It was the day the world sang
“So Much Things to Say,”
the day the hills gave me a way
into a religion of love.
My father had come into my dream;
a place where love and hate
are illusions playing in water,
where a man wonders about the song
threatening to break out of his throat.
Both of us walked down the beach,
two homeless men chasing the sun,
talking about what is it the dead
try to tell the living when they are tired
of remembering the sadness
they left when they became one with the earth,
when they’ve learned everything the living knew,
even the tears that lives in a city under my bones,
even the sea; the one that tempts a man into leaving
a name because some names
are babylon shooting innocent men;
the sea that kept crashing on rotten boats.
Where I thought forgiveness was more than a word,
more than an escape of air,
more than my father letting his toes sink through sand,
but the song came from afar, cutting my thoughts
into a rasta rising before the sun,
rising into the magic of swallows
and reggae melting into nature,
leading my father’s words into the green stone sitting on my neck.
When I raised my head to say the words of blood
and air and freedom, he was no longer there,
there was only the song rising from the beach
as if water remembered Tuff Gong
and knew one man could lead millions into love,
as if the world knew forgiveness is freedom
for both bodies rising from the funde.
BIO – Romeo Oriogun’s poems have appeared at Brittle Paper, Afridiaspora, Expound, Kalahari Review, and elsewhere. He’s the author of burnt men, an E-chapbook published by Praxis Magazine Online. He lives in Udi, Nigeria, where he’s working on his full collection of poems.