ABIKU HAS FINALLY GONE TO PERMANENT WITH HIS KINDRED SPIRITS:JP CLARK HAS DROPPED HIS BIG PEN!
REST IN PEACE J.P Clark
News wafted to me now that the great poet of the Niger Delta genre, Prof. John Pepper Clark has gone to permanently stay out on the baobab tree,where to please his kindred spirits.He transmigrated at 83.Ironically,his older brother,the indefatigable Chief Edwin Clark is still kicking and biting at 93!Such is life!!
*Prof.JP Clark was a great poet.The two most famous of his poems are:The Casualties-which is about the Biafran pogrom.And Abiku-Abiku in Yoruba parlance is “Spirit child”but in Igbo,it is called Ogbanje.Such child dies soon after sired and come back again-coming and going…*
This is JP Clark’s ABIKU:
Coming and going these several seasons,
Do stay out on the baobab tree,
Follow where you please your kindred spirits
If indoors is not enough for you.
True, it leaks through the thatch
When floods brim the banks,
And the bats and the owls
Often tear in at night through the eaves,
And at harmattan, the bamboo walls
Are ready tinder for the fire
That dries the fresh fish up on the rack.
Still, it’s been the healthy stock
To several fingers, to many more will be
Who reach to the sun.
No longer then bestride the threshold
But step in and stay
For good. We know the knife scars
Serrating down your back and front
Like beak of the sword-fish,
And both your ears, notched
As a bondsman to this house,
Are all relics of your first comings.
Then step in, step in and stay
For her body is tired,
Tired, her milk going sour
Where many more mouths gladden the heart.
Adiue to this intellectual giant,Prof.JP Clark!
Comrade Princewill A.Dike,Esq