Tradition: The Rainmaker

“I ask for the strength of the rain…
Bring down the dark heavy cauldrons
With all the gross, stalky condiments
Maka agam eme ka miri zo n’ebe tata!
(For I am about to conjure up a rain today!)”

Chukwu Nnam…
I want to make some rain today
That is why I call upon Your Name!
Biko, listen to what I have to say!

I am about to make a deep well
For I desire to call upon the Heavens
I scratch the dusts with my finger nails
Staring up the clouds for a clear sign

I chew the raw leaves of the cassava
I spit into the burning fire, raising a fragrance
Hear me my God, send the rain with thunder!
For I seek now to watch the skies turn dark grey

I call upon the clouds and winds
Come about, push your little cousin
And upon the dry lands,
Now let it heavily rain!

Hearken to me, for I am but a little boy
Part and parcel of mother Natures’ dolls
I have kept poultry, I have tilled the soil
But now I seek to hear the sound of the rain fall

When it rains, let it flood the drought lands
Let the people come down from the hamlet
With calabashes and all sorts of bands
To take this rainful blessings, You brought

Let this rain fall both on the good and the bad
Upon the farms upland and down the valleys
Let it wash away the sorrows of the land
And let the green fields yield bountifully

I feel the airs gather around the Cloud
And the Cloud, herself gather above my head
I feel the wingless and graceful surge of the wind
I knew You would always uphold my words

I sit on the young leaves of the cassava
Humbly, I squat and nod at the chalked circle
For only You Lord I call Owa ra mmiri na ozara!
The One who separated the sea with Moses’ mantle!

Chukwu Nnam… Igbo language for God, my father
Biko… Igbo for Please
Owa ra mmiri na ozara… Igbo for He who makes a water storm in the desert

I paint a picture known to Africa. Some people are known to make rain fall at their will and to also stop the rain from falling. It is purely an imagined piece. The Igbo is a Nigerian tribe situated on the Niger Delta.


The First Rains

“Tap-tap tap, tap tap… Tap!
I hear the pat-pattering of the first rain drops
As they fall in quiet, indifferent but solemn grace
… From the comfort of my warm dear bed…”

The heavy wind blew up the curtains
Sending papers and nylons flying high
The skies are grossly dark and faceless
The wind blew even more harder
Bringing fine sand and dust to the door
And upon the dark horizons; come the lightning
Flashing lightly, showing off hidden silhouettes
Of trees and houses, which stood here and there
As the pat-pattering of the rains continued

The neighborhood grows cool and quiet
Wandering night birds find solace in cracks
The strong winds sift into peoples homes
Driving the heat as the Masai drive the cattle
As mild as the rains has pledged to be
The heavens stomach rumbled, but not loudly
Just a grumbling, one of a whistle-blowing
The breadths of the clouds echo after it
Belching in corners, raising a sequence
But the pat-pattering of the rains continued

All is wet, the roofs, the greens
And all that makes life beautiful
The rain comes in a grande style
This is his time, the time for some spoil
The smell of wet clay filters in
Nothing compares to the life
Which the first rains brings to all
The pat-patterings sing a lullaby…

The greying cassava leaves and stalks
The moonfly, the bats, the owls, all that can fly
The farm cattle, the birds and the shepherd sit quietly
Waiting for the morning, for the time the sun will rise
Hoping to see how bright the clouds will look
For the rains has washed the dusts and soot off
Even so, all live: faun and flora
And the nights ferocious shadows;
Quiver at the touch of the wind
A romance come from heavens
As a sweet and fresh smell of earth rise
When the pat-patterings fall upon the dusty soil

Now the weather is clement
For the terrible villainy heat
Has gone with the winds strife
The heat battle the winds upon the skies
The nights innocence and fate has been proved
Humans and cattle relax, so also all that is winged
The rains come slowly
The farmstead grow happy
As the rains pat-patter down the roadside

The joys of the first rains has come!