The Pouty Wonder


You are the sculptor’s pride,

the attractive dwarf

whose ripe waist and bottom invite

caressing fingers of the flautist.


You, Oja, the wooden womb,

the mouth without a tongue

whose shrieks move men’s feet

in the eerie dance.


Agape like blatant seduction,

erect like roused manhood,

the handy enigma with ghostly toots

that wake fairies to our earthly dance.


You are the imp with the shrill accent

fondly accompanied by rattling Ekpili,

as Ekwe and Ogene and Udu ululate

in percussions that drive our feet wild.


Oh, you are head of the ensemble,

whisperer of primeval pulses,

echoer of the still and small voice

and icon of my native instruments.



Dozie Nwanna, 9th June, 1979



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