Ala

Seeded dreams in the cornrows of her hair,
sprout in the moonlight of the bed
where Ala* lay dead.
Global warming between her legs.

We’d torn the compass from her head,
got lost in the thickness of her braids
and gave her a perm.
Built crude castles with the tar sands of her years,
sandbanks against the tides of her tears
as we carved out her womb to find the last eggs.

Still,
she never stop loving us.

Growing us promises even while she’d lain there bleeding,
as our little ones run wild
through the fading rows of her hair,
beating the long shadows in the lunar light
with tendrils ripped off her last gift
as we chatter on about their growing strength.

Notes:

  1. Ala = Also known as Ani, Ana, Ale, and Ali in varying Igbo dialects, is the female Alusi (deity) of the earth, morality, death, and fertility in Odinani, the belief system of the Igbo peoples of Eastern Nigeria.
  2. Tar sands = Also known as Oil sands or more technically, bituminous sands, are a type of unconventional petroleum deposit, particularly  found in extremely large quantities in Canada.


7 thoughts on “Ala” by Eldee (@codrojac)

  1. Sunshine (@nicolebassey)

    Very nice

  2. Very poetic, @codrojac. Is this an allusion to how companies are relentlessly drilling (in Nigeria) for oil, not caring about the future effects?

    1. @TolaO thanks.

      WRT your comment….. in a way yes, but it’s more about how we all treat our enviroment, the Earth (personified in this poem by the female deity of the earth, Ala) in this era of pervasive capitalism without morals in which we trumpet our “human achievements”.

      Also the 1st verse depicts a allegory of how our traditional understanding of the world is being destroyed by the excess of modernity…i.e the death of the earth deity via global warming. Was this evident to you?

      1. @codrojac, your reference to Ala dying told me that your poem was symbolising the plunder of the earth. However, because you used Ala, I thought that your references were more local (i.e. to Nigeria) than global. I didn’t really pick up the the theme of traditional understanding of the world being destroyed.

        1. @TolaO
          Ok….. I guess I have to come at this poem again. Thanks. :)

  3. nice, me na love it

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