What wants you from us,

One legged man?

Me: I’m here to study with you

the ancient art of terra-cotta.


You, a university professor,

Coming to us to study,

We humble peasants and illiterates?


Even the one-legged man can dream:

As I fall asleep, I wake up

And this daring dream

Visits my vision

A dream so vivid

It is like a movie screen:

I walk through the walls of Ile Ife

Every compound, every akodi

Is a collegiate unit

Of a gigantic university system.

From every corner of the world,

Pilgrims visit to study,

To learn,

To think,

To meditate.

They come to sit

With indigenous artists,

With diviners, priests, philosophers

To understand what is lost,

What is wrong,

What troubles the world.

In the nearest future, says the oracle

The air reeks with chemicals

Waters toxic with poisons

Earth quakes with tremors

Machines fail and fall apart

Computers crash with abandon

Drugs work not their cures

Bridges break like matchsticks

And one by one

They come to Ile Ife

To unlearn

What they have mastered

To learn

From the source

To rebuild

The world anew

To reshape their minds

To right the wrongs.

So, I go to the mothers

And sit under their feet

And study with them

Like a baby

To suckle from the milk

Of maternal origins.

And everything broken is set aright.

With both my legs walking again

As I cast away my crutches

To stand upright again


Sit down with us, professor,

we will teach you our heart

and learn from you your art

Interested in some of my published works?

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