As we are led

Written By Ofili

As we are led
Poems on the underground
Tobe Ofili.

Into the garden I stepped
Nonchalant; frankly I couldn’t care less
About child’s play: love and other such follies.
Heart matters were left to those with no burden, legacy, or worries.
So I watched fools — old and young —
race to the orchard with ladders and sickles.
Albeit, from a safe distance at the periphery, lest I be consumed
Even the unperturbed knew
Infatuation was fickle, but still a forest fire that set logic ablaze.
A fool once, but now an initiated fool
I steered towards edges, where wild seeds sprout and wither in fall
There I plucked low shrubs and lower hanging fruits.
A dabbler’s paradise.
I left the manicured gardens to braver men and girls.
Toiling to fend weeds and undergrowth, too arduous a task for a religion I did not pray to.
Convenience held first lien for me
Until my feet found arid land
Parched acres of vines and thistles.
Prickly to the skin, I ventured with caution
But my eyes held no guards
It fed, yet could not sate its appetite.
Deserted and sparse, I looked around
Not one farmer a mile away.
Harvesters eschewed forbidden fruits
Who picked poison apples, no matter how ripe?
The occasional bandit broke in
And tasted the juice with athlete’s pace
Leaving the fruit dry as stone and white as clay.
But I held neither arms nor sleight of feet
Naïveté was my sole witness
She smiled as I trod the path of sinful ecstasy
She looked as I strut round warning signs
Well into the ninth of last times and goodbyes
I reproached myself the umpteenth time
I questioned how a person stitches together
Myriad pieces shattered and coarse from life.
But still I marched on
The forbidden trail
Expectant and despondent all the same.
Forever wishing for an August harvest
Silently praying rain for years to come.