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A BALLAD TO OUR FATHER TORTOISE

Our Father tortoise went hewing the forest. a little sap of wood hit our father's eye. We took Father to a native doctor for treatment, native doctor needed no money as payment, but won't let Father tortoise go.

We gave him a hut of yam he said he needed none, we gave him jars of wine he said he needed none, we gave him a pen of goat he said he needed none, we gave him plots of land he said he needed none...

What do you need? He said he he needed Adiaha.
Our queen, father's only daughter for marriage. Our Adiaha? The betrothed of the gods? The one that cannot leave their shrines lest our entire race be wiped?

Father gave himself up for our race, so that we might live, so that we the Ibibio people shall see continuity forever. The Native doctor imprisoned our father to service forever in the evil forest, because he could not give up our Adiaha and our race, he closed all tracks and paths that leads to him with thick forests and shrubs, so forever our Father labors that we may not see extinction, great honor and praise be to our Father Tortoise forever.

We pour you this drink Father, drink that your weariness be relieved, that you protect and guide us forever.
We pour this libation and bring this yam and goats as sacrifice to your shrine, that you fight our battles forever, Father our Adiaha lives forever through many lives and through many lives your legacy is never lost.

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Last few words: 
The Ballad is of the Ibibio people of southern Nigeria. It is an oral tradition telling a story of a Tortoise as a father who sacrificed himself for the continuity of the tribe. Tortoise appears throughout the people's oral tradition sometimes as the creator and sometimes as a wise king. The Ibibio people believe the animal tortoise to be their father and in most places the animal is sacred and even worshiped. In some parts, if one happens to kill a tortoise, the customs demands a proper funeral and banishment to the culprit. The tortoise is often characterized in folklore to be a very cunning and wise animal in the Ibibio nation.
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Comments

a successful prose poem. nice logic and words. Thanks for the helpful commentary.
One day if you put a whole bunch of these together you will have a very good book to publish , about a region with rich oral traditions virtually unknown to the world.

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

In this part of the world no one wants to publish you and pay you royalty. If you know any firm over there willing to do that I'm in, connect me, I have written over a thousand poem so far many rich in the African culture.

Hommies

author comment

There is a magazine I get called Poets and Writers, comes out 6x a year. Check it out online. They list hundreds of agents who are looking for unique manuscripts. I'll look around and send you some links.
There are also publications that specialize in different regions. there is surely a rich collection that can come from a thousand poems.
You must try to reach out now, while you are young, and expect the process to take some time, but always believe in the end talent is discovered. the world is hungry for the new, especially if it has universal appeal and value.
I'll look around...

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

Thanks I'll be grateful for the links...

Hommies

author comment
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