​IYAWO ( Iya-iwo) | by Tejuoso Olamide Marie


Like the cat’s eye in the dark, hers prowled,
pacing with the support of her legs,

as she daintily cruised round the circle painted with lives,

graciously cocking her head high,

with her koloba teasing palms itching to caress,

while she gaited back and forth

like a master in the glamour of a rocking chair.


Who is worthy of my lamp,

her surreal voice smirked with a shrill,

Osupa dances at her feet;

the sun blazes, adoring her name.

She knew it.


‘Iwo ni Wura wa’ they chorus,

yet, like a maid at the mercy of her mistress’ whip,

they cower, wary of a step into her turf’s pervading beauty.

They slobber like shelled snail plagued by myopia,

They take to the streets and like Mambas slough

their courage at the altar of her daring eyes.


Ododo, mother of all flowers,

trembled in the hexed hands of Obatala,

but its fragrance oozed arrogance to her dispelling nostrils,

Sango’s feral and disheveled oration,

wasn’t a good meal to her ears.


Farwell to Ogun’s valor,

his crafts

which famously sauntered the bloody streets of war

like the valerian warriors of ancient,

took to its heels at the nudity of her worries.

Her charm was the perfection of the sun,

none seemed capable to contain its splendor.


Ibadi-Aran, who shall not wobble

under your grace-full weight?

Your apparition basks in the dreams

and lingers in the fantasies of young men,

yet, vain is their craves of carnality.

Idi-ileke wanders in utter hauteur – they gossip,

Choruses mocking; low-borns meekly grinning,

all envisaging her pitiful end only.


Then came jolly Orunmila

with tasers of affection,

and like water, doused her flaming

taunts and rudeness.


Olodumare’s wisdom, like an Alarinna

routed the path to assent the union

gaining her father’s consent,

ridding her vile heart of the stench.

It was done.




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