Thursday, February 16, 2023
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he full moon clothes the night sky with white garment

amidst the twinkling stars,

Creatures of the forest find repose in their dens and nests

but shrill of birds, charters of monkeys and chirping sound

of crickets dominate th night sky around the square.

The village square is jam-packed with people.

A dwarf clad in leopard skin beats the tortoise shell,

a signature tune to kick start the ritual.

A robust village chief mounts his royal stool

flanked by his community elders in their hierarchical order.

He waves a white cloth to the beaming moon

and pours dregs of palm wine to the north of the square;

to the south, he offers kola nuts;

to the east, he spreads alligator pepper;

and to the west he pours upu dreg.

The earth is fed and the soul of the square pulsates

with rhythm of the full moon breathing.

Amadi crashes the cymbals,

Dike pounds the drum, Chike on the guitar

and Dube husbands the saxophone.

Ada is the vocalist,

and sings with scintillating smooth-flowing voice.

The music swells in most rapturous way.

Rhythms, lyrics and voices mesh together

into a complete harmonious whole,

weaving a sensuous fabric of emotion of soulful intensity.

The ether is charged and seven virgins

of easy grace tip toe out of their mud hut,

dressed in raffia skirts, rabbit fur headdresses

and necklaces of leopard teeth;

their ankles adorn with bangles;

they congregate in the east of the village square,

Their whole body titillate,

the lobes of their buttock wiggle

and their breasts and hips sway in successive bewilderment;

their feet shuffle in rhythm with the melody

and lyric of the music playing.

Octogenarian shaman with toothless gum,

dressed in monkey fur peti coat tip toes to the square,

bows and sways front and back and left and right

like an old boat in a turbulent storm.

Gazes at the moon like one under the influence

of some intoxicating substance.

Standing still as second slides into minutes

until time has no meaning at all.

He retreats back to his seat

in a funny but ritualistic style

as a hilarious applause greets the square,

while the seven virgins ululate.

The shaman channels their collective feelings

of exhalation to the moon.

The full moon ritual is brought to an amazing end.

The moon will reply to shaman on Nkwo Orodo market day/