Monsoon With Òkè Ìdànrè

Ayokunle Samuel Betiku

By Ayokunle Samuel Betiku

Dulcet wind, sing of heights.
We climb the long-drawn steps

into rewards beyond the screaming
feet, lift hands in rapture as if to pull

gravity into surrender. It is the blue
teeming with avian grandeur

that calls before the resplendent
interspersions of rusty roofs

down below. The surrounding wood
land, verdant hosts made dancers

by gusts. The world an array of colours
blending with distance. The past replays

itself on vivid tongues; the hills breasting
upwards, breastworks for bodies

hemmed by wrath. Say the earth
mothered our ancestors with a knife

edge to the throat of foes. Say water
from her belly softened them

into light. We freeze time into pictures,
lean into mysteries here, engage

their corporal summons across
times. Too enthralled to notice

the sky, ageless witness morphing
swiftly into swaths of silver

bellied clouds. Precursors
of precipitation, silvery shadows dancing

off the brunette heads of the domiciles
beneath. The wind swells its tempo,

we gavotte. We, children again,
alive in this moment, alive in this clime,

weightless and free as the wind. We
begin now the work of descent. Water,

bless the skin of rock.

Ayokunle Samuel Betiku writes from the city of Ondo, South West Nigeria. He is a Young Writers and Creatives’ Award Fellow. He won the Eriata Orihbabor Poetry Prize for 2020, the BKPW Writing Contest for February 2021 and the Wakaso Poetry Prize for March 2021. His works have appeared or are forthcoming in journals and anthologies, including Libretto, Kreative Diadem, Lunaris Review, Pandemic Publications, Rough Cut Press, The Offing & elsewhere.