Coming and going this several seasons Do stay out of the baobab tree,
Follow where you please your kindred spirits
If indoors is not enough for you.
True, it leaks through the thatch
When floods brim the banks,
And the bats and owls
Often tear in at night through the eaves,
And at harmattan, the bamboo walls
Are ready tinder for the fire
That dries the fresh fish up on the rack.
Still, it’s been the healthy stock
To several fingers, to many more will be
Who reach to the sun.
No longer then bestride the threshold
But step in and stay
For good. We know the knife scars
Serrating down your back and front
Like beak of the sword-fish,
And both your ears, notched
As a bondsman to this house,
Are all relics of your first comings.
Then step in, step in and stay
For her body is tired,
Tired, her milk going sour
Where many more mouths gladden the heart.
African literature will never be the same without the likes of John Pepper Clark, and his soul piercing poem called Abiku. If not for anything, this poem described the mystery beyond the Baobab(Kuka-in Hausa) tree, here in the motherland, Call it superstitious but it is our tradition. The Baobab tree had meant the doorway of the obanje/Abiku spirit (reincarnated souls), and the tree of life; a torture to mothers but a symbol of continuity. It is called the mothers Dilemma.
Recently it has been proven that the baobab tree is getting extinct. Is this the fate of the anomaly of our reincarnated souls or is this nature telling us how disappointed it is by our lack of naturality if that’s even a word?…