Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Bells Beyond the lab

It has been three years now since I have been trying to write an anthology centered on the University in which I work, although I am not an academic staff but I am a poet and has authored three books, and contributed to as many anthologies as I can remember. Being in a science university with no creative writing courses does not make it any easier for me; it was extremely difficult to move poetry beyond the laboratory situation in any of the science colleges.

I have spent time in the chemistry laboratory getting familiar with the environment; in the Physic laboratory knowing the properties; the technical and metal work laboratory and I have spoken and interacted with the students and officer personnel on my initiative of bringing creative writings such as poetry and stories into their wads; but the response as always is either slow or not forth coming.
Being a sport enthusiast and a coach gives me some extra time I needed to discuss the idea with some students, these small groups of students who are willing to cooperate with me and with one another can form modules within the science classroom and work together on my ideas.

In the initial stage I wrote some poetry about each student in their respective sports, and showed it to them, the narratives in the poetry was written in such a way as to be descriptive with their personal experience here in the university, trying to instill in each of the students that laboratory implements such as thermometers. I believe that technical language can be rhymed and also can be made into personal stories each semester.

As the basketball coach I have also tried the initiative of assigning students in the same college to play against each other in the sport court. I assign questions or group study projects to them to use in the laboratory areas to research in the web and also give out some initiatives to use in bringing the idea to paper. The response I have gotten is okay, but most of these students seem to prefer writing their sporting experience in either poetry or story form than the laboratory centered creativity I sought. yet I could not help but acknowledge their efforts. There is a kind of beauty in what they write on sport; it rhymes with the idea I sought for the lab, take a look at this poem for example written by Salem Adejumo.

My name is Saleem
And I’m dribbling my way through the court
...five seconds and I position myself
And assume the winning stance
And as always I make the throw
And the ball hovers through the air,
Spiraling and swirling,
Then it hits the rim,
And goes round and round
Like Michael Jackson dancing
Until it finally sinks into the hoop.
Yes! My team wins
And there is a standing ovation
The crowd is cheering and chanting
My name was the whistle
"Lord of the rim!”, “Lord of the rim!"
Saleem, Saleem, Saleem.

Many students like Salem, with special talents in writing, spelling, calculator and computer literacy, Mathematics, logical thinking, and organization if supported will share their expertise with other members of their team/lab colleagues in the process and from there... who knows if there will be a limit to what their writing will achieve for themselves and the university from which they write.

I have spoken with small groups of science students who are graduating next year, trying to stir up their interest in my initiative. I have invited them to the e-library so that together we can research topics of interest in the school library, on their computer, and on the Internet whose access is free in our University.

Many of them have presented their works, though it is not yet in the quality to get out right publication, but there is an observed growth in the number of participants and the language used. Here is a poem by a student in natural science department.

I studied the ocean to its very depth
Observing by routine of learning and recording,
Inquiring and investigating till I reach knowing
Swelling and bulging to bear in the tide
Until I am the ocean, leaping and wide

I have showed this poetry with the permission of the students to teams of other students in other colleges, and have also encouragement others to personally try and make up science unit to create their own poetry. To the students who have attempted to create something out of the lab, this idea is animated as well as productive, and controlled from within their own talent.

The staffs are not left out, there is an observed enthusiasm by their attempt to bring poetry into their lab, below is an attempt by Mr Baba Joshua Olajiire in the Department of Chemical Science, by using the letter “P” as a starting point

Protect the environment
Protect its components
Plant, animal, micro and macro
Protect them
Producers, consumers, decomposers
Protect them; avoid extinction
Profile the forest
Precious are they
Population must be saved
Protect the environment
Protect the environment

Population of lives
Pond Ocean and sea
Planktons, phytoplankton’s, papyrus, fish
Prawns, reptiles, all animals

Protect them, sustain biodiversity
Poachers, be alarmed, be aware, be informed
Prey not on them indiscriminately
Pachyderm, strong and thick skinned
Parakeet, small bird, ostrich
Palm, pins, peas and parsnips
Protect the environment, living and non-living
Protect it, maintain it attributes
Population must be saved
Protect the environment
Protect the environment

Another staff in the College of Food science Mrs., E.O.Oluwatumisile wrote…

FRUITS

Let’s talk about fruits
Apart from the sweetness and beauty
Apart from its appeal and cleanness
Let talk about the wonder of God
For our health and longevity
Through the healing power of fruits

