Orişa òyìnbó- Friday Fictioneers 9/21


Friday fictioneers courtesy of Madison Woods is up and running, and this week’s photo is by Lora Mitchell. I have a poem that went over the 100 word limit this week, many thanks to the image that had me thinking ancient/traditional myths, African gods and such. Comments, and constructive criticisms are welcome. Feel free to participate in this writing challenge. Thank you always!

Image courtesy of Lora Mitchell

Orişa òyìnbó
Humbly we come
Heads bowed in utmost supplication

Visit our lowly lands
We pray thee
Make them as pure as yours is perceived
For often we are told your streets are gold
Money growing green on your giant oak trees

Orişa òyìnbó
Spread your three winged might over our infants
Fast removing their sad plights and inherited misfortunes
May they grow to be innovators and leaders
Like the white man’s sons
Death far away from them

Orişa òyìnbó
Heal our hearts
Make them white and pure
Polished like the color of your sculpted image

Meet our needs
We ask thee
Peace superseding all greed and ills
Let our lands know growth like your people’s
Grace us with your goodness and elegance
May our lands be bountiful
As we come humbly
Thoughts bowed in adulation
Offering sacrifices befitting our ancestral gods
Ogún and Ṣàngó

Revive our lands
Orişa òyìnbó
Show superiority over the shortcomings of our gods
Make us whole
We beseech thee

Orişa òyìnbó
Iwin nlá
Make us whole
Heal these lands and revive our hearts

AUTHOR’S NOTES: As with many cultures, there are ancient gods, traditions, and myths. I saw this image and the idea for this poem came to mind. Before many Africans became christians; they worshipped diverse gods…I wrote this with the mindset of a person who visited Greece or some other western world, and assumed this creature to be a god, and considering the white man’s “assumed” influence, he imagined perhaps that their gods might carry the same influence over his own gods. Many of the unfamiliar terms here are in Yorùbá, one of the three major languages in Nigeria. Here are the meanings of the words:

Orişa òyìnbó– white man’s god
Ogún– god of iron
Ṣàngó– god of thunder and fire
Iwin nlá– (big) strange “out of this world” creature


89 responses »

  1. Dear Booomiebol,

    This was an excellent addition to the roster of stories already flowing forth from the imaginations of the Friday gang. Your piece was solid as stone and plaintive in its yearning. We are creatures of myth and legend, gods and goddesses. Wonderfully evocative of the human condition.



  2. Like Doug says, there is something plaintive in the yearning of your poems about Nigeria and Africa. They are touching, moving, and at times disturbing in a way that helps me understand. Thanks for these.

    • Thank you so much. I often write them from a place i sometimes don’t recognize yet know all too well. I believe this is the burden of my heart, that part of the world…ii pray lasting change will come there someday soon.

      It is always very nice to “see” you here. Thanks always!

  3. Wow – such a sad historical situation, brought to life so creatively! There’s such a tangle of real need – praying for the children, praying for prosperity – and perceived shame in the speaker’s pleas. And you put so many specifics into the poem that what could be very abstract becomes unforgettable – I love the phrase “money growing green on your giant oak trees”.

  4. Boomie, my friend, I don’t know what I can possibly add that hasn’t been said. I merely echo the well deserved compliments. You and your writing add such a rich dimension to our FF group. Blessings.

    • Thank you so much Rochelle, I sincerely appreciate the very kind and generous words. The FF group help me in thnking outside the box, and everyone brings such fine works to the prompt

  5. Hi Boomie: Took me a while to scroll down. Didn’t want to miss a single comment on your lovely poem/prayer. My dear..you have quite a talent and quite a fan base. Consider publishing a book of these lovely poems.

    • Thank you so much for taking time to read and comment. Everyone is so nice to me, and sometimes i wonder if they are reading something else…I keep asking myself if everyone is just been nice to me :).

      I really want to publish books, but i don’t know how to go about it. If you have any ideas or help, please let me know.

      Thank you so much!

  6. This is so well done, and I love it any time a piece of writing introduces me to something new, whether historical, cultural, or something else. The repetition of the key phrase was great, and came with just the right pacing, giving the whole thing a nice, chanting cadence. Nice!

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