from Elegy for Alto - Christopher Okigbo
For beyond the blare of sirened afternoons, beyond the motorcades;
The voices and days, the echoing highways; beyond the latescence
Of our dissonant airs; through our curtained eyeballs, through our shuttered sleep,
Onto our forgotten selves, onto our broken images; beyond the barricades
Commandments and edicts, beyond the iron tables beyond the elephant's
Legendary patience, beyond the inviolable bronze bust; beyond our crumbling towers --
Beyond the iron path careering along the same beaten track --
The glimpse of a dream lies smouldering in a cave,
together with the mortally wounded birds.
Earth, unbind me; let me be the prodigal;
let this be the ram's ultimate prayer to the tether ...
An old star departs, leaves us here on the shore
Gazing heavenward for a new star approaching;
The new star appears, foreshadows its going
Before a going and coming that goes on forever ...