Lets talk abut the richness of carrot
Or the calories in each mango
How about the natural sager in a banana
Let talk about the wonder of God
For our health and longevity
Through the healing power of fruits

I like to see the color so clean
I like to see each so bright
Manifesting the beauty and spotlessness
Of these fruits into my appearance




This initiative of having all this collection into an anthology can prove to us that cooperative education is really working in a science classroom

Sunday, April 05, 2009

the JUJU in the Name( Ritual Space)

the JUJU in the Name( Ritual Space)

Monday, February 16, 2009 at 4:47pm | Edit Note | Delete
please coment and send any editorial input

INTRODUCTION

Introduced to the spirit of the festival
The poet participate joyfully to the initiation
To destroy the fabric of the culture
The foreigner tried to sell him at school

And the probity of rhymes calls him home
To watch his mama hip making a beat
Against the false internationalized perfectionist
That denies his commitment to come home

As the adrenaline flood the pulse
The brain feels the sting of the sounds
The string tighten the heart beat
Seeking his blood that went astray

he became aware of the road not taken,
The part the poet must suffer to take
It is the warrior in him that will decide for him
As the poet fought the conflict of thoughts

The festive scene is precious to him
There is something homecoming in it
Someone asleep in him just awoke
What the new world could never understand

At every scene the spirit wants to embrace him
At every path the spirit wants to be a part of his life
All its sense of mystery screams in his blood
And the drum lines satisfies the craving
And the theme here to him, is “welcome it”

I have seen many strange works, and when I look at mine I see that there is something weird about my write-up, I went through my collection of seven years back and I began to notice what I call the spirit realm has indeed existed in line with my name.

After my first book the music of the mind, I begin to pay attention to it, and wondered why my Christian family shunned it and me, I saw that there is something frightening about the writings, talking about my initiation in poetic form…the development of the book was hard on me- I mean the practice of men welcoming their own feared inner realm and nurturing it, I have been wondering about it and it made me more thoughtful as I read along,

The works were collected in my village where I live happily and free like the old Negro spiritual we see in movie and with his obsession with oral tribal warfare, the poetry were fascinating, within the realm I got the works from, today I feel I can see the spirit walking the pages, I have noticed in the review of the book by fellow authors, the new energy in the responses like the spirit in the prose, they comes to me like the ritual space, the festivity is still alive

I have heard about the significance of my name, a lot from literature and fables, many of them are false and some need critics, the knowledge of it falsehood move me to the direction of my village ,a place were my lineage originated, my journey has reached its dept now that it cannot be ignored in my poetry, made me so angry at many people who deny theirs, my rage has been increasing steadily till the dark side of me is clear

This write-up is the dark side…beware…

The darkness came because the poet is angry, because of the devaluation of his name within his culture, his genetic inheritance contributed to such obsession with the name, like the entire black race, the culture and their environment also has a claim to the temper of this warrior

Who is the poet…

I am the poet and I understand that no culture has the quality that can remain stable for decades, that my name cannot last that long, but I believe it can be long-lasting through arts and literature when they are stored in stories as in myth and legends,

That is what I try to do in my write-up, a collection that amount to the reservoir were I keep alive new ways of responding to foreign invasions that I can adopt when the unconventional way wears out… I call myself the juju man.

Can you as a Christian or a civilised person call your self a juju man?

I think some other local poets like myself probably have the need to express their cultural heritage, but the wording “juju” is always attributed to many of their African lineage, it keynoted a sign of inferior religion that many commentators sees as evil and dirty, it may be true in certain ways, but it is not different from the factors of life where the good and the bad co-existed

In my studies I could visit the juju ceremonies, I have memorised the acts and I have tried to find the words to express them in the poetry I write, five years now as I read the edited works, it is like reading poetry for the first time, the collection rekindle the image of innocence as the victim of circumstances branded on us by the foreign culture, that tempers with our local values

I am trying to use this poetry collection as perceived through the lineage of a poet, I want you to see the great re-birth from a son whose circle has been ancestral, whose name is attributed to the wording of the juju lineage. Try to explore the theme in the topics, try to read through the lines and see the words that have intrigued poets and writers all over the centuries. Read the totems of worship, the fact in the story with the words used to describe them and see how they fit into the lineage you have always known existed but have never seen

Do not run away from this poetry
Do not close the pages or skip the lines
Do not panic at the phrase, “juju”
Thought your fantasies moves toward the devil act,
Juju is something of ceremonies and culture than evil

Am not saying its spiritual work is clean
Nor am I saying it is otherwise
But when man goes out to dine with gods
It is something of life that calls a bond

Unlike the church that need the tamed
Here a man is free in domestication
To walk in the wood and learn a craft
Hand or mind through the lineage line

You must remember the ancient world
Does not consider the arts as evil
The wordless tension between opposites
Teach us to tell true stories and chants

Do not run away from this poetry
Let is initiate you into my realm
The instigation will help you
Not to shudder at my words
The good side won’t do it for you
Because all these personal fantasy are true
Welcome nene…welcome odede… welcome


"How I went in search of the native woman…."

