Ayomikun Soyombo: The fellowship of Idanre Hills (Poem)

by Ayomikun Soyombo


We were told that yearly . The Idanre people gathered at the hills.  In celebration of’ Orosun’,the beautiful warrior.  And ‘ Olofin’  her husband.Also in honour of ‘Ojimaba’ their child. Silently I wondered if ‘Ojimaba’  was a male or female

1.As we took the last bend

   Towards the ancient city

   Right ahead emerged giants

   Glassy with fluffy clouds as crowns

   The hills appeared stunning & transparent

   These must be gods, I concluded

2.With shock I starred

   It was like the mountains returned my gaze

   I felt like I saw a smile from one

   A wave from the other

   This can’t be hallucinations

   The hills even breathed on me

3.As we climbed I shivered

   I felt the hands of the hills enveloping me

   It was beautiful & peaceful

   Simply a miracle Nigeria owns this

   Just ahead I saw one of the hills

   I was later told she’s named ‘ Orosun’

4.’Orosun’ fought great battles

   Fearlessly with a strength simply divine

   When the time came she got transformed

   Into an edifice the emblem of strength

   I was tempted to go embrace ‘Orosun’

   Then I saw her,blowing me a kiss

5.Happily I climbed on

   Determined to see the mystical foot print

   That fits any foot placed into it

   Except those of witches & wizards

   Who,upon detection,were made to confess

   Cleansing Idanre of wickedness

6.As we snaked on

   We stumbled on another warrior,’Olofin hill’

   We were told ‘ Olofin’ was married to ‘Orosun’

   A union in which they gave birth to’ Ojimaba’

   ‘Ojimaba’  hill had a childish beauty

   Open-mouthed,I couldn’t take in all the grandeur

7.We were told that yearly

   The Idanre people gathered at the hills

   In celebration of’ Orosun’,the beautiful warrior

   And ‘ Olofin’  her husband

   Also in honour of ‘Ojimaba’ their child

   Silently I wondered if ‘Ojimaba’  was a male or female

8.As we continued the climb happily

   We reached a river,’Omi Apaara’

   Where before  Idanre warriors depart for a  war

   They were religiously gathered to drink

   “The cloud thunders as a sign

   When whoever will die in battle drinks,” we were told

9.A part of the hills was reached

   Where calmly sitting on the ground was a piece of rock

   Scantily smooth as a grinding stone

   A rock to be carried by any man who desires to marry

   Failure to lift the rock to your chest level rules out your ambition

   I didn’t bother touching the rock

10.Our tour guide hinted gladly

     That at the next spot we would see ‘the unreadable letters’

     Then we reached the massive rock

     With its back turned in our direction

     Scribbled right there were ancient symbols

     Only a giant would have been able to write there

11.As we trudged on I wondered

     At the meaning of the letters

     How my land holds so much wonder

     How my country holds so much beauty

     If the Idanre hills should swallow the Olumo rocks

     They would remain hungry,I childishly thought,as they are massive

12.We got to the spot named ‘Ode Oja’

     Where a crown allegedly stolen from Ile-Ife was buried

     Oba Idanre comes there once a year

     And puts on the crown in the middle of the night

     The crown is usually called forth from the earth

     Imagining the magic,I smiled at my ancestors’ wit

13.We saw the palace surrounded by rocks

     We saw the skulls of cows stacked in the palace

     Signifying the number of years the king has been on the throne

     In a palace surrounded by statues ingeniously carved

     We saw a windowless ante-room by the palace

     Where the king is locked up for seven days before coronation

14.I wished the world could gather in Nigeria

     To fellowship with the rocks at Idanre

     To step on the dance floor with Orosun

     To share sweet palmwine with Olofin

     To teach Ojimaba new tricks from distant lands

     Enjoying the splendour of Idanre hills

15.We may be battling  terrorism

     Our politics may be sitting on broken stools of lies

     But we have Idanre hills

     We have monuments indeed priceless

     Monuments whispering messages of peace & victory

     Foretelling the beauty my home,Nigeria,would become

16.As we left Idanre I became very sad

     Because we couldn’t reach the mystical footprints

     I left Idanre a defeated man

     Not knowing if I am a wizard or not

     But how can I forget the beautiful glassy hills

     I knew I would return someday


Soyombo Ayomikun  tweets from @alabaster85

 Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.


Comments (2)

  1. This is a beautiful piece. I especially appreciates the aesthetic value and narative prowess of Ayomikun. This poem is simply a poetic naration of Nigeria's rich cultural heritage garnished with aesthetics.
    Okafor Nnamdi

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