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Dedication to Ukamaka

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Mercy O Merciful!

On my prim soul in agony

A woeful reverie called today

And a heavenly gentle sleep I saw

Carry you far away

O what can in Fate's eye be

Of what a vision false and I

Sullen as a dead tree leaf

With only a soul, a mere wee

Soul inactive in a shallow sea?

A godless soul would die as dregs

In my scathing pitiless pain

Were I not that drop of foggy milk

Then into a fetus lump and I

In your warm glorious grave

Was shaped with bones and flesh

And when first I breathed on earth

I made for fear a twofold wail

From strange meddling force, my tender

Spirit afloat and your genial soul

Unbosomed boundless spring of hearty love

A mighty soul and weak fleshy mould

No teeth to sneer or bite a fool

No fist to fight or hold a foe

No eye nor ear nor nose to feel

Not even a tongue to taste or abuse

O a mighty soul and mere weak flesh

As tiny tot, I had my weak vim

All from that sacred teat, your sweet self

Stood a non-pareil single backer

And gave me your warm wings to perch

And smothered my tender crying-lips

With soft soothing and motherly kisses

With angelic songs, lulling and soothing

You carried me out with extra care

Under the azure village sky to feel

The breathing breeze of my home

And watch the beautiful gentle dance

Of the beautiful star-dogged moon

At twelve my boyish aching joy grew

When for welfare, you went outland

And did duly dispatch fat boon

And came weekly to look at us

Beholden to you I took dauntless

Impulse in search of knowledge

For your uncountable benefactions

To learn how to serve and repay

Afield for over three square years

To here where I was flung by lot

Here where I cannot choose nor say

Here where I am painted and called

By many sorts of filthy nicks

And no-cause curses for I have

Left my home-my dear dear home

I am Sammaarah and Zoul

They curse me Ibn Wiskhi and Zift

More painful Kusummak, they say

O lost have I my motherly pride

Lost have I my fatherly thews

Lost have I my physical shape

More lost have I my dialect's brogue

Nothing my meager purse can hold

Feel I light-headed, my heart bleeds

Lonesome and strange, I am belittled

When sick, when hungry or sad

When in dearth, in agony or fear

Where are those motherly cares, who asks?

My whole inward, my whole self

Ploughs through these harrowing conditions

With great difficulty

How many times have I shed tears?

In spirit, how many times my fair

Weakened heart has thawed in sadness

For solace home-idylls, your sweet lays

(Slow and steady wins the race

Patience and decency wins success

Life is hope and hope is lifeā€¦)

Have been fine lullabies

To you alone have I turned many times

And wept calmly to chasten my eyes

That they may see and read and learn

The best of what will be my sword

Never had passed a day and kept away

That memory of filial care from me

Better had I trod the deepest sea

And get me drown with unforeseen smile

And share my carcass sleazy and vile

To feast the sharks and cats of the sea

Than make a cant of your worthy She

If this mind should willfully a day

Swim across a distressful thought

Or ring a bell of faithlessness

In you mother, however slim

My end as vowed sordid and grim

Days shall come, surely days shall come

When I will reap - God be You Great

The ripe fruits of these crawling toils

These thorns of life

Then your sterling son shall I be

So let linger the crushing pain

Of assured decline

Tarry O inevitable end! Until

A toast of joy you taste, O dear mum

From that unforgettable tempestuous travail

But do not cast me off your mind

For all I plead to live unharmed

In a nest in your bosom broad

Muhammad Ajah is a poet, author, advocate of humanity and good governance based in Abuja E-mail: [email protected]

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Muhammad Ajah and do not necessarily reflect those of The Nigerian Voice. The Nigerian Voice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

Articles by Muhammad Ajah