I was with my pad and pen
When I heard the roosters crowing
close somewhere in my barnyard,
And the portraits on my consciousnesses
Remained within me, undistorted.
Creeping close till it merges into one
Moving like Siamese engaging in sex.
And with each crow…
I heard ebony lips in answer
coming with the dialect of tribes I know
with the buzz and yammer I know.
Take me! The voices said" take me!
Take the black nomadic women-

Today I can picture each belly budge
As the fullness of each breast bumped my arms
Thrusting at me such hard brown midriff,
as inks that puts words in my manuscripts.

Today I can picture each rhythmic sway
with lines reacting to the kinsman scorn
Who said my colour was against such erotic filth
That were the revelation of my poetic prowess

Today I encircle each vast native hip
essaying apiece the portrait in my perception
The tempter voice in my line of print
Recreates bodies I know of a all the women
controlling my thoughtful penmanship

Now it is always like this whenever I heard
Of roosters crowing in the village yard
With memories of the portrait of the women
remaining within me, undistorted
Creeping close till it merges into one
edited like the transsexuals play

How I went in search of my ancestral heritage…

In search of my ancestral heritage
I was drawn to my mind
There I see within the stillness
At the greatest of all beauty
On the art born within,
The limitless boundaries to all I can do
To celebrate the festivity of my clan

Studying forms focusing within me
My concentration attenuated the village
Like a native drum beating at my temple
it trapped the patterns of the esan dirge

seeking a dance on human history
with motif back on the ancestral acts
I seek to detect the nene echoes
Lines of the nativity in the culture
using my pen to imitated the castanet
of esan serenade within the village square

How I went in search of my ancestral tribe…"

Inspired by legends of the Esan tribe
To the gods of the Esan tribe
I offered blood sacrifice on an Esan shrine
To make the Esan tribe my tribe

Bound and somnolent endurance screamed
In studying the art of the Esan tribe
To make me the act of the tribal village
Before I touch the cowries
these forbidden things of the tribe

Because my lineage were of the kings
It was my art that I acted upon
till elders bruised my feet on the tribal stone
and I was crowned the Onojie
By king makers in an Esan village

I write and edit in respect of them
And speak the truth of legend of the tribe
To appease the temper of the gods of the tribe
Least they strike the poet on the tribe
Before he get the press
For lies against the Esan culture

"How I went in search of the ancestral hunter…"

At night I choose a clearing
And traced a circle around it
And build a fire within it fold
As I chant incarnations
To appease the gods of the night
And let the juju grove

My thought comes in throbs of drum
As I lay on the earth
and the distance footstep
Echoes from travelled past
Beats like my impatient pulse
As I sleep and yet not sleep

I lived with the eyes of the night
Where it glows beyond the trees
and the fireflies' around the silent forest
with the flames through the cracking coal
Gives a glow to the moonless night
And makes my manic so real

I sleep within the ring
And nothing dare disturb me
Nor the smallest working ant
Or the biggest of all beasts
Dare to pass the police line
As I try to make my art into act


"How I went in search of the slave route…………….

Somewhere I heard a villager cry
in dialect like signs buried deep in dreams
and within, the words more ours came back to me
hunting savage lines against my memory
rhymes of black hands and feet and faces
The act of the unforgiving slaves
Recreated anew within me

My pen;
Responding to the fury in my mind
Like a blade of grass bending to the wind
My language as always was theirs
Their pain in my print was mine
I wrote as if it was a second tongue
because my rage has captured my poems utterly

As I write the pencil inflict deep sore
being wounded I edit this poetry
Gnawing away at these foreign vocabularies
And give my village grammar upper pages
in dialect like signs buried deep in dreams

"What I saw in the Shrine of my village…."

