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Under the moonlight, the voices chant.
Young voices, and nearby, the old men rant
Over kegs of fresh palm wine and kola nuts
Spitting out proverbs and some, with coconuts.
The locust chirps purifies the atmosphere
Mingling with the scent of fresh brewed corn beer
For which my pals and I salivate while skipping
On the "Tabala" conscious, there was none for tasting.
The Village "ngong" beats it's music,
As the maidens shake their waists and tunic
Exciting the lads who gaped in ecstasy
Rubbing their hands in frenzy
Grandpa, in solemnity poured libation,
With proverbs, rumbled out incantation
While creating a link with our ancestors
Who sat side by side with our predecessors.
As the Moon weaned, we scampered homeward.
Accompanied by drums beating skyward,
Jostling lads, professing feelings with gifts of groundnuts
Many of them shy and without guts.
A score later,
With bowed head under the moon I sit.
The yard void of kids with just a seat,
Reminiscing the good all days
Now so altered in many ways.
The "ngong" shed lay besieged by dust
The drums reside in frost,
And while from afar, Don Moen does chant,
I realised our kids no longer play "tabala" and rant.
Such longing for the past brought into me, fear
while down, I let go a tear.
© Temajung Michael T.
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