ỌYA

 




Mother of Nine,

We greet you.

We celebrate your bravery

When we see you swelling

With your untamed anger

Over the great waters of river Niger.


Death made you great

When your tentacles of chaos

Settle their roots in our hearts—

You killed eternity in his sleep

And out of his frozen corpse

Came the spirit of life and death.


We dance under the moon

And swirl to your forest songs

As the carpet of golden leaves

Are illuminated by the bonfires–

The maiden beads of silver color

That adorns our shapely hips

Sing like the Shẹ̀kẹ̀rẹ̀

When we shake our waist

To your favorite warrior song.


We sing your warrior song

And the cedars and thick boughs

Shake their waist to your deadly shroud—

When we see the crumbling shadows,

We remember your fiery rage

That is always silent and deadly.


We have made your favorite— 

Àkàrà soaked in red oil.

Give us a taste of the intense feelings

That makes you the unbeatable warrior

Who made the storms her home,

And appear like wisp in a gust of wind.



Ọya — Goddess of Life and Death.

Shẹ̀kẹ̀rẹ̀ — A West African percussion instrument.

Àkàrà — Bean cakes.

©Okunola Peace.

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