Empty cocoa pods on a shrine
Mashed and blackened with sooth
Used to invoke the gods
As the juju man recite incantations
To god of the green
For the pacification of new harvest

a shell of an African native turtle
Preserve the heritage in the shrine
Painted with mud polish
In the characteristic of modern time
To make it all seem real

there is only one cup for the priest
Made of calabash with lineage prints
and the seven cowries within its bowel
Is like opening an imaginary book
To study prints that lay within

the spear has bone for blade
Adorned with streak of red
Is like being enclosed in a space
Knowing that you were being protected
By ancestors you couldn't see

The oracle on a shrine
Is for a god designed atheist
Sustaining a miracle of self belief
With an oath of abracadabra
Like this poetic lines

Snake fags adorned on the wall
Has its charm with a serpent hiss
and the three pairs in each circle
Believed to bring good luck
To these evil to the bone

inertial mask and dogwood
With dead things on the shrine
To breathe life into dead space
For the Resurrection of the dead
That is dead to the church

I like the insect pinned on walls
though not really a native craft
But the art of our ancestress
whose the tribal passion inspired me
as part of the totem of worship

the was a skull of a vulture
To listen to the voice within
As I call on you with a pagan tongue
Here I invoke the spirit

A mirror on a shrine
That shows things that were not in front of it
Was as real as it seems
In the word of the lie

White native chalk on a shrine
got from the blood red hills
Use to trace pattern
Of friends or foes

A gong on a shrine
The language the god knew
As the testicle beat the dirge
The sound inspired me

"How I found the oracle………."

Haunting the music of the mind
Looking through the peephole for fresh insight
I dreamed of a different word to change my world
Rooted in the genes of a true Esan son

As I tiptoed through the part my fathers once trodden
To invoke the past that haunts my dreams
The spirit moves me to my native tribe
To essay my find
among the people of my birth

A man I was the color of night
As I go at the drift of my dream
and after so many search…
Suddenly it comes to me

Like a dog the has just caught sight of game
I look up at the moment I heard it
Looking sideways, yet while facing forward,
The sound came again and again

Softly with a fuller harmony
Slowly that the notes were hardly audible
And yet I heard it again and again
Delicate nuance in a native duet
Moving through the dense cloud of my memory –

onojie, onojie, onojie
I caught only words and phrases
In form of things

suddenly like a lonely adieu
I recognize the music
Always different from the drumming
Hammering away at my temple

And yet I knew
As I scratch my balls
With the vestige of a native intuition
The sudden knowledge grew
Like living in a trance, like coming home,
Home to a place you have always known
But have never been
(Though you were born there)

as I heard the voices
And the accompanying drums
The rumble of thump at a diminishing tune
Conveyed everything to me
Miracle of my own first perceiving
From this section of my village
Joined me now in celebration
and breathe the tip of our reality
In the poetry I write


THE STUDY OF MY NAME

“One writes out of one thing only…one own experience, the only really concern of the artist is to recreate out of the disorder of life, that order which is …art” James Baldwin

I am “omosun” Yes I am, that is what I discover, poem after poem, story after story, the author in his own drama… I was moved with the insightfulness of my own message, discovering myself in every step, it is happening now as I write about me…the “omosun” I knew, the son of juju pot.

I am “omosun’ when I think about it I just get really immersed in it, ironically it was the meaning of the name that gave me the serious interest I had with the African literature

The son of juju… Sometimes I could just get lost in thought, and a whole picture will come to me, a whole poetry, it frighten me sometimes, looking at my finished works, asking myself if they were mine, yet the answer is there, my hands wrote them, I am not the voice, it was the spirit, it is, yes it was the spirit within Omosun

Imagining the scenes surrounding tribal name is like a painters act, like poetry… once you get the ingredient down you work on them, you can change the word but never the spirit

The study of me, though imbued with religion themes expresses my own personal faith and opinions about my lineage, the fascination of the unknown that has been a part of my life ever since I learned the meaning on my name, ”omosun”


Wish I with the name could only waltz
With the study of more skulls than men
Then the later generation will have a name
A dynasty formed by this poetic myth
The words could consolidate the travelled realm
Its factors, faction and fact that whispers by
As our bodies merge with our heart as one
Through birth, death and ancestral arts


PRIDE IN MY NAME
My name gave me a hold to what the world has lost, a possession that could make me a god, the “omosun” that is true to the juju deity, I claimed it because I alone have it to share, with the spirit possessions still intact, as I try to recapture its power through my poetry.

