Come then, to Stay, Pius!
In all the stories and narrations
That good must trounce evil
Have come to nought
What happened to Agbe
And all his affirmations that
Journeys end in certain return?
Yet, the iron and metal version of your diverse selves
Has played a mortal trick on us all;
You have refused to carry Pius back home;
His journey’s end is a cloud of ungatherable ashes.
The last time
That death brought harassment
To Pius’ restless spirit
Along Oyo-Ibadan hideous death-trap
Bequeathed to us by shameless ruiners
Blockheads and dream wreckers;
The Agbe bird was on affirmative target,
Akiir’AjoKa ma dele-
The trip of the hand to the mouth
Brings a certain return,
As Agbe promised in the songs.
We knew that Pius is here to stay
Through the smoothest means known to man,
In the skies, said to hold immeasurable expanse
For all birds to fly without a clash,
Came the fateful crash
Leaving us no substance to our memories;
Memories of a genial genius
Who touched many and everything
And all he touched was a rust-less alchemy of gold;
Mindless death left us nothing to hold on to in fond remembrance;
Not even ashes in a bottle for the world to curdle!
They console us with conundrums and parables;
That valued trees never last in the forest;
They say Iroko, Awo, disappear fast
Into the greedy pockets of lumber merchants;
Merchants of brutal death;
Only Gedu, Ewuro, and valueless epithets
Litter our world with their seeming dead-less selves
Leaving bitter tastes and horrible pain
In our trouble lives:
Recall them in their numerous duplicates and triplicates;
They run and ruin Africa for decades,
Fouling our land with their putrescence
And we wake up to endless years of suffocation from their putrefaction.
Remark our very purest and bests,
Departing before we could sing lullabies to their bounteous harvests.
Pius, genial genius
Priceless bumpkin from our harried backyard and homestead,
Yanked from us, without remains to balm our tearful soul.
Ha, Pius, Haba;
Did you, with your uncanny clairvoyant precocity,
See it coming?
That it would be a brief candle sojourn
A whistle-stop in the global space?
Is that why you hurried through life
At that deafening speed,
Rampaging through the universe
With a thousand implacable Aces
Dazing and dazzling the world with thunderous roars and applauses:
Gathering Firsts from so early in the morning
Hitting the surprised skies before your sun has hardly risen to its full manhood?
And then no more,
Just before the ovations began to thunder?
Now, there are no mortuaries to visit;
No graves to lay a million wreaths
No symbols to dress garlands, homilies, epics, odes
Of your heroic and audacious exploits?
It must be then,
That you are here to stay
And outpourings of unprecedented cognomens
Await your certain come-back.
That must be why,
At the Ijowa gate of Isanlu,
Our mothers commune
Singing with a defiant united voice:
(Our precious, this Pius
Our god-son this jewel
Not even death can claim him from our clutch.
Come back, quickly then
Into the world’s waiting arms
So that we may not say