September 26, 2019

I. O. I

By Kole Ade-Odutola

 

 

 

 

 

I owe myself
A duty of critical
and visual acuity
To write my evolving
history, misty-eyed
or clear-headed.
My story must not
be stolen by interpreters
of our time who shape
reality to fit pictures
only in their heads.
I owe myself
the booty of this war
of minds and images,
to always stay ahead in the game
of definition
and reconstruction.
Since the notion of home
has become a mere mental
construct, my planks from roots,
the strongest in the ancestral grove
I chose.
“Build a house of crown!”
the counsel my tag screams to all who
understand that a name is more than gold.
Don’t pay me peanuts in exchange 8
for hefty pounds of labor,
when “dollar” is the global name
of my casual intercourse
I owe myself
A visit to the portals where
The earth has eyes,
and can seal the holes
of poverty my account parades
“Seal the holes,” I say
NOT steal the whole
like bush-bent democratic whores
who suck nature’s juices,
and pluck fruits from national trees nurtured
with blood not theirs
We who are leaves of those trees
now dispersed to the furthest parts of earth,
are memories only to once buoyant growth.
We who are fruits
have become loots in private blenders
waiting to be re-made into refined products
for the shelves of the highest bidders.
I owe myself
the constant struggle
to become the ‘I’ complete with a dot.
So let jotters mark me
As AFRICA DOTUN
The newly born of old parents 9
The tasty wine that still sends currents
Into global commons.
The native thunder that will not be contained
I.O.I

-From the collection of poems,The Poet Wept, published by Atrif Academic Press, a division of Yooba Academic Services, 114 Meadow Creek Drive, Athens, GA 30605, 404-428-9640, United States of America.

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