A SONG FOR LAGOS (For Lagos at 55), by Akeem Lasisi

Iga Idunganran

A Song for Lagos
-Akeem Lasisi

I have been with Lagos since the birth of the moon
When the Lagoon was just a bottle of wine
And even our mogul ocean
A tiny pool in a tiny gourd.

Whoever can decipher the idiolect of the phoenix,
Except the one that lives beside the grove?
Who critiques the canticle of the frog,
But the first neighbour of the village brook?

Acolyte of the Ocean,
Custodian of the Sea:
Having been here since the birth of the moon
I will be the mouthpiece of our aquatic land.


Iga Idungaran
In a festival of water chants
We pay our homage to our godlike king
Summon river-birds,
Invoke the Eyo
A multitude of masks and galaxy of whips –
A thespian homage at the palace square

Iga Idungaran,
Where our king wears a crown of gold
His bead is diamond
His shoes are pearls
His staff, a long artifact of silvery splash.

Iga Idunganran,
Because a land of waters is destined for wealth
Every Monday morn
From this ageless palace
The Lagoon carries blessings to the market square.

Tinubu Square
In memory of a matriarch great
We carved a square in the city’s heart.

A century and double past,
From Town Beneath the Rock
A daughter of fate had followed fortune to our toddling dome:

Madam Tinubu,
Her voice was iron
Her heart was steel,
Her arms, the dreaded mortar of an elephant’s leg

But when the slave merchant came from the white-washed sea
Capitalism bit the Amazon like a rabid dog –
She exchanged her wards for tainted pounds.
But when humanity tore the veil of Europe’s sacrilege
She pursued the cannibals to the oceanfront.

The matriarch is gone but monument is here,
For in memory of a matriarch great
We carved a square in the city’s heart.

ALSO WATCH THIS BEAUTIFUL MUSICAL POETRY ON LAGOS, and subscribe for more on Akeem Lasisi & the Songbirds on YouTube.