Join the Neopoet online poetry workshop and community to improve as a writer, meet fellow poets, and showcase your work. Sign up, submit your poetry, and get started.

Atim Okpo Ebot

Why do you leave me
On this old track,
Where spirits and ghosts
Thread upon my head,
Where men have forgotten?
Where cats and dogs feast on their prey.

Why do you leave me
On this erosion path,
Where human and animal dung
Spill over my body?
Where native doctors pour libations
Where gods and demons feast on sacrifices.

Why do you leave me on this old road
In the middle of the forest,
That the dew from the oaks
May beat on me?
That the thick furs of the terror at night
May break my pride?

You leave me to the season,
To harmattan's cold and dust,
To rain and to sun,
To hunters with their rifles,
I become a prey.

But I am mountain,
Mountain worketh not
Mountain does not sell
Mountain does not farm
But mountain never moves.

I who have seen the mutilation of twin born,
The distress of Jaja and Opobo.
I who have seen Owu and Ife.
I who have seen Nigeria and Biafra.

I who have won many battles,
Yet lost the war over your lives,
I who found lands
upon the dregs of stones,
I your mother Atim Okpo Obot.

Review Request (Intensity): 
I want the raw truth, feel free to knock me on my back
Review Request (Direction): 
What did you think of my title?
How was my language use?
What did you think of the rhythm or pattern or pacing?
How does this theme appeal to you?
How was the beginning/ending of the poem?
Is the internal logic consistent?
Last few words: 
In southern and eastern rural Nigeria, abandoned road and old tracks are believed to be infested with spirits, demons, faeries, ghosts and gods. It is the meeting point for witches, where native doctors pour libations, summon and make sacrifices to certain gods, demons and spirits. The poem is a lament of a prominent goddess Atim Akpo Ebot believed to dwell in the rivers of Opobo modern day Calabar region of southern Nigeria. The goddess had been worshiped for ages before colonialism evaded West Africa. The goddess is believed to have seven faces and so powerful that it's influence is still perceived in the culture of the people up to date. Before the annual Calabar Carnival, certain sacrifices are still made to appease her. I have made a Novel to her Name that is yet unpublished due to financial set-back, but this poem was written two years ago before I discovered Okigbo. An editor believes I write like him and introduced me to his works. Atim Okpo Ebot appears in most Calabar folk-lore and oral tradition. In this poem the Goddess is aggrieved over being abandoned as the people who revered her turns towards a new religion Christianity since the western missionaries evaded Nigeria during the colonial era. The poem uses symbols and imagery from the goddess's laments to reveal the current predicament of the Nigerian economy, politics and culture by reminding us her omnipotent and omniscient state by saying ''I who have seen the mutilation of twin born, The distress of Jaja and Opobo, I who have seen Owu and Ife, I who have seen Nigeria and Biafra. I who have lost and won many wars I who have found many lands upon the dregs of stones I your mother Atim Okpo Obot.'' She reminds us of the Nigerian history and how she witnessed every part of it from the Exile of King Jaja by the British Empire to the struggle of the Biafran people after independence. She reminded us of post-colonial Nigeria, the renowned war of Owu, Oyo and Ife in western Nigeria that was believed to be caused by an outraged god. The poem keeps in mind few of the myriad traditional beliefs in Nigeria...
Editing stage: 

Comments

you have a gift to convey strong emotion. The poem keeps us in the dark as to who the speaker is, speaking in the first person, using the mountain as such a strong image.
In the end it reveals itself . Despite the fact that I do not know the reference, the poem still works.

I think it's fair to say most of us on the site are not up on Nigerian culture. I think we, your audience, could better get involved with the poem with a very short footnote about Atim Okpo Obot
Much thanks and my sincere compliments on a very powerful poem

Eumolpus
I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
ee cummings

Your poem is, and has always been, the sharing of experience, the pooling of human understanding about living, loving....... dying. It welcome you in, revealing ideas that may not have been foremost in the writer’s mind in the moment of composition.

Mario Vitale

In southern and eastern rural Nigeria, abandoned road and old tracks are believed to be infested with spirits, demons, faeries, ghosts and gods. It is the meeting point for witches, where native doctors pour libations, summon and make sacrifices to certain gods, demons and spirits. The poem is a lament of a prominent goddess Atim Akpo Ebot believed to dwell in the rivers of Opobo modern day Calabar region of southern Nigeria. The goddess had been worshiped for ages before colonialism evaded West Africa. The goddess is believed to have seven faces and so powerful that it's influence is still perceived in the culture of the people up to date. Before the annual Calabar Carnival, certain sacrifices are still made to appease her. I have made a Novel to her Name that is yet unpublished due to financial set-back, but this poem was written two years ago before I discovered Okigbo. An editor believes I write like him and introduced me to his works. Atim Okpo Ebot appears in most Calabar folk-lore and oral tradition. In this poem the Goddess is aggrieved over being abandoned as the people who revered her turns towards a new religion Christianity since the western missionaries evaded Nigeria during the colonial era. The poem uses symbols and imagery from the goddess's laments to reveal the current predicament of the Nigerian economy, politics and culture by reminding us her omnipotent and omniscient state by saying ''I who have seen the mutilation of twin born, The distress of Jaja and Opobo, I who have seen Owu and Ife, I who have seen Nigeria and Biafra. I who have lost and won many wars I who have found many lands upon the dregs of stones I your mother Atim Okpo Obot.'' She reminds us of the Nigerian history and how she witnessed every part of it from the Exile of King Jaja by the British Empire to the struggle of the Biafran people after independence. She reminded us of post-colonial Nigeria, the renowned war of Owu, Oyo and Ife in western Nigeria that was believed to be caused by an outraged god. The poem keeps in mind few of the myriad traditional beliefs in Nigeria...

Hommies

author comment

various things that can be addressed here in the spelling of certain words and the use of plurals.

[Tread] upon my head.
I become prey [no s]
sacrifice [ you can leave the [s] but I think it is better without it.
the thick fur of terror [no s]
rifles single [f]
What or who is [hamarttans] ? Should it be capitalized?
Does not [sell] not sale
The use of dregs, while technically correct, usually signifies something liquid. You may want to use something like ashes or dust, maybe pieces.

I like your style and hope that I do not discourage you in pointing out so many things, but I believe that you have a lot of potential and wish to see you do well. ~ Geezer.
.

The addition of a premium-membership can:
Help you navigate the site easier, change and create the look of your profile-page!
Just see what you can do! Add a bit of flavor to your profile and kick it up a notch!

I have edited the typos, the rest are intentional... I appreciate you had time looking into those it helped a lot

Hommies

author comment

And it is fascinating both the story and your ability to create such symbolism and emotion from this source. What must it be like to have the landscape "infested" (love that word!) with spirits etc. Certainly Christianity, which arose from the Jews, a small tribal of monotheism in a huge pagan empire. I'm personally a tree worshiper...
So much more enjoyed a reading after your fill in. It should be published in any number of outlets.
If space is an issue, you might just say
Atim Okpo Obot - a river goddess worshiped in SE Nigeria before the introduction of Christianity; the subject of this poe

:

Eumolpus
I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
ee cummings

nice poem. very meaningful

benevolence

hi poet friend your verses bang in the head and heart I love the dreams your verses explore - an angel has rocked you for your poetry spins before you good wishes fair follower

Mario Vitale

(c) Neopoet.com. No copyright is claimed by Neopoet to original member content.