Believe me, the incarnations I study could work on me as I write, till I am no longer who I thought I was, and the spiritual values in its institution will no longer be confined to the village shrine…I pray it will creep over the globe through the work of my hands

My name could give me the power to persuade my brothers home to the village, because the voice is in me, it has sharpened my poetic talent through the thunder of the ‘omo’ (omo derived from the first three letters of my surname mean Son in my native Esan)- and the hunger of the Osun (Osun the last four letters of my name means shrine or juju). I am either from the shrine or juju.

So today as an African poet I am proud to say…I am “omosun” I give what I have to give, a creation of gods as it has been at its prime, prints from a mind that knew such facts writes about the drama of possession when the son was once as one with the gods

The view of the modern mind is that the name has to die as they trample upon its value and power derived from the racial and cosmic past, I laugh to think of it, because they were wrong, the spirit has never been killed, it will lie low for a while, and them it will come again from its source, it will grow in us and nurture us, feed upon our mind and body when all hope is lost.

Slave Story: unedited reasonable lies

Slave Story: unedited reasonable lies

Wednesday, March 4, 2009 at 4:05pm | Edit Note | Delete

I have walked the roads less travelled by truth and on each path I quote lies in what I wrote as I try to make myself believe that the slave story is what I held against the missionaries who were stressing man’s submission to humiliations like us of old, people do read me and they do believe my lies with all its reason, lies about being angry against these missionaries when in truth I ate from the missionary table, in Esanland I lied that they…the missionary coming to visit are conditioning my kins to accept their chains as the story said… while in truth I asked myself what could it have been with out the white man coming, and the more I lied the more something in my poetry made me into each stroke of an axe on oak…the kin who sold of his brother though the old badagry route

…when I wrote about slaves in a ship from the slavery stories I read at school, I lied that I have felt it in my clan, knowing I have never been whipped, or felt the power of the radiated pain in my words as the reader,

when at times I could lie about being that cry of a mule I felt it too, in the field the slaves becomes the mule, and the mule becomes the liar, till the poet know not which, I have never written any fulfilment a slave felt, all is pain and whip and pain,

…and I lied when folks ask who I am to my poetry-
with words that quotes that I am the crack of a whip, the hiss as the whip hit on each flesh, I said I am it, but in truth I think it was what claimed the savage in out lineage

once assuming that I can be everything in the past I wanted to study, to try and feel what I read the slaves felt, I decided to work and work and in the farm I write and write, said I am the past but I know am not the past, I lied to myself because I am a poet who creates, and haven created the reasonable lies, the lies becomes my reasoning.

Yesterday some young Nigerians writers came up to me and ask to be part of my creation, they wanted to act the cotton field as in my poetry or the sugar plantation where papa slaved, said they love my lies that are reasonable, they wanted to be able to acclaim the Alleluia exclaim by freedman without feeling them, and be able to see a slave who dived overboard to swim back ashore, and learn the course and the chart of the Mississippi river that wallows through the lying pages

Many of these Nigerian poets does not like the use the word “nigger” in the stanza, so they ask of what my wording nigger-creates, can it bring the past by recalling the nigger-past?, When in the modern world we prefer word-blacks

I said the “nigger” wordings are like the effort by the bridle of a mule hauling the nigger “pen”, or an extra push on papa ox to till a soil for new harvest, or bring revival for the soul like the massa of the overseer and that I prefer the nigger to the word “black” I said for reasonable doubt, I said because I have suffered as them, though in my quotes I saw the lies…I have never swam in all one's overall and find out how it feels in the nigger pen, I have never dived into a world of letters and fished out the secrets of the deep plantation pit, all I did was to stand in front of a mirror and see myself a slave, I try to make these act my arts and make the spirit live-

I have never switched of the air-condition and feel the heat of the hold or to take off my sanders and walk bare foot in the village wood, I have never tried to make these act my act and make the spirit live- I just live the art in my imagination

I know that till I do that; words are just words to me, till I do that my act is just an act, not act but art like a white with a mic calling himself a black African, but I needed to lie that I have done and seen,
.
At times I accepted my lies like a whining conscience and allows the shackled voices to creeps at me…toward a dark and frightening periphery' and within I was able to see things I never thought I could see…the lies has reasoning within the hypocrisy that hid the black race,

At times I keep trying to negotiate a truce as internal monologues insist on venting themselves out into words telling me exactly what I needed to write, I knew that the voices is baiting me, and I don't just let it do it
I actually seems to like it
as it calls me all the names in 'black'.
Forcing me into an edge of a dark vortex of rage
to which I am constantly withdrawn
as I get the press
With my lies;

