Today’s World’s Poetry Day. It’s also the day we remember the passing away of an icon, Chinua Achebe. He died on March 21, 2013.

IFE MELU  By Ordinary Justice Ebede

Continue resting in peace, Achebe.
You towering man of letters,
A trailblazer and a pathfinder,
An eagle atop an Iroko,
A colossus right from colonial era,
I salute your courage.

You played in the league of generals,
While we grapple with corruption as a nation,
You remained an incorruptible judge.
Twice they penned you down for an endearing award
But you turned them down;
Saying you would not accept such honour
When the country you call home
Sits on a keg of gun powder.

Ife melu!
Your fall was like that of an Iroko,
Leaving the birds with nowhere to perch,
You, a strong man of the clan,
Left without a word of farewell,
Nigeria’s election has come and gone
But, you, an incorruptible judge lie 6-feet below
Leaving us indecisive
In the hands of INEC___ Inconclusive.

Ife melu!
A giant in the midst of men
Took a bow from us six years today,
A knight errant he was,
A man whose opinion mattered even in the gathering of fools.
Your branches spread across bridges,
You fought in the battle of gladiators,
Where Things Fall Apart.
Ewoo, Ife melu!

Even the arrow of God is no longer at ease,
If not,
Why would a man of the people fall apart from the crowd,
At a time when the song of war rages,
Even Ojukwu, our warlord was taken.
Who shall we now brag about?
Onye nnekwu uche,
Onye edemede di egwu,
Eziokwu, ebenebe gbu!

You arrogant cold hands of death,
Dreaded arrow of departure,
Fear thee not that thou took even the great Achebe?
A rare gem and a colossus?
A man whose voice was heard even by the deaf
And the blind felt his presence afar off.

Though the way of all mortal he gone
He lives on among us,
His voiceless voice echoes from the pages of Things Fall apart.
Ife melu!

The sky is no longer safe for the kite,
Neither is land safe for the rat,
The fire of death rages every now and then,
With impunity she stole even the great Albert Achebe,
The brave blood of Igbo land,
Onye anyi ji ama’tu.

Ife melu!
Ugo belu na elu oji had flown away,
Go forth go forth;
A giant in the sand,
Ndu na ndokwa,
Onye edemede di egwu,
Farewell, farewell Chinualumogu Achebe!!!


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