spread the Church.
The Holocaust, Israel reborn.
The Nigerian blockade
pushed the ogbunigwe into my mind
– and what fear it struck!
I sense your fear of me;
you’re Egypt, I am the sons of Jacob;
lay more stripes,
and, like leavened dough, let our numbers rise;
curse us with draught, that rocks may bleed water;
cast us into the sea, and we shall walk on dry grounds;
condemn us to the desert:
ha! Manna galore!
Invade our homeland
and kill our sons
and rape our daughters
and trample our houses to rubble
and steal our wealth,
but we shall own Apapa
and make Lagos restless, giddy,
and we would own Nigeria were she not falling apart
– loose woman.
send us out of here, and remain blameless,
for our ancestors move you vexed,
that we may return across the great River Black
to our soils red.
We are stricken,
but I hold a spirit in,
I am odum in the wild.
I am agu on the prowl.
I am egbe in the sky.
I am ugo perched at the highest branch on the iroko.
I am amuma that cannot be tamed.
I am anya anwu that burns fire to shame.
I am onwa that defies darkness.
I am ikuku; I shan’t be trapped.
I am oyi; shiver in my embrace.
I am osimini, flooding the world’s banks.
I am eke; I strike unheard.
I am Biafra, yet I cry,