The Ofi Press Magazine

International Poetry and Fiction from Mexico City

Niyi Osundare (Nigeria): 1 Poem Published
 

 

ORUKU TINDI TINDI*  (2)

 

 

Oruku tindi tindi tindi

 

Oruku tindi tindi tindi

 

 

 

I paint the world aloud

 

With the rainbow of my song

 

My canvas ripples with tones

 

Hanging tremulous between the ears

 

 

 

The sky is one brush high

 

The paintbottle a pampered puddle

 

Brimming with hints and howls

 

And the unheard music of roaring waters

 

 

 

 

 

Oruku tindi tindi tindi

 

 

 

I yellow dawn’s river

 

With the prophecy of my pee

 

Meandering like a sighing old warrior

 

Towards the dusken sea

 

 

 

I hear the bushfowl’s raucous laughter

 

In the savannah of my youth

 

Fast, full-feathered,

 

Beyond the reach of greedy guns

 

 

 

Oruku tindi tindi tindi

 

 

 

The elephant grass

 

Has run out of tusks

 

So tall, so imposing,

 

It bends the wind to its will

 

 

 

The patient eye it is

 

That sees the nose

 

The porridge of a thousand years

 

May still burn the hasty finger

 

 

 

Oruku tindi tindi tindi

 

 

 

 

Smile, Ologuro** that the world

 

May see the beauty of your soul

 

Dance, chosen one, that I

 

May behold the melody of your mind

 

 

 

 

 

Like a little boy’s desire

 

For a bird in the tree

 

Like a sweetheart’s longing

 

For a pearl on the ocean floor

 

 

 

Oruku tindi tindi tindi

 

 

 

Those who crave the egg

 

Hardly know the pain of the hen

 

Their thirst is so intense

 

It leaves a dent in our river

 

 

 

I live in that street of dawn

 

Where the cock has a trumpet in its throat

 

A feathery blast conjures up the sun

 

And the day unfolds like a radiant flower

 

 

 

Oruku tindi tindi tindi

 

 

 

The rain has no water

 

To wash its clothes

 

The millipede mocks the race

 

With its surfeit of legs

 

 

 

Chaos quakes into Cosmos

 

A purple peace is born

 

The Universe hides its clothes

 

In the wardrobe of the Void

 

 

 

 Oruku tindi tindi tindi

 

Oruku tindi tindi tindi

 

 

 

*Yoruba expression; no translatable meaning; used here for its sound and performance effect.

 

** Sweetheart

 

Oruku tindi tindi

 

Versión al español: Fer de la Cruz

 

 

 

Oruku tindi tindi tindi

 

Oruku tindi tindi tindi

 

 

 

Con este canto de arcoíris

 

en mi garganta pinto el mundo

 

Ondeo mi tela de matices

 

en los balcones del oído

 

 

 

Mi brocha llega de aquí al cielo

 

bebiendo charcos de pintura

 

alimentándose del viento

 

con los brochazos de mi música

 

 

 

 

 

Oruku tindi tindi tindi

 

 

 

Al tintineo del crepúsculo

 

profetizado en la pipí

 

tiño meandros al océano

 

diciendo no y meando sí

 

 

 

En tanto ríen las gallinetas

 

en la sabana de mi infancia

 

y resonando pleniplúmeas

 

al evadirse de las balas

 

 

 

Oruku tindi tindi tindi

 

 

 

Mira la hierba de elefante

 

que se ha quedado sin colmillos

 

tan imponente y elegante

 

doblando el viento de un soplido

 

 

 

Sólo podrás ver tu nariz

 

si tu visión no se impacienta

 

Servido el plato hace mil años

 

te puede aún quemar la lengua

 

 

 

Oruku tindi tindi tindi

 

 

 

Sonríe, negrita de mi vida

 

que el mundo mire tu belleza 

 

Baila, Ologuro, mi elegida

 

y yo contemple tu cadencia

 

 

 

 

 

 

Como ese niño que desea

 

tomar el pájaro del árbol

 

Como la amada que suspira

 

la perla al fondo del océano

 

 

 

Oruku tindi tindi tindi 

 

 

 

Aquel que busca comer huevo

 

y en la gallina no repara

 

Aquel que bebe tan sediento

 

y sobre el río deja marca

 

 

 

Vivo en la calle del crepúsculo

 

en la que el gallo trompetea

 

Su trompeteo conjura al sol

 

que al retoñar nos asolea

 

 

 

Oruku tindi tindi tindi

 

 

 

Ya se le fue el agua a la lluvia

 

ya no podré lavar la ropa

 

Ya va el ciempiés a hacerles burla

 

a los marchantes de la tropa

 

 

 

Del Caos el Cosmos ha surgido

 

Nace la paz teñida en púrpura

 

Y en el ropero del Vacío

 

el universo se desnuda

 

 

 

Oruku tindi tindi tindi

 

Oruku tindi tindi tindi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image from: http://hombrepalito.blogspot.mx/

 

 

Niyi Osundare Bio

Niyi Osundare (Ikere-Ekiti, Ondo State, 1947) read English language and literature at Ibadan, Leeds and Toronto Universities. He is professor and heads the English faculty at Ibadan University. In his country he is well known for his literary reviews, comments and columns.

Songs of the Marketplace (1983) mark his debut. For his collection The Eye of the Earth (1986) he was awarded both the poetry prize of the Association of Nigerian Authors and the Commonwealth Prize for Poetry. But he received other awards as well, such as the 1990 Noma Award - Africa's most prestigious literary prize.

Niyi Osundare's poetry holds many images and its language is fluid. He is very concerned with the fate of his continent and in quite a few poems he refers back to the days preceding colonization, when Africa still had an own identity. He does not do so out of nostalgia but in order to create a defence against today's alienation.