BEAUTIFUL THINGS

Written by: Isioma Esemene

Some things are lost along the line
Some things, beautiful and fine
Driving down the lone road to the stream in my hamlet
It’s like yesterday; like catching birds from their nest
I giggled as I drove by
Mothers breast feeding babies and singing lullaby
Naked boys rolling condemned tires, and
Ripped virgins with little cloths coverings, as attires

I giggled as I drove by. It’s just like yesterday
I remember Jerome and others as we gathered to play
There was the moonlight rendezvous
Where we all gathered, boys, and girls, all of us
There was the tales by the moonlight,
Ancestral heritages, sacrifices and the Lion’s might
The Lion’s might, yet he falls beneath the crafty tortoise
I still can hear the choruses; I hear my youthful voice
I loved folklore songs. Wars songs for strong sons

Let me try seeing if I can still sing one more;
Yes! I still can sing “Omalingwo”
Omalingwo, Omalingwo tee …… Omalingwo
Omalingwo, Omalingwo nwam…… Omalingwo
Omalingwo, Omalingwo dia …… Omalingwo
Nne nei di na Otutu-aja-o………..Omalingwo
Elikwue ma yu atuna ngwo ji ……Omalingwo
Ngwo, ngwo onye oma………….Omalingwo

My God, I feel new!
I can still sing it! Oh God I knew!
Omalingwo! Story of the child of a deprived mother
Jealous king’s wives over ready for murder
Murder and deprivation if that will give them a son
To sit on the king’s throne and shine forth like the sun
Story of good over evil. Omalingwo!
A deprived mother’s son.

I giggled as I drove along,
Remembering my tiny breasts, when they formed
And more fortunate girls laughing me to scorn
I remember these things till sadness beclouded me
I am fully grown now; nostalgia overshadow me
My age mates, plus me, all gone to the cities
We can’t assemble again, just like broken pot in pieces
Oh! The Eve’s tempting apple of white collar jobs

I heard Jerome lived and then died in Jos
Killed by religious rioters with missions unjust.
I heard Nwasombia is a head dresser is Lagos
At 52 and still searching? Celibacy is obvious
I heard Nosike is in aviation, head of pilots
Even Chima is now in parliament in Cyprus
Chima, who spoke big English like “opprobrious”

My age mates, plus me, all gone to the cities
No more gatherings, just like broken pot in pieces
Still driving along the lone road to the hamlet stream
Still thinking of beautiful things
The beautiful hamlet serene things.