We reel shamelessly in joyful shrillness
For the gloomy glimmer of blinking lights
Nursing our failing consciences
In the cold slab of childish ego
 
I remember Coleridge’s sea 
Without a healthy drop to drink:
 
We have them here.
Otovwodo gas plant,
The biggest gas reserve in Sub-Saharan Africa
 
We have them here.
Erhioke Oil Field in Kokori-Orogun
A precious oil meadow that churns out
Bent and Sweet Crude
The best they told us.
 
We have them here.
Otorogu-gas plant in Otu-Jeremi
The largest of its kind in West Africa
Seventh of its kind in the world
So they tell us.
 
We have them here in the withering heart of our Delta.
 
But here we are.
The light we lack
Beams through the bare trees in the far forest
Chasing away our game,
They cough away our gas
And theorize our existence
In the classroom of knowledge 
Of everything, of nothing.
 
They lay siege to us
The terror of terrifying arms
Demonizing Orovwori’s blessings
In the shore of our dwelling
 
How can we be sane?
Go ask Malaysia 
How oil palm showed the way
And crude blocked our path
Turning us to a dark lake of suicide
 
In the mist of our tears
Shall beam the sunrise of smiles. 

 

Kẹ avwanre vwẹ emu rẹ omavovwẹ vwo ruẹ edon rẹ oghọghọ
Fiki rẹ irhukpẹ re brẹ brẹ avwọ rhe
Fiki re ugheghẹn rẹ avwanre
Avwanre vwo ruẹ reghereghe kirẹ imitete
   
Me karophihẹ urhie rẹ abade rẹ Coleridge
Yẹ uvi rẹ ame rẹ ẹda ọ herọ -ọ
 
Avwaren vwaye vwẹ obọna
Uwevwin rẹ egase vwẹ Otovwodo
Rẹ ọ rho Kparobọ vwẹ ubrotọ rẹ Africa
 
Avwanre vwaye vwẹ obọna
Uwevwin rẹ evwri re se Erhiọke rẹ ọ hẹ Kokori-Orogun
Rẹ ọriẹ uvi rẹ evwri
Evwri oyovwi kparobọ vwẹ akpọnejobi, ọtiọyin aye vuẹ  avwanre
 
Avwanre vwaye vwẹ obọna
Uwevwin rẹ egase re sẹ Otorogun rẹ ọ hẹ ọtọ rẹ Ughiẹvwen
Ọriẹ ode rọyen vwẹ ẹkoma efa re hẹ ubrotọ rẹ West Africa
Adia rẹ ighwrẹ ọ ye ọ he phan vwẹ ọkpọrọyen re hẹ akpọna
Ọtiọyen aye vuẹ avwanre
 
Avwanre vwaye  vwẹ obọna vwẹ  evun rẹ idelta ọ wawa nana
We rhẹn avwanre, tẹ ọke nana
Irhukpẹ rẹ ọnahẹ avwanre na
Iye la vwẹ evu rẹ ẹghwa rẹ aye vwo sẹ evwri na
Rẹ edjẹ eravwen rẹ ẹghwa
Aye sẹ egase rẹ avwanre ruẹ ophopho
Ẹbe ifefe kọye aye yorho avwanre
Ebe herọ eje re riẹ ifefe
 
Je ayen muẹ ogba riariẹ avwanre
Ghwẹ oshọ rẹ ephagha ri muomuoshọ
Phihẹ avwanre oma
Lerhẹ ughwẹ rẹ Ọghẹnẹ kpẹ ekwakwa rẹ eshu
Vwọ ke avwanre
Mavọ yẹ iroro kavwọ gba?
Avwan ra nọ ihwo rẹ Malaysia
Ebe rẹ omamọ rẹ uriẹ djẹn idjere vwọ raye
Yẹ evwri gberẹ idjere rẹ avwanre vwẹ obọna
 
Idjuru rẹ ame rẹ oviẹ avwanre
Ọ ye usi rẹ ọren rẹ uvo
Rẹ oke phiẹ ehwẹ phihẹ akpọ rẹ obaro rẹ avwanre   



Stephen E. KekegheStephen E. Kekeghe

Stephen Kekeghe was born in 1982 and grew up in the Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State, Nigeria. He holds a BA in English from Delta State University, Abraka, and an MA in English at the University of Ibadan. His poems have appeared in the anthologies Abraka Voices, Volume 3 and Rising Voices: Rhythms in Honour of Professor Remi Raji-Oyelade, and on Poemshunter.com. His play, Pond of Leeches, is in press. He has completed a collection of poems, Chants of Memories.

Translated from UrhoboUrhobo by Stephen E. KekegheStephen E. Kekeghe

Stephen Kekeghe was born in 1982 and grew up in the Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State, Nigeria. He holds a BA in English from Delta State University, Abraka, and an MA in English at the University of Ibadan. His poems have appeared in the anthologies Abraka Voices, Volume 3 and Rising Voices: Rhythms in Honour of Professor Remi Raji-Oyelade, and on Poemshunter.com. His play, Pond of Leeches, is in press. He has completed a collection of poems, Chants of Memories.