by Padmore Agbemabiese

earthchild, o earthchild
our finest young men are cut down
on battlefields of daydreams 
our children are driven like 
cattle into our enemy’s glittering home

o earthchild, earthchild
ask me not where milky rivers start
our pregnant sheep and goats miscarry 
their young, our chickens lie lifeless and 
the cattle are dying 
for lack of water and grass

which god is driving our clouds
turning our bright sun to gray
cursing breasts of nursing mothers to dry?

which sea eats the land at home
and our cooking-pots and ladles dance away
on currents and live firewood begets
cold ashes while the moon is still young?

call to arm our women
they winnow the grains
dividing the chaff from the wheat
they cast aside the chaff
allow it be blown away by the wind
tell them to heal earthchild

earthchild, o my earthchild
have we not lived long enough to plant
our own seeds and see them flower
have we not stood too long enough 
for our legs to drill wells beneath 
our thundering feet and these long arms
reach the forest and take the bull by the nose?

earthchild, o earthchild
ask for the diviner's bag
call the sacred word to attention
unlock mind-frames lost 
to stockpiles of spider webs

o earthchild to come home 
before dogs break the morning tuck
come home to where we grow 
young and strong where pregnant women 
give birth to strength where travelers reach 
a journey’s end with joy and those at home 
are safe from storm come home earthchild
and see old cows nursing their calves

Earthchild by Padmore Agbemabiese

© Copyright 2002. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

TimBookTu Logo

Return to the Table of Contents | Return to Main Page