The Messenger, part 2

The dark evening is serene and calm
Though the vampire bats hover up the skies
And the little crickets quiz all around…

Many sat for dinner for it was a long day
The farms, the ponds and the big market
The smell of dried cod soup pass thru the air,
It was a favorite among the villagers
And this smell always gave away people
For the village longthroats, a feast is imminent
But it is a pleasant smell, one I savor so much
Now and then, we hear someone yawn heavily
From nearby compounds, I assume it was out of tiredness
Sometimes the moon came out, sometimes it didn’t
When the moon came out, the children gather for moon-lit plays;
Hide and Seek, Sand games or a nice folk tale
To be told by the most elderly in the gathering

Soon the blast of a metal gong goes off
”Kookokoorokom… Koorokoorokom…!”
The hamlet retires to great silence
Crying babies stay put suddenly
For the masquerades of which Maama
Always spoke of has now appeared!
Even Maama was quiet, perhaps scared
For she also paid attention to the intruder
”The people of Amaigbo, the elders, the men
The women, the youth, the boys, the girls, everyone!
Listen, I have come oo… I have come again oo!”
The messenger will call out, loudly
Waking sleeping dogs and the heavy sleepers
With those words the messenger struck again
Mercilessly upon his metal gong, two more…
Then he settled into his long message…
Beating the metal gong on intervals,
It could be about the new yam festival
A special village or Kings service request
Cleaning of the nearby streams and rivulets
Or when a group of peoples attention is required

When the messenger exhausts his messages
He leaves quietly, hitting his gong noiselessly
Allowing the hamlet to go back to her life,
The women to return their attention to the soup
The men to continue sipping their palmwine
The boys and girls playing under the tree shed
And allowing the infants to resume their crying

This is a continuation of a poem I wrote some years ago. The messenger or town crier, as commonly called is an agent of the traditional society or kingdom. His role is to pass information across to the people, just like the duties of the modern day TeeVee or Radio.

KoKorokrom… A sound made by hitting the metal gong.
Amaigbo… An imagined place

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