In this choreo-poem, Niyi Osundare rolls out his talking drum to resound the impending doom that awaits the world, should we fail to act in the nick of time.
The poem opens amidst a request from earth, for its story to be told. The story of its rust, its decay, and continuous dilapidation from the ravages of man. The truth should be told about its state and it is not to be sugarcoated with fancy words; “Tell my pain the way it is.”
Armed with this request from earth to tell this tale of a devastation, the poet goes on to reveal the lethal nature of pesticides, chemicals in general, either used to grow crops or kill pests bothering plants. In the end;
“The poison killed the pest
And later buried the people”
It is an inverse relationship, we feed these plants with chemicals in the name of trying to eliminate pest, and they give us back what we gave them. What I hear here is; ‘organic farming,’ it is time to go back to the way we used to do it, to flee from synthetic chemicals. Cancer and its cohorts are a direct result of these things.
Even the sea and aquatic community are in danger. The ‘wailing wales,’ the ‘dolphins,’ in fact the entire marine nation, is faced with the danger of being wiped away completely, as the activities of man keeps harming our ecosystem.
The drum sounds again, announcing the march of the desert towards the sea, as man continues its treacherous elimination of trees and vegetation. The reality of climate change will not just come with drought, it will wipe our vegetation away and crawl into arable lands and eventually make deserts of them. Even the avian family, in the wake of disappearing trees and vegetation, which is more or less their habitation, will gradually go extinct.
The ozone is indeed depleting and the climate is rapidly changing as;
“The Artic melts like butter”
“As rising oceans consume the lands…”
“The Earth we used to know
Is once upon a time.”
Thought provoking, nerve wrecking, as scary as any horror movie; yet a necessary horror that should be painted with vivid pictures and told as it is, to forewarn the human race of our gradual annihilation, if we do not put a stop to our harmful activities. Osundare tells it as it is, like an elder that sees what a child cannot see.
Poet, dramatist, literary critic and professor of English at the University of New Orleans, Niyi Osundare is a recipient of many prestigious awards and the author of over ten volumes of poetry.