Sunday, April 11, 2010

My father's palmy has the sweet taste of his sweat.


Our people say:
Igbo: Üdara dachiri üzö mpïwa gü ya.
English: An udara fruit that falls on the side of the road is asking to be eaten.- Igbo Proverb.
A poem I wrote.

Many fathers have spoken

But my father’s words were most profound
Many women have cooked
But my mother’s food was most tasty
Many ladies have cared
But my sister’s care was most tender
Many men have loved
But my brothers’ love was most anointing

Many fathers have brought home wine
But my father’s palmy had the taste of his sweat
The taste of his toil
His palmy was most strong,
And quenched my direst thirst

The man is tall like an Iroko tree
Big like an elephant
Harsh like the sting of a broom
Yet his strides are swift like an eagle,
Paced like a cheetah

Yet his silence is golden
His silence, is wicked
His silence is harder than words
In his silence I pray for death

The man I call my father, paale
With words softer than soap
And words as strong as the palmy he brings
And as soothing as the song he sings

His wife, my mother, maale
Whose dress is wet from my tears
Whose pot of soup has been emptied
Whose ears are blocked from my cries

That woman, her ways are simple
Yet her thoughts are thick
She cannot eat, when I am hungry
She cannot sleep, when I am awake
She cannot smile when I am crying
Her left arm is my bed and her right is my whip

Tomorrow, they will be frail
And no one will bring home wine
No one will cook me Ogbono soup
No one will shout at my foolishness
No one will calm down my stress

But will I be able to cook for my children them?
Will I have for them, what maale had for me?
If I may ever fail, may it not be here
May my sun be my maale
And my moon be my paale
Let their ways guide my earthly steps
Like the smell of my mother’s food guides me home. 

I hope everyone has a blessed week and that we NEVER for get family and how they are the only ones on earth who love us unconditionally irrespective of anything. They always love us no matter whether they go about the things they do the wrong or right way.


  1. I love it..
    You may not be able to give them what your maale and paale gave you, but you'll give them something they will equally cherish....

  2. hehe, true that Lani. Thank you!

  3. You almost made me teary-eyed with this poem, because I started reflecting on my father and mother's love for us (their children).

    Your poem reminded me also of reading "Things Fall Apart" by Chinua Achebe. This is poetry at its best. Excellent job Nakedsha. And thanks for reminding!

  4. Paale and Maale... Reminds me of the way my friends call their parents when I was in Naija.

    I love this poem. Very creative and lovely. Oh, I love my own Paale and Maale too o.
    Not to worry, the future is yours :)

    - LDP

  5. love this poem,girl....thumbs up!

  6. I love this poem great job. Family is always first to me.


Your comments are my maggi!