Ikú

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Ikú hoovers around
Circling patched roofs
In dark corners
Casting shadows
Lurking in the dark
Lying in wait…

Mothers lay dying
Begging for survival
Be it for their little unborn
Pangs of labor grabbing them
With every plea
Causing writhing pains

Ikú stands guard at mud huts
Hiding blatantly
Taunting elders who sense its presence
Terrifying younglings who have heard of it
Making a mockery of their ill-fated and
Many unfortunate predicaments

Fathers bent in shame
Backs hunched from years of untold sorrow
Hoping it all will end
Knowing it never will
This is their lot
The poverty
Famine
Disease
Shame and
Untold devastations

Whispers in the dark
Ikú coming closer
Her evil and known stench fills the air

Elders sit
Hoping it gets them
Mothers beg take me not the newborn
Fathers scream go in the cities we have no wealth here
Nothing to appease you
Nothing to offer
Spare us an addition to our many sorrows

Younglings cower in fear and ignorance
Confused and unsure

Ikú spreads her net
Casts a dark shadow
Wails and screams ring loud
In mud houses
Fathers curse
Mothers wail
Elders bemoan life unfair

Ikú has done it again
The newborn didn’t make it
Collected by death
She is gone
Along with the 3 year old in the next hut
And a 10 year old boy with hope in his sight
In 3s’ ikú takes in these surroundings

Ikú has done it again
Taking the future…

Ikú will do it again
She is waiting in the shadows

* Ikú means death*

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58 responses »

  1. Powerful, poignant, harrsh, and relentlessly told. But these are the facts of life, Boomie and iku strikes again and again, like an Abiku. You have done it again. Well done, my sister. I could never write these heartwrenching words.

  2. Wonderful write boomie ~ thank you for offering this solemn view into the darker aspects that we so often want to hide from. It is interesting that for me – it was not so much the “death” that disturbed, but the suffering that comes before. I guess this is all part of the same energy (Iku) …. Very thought provoking ~ appreciated 🙂

    • Yea the suffering is the almost inhumane one…my mom always said, if and when she died she wanted it to be in her sleep…no suffering…no pain. She wasn’t as fortunate in that regard…yea the energy of that word is scary. I almost didn’t want to post it, but it is one of the scary realities of life. We celebrate the good and acknowledge the not so god. Thank you Robyn

      • Thank yo boomie ~ was a powerful post – and I agree with your Mom’s sentiments … suffering is the hardest part, I am sure of it. Blessings xo

  3. Powerful imagery and regrettably true. Three of the eight United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals is to reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, and promote gender equality and empower women by the year 2015. There is still so much to be done and thank you for bringing this to light in your poetic, heart rendering style.

  4. Your words were moving and so sadly true. And you didn’t need to explain the meaning of the word, you defined it well thru the poetic purity of your song of truth.

      • Absolutely…just heard about the shooting in Wisconsin…and it’s like why do we hurt each other and after the recent events in Colorado…yet somehow some do not value their lives or that of others. God help us

      • He does help us but I believe he expects us to learn how to love unconditionally, but isn’t it amazing that He still believes in us. I just have to wonder how many learning lessons us humans need to go thru before we’ll all pay attention to HIM!

    • Amin adura. Yea sad, i just remember back then in naija, the way women use to cry, wail, and throw themselves down…and there was always some smell that came with that. Thanks Yemi

    • Oh Audrina, i doubt the genius part but thank you most kindly. Yes i have been trying to do something with yoruba..i have a poem written entirely in yoruba, but will save it for a book someday by God’s grace :). Thank you much and always

      • Not only are you a genius,you are a humble one too. 😉 .BTW,an entire poem in Yoruba?!?! I have got to read that! I will get someone to translate the parts i don’t understand.

      • Audrina, you are too kind. My former college professors might argue about the genius bit lol. Thank you always, you are too sweet. Yea i need to work on it properly so i can put the accents and all. I don’t know how to do that on the computer. Once I have it altogether…i will send it to you via email with a translation…i have something brewing in pidgin as well…thanks to Fela lol.

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