(poetry is of the people, from the people, by the people, for the people – Ibadan, 2006)

Poet: We pay homage to the sun

Bright shiny rays piercing the darkest gloom

The People: We all pay homage!

Poet: We pay homage to the moon and stars

Our mothers and ancestors, guides of the night

The People: We all pay homage!

Poet: We pay homage to the rain

And fiery Sango1 who rides the rolling thunder

The People: We all pay homage!

Poet: We pay homage to the winds,

Friends from the east to the west, north and south

Soothing breath of the creator, angry belch of the gods

The People: We all pay homage!

Poet: We pay homage to the earth

And Orisha Nla2, clad in white, father of all

The People: We all pay homage!

Poet: We pay homage to the heavens,

Mysteries beyond the grasp of little minds,

Endless cover encircling the earth

The People: We all pay homage!

Poet: We pay homage to the waters,

                        Omi l’abu we, omi l’abu mu, omi o se mu l’ota3

Greetings to our mothers in the ocean depths

Greetings to all the spirits of the rivers and streams

The People: We all pay homage!

Poet: We pay homage to all the gods of the land

The elders and custodians of ageless wisdom,

Knowers of riddles and masters of time

The People: We all pay homage!

Poet: We pay homage to Olodumare4,

Lord of the one thousand seven hundred divinities

Whose breath gives life,

You whose shrine is in our hearts

The People: We all pay homage!

(1 Yoruba thunder deity; 2 Yoruba arch divinity; 3 Water is essential – no one can make it an enemy; 4 Yoruba Supreme Being)

 

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