Three African World Poetry Canada International award winners pay tribute to Maya Angelou; poet, justice crusader, writer and women’s rights advocate. She was and still is a wonderful, shinning light for the world and lives in out hearts and in her numerous books. She will be sorely missed.
World Poetry Celebrated Asian Heritage Month on May 28th in New Westminster, BC Canada and had a moment of silence for Maya Angelou and read an excerpt from the poem by Mutiu Olawuyi which was well received and gave me the idea to present these three award winners who hopefully will be coming to our Fourth World Poetry Canada International Peace Festival in October, 2014.
A BRIGHT LIGHT SLEEPS
(Dedicated to Maya Angelou)
Light, this day, has found a sip of sleep
And still the
Caged birds sing their songs…
Yes, the birds sing!
They sing but not the songs of joy–
Beaks, now, weave the rhythms of endless sorrows…
For a new dawn is still and hangs in the skies–
The sun is perplexed
And awaits to find reasons to tell the new day;
And tremendous cradle of pride
Into the depth of the holding anchors of the earth…
Embrace that filled the void and calmed
Of mortal roars that once encroached the earth…
Of racial equity and a bright light
In the opaque foggy frost mist…
This juncture, mute and still
And the earth
At last, lament,”…O’ death why art thou stolen our treasure?”
O’ truly, a bright
Light’s day, this day, is done
And the lips
Of the earth have turned her praise singers
Of a woman with the heart that dares
Dared not to dare…
The hailed trailblazer and the speechless
At childhood whose voice
Re-emerged to inspire the fading bones
Walk, we creed for thy feet
New path on the sacred voyage of no return!
Oswald George Okaitei
All Rights Reserved. © 2014
I am One of The Caged Birds
(To Maya Angelou)
By Mutiu Olawuyi
My shank pip out to spot my fellow wings,
though of different colors and shapes,
from the fluid cage since the shadowy point.
I sulk to flee the cold from the callous snowy soil,
though the coop metal gate was bolted,
with my bald and skinless neck.
And those like me in blood and eye-sights
crouch with outward smiley face -
built with rotten rice and cassava and maize.
Dogs eating dogs and things fall apart –
Our cooked foods are enjoyed by our visitors
and we – turned their watchmen.
And our crops turn their plants for us to buy.
They’ve swapped our bearers’ tongues with theirs.
And they on our wings now survive.
Our saliva is dry – we can no longer sing –
We wheeze and sneeze to feel an atom breeze.
Surely you may know – why the caged bird sings;
how the flutes of others fine-tune his throat –
hidden to the free bird flowing in the cloudless sky .
I am one of the caged birds – troubling my gangan,
bata and kora, yes, for freedom of my vein’s wits,
and of her sights and her legs. The caged bird
no longer sings but wheezes, sneezes and drums not.
He shivers but never allowed to dance.
Mutiu Olawuyi (C)
I WISH TO BE THE CAGE BIRD.
To MAYA ANGELOU.
The piper piped the pipe
The drummy has twirled the type
The town crier sound the gong
Is this a call for feast or shivah?
So: I heard the song
Far the sky abroad
From the tip tweak peak
Of a little bird
Oh! They say bird sings
What do they say?
To what has this song brought?
I asked in amazement.
Oh! Yesss they truely sing
I saw wave as the feather pinch
It was the free bird sings
Rent her feather in sick
It is a song of mourning
It is a shivah not a feast
The wind blow to and fro
Sip the light and carry the dirge.
And I ask oh! Free bird
Why doth thou rent your feather?
Oh! Little bird
Why doth sing this dirge?
And the free bird said
O’ you unfortunate traveler
Caged in the cage of tumultuous
Behold! Tonight the great bird
Has soared beyond the sky
The bright light has gone faded
O’ that bird stalks down the narrow cage
Whose tune is heard on the distant hill
Whose voice beyond mine stands still
Often sings for freedom
Lay down this night and sip the milk of death
Oh, she is gone to rest in the kingdom
Where life is free and free from cage net.
Tonight! When the moon decend on us
When the wind whisper to our souls
Then shall we all sing dirge
As tribute to the great bird
Oh! Maya Angelou
The voice of freedom and peace
May you leave to rest in peace
The great bird is gone
The little bird mourns
Oh! Unfortunate traveler wings
I wish I could be the caged bird
To name the sky PEACE.
@ Timileyin Gabriel Olajuwon
2014 Torm Gardson