The Human Bondage – Ide Enia

Emmanuel's poem 'The Human Bondage'

Ide Enia – The Human Bondage

Men fetter themselves
expecting God to save them.
I say, ‘God will not come to your rescue, except
first you break your chain.’
You sit there comfortably waving your feet,
the feet hunt no birds and stalk no rabbits.
Yet you complain hunger is oppressive.
I say, ‘Solutions are all within.’
A thief’s greed is insatiable.
He who steals an elephant will be found out,
shadows do not frighten men, only their own fears.
Look at me and expose your true self,
see my burning compassion for mankind.
I say, ‘Man’s yearning cannot be destroyed by fire
except that fire from within.’
While rest is an old man’s right,
action is the prerogative of youth.
Peace will be the guiding light of my journey
that my sojourn on earth be blessed.
I say finally, ‘Tread carefully that we do not destroy nature’s beauty
for the children of tomorrow.’
(from JIGI OJU OBA – the King’s mirror, 1985/86)