Postcolonial Text / Author

What the mind remembers without an audience

In the stillness of time
the newborn stares
at its afterbirth
and cries

If your house borders the village footpath
and your wish is to escape the centre of every new song
you learn to kiss and quarrel in whispers
forever conscious
of neighbours with the footfall of cats
and tongues as long and wayward as hungry chameleons'

The mystery of the water inside the coconut
resides in its seed; the rest lies with its habitat.

If the fly forgets when, where and how to say adieu,
it goes under with the corpse, companion of the dew.

Seekers after the Ultimate Truth about the ritual caryatid
learn to read the tracks of the termites in the graveyard.

Wall geckoes seek sanctuary in the darkness of wall cracks,
and wise men inherit the wisdom of others.

Funso Aiyejina, 2004