The shadows grow longer and six of us stagger 

In a straight line towards wives in homes forgotten all day

Where are you now? do you stagger with us too? 

If now my inner eye opens to the veiled half of the world 

Would I see you beside me smiling? Above me, watching? 

Or in front?

casting aside mischievous stones that would make me stumble? 

The shadows grow longer and the grey  clouds journey home 

And now the madman seeks the sanity of privacy 

Gingerly, he gathers his belongings 

And abandons his perch at the market’s T-Junction

Giddily, he falls in step with us 

He converses with the journeying clouds and addresses me:

          Soon, light will shine and you will see. 

Soon after, thunder strikes, light shines  and a goat crosses my path 


In what has it found such confidence? 

Rántí, are you the goat? 

          slogging towards your new home? 

You have left me in the dark, ọ̀rẹ́ 

With whom shall I now share drunken tales? 

If tomorrow it pleases you:

          Cross my path again. I shall have in hand yam to offer you

          And some of Yéwándé’s fresh palm wine. 

If tomorrow it pleases you:

           Look upon me as you trudge by 

And if my offering is to your delight 

You need only bleat once and you shall never lack

For we are friends, in this life and in the next


1. Rántí is a unisex  Yorùbá name. 

2. Yéwándé is a female Yorùbá name. 

3. ọ̀rẹ́ means friend

Happy World Poetry Day! Do share your comments with me! And share with lovers of poetry! 


8 Replies to “Rántí ”

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