Come then, to Stay, Pius!

All assurances

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,

Saying Ewo!

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

 

Now,

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.

And,

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:

Omotighakein o

Omotighakein—Be koin,

Leo gb’Omotighal’Owogha

(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

Adieu.

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