Untold Retold


(For the legend, J.P Clark Bekederemo)

This is the story of a poor lad

whose single mother kissed him goodbye

in her search for manna. 

On this fateful day,

He waited with the mirth of feasting at dusk;

Such 'once-a-day's feast' was his ritual,

and even the worms in his stomach are no aliens to the usual.

It's now dusk...

His eyes were no longer with their gaits. 

Even the worms became grumbly awake.

Every footstep and sound from passersby

Gave him a fresh hope

Until the sky could no longer cover the earth's aisle.

It's past meal time

and his system crawled closer to the mat.

Shortly, he lost consciousness

and experienced the loooongest night ever.


He Screamed, "Ena!"

As he forcefully lifted his torso from the mat.

Well, Ena means mother.

He is up,

But the cocks were far in their dreams

Before his crow gave the world a false alarm of a dawn.

By my watch, it was just 2:30am

Ena hasn't returned.

Now, his anxiousness for the where about of his mother

Grew wilder than the rumbles in his stomach.

He took the bold step,

Overcame his weakness,

And to the door he headed in search for "Ena".

He groped about the dark single room

Into a wider, even darker space. 

Not even the moon

was home that day

But his ambition pushed him to keep  searching for his mother, who is also the

provider of his manna.

The rest of the night was too dark;

I am not able to describe perfectly

All he went through.

All I could hear were short clicks of crying

And sniffs as he groped on fading into emptiness.

Well, I didn't join him in his adventure.

No way!

I couldn't dare

knowing that adventures in this part of the world

are not like those in romantic fiction;

The chorus of mosquitoes alone is no mean disservice for the course.

I slept off at my comfort zone

Waiting for dawn when I see him again.

It's 6am.

I couldn't stop searching for him. 

My search lasted for 11 hours,

And just at the verge of giving up,

I saw him stranded by the stream side.

He was having a conversation with a river bird.

"He might have survived the vile of the dark

But lost his sanity"

I thought to my self.

Well, I was too eager to remove the scales from my mind's eyes

So, I went closer to meet up their closing conversation

As thus:

Child: River bird, river bird,

Sitting all day long

On hook over grass,

River bird, river bird,

Sing to me a song

Of all that pass

And say,

Will mother come back today?

Bird: You cannot know

And should not bother;

Tide and market come and go

And so shall your mother.

(Streamside Exchange by J.P. Clark)


Did that rescue the situation?


May be or not

But sure,

The clueless amphibian might have just

Subsidized his curiosity.

However, before departing,

The bird marvelled me with her action:

She took a  high fly,

Dived into the river

And shortly, emerged with a cat fish

Of a reasonable size.

She didn't end there,

Flew to his direction,

A struggling catfish fell off from her grip,

And lands near his feet.


That's a lucky gifting.

At least, he goes home with a meal."

I mumbled.


It seemed like the bird was bleeding

On her side cheek

As she fled on from her loss.


may be my sight was deceived...

That's not my concern anyway.

So, what about the where about of his mother?

That might be a story for another day...



Vincent John is an arts practitioner, performance poet, creative writer and researcher in Dramatic Theories. 


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