Fubaraibi Benstowe Image may contain: 1 person  was born in 1991 in Bonny Kingdom, Rivers State Nigeria and attended the Niger Delta University in Bayelsa State Nigeria where he obtained bachelor Degree in Electrical/Electronic Engineering. His poetry works has been published in the Nigeria/South-Korea Poetry anthology, Mariner ANA Bayelsa State literary Magazine and other publications. In 2014 he was a guest poet in the Ake Art and Book festival in Abeokuta, Ogun State.Fubara was listed as top ten finalists in the Africa-wide BN Poetry Award in 2014 based in Uganda, and in 2016 was long listed for the same award. In 2013 he was a recipient of the Certificate of Excellence from the Girl Child Creativity concept of Zimbabwe in Collaboration with the Society of Young Nigerian Writers.

 

Orukoro Dancer                                                                                                                                                                                  

“Child, weep not

Mother will be fine”

 

Still Tonye’s voice went out

Surpassing the rolling drums

To win mother’s attention,

Her hands stretched forth

Forcing body through dense crowd

To mar mother’s drunken steps,

She, solitary Lass, soaked with her tears,

Weaved a cry:

“Mother! Mother!

What have they done to you mother!?

It’s me your daughter!

Come! Come homeward!”

But all were health tips for pigs.

 

Dancer, canoe to the unseen paddler

Dancer, slave to the spiritual native banter

Feet, chalk-patterned by her painter

Body, clad with white and red George-wrapper,

Danced forward, danced backward,

Danced drummers-ward, danced viewers-ward,

Danced, Shell to her marine partner

Danced she, beats after beats, songs after songs,

Swung, palm leaves at wind’s gate.

Ah! Several fresh eggs went lost to her belly.

Then I replaced the soil on my soles with another

Weaving pity in my heart

Pity for viewers, lost in spirit’s huddle

Spirits who seek for more canoes to paddle.

 

Note:Orukoro dancers are women (most times men) who dance to certain drumbeats under the influence of a marine spirit, at these times, songs and drums are played for them by members of their Orukoro society. Viewers usually come out in their numbers to witness the dance-steps and drumbeats. This experience does not happen frequently, but occasionally.

The word Orukoro means the coming down of a deity, but in this case it is usually the marine deity that possesses a person.

The Orukoro societies are worshippers of marine deities in many Ijaw communities in Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers States of Nigeria.

 

Mob Justice

 

Now you shine your teeth

At the unbroken wailings of your victims

Whose pleadings are nothing but rolling balls

Rebounding like vacuums’ echoes.

 

Now in your noisy courts

You pass verdicts according to laws

Written in your eyes,

On your scratchy fingers,

Inpatient Mobs.

 

Tell me

Must these necks be heavy laden

With snail shells that rings and dangles?

Or, mud-coated bodies strip-dance

With whips and woof-sound mockeries?

Must these heads be heavy loaded?

With yams caught them tapping?

And stagger street to street like drunken old men?

 

Their skin is set aflame

In the midst of your tyres

In the midst of gazing crowds,

The life no man can mould,

Now quench under your ruthless finger.  

 

             

Billions heaped for next tomorrow’s Children

You watch

City Bridge funds kicked into money houses,

You scream.

Before your eyes

Genocide springs under ambush of pen-bandits

While the graves welcome those who come

In the name of chronic hunger.

The unlucky are arraigned for fair hearing

As Men arguer deeply before the judge

You watch, you read, then you wait.

 

Executioners

Tell me, where is the equality of man?

The sound of gavels visiting the high and low.

 

I DARE NOT SPIT ON YOUR GRAVES

 

I dare not spit on your graves

Even if my mouth be filled with saliva

Or, at lightless time when no eye sees me,

I dare not spit on your graves

Even as my eyes still drip rain

And heart bleeds at the utterance of that history.

Ah! The future is a fisherman’s net

We cannot tell the number of fishes it will gather,

If you had known, I’m sure, very sure

You wouldn’t had hid ours under the rug

And trade with another’s tongue.

 

See! The rays of slave era has long been gone

Yet your flaws still stand strong

On the soil of enlighten descendents.

I dare not spit on your graves

…cos in our hands I have found

The feeds that enrich your flaws

And apathy that mutilates our pride,

I dare not spit on your graves

But pray fervently for Ibani clan

And those that sit on her chairs. 

 

 

The Flood

Fellows,

We too have danced to this painful throb

Shed rain, sweat and blood,

Some paddled through farmlands

Only to watch green sweat

Slouch to ocean sides,

Some groped in liquid darkness

Wrestling the Wilds with fears and qualms

But water is water, and land is land

He who must follow breath’s path

Must leave the beds for the crabs.

 

Now the flag is white

And we have returned home

When canoes no longer sail through sitting rooms

Or Crabs sleep in cooking pots, fireless,

When Crocodiles no longer landlord our quarters

Forcing men to seek asylum in shabby camps

When Fishes no longer perch on trees

Or Oysters sit on easy-chairs.

 

We have returned happily

Like men whose net has befriend a kingfish.

 

But all the gold have gone, who took them?

“Go ask the flood,

Maybe they were stolen to Cameroon,” they answered,

Ah! Do gold now float on water,

That it be stolen by ebbing flood?

“Maybe they did, just ask the flood”

Cheih! Fellows, wouldn’t it sound insane if I ask the flood

Who stole my gold and left my plastics intact?

 

I pray thee let Love lead our steps.

 

The Poet  can be reached at the following-https://www.facebook.com/benfubi,

benfubi@gmail.com.

 

We continue to call for refreshing   articles , news , poetry and stories . Miombo can be reached at miombopublishing@gmail.com. Feel free to send comments  , follow our blog journal and kindly  like our articles.

 

 

 

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