DISCLAIMER: NOT HUMAN
Greetings all, this intro really isn’t needed or maybe it is, you decide. I just want to say that we’re starting a poem/prose series here called – ‘DANCING IN THE RAIN’. The posts under this series will be filed under the prose category. All the characters and locations portrayed herein are totally fictional, and if they bear any resemblance with real people places or events, it isn’t or is coincidental, you decide.
Thanks for stopping by really, ENJOY!
To dance in the rain, the most sacred of arts.
To prove that you can father child and bear fruit.
For how can you breed offspring, if you cannot dance in the rain?
The fire priestess steps out in fashion.
I look upon her with admiration, as she moves in rhythm.
She must dance and sing as is tradition:
“Orisa, we have come,
To lay down our pride, and dance to the tune of our fathers.
Our children lay beneath you, deprived of earthly understanding.
For we are mere sand in the eyes of the great god,
Our wants and needs are subject to you.
I call upon you oh god of my fathers and keeper of my mothers,
Find them worthy I beseech you, worthy of life and of family.
Let the boy become man and the girl woman.”
With frail painted bodies and shaken limbs we the children are to dance under the rain.
With dreams of the future fading fast and hopes in a god we have never seen.
The paint lingers after the dance and all will be well.
The paint washes off; ‘IKU’ becomes fate.
The little scared offspring must prove worthy of life.
Today I become man, for the paint must not wash off.
For if it does, my dreams wash away with it.
It is just past midday now.
We all stare into the sky, ignoring each other, we’re all strangers now.
It’s best not to speak, for spirits are said to roam these parts.
Carrying the sins committed by tongue to Orisa.
She calls my name, my time has come.
“Akingbolahan omo mi kare,
For your time is nigh, the cold wind blows with the spirits of your ancestors.
Dance my little child, for you were born to die.
For how can you live, if you cannot die?”
The rain pours as if angry, yet the whole village lingers.
Little children watch in absolute horror, they know for sure their time will come.
Fathers clutch their fists and mothers whisper silent prayers of hope.
I hear wails of mothers, who have lost daughters,
And see the blank expressions on the faces of the fathers whose sons were deemed unworthy.
I hear the musicians, beating their drums and making rhythm.
It is my turn to prove I am man, my turn to sway to the beat.
I am not scared, oh definitely I am not,
For the fear is me and I am fear.
My will was forged from the fires of the first fire god,
I am the child of the lion, the brave heart that knows no fear and no hesitation.
I will tower above them like the eagle,
I will spread my wings and conquer the skies.
It is said that children found unworthy were fed to the vultures.
Their souls never to know eternal peace, will this be my fate?
Finally I step out in rhythm; my heart beats faster than is permitted.
I am sure even the god of death would fear death if he could die.
I wriggle my waist, the dance starts slowly.
I perform the dance of my family as gracefully as I can
I search the crowd for my old man; our sight cross path and he lets out a smile.
He must be proud; watching as I mirror his movements.
“Akingbolahan oh Akingbolahan,
The iroko tree that has deep roots will stand firm for all eternity.
For a day will come when the son becomes the father of the father.
For generations your roots have lingered among us,
Fables of joy and of sorrow, of love and of hate.
Prove that you are worthy.”
The rain increases in intensity as if angered; I can only hear the sounds of the drums now.
They sound like indiscrete screams.
Just like that the rain calms, and suddenly the indiscrete sounds become horrific screams.
For I look upon myself, the paint is gone and my flesh is bare.
Everybody looks on in awe as my mother collapses where she stands.