A painting of enslaved Africans, some dancing, some sitting, of all ages.

The Tongue We Never Lost at Sea

The civilization of a People lost…
in hell upon the arrival of a strange man
whose idol described our traditional
practices as the evil bedeviling us —
and the roadblock on our way to
his father’s house of many mansions!

Our proverbs, story, folklores
are too heavy to flow through
a pen — and sustain its grasp
on blank papers relaying beauty
of ancient tongues passed down to
one generation to another —
breeding a lifetime of vast richness
with its myth intact; strong, bold

This cultural teachings wears
its name on the sleeves of our
long-held old belief —
a mystery that rolls itself up in words
and syllable that apprehends
the magical sound of our language
and the tribes that draws footpath
on our skin… to keep our truth
and heritage hidden away from the wild

Aboard the slave ship chanting our songs
unrelenting in the presence of agony —
a world STOLEN and sold to another world
for the ILL bargain of superiority — yet
our history never died on our lips!
You can trace the stars… and search
for the moon in our locks!

More from this Writer

Uchechukwu Onyedikam (mystic poet) is a creative artist based in Lagos, Nigeria. He’s been published in Amsterdam Quarterly, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, and several print and online journals and magazines. With regards to the intense passion he nurtures for poetry, he’s open to work with other creatives from around the world. He looks forward to exploring all of humanity with words in a world where everyone else is hurting from bombs and guns; and from the pain of injustice. His spoken word poem, ‘Ten Years’, is on YouTube at https://youtu.be/rXxmuJseh8w