A Man’s World

Out of angry earth came the King
And there shall not be caressed
When his feet rolls
Back into his volcanic rage.
Till then he holds the fortress
And none shall tear
His world from his clawed hands.
Ancient and Modern Eve
Like spoilt children sulk always.
Like before now
Failure shall be
A wooed stumbling failure
In the stinking kitchen given her.
No rival to this second eleven, rusty arrow
With a missing rib, stolen strength
Craving crazily in this grazing field
A permanent socket he’d struck
In the skin of her thoughts
That with that that
She may not his match be, ever,
For a desert and lion-coloured time
In a mad man’s space
A man’s man’s world.

Everything and she
Wheels just this way
Through, for, and in him.
At the head of his stout-necked masons
Stands she
Our steel woman, Iron Lady
Wearing dirty crowns of rejoicing sweat
On her drooling dropping brow
That to rise, she never may flaunt
Her ostrich legs
Peacock eyes,
And man may seize, scavenge
Her stertorous wine-cellar heart
Leaving behind the clouds
The booty: a fire melted clay
A wet-pinioned feather
Fit only for the temples
Of African forsaken gods and shrines
Before whose lousy silence
She grasps the stuffy odour
To sponsor the odds and ends
Of her daily bricks
Fired only at the oven of man.

Songs and sermons, shouts and screams
Empty blows, morning fog
Fears and tears, wailing and waiting
Noisy clouds that slip ‘n sleep
Presidents, secretaries, thundering release,
Are everything for punching bags.
Babysitters, poor-paid maids
Ordained by nature, our male.

Thus rolls the role
By man the taskmaster
Forever, wherever he deems
And no deity shall alter
Man, in his own wall,
A six-foot trench
Where his mind saunters the length
And breathe the world with his watch
Perfected that
She shall dance from his drums
Till he, here vanishes, and his drugs.

by Emmanuel Ibuot

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