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Benin Empire.


Henry Igbinedion

Encircled by the Giant’s hand-dug ditches,
Besmeared of red earth,
It’s the Pathway to the seven and the nether worlds.
Ikpoba…Head River!
Snakes its ancient paths;
Irrigating the heart of a kingdom

The ancient citadel of art and craft
…Is on her kneels, brought to heel
By the gluttony of prodigals

Same old bastion of pride and culture.
To the undead, a litany of
As epiphanies drown out
The lullabies of infants!

Marauders now stomp the land
Desecrating at will, the sacred places,
Choking in their wake; peace and freedom.

On her ancient streets,
Cadavers beckon at intersections,
As the evil dead, challenge the pantheons.

Today they
Devour her collective heritage, and
Like the greedy witchdoctor,
Swallowed the coven’s brew…
Only to gestate a thousand demons.

In their mad quest for mammon,
Commune with fireflies in the market place
And gyrate to the malaria songs of mosquitoes

They have murdered sleep, and
Sown sorrow for laughter,
Planted want where there was plenty,
For our Eden, they substituted Hades!


From the ashes of her cindered shrines
This abode of immortals,
Would sprout giant’s limbs once again,
To loosen the vice grip of the new taskmasters…

Then, once again…once again,
Benin; entombed in self doubt,
Will hug the frenzied spirit of renaissance and
Regain its proud place in the comity of nations.

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