Friday, 9 August 2013

The Ekpe Virgin

At the Ekpe festival I was torn,
Bruised by the beauty of  a sour virgin
In a sweet flash of fire in the air
I beheld that little glint in her eyes
The darkness surrounding was powerless and dead
As  I reached for the dancing silhouette
In the dark night of the great dead
Ekpe zoomed past with his priests
Dancing, whipping, jumping, stealing the day
His might was perfect, but he was blocking my way
In no further the travel of our moon
Ekpe was out, dancing again but far away
The majic was gone
The glint, the spark, the fire, the graceful one
I searched and searched but she had varnished
Left to trouble, my love on emptiness larvished
I sought to drown in liquor and tear
In pain, regretted my lady wasn’t here
So drowned further, forgetting the day
The night, Ekpe’s obstructing my way
And I on my way home to Emelu,
When a strong scream came from the thick of green
In my panic, I thought I dashed in
But the truth is, I felt myself staggering
Still I zoomed, until there she stood
Waiting amongst the flowers
My virgin, my graceful sugar tower
Closer I went, “This time no Ekpe power”,
Hoping she would forget to disappear.
Instead, she laid amongst the flowers
And the last I could remember was nothing
But drowning in the scents of the wild petals
Drenching in the subtle rays of the blurring moon
Following that was a long, undisturbed darkness,
Soothing peace, helpless weakness
The next I knew was the sharpness of the grass on my rashed arm,
The scourging sun on my nude back,
The blurred picture of an Udala tree
And my clothes soaked in urine and male slime
Neither the moon nor flowers awaited my wake
Nor the night nor my virgin for love’s sake.
I gathered my strength and tried to zoom
But it failed so I resorted in helplessness
To staggering home, again, to my dear Emelu.
Choking my throat was the great shock
I met the doom at the crowing cock-
The virgin I saw was one who died,
Long ago, lost in the dead of Ekpe’s night
Raped by the ‘gods’ until the heat of day light.
Found in her shame, a lonely corpse
Void of honour, pride and purity.
Her face had become the mask of shame
For every maiden who dared Ekpe’s name.
“But I..I thought I laid with her”,
I confessed at home to Emelu
He laughed and knew my liquor took me far
My sanity and confusion gradually returned
This time on my bed  beside Emelu
A loud scream from the thick of the green came

And I beheld that little glint in her eyes as she basked in the subtle moonlight flame.