Black apple it calls me
Black sheep it calls me
Black this black that
Black 'bad-bad-bad-bad'

I try to stench my fear in my poetry
By exploiting my own 'niggerness'
telling myself it was only a phrase
As I play dumb jokes on my 'BLACKNESS'
yet each time when my anger came out in my poems
each time the voice worked on me
the words seems to grope for me,
at the image of me…
at the mercy of a 'shackled voice'…
beyond the 'Mississippi' river

I must confess that I write of the slaves
A people I do not know
Because I am a writer
And I needed to write
And as each occasion dictates
The black history month’s bacons
With polished penmanship
smeared up with the blood
of slaves I said I really do know

but I have to ask constantly
in Africa where I find the great romanticism
And with the power of the pen
I have to ask of why
each turkey came shaking the backside
to applaud the stick I gave the white

and because I can write
the words creeps at me
nigger words through the track of my mind,
like ancient words cut long ago
before the Whitman comes...

as the scars scream out
I lied in my muse-
And as you read my work
It became the truth

such was the story
I have learned to lie about
With quotes putting me up among legends
born long centuries ago before me

END

Today I saw a tribal kid…
With a beggars bowl…
in an intimate palm,
as he looked up to me
I begged him to be
the field and toil of men

because he have got the smell
of a Negro toil…
flooring the privy,
something like a pig pen
after a day work in the farm

I wished him to dress like
the identity of the past
by the reason of our existence
so its authenticity and usefulness
in the lineage of history
will be reborn
in the poetry I write

In my fantasy toward the waters
Of acts the pen recreates
…the smell as the current directing my thoughts
or of the dead afloat toward a shore-
the storm attacking the ship
the human-driftwood in the water-
the secret of the sea passage
the slave deep in the ship hold
and the motion of the sea

these are what he was to me and could be
to my writings-
like the wreck on the ocean floor
or the squall in all it fury and storm
like the sea that lives throb and breath

Believe me as I recreate the scene
I see him in the slave story-
Because I am a poet whose lies can calm the savage in the penmanship

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Friday, January 04, 2008

Africa: Rhythm of Memorial (introduction poem)

The chilling truth that people under the control of cult leaders are capable of the most horrible atrocities imaginable can not be overemphasised… so the best solution is that we writers have to educate them, for in such education we promote peace

We need to do this for African freedom and liberty.

Let us reveal the religious and ethnic leaders who promote a culture of absolute obedience, separation from the “other”, and embrace violence, let us look for them and warn the authorities in such a region of what may happen when such leaders are bought

This Kenya crisis is not the first, our continent is unjustly victimized even today
Because of the loyalty of these leaders

Priestly craft against our culture
All natives lost to papal claims
The ideal freedom dearer than the blood
Of brothers condemned to a cruel death

What agitate us to throw stones?
What hate roam confined within?
That restless spirit wanting to be freed
And rampage within the African coast

Slave to oppression we moan about it
Cried to slavish and religious superstitions
Till the charms of hate release
The struggle of the degrading claims

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Friday, August 17, 2007

In Conflict writing…They came in landing

In Conflict writing…They came in landing

I can’t explain the exact difference
between memory and recollection
both to my poetry
are like analyzing
…a dream
In Conflict writing…
They came in landing
craft
and airplanes
and helicopters
and the breath were
the hot steam of war
sigh a murmur
from the congregated dead
ziz-zaged as the arrangement of this poem
I recreate
A land of racial ghost
and ethnic fear
Moss grow of the dead
as carpet on the trunk of trees,
and on a new page
a fresh grave lay beneath
dripping branches
underneath each story
I recollect of politicians
…the
Phantom turning to the amazing heat of flames
when they encounter resistance
from the poor
and the hungry
memory of the militants
recollection of religion
politics
area boys
genocide! Genocide! genocide
recollection
and if a native was to see it
recollection of elders
…them as they corrupt the nation
the native was shot
or killed by accidental discharge
faith in Nigeria and Africa are broken
Bodies are broken
Branches of culture were searing,
thorn and thrown
I recollect a little blood
were bone poked through flesh
Talks about the genocidal child
In Lagos street
Interred, the corpse were lain flat
In the north as in Somalia
The hillside grave drained
Our literary voices
Till rigor mortis set in
On Association of Nigerian Authors
We write with the biggest pay
Because
…for us the darkness is not a curse
The unborn child is corrupt
Me; tribalpoetry is also first a sham
The thankless occupation
That will kill me eventually

Monday, February 26, 2007

Topic…Herbed Education for Sustainable Development

By Sylvester Oseremen Omosun
Planning Officer; Bells University of Technology, Ota
www.Bellsuniversity.org
www.myspace.com/africantribalpoetry
08052130879

“I have traced all things from the start with accuracy that you may know fully the certainty of the things”
Luke 1- 3, 4, Isaiah 35- 5, 6.

