For Lesser Cause Than These

We shall overcome
We shall overcome Someday
O! Deep in my heart
I do believe
We shall overcome someday!
.
Sometimes I wonder why the someday of
This Negro spiritual cannot be today
Such spirited people high on hope
Yet they only saw the promise
Through the tainted telescope of crude imagination
Like a meteor shower that would one day hit earth
.
Imagine you were on a bike one Sunday evening
And suddenly, the Nollywood film tricks made sense
You see the antagonist wiggle of his bike
In an epileptic attack
You hear the break screeching as your biker
Approaches uncomfortably closer and closer
Towards the wiggler's biker
You feel the seismic impact
Of the bikequake pound your body
Then it stops; you see no more; you hear no more
.
Your orientation spins like a compass in a magnetic dance
Maybe, maybe, this was the stars they claimed you'll see
Every time you declined to have visions by prophetic slaps
.
You try to stand but your balance gives way
Like Google doing a barrel roll
Or the neck spin stunt of a midnight owl
.
You try to search out God in all this
Still you found him in how the wings of an angel
Deflected the nails of a demon
Punctuating my face few millimeters southward from my eye
Towards my cheekbone
Even in all this, God has refused to fail
.
While you wait for the physicians
At the accident and emergency unit
With many offering their sympathy and concern
The still small voice held your attention saying
"Now you bear in your body, scars that show
That you belong to the cause of Christ"
"Now you bear in your body, scars that show
That you belong to the cause of Christ"
.
With a broken phone you brokered an unbroken call
To someone who cares; still you wait
Blasting off in a strange phenomenon called tongues
Your father shows up and He starts riling you up
You do not understand why he thinks
The the incident was your fault
.
Later on you will realize that
The enemies of the cause already got him
Even tempting your mother to get you outta town
Tempting your mother to doubt your capacity to avail
to survive the crucibles of the cause
.
But your mom knew better; she knows you will literarily
Live out the line of Henley's poem
"My head is bloody but unbowed"
.
By now the physicians are ready for
Your date with acupuncture
Caressing your vein with the love of needles
Hugging your face, your lips, your inner cheeks
With the foreplay of stiches
The date ends with the erection of various
Facial muscle pulled by the strings of the firm stiches
And the partial paralysis of your mouth
.
That night four emissaries of the cause
Took your bed corners like they were
The arrow heads of the cardinal points
The four corners of the earth
.
They brought no patronizing words from the master
But reminded you of your oath, your allegiance and the cup
They brought you words that the path of the cause
Is one of sacrifice and death
And to continue is to brace for more
For the cause is greater than us all
.
Somehow these words brought more comforts
Than patronizing and sympathizing
You know that it sounds like Nazi's brainwashing
But it is not
And this is the path that you must thread
So you got on your kneels and reword your loyalty
Renewing your allegiance
.
The next day held more surprises
Your tooth was bound in one accord
By the rod of a mighty stainless steel
The dentist says soft meals
And you wonder if you ever will know again
The sweet delights of chewing meat
.
Your face is swollen now
Like a deformed beach ball, round on one end
No so round on the other
So you look into the mirror
Thinking it could have been worse
Then you asked if it had been worse would you quit?
Would you have given up?
.
But you remember Sokari Braide
You remember Lincoln, the many -
Unnamed martyrs burnt at the stake
You remember Dasharath Manjihi, Kunta Kinte
Jaja of Opobo,
.
You remember Socrates, S.G. Elton, Malcolm X
You remember Giwa, Sankara, Idiagbon
You remember Malala, Desmond Tutu, Sirleaf Johnson
Wanthara Mangai, the great debaters -
Men have died for lesser cause than these!
.
You remember John Hus bracing his execution
With a countenance of joy and a tongue of prophecy
Men have died for lesser cause than these!
.
You hear Sankara in the days of His death declare
You may kill a man but not a revolution
Men have died for lesser cause than these!
You see Mandela defiling the system with his'
If need be I am ready to die speech
You hear the echoes of the hanging
Forsaken man; His agony resounding through the ages
.
Then mustering all the courage left within
With half a mouth available you say
Even if my face remains this way forever
I will carry on, unwaveringly
.
Therefore, whatever Goal or ideas, dream or visions
ed to you from the vistas of inspiration
Live it out to your final breath
Men have died for lesser cause than this
.
Remember we stand as the fulfillment of prophecy
That many bled and died for but didn't see
Remember we stand on sacrifices of men
Aged and young, old and new, male and female
Men have died for lesser cause than this
.
The time is ours now to set the course of eternity and posterity
In this cosmic progression of time, space and age
Men have died for lesser cause than this
.
We belong to a generation whose appointment
With death has been cancelled
Yet if you have nothing worth dying for
You aren't worthy of the air you breath
Men have died for lesser cause than this
.
Let's invade the systems; let's bring down the walls
Let us live and die for the cause we were born for
Men have died for lesser cause than this
.
As for me
I will kneel like Dr King with the tea cup
Shaking in his hands on the day of the overload
Of the telephone death threats
To seek the vision to be atop the mountain top
To see the promise land
And to pay the price weather I do or do not enter them
That I may stand
And preach the Gospel; by any means necessary
For Men have died for lesser cause than this
Men have diesd for lesser cause than this.

by Adetimilehin Inioluwa

Other poems of INIOLUWA (43)

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