Thursday, September 3, 2009

eşu (1)

african tankas

in the primeval,
orima, eşu’s demesne,
deep darkness prevailed.
in a translucent enclave
layered above that darkness,

a tiny lightseed
lay. olódùmaré spoke
the word “onovoo!”
orima, the darkness that
was eşu’s kingdom, lit up.

eşu raised his head.
“who is this that brings the light?”
the great mystery’s
booming voice filled orima.
“i am olódùmaré.

“i created light
that life might bloom & flourish.”
“but i own the dark,”
eşu exclaimed! “the dark is
not so conducive to life”

said. “i have taken much from
u, but to u i
give this. u may mix & move
freely among all of my
creations. no law or rule

will bind u. u will
be first among òrìşà
& they will call u
divine messenger, gatekeeper &
guardian of heaven’s realms,

owner of paths, roads,
& doorways, mediator
of fate.” but eşu
spoke not aloud the words in
his heart & secretly vowed

that vegetation
blooming in the brightness of
light would be his garden;
& all manner of beings
created in the vastness

of space would serve him!
olódùmaré finished
his creative work;
created divinities,
plants, animals & man.
intended them to be good.

but eşu soon had
òrìşà fighting with each
other & humans
defying & denying
the great powers of heaven!

& eşu’s laughter
rang loudly & often in
ọrun & àiyé,
in heaven & on the earth,
he reveled in the fact that

there was no such place
he could not go, no language
he could not speak &
no such rule he could not break!
okunrin ori ita!

man of the crossroads,
eşu’s power develops
in human beings good, strong
character, ọnápade.
he sits at & in between

the doors of childhood,
adolescence, adulthood
with all & sundry
tests & trials of right choices;
a teacher both kind & cruel.

woe if that power
is used capriciously; for
selfish gain or self-
gratification; without
consideration for the

well-being of those
with whom we live. for eşu
tests & tries us all;
tests our strengths & weaknesses
makes us do with what we have.

eşu uses anger
& bleak despair to drive us,
uses happiness
& love to draw us, from birth
to death, demanding the right

choice of doorway, path
or crossroad along the way.
his great energy
flows against the tide thru the
cracks & crevices of fate;

gives capacity
to truly live with chaos,
& on life’s imposing terms.

mojuba eşu
pa ado asubi da
(turn my suffering
around) lord of the crossroads
lanlu ogirioko
(speak with power!)

© Joseph McNair; 2009

No comments:

Post a Comment