This write-up is part of a resourceful research undertaken during my annual leave from work, between September 11th to October 9th 2006, the topic seeks to clarify the use of Medicinal Plants in relation to Sustainable Development, and why I think the strategy employed by saint Benedictine Monastery to the indigenes of Esanland [The venue researched were the towns around the Saint Benedict Monastery at Ewu-Esan in Edo Central Senatorial District] should be incorporated into the Nigeria education system in lieu with the aim of the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, with special appraisal on Fr Anselm Adodo; coordinator of PAX herbal clinic and research laboratories.
“The aim of the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development is to promote and improve the integration of education for sustainable development into the educational strategies and action plans at all levels and sectors of education in all countries.”
The decade running from 2005 to 2014 was declared by The United Nations as “the decade of Education for Sustainable Development.” According to the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO),
Below I will try to explain how with the aid of a monastery herbal garden, a monk has affirmed with UNESCO key themes in education for sustainable development in Nigeria, which are:
1. Overcoming Poverty through herbal medicine,
2. Health Promotion,
3. Environmental Conservation and Protection,
4. Rural Transformation: Education for Rural People ,
5. Understanding and Peace,
6. Sustainable Production and Consumption ,
7. Cultural Diversity and,
8. Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).
Plants are the ideal educational tools for the natural habitat attributed to Africa, and I believe that the study of the various African plants can be used in virtually every subject across the sustainable development initiative as well as the University curriculum if accredited. I also believe that the fate of the world’s environment will depend to a great extent on the actions and decisions of plants conservation for the said development strategy, my belief planted this article
· Environmental Conservation and Protection,
During a two week period of researching some of the herbs gardens with the priest who is currently pursuing two doctoral degree programmes in sociology and history of medicine, I observed how some youthful workers between the ages of 16 and 21 worked to conserve one of the monastery gardens, fencing of the adjourning passages with new flowerbeds; containing mostly special species of herbal and drought resistant shrubs.
Observing the workers, a bible passages came into the field of reasoning {Then God said, "Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds." And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. Gen 1:11-12}
The Monastic herbal garden caters for over 10,000 people in the last six month, Direct contact with such natural surroundings is new to many of the visitors, and responses show that it is a very enjoyable experience for all these people, because many of the people who take part in the monastery awareness seminar, as well as these coming in search of healing are from urban areas and have had little or no contact with the natural world as quoted in the passage above, and often it greatly enriches the overall value of the education they receive. That is what it did to me; the reason this research ended up being a lot of fun
I believe that combining environmental conservation with youth employment is an essential step to sustainable education initiatives lacking in many higher institutions and religion today, the employment program whereby the youth are recruited into the monastery ground provides a structured learning environment where participants developed basic job readiness skills while receiving mentoring for future prospect
How does the PAX Herbal Research Laboratories conserve and protect the Environment for sustainable development in Edo Central Senatorial District?
According to Fr. Ikeke, PhD, a catholic priest, who is the director of the Justice, Development, and Peace Commission of the diocese of Warri.

