Some fierce storms have come upon sacred land,
They march forth within wild winds and lightning.
They pass with the fury of urgency,
Laying to waste ancient trees and they test
Our peace with things we cannot understand,
Things we cannot say, things we cannot stand.
O sacred iroko, you did your best
In a world in cahoots with errancy.
Storm after storm, you were found still standing
Long after leaves and lizards fell to land.
You did not praise yourself, your works raised you
As beacon of excellence, a light true
To its origin, linguist of our tongue.
The final storm has passed, the night is long
For we miss the wisdom, we miss the dawn
With your voice in it (we are still forlorn,
Forlorn with the absence, forlorn with grief,
Angry at death; that ancient, spineless thief).
But we get the last laugh for we carry
The spark you left in us, we shall hurry
To spread it throughout the corners of this earth
Until feet tire and lungs run out of breath.