The Messenger


Kokookoroko kokorokoro
A greeting called from afar
The children ran out excited
As if the message was for them
But then who knows?
Heads up, listen attentively
Komkom korookom
Another beat rang out
Pushing the mild hit
Into the ears of even the heaviest village sleeper
‘Oh how cute, it is one of the Kings messengers’
‘A tall and fine one for that matter’
A group of young women chatter

The morning of a market day
Even before the sun sets on his journey
The gong goes before the man
A metal gong tells the whole clan
The tidings of the hamlet
The days not to visit the rivulet
The day to farm the deep forest
And when a service the King request
The boxing day, a revengeful day
The long brooms stalked away
Up the roof barns where fishes are smoked
And the wielder showing teeth tobacco soiled

Learn Igbo language here.

When the messenger comes
Mama will always say
To bright little ones
‘Listen attentively, listen with your ears
They might have a message for you or you
From the king or the brave hunters
Come from across the seven hills
And the seven rivers of Far Away Land
So you must listen and attentively
There must be wisdom in every muttering’

Then each time it all comes to me
Even now I on my face keep hairs
I still listen when all is quiet
And then goes Krookoko kom kom!

3 replies on “The Messenger”

This piece has the vibe of folklore, with wisps of nostalgia and old-world wisdom. The onomatopoeia of the messenger’s call gave it a deep-rooted localized vibe as well, as if I was discovering a slice of a foreign culture. You have painted a vivid picture with an underlying set of core values shining through the scene. Kudos.

Liked by 1 person

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