can you?
You stand there, your hands raised in judgment.
Your eyes angry in condemnation and you proceed to give…
You cannot, ‘o my brother’, condemn me
For it is what belongs to me that I took.
I have done no wrong to you.
I have not stolen what did not belong to me
Not broken any promises
Nor told any lies
You, my brother, have you?
And you say I must die for my sins
Ha! Ha! I laugh for you
You have no right to judge me, nor to condemn me
I am beyond you
What you pronounce for me is your decree
I, have already taken mine
For Death is preferable than to live with you, brother!
In your mockery of a nation.
I prefer to go far from your deceits, from the misery and the pain of your injustice
Instead, I condemn you to your pain and misery
I condemn you to your deceit, to your injustice and your mock brotherhood.
To your nation of rogues and scoundrels
Of thieves and cut-throats
A nation of the greedy, the wicked and the saintless.
A nation you created my brother because you never kept the promises you made
Here, I will leave you
Passing my own verdict on you
Condemning you to life in the world you have woven with your own hands!
To live and never be blessed
Adversity, dissidence, war and conflict you will face all your life
Fire and brimstone, murder, tears, evil will fill your lands
I curse you with the power of Amadioha and the witchery of Esu and the drunkenness of Ba Maguje
The orishas, the chis and the aljenus of our forefathers will destroy any iota of happiness you proclaim
And Obatala will not come to your succor nor will the wisdom of Orunmila aid you
Nor will Ala of distinguish beauty and goodness, nor Agwu of the great Dibia
Neither will Sarkin Aljan whose gifts behold no man or Waziri of the wise counsel
Only they will hear your screams of agony and despair and they will shake their heads
Sad that love and brotherhood had deserted the world
This I condemn you as you have condemned me to death.
But my fate I readily accept far from your disbelief
To the Almighty’s warm embrace
Will you accept yours?