I’m a butterfly
flying amidst flying thorns and bullets,
Learning the language of colours;
They say white is peace and
green is progress.
But my flesh is black,
Black is fear and sorrow.
How do I plaster a black wall
with a “white and green” cement when running underneath is a red stream,
I was taught red is danger.
So I sat beside Otamiri, a river goddess.
I asked her to teach my tongue how to despise a black skin and a red blood.
She beat the river into a road and gave me a roadmap with a calabash of rippling and splashing liquid to offer ogwugwu, then udo, then all the ancestries in the soil of the heartlands.
When they sipped mouthfuls,
emptying the calabash,
I broke it into three pieces of peaceful pilots;
Two stallions and a baldheaded eagle who led me to the confluence of the river Niger and the river Benue in the hands of new teachers of peaceful words of unity;
Musical band whose hit track is “Biafra!!!.”
They said “Bia” is come and “Fra” is together.
And when I said “Let Us Biafra”,
They dropped, broke and buried their mandibles for stinging, piercing and sucking,
They carved their mouths into beaks that sing of “peace and unity” and came together under a green-white-green painted flag, singing:
“Let Us Biafra! Let us Biafra! Let us Biafra.”
Synopsis: This piece creatively reiterates the non-negotiable unity of Nigeria as opposed to what BIAFRA really connotes.
Author:Ayeyemi T. K. Aswagaawy
Profile: He is fondly called Aswagaawy, the toothpick that walks like a man. He is an essayist, poet and Law Graduate of Lagos State University. He is the Author of a poetry collection “Oro N Bo: Dripping Words” and has been published in The Quills, Tuck Magazine, The Inspired Magazine, Omojuwa, Peregrine Reads, Pengician, PIN Quarterly Journal et al. He won the Sraf Poetry Contest (2016), Creative Writer of the Year Award (TPC 2016) and other coveted prizes. He is the covener of Writers Connect (WriCon) and Lead Rep, PIN, Ojo Connect Centre.