(On Reading Niyi Osundare’s
“Blues for the New Senate King”)
“Power is something of which I am
convinced there is no innocence
this side of the womb.”
– Nadine Gordimer
The wise Muse must know her place
Or risk a whipping by disgrace.
Why lend a voice to a jaundiced claim
And set one’s name on the path of shame?
We know that power, in full undress,
Does not resemble holiness.
They read our sordid world amiss
Who see it nude and think it does;
Or it’s that the eye that sees
Portrays its vision at a loss.
The credo of power, even for a brother,
Is one bad turn deserves another.
Its lust can take a rival’s head
Or leave them worse than living-dead.
If in doubt, go ask his soul
Which yet may lay immersed in dole;
I mean that kindly Williams’s son
Whose given name begins with F.
Or ask Cicero who was head
And lord of justice in our land;
Or ask the nine who, in their ken,
The sword was seen to trump the pen:
The fated souls The Goggled One
Noosed out on that cheerless dawn;
Or ask that hefty Izon lord
Laid low by power in fierce discord;
Or that hulk who kept the law,
Who rode a bull and felt its gore,
And fell down bleeding from his side,
Wounded from his power ride;
Or ask that one whose bank of dough
Has lain prone from power’s blow
Years after the villain struck
With a fist as hard as rock.
And all their tongues will testify
That the Muse I speak for does not lie.
Power is such an evil chef
That cooks to have his rivals dead;
And yet he serves them with a smile
His very dish that’ll bring their end.
In all our land his scions abound.
Why pretend it’s just one man?
July 12, 2015
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