ReadingHole in the Sky by Niyi Osundare - The Ready Writers

May 10, 2017by readywriters

(Choreo-poem. Preferably with musical accompaniment, the tempo varying according to the mood and meaning of each section)



Koko gbakokodi
Koko didikokodi*

“Tell my story,”
Said the Earth to me,
“Oh, tell my story the way it is.
Don’t sugarcoat its bile
Don’t varnish its rust
Don’t cover its scars with pretty words
Tell my pain the way it is
The way it is
The way the way  the way it is
Tell my pain,                      the way it is.”

Koko gbakokodi
Koko didikokodi


The day the river caught fire
And the lake burnt like Devil’s oil

The mountain coughed like a broken giant
The sky’s eyes were red with grief . . .

Plants whose lethal spills provoked the plague
Lay fortressed behind the hills
Ayekooto sighted their owners
On their way to the city bank

       Koko gba kokodi


Ever heard fruits arguing between the leaves
Over which got the deepest dose
Of the pesticidal plague?

The poison killed the pest
And later buried the people

       Koko gba kokodi


The thunder of the sea
Rattles the silence of the sky
Wailing whales wonder about their woes
The deeper the dolphin dives
The shallower its desired relief

       Koko gba kokodi


The desert marches towards the sea
The desert marches towards the sea

Fire in its eyes
Mayhem in every movement

The desert marches towards the sea

With camel-loads of broken skulls,
Roasting iroko trees for lunch
The mahogany for early dinner.
Dandelions roar beneath its feet.
The elephant grass has lost its tusks
To the famished poacher from sandy regions

The desert marches towards the sea

Alas, the boundless rainforest of my youth
Has shrunk to a frightened eyebrow
On the forehead of the coast

      Koko gba kokodi


The midday sun
Cannot see its face in the lake
The turquoise sea is yellow
From the poison of upland plants
The day they killed a tree
In the ancient forest
The chainsaw left a dirge
On the lips of the leaves

There is a bird in my heart
Craving for a perch on the absent tree.

       Koko gba kokodi


Seasons of omen:
One-legged frogs
Babies with missing arms
The grass’s green laughter
Has yellowed into sickening groan
Vengeful droughts digest the fields

       Koko gba kokodi


A hole
A hole
A blazing hole
In the garment of the sky

Oven-hot summers
Winters blind with ice

The Arctic melts like butter
As rising oceans consume the land

Fog-fraught cities grope
Beneath their fuming factories
The rain falls, acid,
On frightened forests

The Earth we used to know
Is once upon a time

A hole
A hole
A blazing, blinding hole
In the garment of the sky

       Koko gba kokodi


Trumpet sounds in the horizon
Green intimations unfurl the wind
Healing needle to the hole in the sky
Earth’s Redemption Army
Is gathering strength beyond the clouds.

Trumpet sounds behind the mountains
Green intimations unfurl the wind.

       Koko     gba       kokodi

       Koko     didi       kokodi

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