What is sustainability? What is its relevance to the herbal question? The question of sustainable development gained prominence in the late 1980s. It was promoted by The World Commission on Environment and Development. The World Commission says Promoting development and protecting the environment should not be separated. They are one integral whole. In the official website of UNESCO, it is affirmed that:
This new paradigm of sustainable development establishes linkages across poverty alleviation, human rights, peace and security, cultural diversity, bio-diversity, food security, clean water and sanitation, renewable energy, preservation of the environment and the sustainable use of natural resources. This view of sustainable development seeks to ensure a better quality of life for everyone now and for the generations to come.
The phrase “preservation of the environment and the sustainable use of natural resources” are of great interest to us here. The forests, plants, animals, and other natural things which herbal practitioners gather their herbs and materials are part of natural resources or the natural world. They need to be used in a sustainable manner. They should not be depleted. The benefits in the natural world are destined not only for our own good but the good of future generations and other biotic life flourishing. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches on the integrity and respect for all creation as follows:
(2415) The seventh commandment enjoins respect for the integrity of creation. Animals, like plants and inanimate beings, are by nature destined for the common good of past, present, and future humanity. Use of the mineral, vegetable, and animal resources of the universe cannot be divorced from respect for moral imperatives. Man's dominion over inanimate and other living beings granted by the Creator is not absolute; it is limited by concern for the quality of life of his neighbor, including generations to come; it requires a religious respect for the integrity of creation.
Such conservative strategy is a crucial aspect of the works done in saint Benedictine, it open our eyes to the importance of plants in our everyday lives while enriching our learning experiences, such a study if addressed in the educational sector will inspire an appreciative and understanding of nature in today’s people
The goal behind setting up many of the herbal gardens in the districts is to conserve those species found infrequently in the wild. The resolute tending of herbs will be useful to the entire community as and when any need arises
Such courses were plants are being conserved sustainable are being studied in countries like china and India, the study of herbology is an example, Nigeria can take a green leaf from them, a designed learning strategy to make erudition of plants interesting, where students learn how plants can be used for food, medicine and shelter. And thereby provides information not only on the plants themselves, but also on the culture and history of the people involved in the usage of such medicinal plants
{Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food." And it was so. Genesis 1:29-30}
the program employed by the Pax researchers for the conservation of medicinal plants gardens supports education initiatives noted all over the united Nation initiative for African society and highlights the importance of the local environment in conservation.
Here the community get the training from the monastery, a training by a qualified horticulturist teach them basic usage on their locally available herbs/plants right from nursery, conservation, practical identification to preparation
I agree whole heartedly with to Fr. Ikeke when he said that… Many people, even educators, are unaware of this decade of education for sustainable development. Because of this, the benefits of the decade cannot be fully distilled to the grassroots and daily life. It should be noted that the United Nations decade of education for sustainable development is not simply meant for educators or educational institutions in the real sense. We know that education should be a task for all social agents including religious bodies and indigenous institutions like the herbal medical institutions. In the light of the United Nations decade of education for sustainable development, no human subject or issues should be discussed without reference to the decade. Every purpose of the United Nations is to make life on earth better in a healthy planet. Today we live in a global planet and we are cosmopolitan or global citizens. The issues that affect the global world should not escape our frame of reference. A global issue that has implications for every locality is the issue of developing a sustainable society.
Researching the monastery garden has heighten awareness of the need for conservation and herbal education to the local communities, working in a research based university has given me the platform for air my views
The rarest essence from the monastery
Come streaming down from Esanland
The mandrakes yield their fragrances
Re-awaken in me -the healing faith
“We need to promote the scientific exploration of Africa flora and fauna for the benefit of our people,” Governor Igbinedion on the Commissioning of the herbal clinic

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

today all the oratory nodded into me
are yearning to narrate their stories
the call and response form in African oral narratives
to help those of us who were shy speaking in public

it happens during prayers
it happens during ceremony
whose idea promotes group participation,
every word following gestured display

Most of the poetry collection is touching
and emotionally it shows natural nuances
or the other from the proverb recited
love in the choruses which everybody joined
including my grand mum with her loss gums

what I learned I dreamingly acted true
something we pray and sing along to
This first education I got to be a poet
good public speaker before schooling

my muse usually picks the story teller
in my local language for the week at random
a rebirth without losing touch with tradition
uh how the children love it when I recited

once I told a slave story of two children
But a critic spied and called me a racist
making gathering itself impossible
my confidence fell with names of the village chief

Do listen to your elders and to you parents I said
and told them; the village kids a tale
of some clan who refuse to listen
and how they were lost and stolen
to make a free state against their will

and I fought back with my juju poetry
knowing we must not bid bye to this art
or our children will take refuge in TV
rebirth of shyness and the idiot box

In primary school in the late 1980's
my teacher introduced story telling
but her mind was a colonized blank
learning nothing but published arts

My best moments as a child were samakaland
Something mama gives as we roasts yam
That it is what I hoped to give back
when the sung, chant, proverbs follows the art
display that transcend the communicative functions of language


how I love that scenery strengthening social cohesion
far from assuring to the status of writing art
how I love to read my own works
Urdeen tribal poetry at its best


The poet, under whatever name, always stands for the same thing—imagination. And imagination in its highest form gives him the power, as it were, of assuming the consciousness of whatever he speaks about, whether man or beast, or rock or tree,