The dance of the blind – Carolyn Banks Ose

The dance of the blind- by Shreya Malpani.jpg

 

Only the stubborn fly goes to the grave with the corpse

Only the inquisitive monkey becomes the meat of the hunter’s pot

The dance of the blind is to the left when others dance to the right

The sound of music is for all ears

But not all kinds of waist get the rythm

Nor feet the movement

The eyes is as the legs and the legs as the waist

He who must take the shekesheke* must first have eyes

 

I do not know my enemies is without eyes

And she has taken the shekesheke*

She proceeds to the square with no guide at hand

She has decided to dance

Yes she must dance today with the spirits who call themselves our fathers

 

I do not know my enemies has taken the shekesheke*

And she proceeds to the dance floor

Owner of no eyes says today she must dance

Yes she must dance before the people

Today they must see her

They must know that there is one so blessed by the gods

 

I do not know my enemies has taken the shekesheke*

She has gone to the square to dance with the elders

Owner of no eyes today must dance

Yes she must dance before her people

 

I do not know my enemies has taken the shekesheke*

She has gone to the square to dance with masquerades

Owner of no eyes fears no one she can not see

The music is nothing to her ears

And she does not fear the scent of dust or sweat

He who must eat must first labour

 

I do not know my enemies has wooed the crowd

They cheer for her that has no eyes

She is a dancer a better one at that

One truely blessed by the gods

Her beads clap against her waist

As she wines to the left and to the right

Owner of no eyes is a good dancer

The music has gotten into her head

And those that envy her have stripped her of her skirt

But I do not know my enemies does not know

Owner of no eyes does not know

 

Foot note: *shekeshe, is an African musical instrument; a calabash with beads strung around it.

Carolyn banks Ose is a fiction writer and a poet. She is currently studying for a bachelor’s degree at the University of Lagos, Nigeria.