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In the beginning
God made the earth,
After that he took two stones and made them into
Sun and Moon.
He further created Rain,
Whose desire was to fall down and cover the earth
And Darkness, over whom Moon scattered a
basketful of seeds,
Which were the Stars.
There were no people on the earth at first,
See the golden Leopard with the spots!
The golden cat of the cliffs!
See the Leopard with the bulging cheeks,
The golden Leopard with the wide face, I-Face-
The particoloured one, I-Climb-Into-A-Small-Tree
I rip off the eyebrows!
Clawer am I, dig my nail in deep,
My enemies I leave behind, saying
`This was not one leopard but ten!`
When I ran, it rained. Late in the afternoon—
midsummer, upstate New York, mornings I wrote,
read Polish history, and there was a woman
whom I thought about; outside the moody, humid
American sublime—late in the afternoon,
toward sundown, just as the sky was darkening,
the light came up and redwings settled in the cattails.
They were death’s idea of
My love for you will never die,
Your love for me does make me cry.
You were so beautiful
You shine like stars,
There were no wrinkles
and no scars.
Your silky dress
Your spherical lense,
With no make-ups and no scents,
Looked after the family
with your fragrance.
I remember the stories of fairytales,
Of stars, of moon, of
“In vain your bangles cast Charmed circles at my feet; I am Àbíkú, calling for the first And the repeated time.” – Wole Soyinka (1965)