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Fatigue

Fatigue, I wonder why your name

Is as you,

Why you stress and bother me

Even without an offense

I wonder why you break my bones

So that I may only feel limp

And sit watching the hours fly by

You tickle my nose, to mildly snore

And breathed on me a heavy sleep

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Muse: To the end of the Day

Towards the end of the day

I shall lay my head on your thighs

To behold the glittering stars

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Introducing the African Folklore

Folklore are tales, legends, superstitions of a particular ethnic population. In Igbo and other African societies, story telling is unique, such that it is a passage to transmit the culture and tradition from one generation to another. These tales generally convey the history, messages and old knowledge. They are meant to teach morals and virtues to younger people. I have been privileged to remember some tales. I was very close to the older folk in the community. I love the rural life and always traveled with my aunt during school holidays to my hometown to stay with my Grandma. On one occasion, I recall traveling with my aunt and in the hurry forgot all my shorts save from the one I traveled on. As my Grandma had no boy and so couldn’t provide shorts I was made to wear skirts. It amuses me when I remember that; running around with other kids in my red skirt! I was very little and prefered the skirt to going naked. They still call me Mr Piper, after the famous Scottish wrestler and we all laugh over it.

Most times, tales are told in the evening, after dinner and when everyone was back from work. In extended and nuclear families, tales are normally told near a charcoal fire outside, preferably under the shed of a tree, on a moon light night. If the tale was to be heard by all, then it will be near the village square. The story teller mostly will be an elderly person. We the younger ones had tried our hands in story telling. I guess this was the origin of my interest in story telling.

Learn Igbo language here.

Tortoise is the primary actor or villain in Igbo tales. He is portrayed as a shrewd person who cunningly gets what he wants and sometimes fails. According to my Grandma and my aunt, Alibo is the name of the Tortoise wife. I can’t remember the sons’ name but it will not matter, he can always bear the son of the Tortoise. There are other notable characters in African folk; the dog, snake, boar, elephant, lion, crocodile, cricket, leopard and the rest. Mind you, the names one ethnic group give their characters may differ from another. I hope you enjoy the tales.

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Atmosphere of Love

Love can not be felt

When there is strife,

When the moods tell foul

Love can not be felt

When the sails are low

Or the winds are hot

Love can not be felt

When egos are high

When words are faint

Love is a great virtue

That requires selflessness

Courage and understanding

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Greatness

Greatness is not a virtue of wealth

Nor beauty, nor fame

Greatness lies in courage, in faith

In change, to become

With experience, wise

Honest and compassionate

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Rising Sun

1

I peered through my window pane
The morning sun rose radiantly
And from a distant plane
A smile appeared so glowingly

2

Alas the golden sun arrives trifle shy
With the clouds she sailed
Growing above the valleys and heights
And upon all who on Earth dwelled

***

Commentary:

This piece is a collaboration between I and Fonuoha my friend from Nigeria. He is a prolific writer of plays and short stories. A better man I will say! He wrote the first stanza.