An African Elegy

An African Elegy

We are the miracles that God made
To taste the bitter fruit of Time.
We are precious.
And one day our suffering
Will turn into the wonders of the earth.

There are things that burn me now
Which turn golden when I am happy.
Do you see the mystery of our pain?
That we bear poverty
And are able to sing and dream sweet things

And that we never curse the air when it is warm
Or the fruit when it tastes so good
Or the lights that bounce gently on the waters?
We bless things even in our pain.
We bless them in silence.

That is why our music is so sweet.
It makes the air remember.
There are secret miracles at work
That only Time will bring forth.
I too have heard the dead singing.

And they tell me that
This life is good
They tell me to live it gently
With fire, and always with hope.
There is wonder here

And there is surprise
In everything the unseen moves.
The ocean is full of songs.
The sky is not an enemy.
Destiny is our friend.

by Ben Okri

Other poems of OKRI (1)

Comments (5)

You don't believe - I won't attempt to make ye: You are asleep - I won't attempt to wake ye. Sleep on! sleep on! - ITALIAN: Tu non credi - non proverò a farti credere: Tu sei addormentato - non proverò a svegliarti. Dormici su! dormi!
A tug of war between the faithful who blindly believed in everything connected with spirituality/ religiosity and the scientific temperaments who did not believe any thing without backing of material evidence. Amazingly presented thought provoking poem, penned by a master spirit.
I doubt Reason ever held a high place in his estimation of the worth of things. I doubt that he had much faith in anything beyond the self and satisfying its flitting and adventurous and often shocking needs.
Different definitions reason and doubt a good poem it is felt.
I really like the words in this poem! Never mind the reason why